The following is a list of all the tools I have purchased in order to make my Van's Aircraft RV-10 or are tools that I was directly recommended. When I started I was told to get all tools up front so I did. Some I use a lot, some I use infrequently and some I have yet to use at all. I'll try to comment on each one and if I think you should get them and/or how many you should get. I will also add a link to a video specific to each tool as I create them.
The UNDERLINED links below link directly to a store where the product is sold and I try to find the best deal but it changes constantly.
The amazon links are affiliate links which allows me to earn a couple pennies for the recommendation. Not all links are amazon.
You're going to use a lot of drill bits and need to replace them. Don't try to use the same drill bit forever, they are meant to be consumables.
#40 Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 6 of these initially. You'll use this drill bit the most and will need more.
#30 Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 3 or 4 of these initially. You'll again use this bit a lot. Second most common.
#21 Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 2. These two will likely last your whole build.
#19 Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 1. You don't need a lot of these. One 4pk will last the whole build.
#12 Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 1. You only need one of these.
12" x #40 Long Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 2. These long drill bits are absolutely needed.
12" x #30 Long Cobalt Drill Bit - Get 2.
90° ANGLE DRILL KIT
You will use this quite a lot. There are many instances were you have no other way to cut a hole. You only need one.
90 Angle Drill Kit - You can either get the one in the image to the left on Aircraft Spruce for over $190 or you can get the one off Amazon which is a lot less expensive and appears to be roughly the same thing.
Microstop / Countersink Kit
These screw heads fit in the 90 degree angle drill kit above which is handy at times.
Microstop / Countersink Kit - This is an amazing device that you may want to consider getting more than one of. You will use the #40 and #30 cutter heads a lot and constantly switching back and forth can be tedious. You need ONE for sure, but more than one would be nice.
Unibit Step Drill Bit #3
The #3 part isn't that important. You can get lots of these, you don't need to get the "aviation" version.
Unibit Step Drill - You're going to use this quite a bit as you will be making a lot of larger holes in some of the ribs or in other places in the plane and this is the fastest and easiest way to do it. But don't let it get dull. A dull one of these "burns" it's way through the aluminum instead of cutting and the results look terrible. Get one for sure, but I'd recommend two.
Cleco Pliers / Clecos
Do you have strong hands? 'cause you will have strong hands at the end of this if you don't get a pneumatic cleco puller. I don't actually have one myself but can certainly see the value of getting one.
Cleco Pliers - I would recommend getting two pair of pliers. That way you can have helpers!
You are also going to need a bunch of different sized cleco's which you can buy in kids or buy individually. That's up to you. But the numbers of 3/32" and 1/8" is kinda important.
3/32" (#40) Cleco Fastners - Get 300+ of them. Yes really. You'll use all of them. I have 325.
1/8" (#30) Cleco Fastners - Get 150+ of them. Again, yes. I have 175.
5/32" (black) Cleco Fastners - Get 10. You wont need more than that.
3/16" (silver) Cleco Fastners - Get 10. You wont use these often.
1/2" Jaw Cleco Clamps - Get 10. These are super handy at times.
1" Jaw Cleco Clamps - Get 10.
Rivet Gun & Bucking Bars
Don't go cheap here. You're going to be using this stuff a lot. Get a good rivet gun and set of bars.
3x Rivet Gun Kit / 2 Bucking Bars - If you've watched any of my videos then you have seen this exact kit in use. Honestly, I can't recommend it enough. It has served me very well and continues to be a work horse. You also can do just about the whole plane with the two bars that are included, almost...
Tungsten Bucking Bar - 5/8" x 1" x 4" with angled end
This is the bar you will use the most. It's the exact right
shape and does an amazing job. Get one. Yes, it's
kind of expensive. But it's worth it as it's small and compact
allowing you to use it everywhere. Oh did I mention it weighs like 2 pounds?
1/8" Double Offset Rivet Set - This funky looking bent rivet set is used in the rivet gun quite a lot to set #30 rivets all over the plane. You will need one and you will find it handy. There are different shapes that are also handy. Keep an eye out for them.
1" Flush Swivel Rivet Set w/rubber gasket - This will be your primary rivet
set that you'll use on all the skins on your plane. They make some that are
smaller than 1" but I have only see a couple places where that would
have been useful.
I'm still working on this page.. thanks for your understanding.
last updated: June 5, 2021