EAA Sheet Metal Basics Class

What a great class! I just completed this two-day weekend class that did a very good job of introducing all the standard tools used to build a sheet metal aircraft. This class was mostly hands-on with just the right amount of needed lecture. Having seen his EAA videos, I was happily surprised to find our instructor was Mark Forss. To top the whole thing off, the class took place at my local airport, less than 4 miles from my house!

The first day started off with introductions, reviewed some lecture notes and a slide presentation, followed by jumping into our first project.

Our first practice project

The first practice project was a great way to get our feet wet with several of the tools, including rivet gun, clecos, deburring tools, etc. Once put together, we got to practice drilling out rivets. I think I need some more practice! I seem too have mangled a couple of the holes pretty bad trying to get the rivets out. Oh well, that’s what practice is for!

We then transitioned to our second and main project, the wing section. We made some good progress on the first day and continued on the second.

While I don’t seem to have a picture of it, the ribs were hand formed using wood forms and a hammer. I’ve got some fond memories of this from back when I spent a year working on a Zenith CH701, which was a scratch-built from plans aircraft. Thankfully these days with modern kits, you no longer have to build the wood forms to make every part. Glad I did it, but glad I don’t have to do it again! 🙂

I think it’s time to build a workbench!

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