Oh my, did you guys see the size of the tool list that Van's send? Yeah, that scared me a little bit as I had no idea what was necessary to build the empennage and what could wait a little bit longer. I'm pretty sure this will not be the last time I feel a little overwhelmed when going through the process. To make this a little easier I decided I would buy a toolkit, there are a few vendors that sell starter kits. I decided to buy from Aircraftspruce first because they have a warehouse in Canada and I was hoping this would make them quicker/easier to work with (I was wrong), and second because I got a special order form during the EAA SportAir workshop to get a discount. Honestly, the process was awful, I had to fill up a paper form, scan it and send by email to buy instead of using the website, it felt so much like the beginning of the 90's. Please guys, just generate a one time coupon code for people to use on the website! Plus it took a few days in back and forth emails with the salesman to get things sorted out and to actually figure out what the price was because there's nothing in the coupon saying how much discount you're going to get. In the end, I saved $50 that was not worth the trouble.
I got the RV Builders Starter Kit with a 3X Pro Rivet Gun (http://www.aircraftspruce.ca/catalog/topages/atsrvbuilderskit12-04850-53.php?clickkey=3392136) and I quickly learned this was not enough. At this point, I did buy a few extra tools including:
Air tool regulator - Did not like the swivel regulator that came with the kit
Pin punches - This should be part of the starter kit. What's the chance of a newbie not doing any mistakes and having to remove a rivet!?
Tungsten Bucking bar - Never used one but 10 out 10 builders say this is a must-have.
Pneumatic Squeezer - I did try to avoid buying this one as is an expensive one, but after playing with the practice kits I believe this will speed up my process a lot plus save me from some serious tendinitis.
I'm sure this list will grow larger and larger. But I do believe I have all I need to get started now. I do not have a band saw which is also something everyone tells me is essential so let's see!
I'll start my project working in my basement. I believe this will be enough to finish my practice kits and start the empennage. If not, my Plan B is to rent the hangar space from my local RAA chapter as I currently do not have a 2 car garage available. The plan is to buy a house next spring/summer and then move everything to the new house.