Preparing for the Kit
You will find this section located before shipping because preparations can begin even before the kit or sub-kit is purchased and normally you will have at least a couple of months before your kit will be ready to ship.
The more your workshop is organized and prepared before the build process begins the smoother, less stressful, safer and most likely quicker the building process will be.
Space is your greatest commodity. As parts become sub-assemblies and sub-assemblies become large components and the structure, space seems to become a bigger issue. So finding suitable and innovative ways to store things can sometimes become a project in itself. Unfortunately this is something that you are going to have to work out for yourself with the environment you are dealt with. Keep in mind that all the time, love and meticulous attention to detail can be quickly destroyed when junior tries to pull his bicycle out of the garage or shed. so plan for safe storage. Re-utilize bubble wrap to protect items.
Evaluating the build site:
1. Do I have enough room to complete my project or will I require a hanger to complete the construction? If a t-hanger will be needed, can you share space with someone? Is there a waiting list? If so, you better get on it.
2. Is there adequate electrical power and of the correct phase?
3. Is water available? Is compressed air available? Water is certainly nice to have to wash up and clean with. Compressed air you might be able to do without but this means you may have to go to the local garage or gas station or FBO to air up your tires. If you have a larger composite structure or a lot of composite parts to prep an air compressor is almost a necessity.
4. Lighting. Lighting will help you find flaws and problems more readily than in a poorly lighted area. Good lighting will most likely make you feel less fatigued and work more accurately.
5. Storage Kits. Plastic tackle boxes or parts boxes are a very efficient way to store small parts in an organized fashion without taking up too much room. If a label maker is purchased each location/part can be easily identified and found. It will be helpful to put all AN hardware in a box and MS hardware in another and so on. There is little worse than spending an hour looking for a little nut that was "just over there the other day".
6. Workbench. If you do not already have one - make one. Work will progress quickly if you can work comfortably and have a stable platform to support your work or layouts. Those workmate type benches can work fine too.
7. Environmental Controls. This can be as simple as a fan, space heater or air conditioning. Depending on your project requirements, such as laying up composite structures, and your personal requirements and funds. These items can cause injury or damage if you operate them with open flammables. They can also mess up a paint job in a hurry if you forget about them.
8. Safety Items. Yes, a fire extinquisher is a good thing to have on hand. This may be even more important because your kit is probably not insured yet and your homeowner's policy may or may not cover the loss of the kit. It is hoped you will never have to use it but a fire extinquisher is cheap insurance. Other items such as safety glasses or goggles. A broom or vacum cleaner, Band-Aids, insect repellant, sunscreen can all help keep you happy and safe. Find an approved storage container for your flammables. Safe = Fun.
9. Television. Honestly honey! Most builders will have video or DVD's showing construction methods for the kit. You can pause the picture and have the component in front of you at the same time.
10. Radio/CD player. Your option but you most likely already own one. A bit of music in the back of the shop relaxes me and pumps me up to get busy on my work. Too loud can be dangerous not only for your ears but if you should need to call for help no one may hear you. This item is also good to listen to the ballgames on if the television is being used for video use.
With the build site ready to work in we need to see if we have all the tools needed to continue our adventure. See Tools page.
The 51% Rule
What's not in the Kit