Tools Used For Fuselage Construction

Here's some of the tools used to build my fuselage. Its not a complete list, I don't have my compressor listed for example. Prices listed are estimates of what I paid back in 2000, so prepare yourself for higher prices. Hyperlinks are probably not current either.


  Tool   Picture
Drill Press:
I got mine from Harbor Freight a link to the latest model is 38144-0VGA. I think I got it for $200.
Metal Chop Saw:
Its a Milwaukee 6176-20 14" Cut-Off Machine, and I got it from  A link to it is 6176-20. It was $170.
Joint Jigger:
Used to cut tubes at various angles with different size holesaws so tubes fit together. I got mine from using this link Joint Jigger for $30. I use Bi-Metal holesaws from the loacl hardware store.
Mist Spray Coolant System:
Used to direct compressed air with mist coolant at saw teeth to keep them cool. I got mine from Enco for $120, using this link Enco Model Number 505-2079. I'm also using a 1 Gallon Concentrate Formula 77 Coolant Enco Model Number 505-2076 although I've not used very much, the gallon of concentrate makes 33 gallons of coolant.
Ruler - 36 inch 5R Graduated:
Stainless steel with 64ths on one side and 100ths on the other. Enco part number 638-8248 about $46.
Sliding T-Bevel:
For transferring angles. About $5 from, here's a link B75.
Bench Grinder:
Mine is an 8" one with a coarse and a fine wheel. I use it for deburring tubes, sharpening tungsten, etc.  Note that I sharpen my tungsten in a Makita battery drill, and run the tungsten back and forth across the wheel face to avoid making a groove. That way the wheel is still useful for general purpose grinding. I bought this one on sale at Home Depot for about $90 if I remember right.
Pneumatic Air Cut-Off Tool:
This tool gets a lot of use!!!  It works great on steel and does an excellent job on canopies too. I just use the standard disk and cut with high rpm and very light pressure to keep the heat from building up in the plastic. I got it at Home Depot, about $70.
Silver Marker:
Available at office supply / stationary stores
Screw Blocks:
I made these out of 3/4" thck poplar because it what I had. The 3/4" thickness is important, because the tube centerlines on the table are at .625", but 1" thick would probably be ok too. They have two holes drilled just large enough so the drywall screws will slide through. If the screws are tight, it makes it a pain to screw the blocks down to the table, because they rise off the table, riding up the threads of the screw.
Master Blocks:
Made of 3/4" oak, they are cut to widths corresponding with tube diameters. Centerlines are drawn on each end with a sharp pencel. They are placed on a line then screw blocks are put down on both sides. Then the tube placed in between the screw blocks will be located directly over the line on the table. They eliminate having to draw tube outlines.
These were cut by setting up a stop on my chop saw. Of course it took a little work to get the stop set in the right place. See picture.
TIG Welder:
I do all my welding with the Lincoln Square Wave 175. I wish I had one 10 years ago! Purchased at Sun-N-Fun at show pricing from Praxair. For latest show prices goto the Biplane Hangar and search on "SNF prices". For example here's the one from 2002.
Gas Welding Rig:
Used mostly for heating and bending parts and tubes, although I could weld with it too if I wanted to. About $300 with all the tanks etc, from my local welding supply.
Disk/Belt Sander:
Handy for taking metal as well as wood off. I bought mine used for $100.