It’s the most wonderful time of the year

No. Not Christmas. EAA Sheet Metal Class! What a spectacular two days. I cannot believe how much they pack in and how much I learned. The rivet gun no longer scares me and a whole bunch of new tools have been ordered.

Day one, we started with a classroom session and then quickly transitioned to the first project.

Look at that beautiful array of tools! Every person had their own little station with their own assortment. It was like being in a candy shop. I was very pleased to learn that the tools I have already started collecting were the right ones.

The first project was this little guy. Believe it or not, this one little project introduced us to almost every essential technique we would be using. Not sure what I am going to do with this thing now, but I know I will treasure it forever. Turns out I have a bit of a talent for riveting. Who knew.

The break brought perhaps the most important part. I had these cookies custom made. The instructor said that was a first in his 20 years of teaching this class. And yes, they tasted every bit as good as they look. Thank you Cookies by Clare. I sent this picture to Van’s and apologized for the blatant copyright infringement. They said they were honored. Riveting with a sugar high is a great experience. So I can highly recommend RV Cookies.

The last project was part of a wing spar. It turned out better than I could have imagined. This will be displayed proudly in my hangar. There is another part to it (the flap) but I didn’t get a final picture. You will just have to check in later to see that.

All in all, I cannot recommend this program highly enough. It was one of the best experiences I have had. Next up will be fiberglass and then electrical systems. I really don’t understand why more people do not do this. That little finished wing spar filled me with so much pride. I cannot imagine what an entire airplane will feel like.

Tom was not like a duck to water with sheet metal. He got better as the class went along. We will leave his participation at that. Our relationship made it through. Barely.

As ever, head over to and fund more of my project through the best coffee around.

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