Van's Air Force - Western Canada Wing
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Western Canada Wing
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Dimpling Tool for Tight Spaces

I was inspired to make this tool by a suggestion from Homer Rogers. Click here to see the beautiful RV-6A that Homer built.

Click on any photo below to see it full size.

This is the dimpling tool I made for tight locations, such as the tips of the rudder top and bottom ribs. As you can see, it's made from a "C" clamp. I have drilled and countersunk a dimple die into the left-hand end, and replaced the "foot" with a 3/16" hole to hold a dimple die.
This view shows the dimple die in the end of the jackshaft a bit more clearly.
And this view was meant to show the die machined into the clamp body, but unfortunately it's pretty blurry.8BIM
Here's the 3/16" hole I drilled in the end of the jackscrew, to hold the dimple die. To find the center of the shaft, I placed it in the chuck of a drill, spun it, and marked the center with a Sharpie pen. Then I center punched it and drilled it by hand. However, I found a much better method when I made my countersinking tool (described below).

To get the jackshaft into my drill chuck I had to remove the "T" bar. I did that by cutting off one of the flared ends. When I was finished machining the shaft, I put the "T" bar back in and re-flared the cut-off end by squashing it in my vice.

This photo is meant to show the drilled and tapped hole I made for my countersinking tool. I apologize for the blurriness.

To make the dimple countersink in the clamp body, I needed a way to extend my countersink bit so I could get a straight shot through the jackshaft hole. I drilled and tapped a hole in the end of an exacto-knife handle.

While making this part, I discovered a neat trick that ensures you get a hole well-centered in the shaft. First I placed the shaft in my drill press. Then I spun it a low RPM (around 500, I think), and found the center with my auto-center punch. Basically, I found the spot where the punch didn't wobble. I made a centerpunch mark while the shaft was still turning in the press. Next I drilled the hole, starting with a small bit and working out in stages, while the shaft was still turning in the drill press. So, in effect, I was using my drill press as a vertical lathe. This worked very well, and the resulting tool (next photo) spun very true.8BIM
The resulting countersinking tool.


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Van's Air Force Western Canada Wing is not affiliated in any way with Van's Aircraft Incorporated. Western Canada RVator is not a publication of Van's Aircraft or any other corporation. All products reviewed or mentioned are not necessarily recommended for use by RV builders, but are described for information only. All builder's tips are presented only as a source of information and a forum for exchange and the sharing of ideas and construction methods. No responsibility is assumed, expressed, or implied as to the suitability, accuracy, safety, or approval thereof. Any party using the suggestions, ideas, or examples does so at his or her own risk and discretion and without recourse against anyone. The members of Van's Air Force Western Canada Wing, the editor of the Western Canada RVator, and all authors and contributors are not responsible for any product or builder's tips misuse, incorrect construction, or design failure, nor any other peril.

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