My first at home project will be the Van’s Light Box. It is a simple aluminum sheet metal project that looks bad ass. Since taking the EAA workshop in October, this will be the first time practicing my skills and getting a chance to see how my workshop is coming along.


Couple of observations on building the front section of the kit:


Decided to replace the bottom plate of the light box. Ordered a replacement from Vans and more rivets. I have a feeling it will be a couple of weeks before I see this.

Drilled out a couple of the AN470A rivets. Need to get a punch die to pop the heads off. Drilled with a #41 to make sure I don’t increase the size of the hole.

Found tapping the rivets a bit hard given the lack of structure along the edge of the plate. It the future I will make a 2x4 gig to get better backing behind the edge. I can imagine I will need a handful of wood shims for these sorts of things.


Got a pop rivet dimpler from Aircraft Spruce that made dimpling along the angle where I had already attached the nut plates. Worked like a champ. Was able to dimple the angles and attach to the lightbox with flush rivets.