Construction Cave is now Ready

20140217SM_01_PantherCaveThis is the Panther Construction Cave ( Shop ).  It is where the Black Bird KR2 was built.  One thing I learned from the way I went about building the KR, was that I should have spent more time getting ready to take on a project like that.  So, this time, I began by cleaning out all the junk.  I took 3 truck loads to the dump and gave away another truck load, and still have stuff stored in other places.   I added insulation to the aft wall and installed  a suspended ceiling with really good lighting.  I acquired some benches from a friend and modified them somewhat for the Panther project.  Then I organized, cleaned, and purchased some new tools for working with metal and a beautiful bird like the Panther.


New suspended ceiling with 6 4 bulb lights.  Good lighting is very important.  You see several benches that  are new.  All have castors, some locking.


On this newly insulated wall at the far side of the shop I have 2 4 X 8 sheets of plywood with very smooth surfaces.  These are to be able to add work area to the two long roll around work benches, when I need it.  The picture to the right shows just that.

20140217SM_08_ToKeepMeWarm 20140217SM_09_ToKeepMeMoreWarmAndCompressor

Here you see the full length bench that was there when I built the Black Bird.  I have placed on that bench, 4 of those storage bin boxes to store and keep organized all the hardware for the panther.  Right in front of the bench you see the heater to keep me warm and the pic on the right of that show what keeps me “More” warm and the new 26 gallon compressor which I felt would be required for all the air tools that I had to get.

20140217SM_04_PlansTable 20140217SM_14_PlansOnLongBenchGettingFlat

This is the smaller roll around bench that is mostly used for the plans.  On the right you see where I have removed the staples from the plans sheets and placed them on the long table with the 4 X 8 top on it. I then placed some of the long parts on top of those sheets so the next day, they would lay flat on the plans table.  This table on the right is where I will do most of the building to start with.

20140217SM_07_StoredTailKit 20140217SM_06_SuperDimplerOnSpecialTableOnLongBench

In the left corner is a 4 shelf unit that has come in handy for storing the tail kit as it was delivered, and may be used to store components as they get to different stages of completion.  To the right of that is the other long bench with the “Super Dimpler” and custom table on it, ready to dimple away when the components are ready.  This dimpler and the custom table are on loan to me by some of the RV builder members of EAA Chapter 242, Palmetto Sport Aviation.  They had gotten up a “group buy” some time ago to get this dimpler for the use of builders like me.  Another example of this is when several of us got up a group buy for a very nice set of scales for doing the weight and balance when the plane is completed.  If you are a builder, you need to belong to your local EAA Chapter.

20140217SM_11_WaitingToBuildSparRoller stands for building the spars.

I hope it won’t be too long before I get to start on that part.  The tail kit is stacked on the queuing shelves.  And the plans are laid out on the Plans Bench.


So, good night to the Panther Cave, tomorrow we really get started.

Saturday, March 15, 2014, the Cave became a REAL cave with the addition of a small HVAC system.  It really keeps the Cave warm at least in 50 degree weather.  I hope it does as well keeping it cool in 90 degree weather.TheNewKeepMeWarmAndKeepMeCool

One thought on “Construction Cave is now Ready

  1. Thanks for Sharing – love the pics and details. I’m a bit behind you – cleaning out the cave… I’ve had my tail kit for a little while, but haven’t started yet.

    Looking at your pictures and following your progress is good encouragement!

    Bob Jacoby
    Jacksonville, FL
    Panther SN018

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