Opening Crates and Taking Stock

Opening Crates and Taking Stock
Photo by Mason Summers / Unsplash

One thing I hadn't quite anticipated about ordering two kits at the same time was that I would actually get those two kits at the same time. This has lead to a bit of a space crunch in my garage.

A very full garage

Nevertheless, the cars can move out so at least while I'm actively working I can have a bit of breathing room. My two work benches I made sure to put on locking casters so I can move them around with ease.

Stacked crates with a crowbar on top

There is no easy way to start but to just start unloading the crates and see what I got. Moving things around as a single person wasn't impossible but it wasn't exactly fun either. But with some shifting around I managed to get my crowbar on the first crate and crack it open. The delicious goodies within were finally mine.

Wing spars, fuel level sensors, and other aluminum pieces

Crate one has the main wing spars as well as other wing bits and bobs. I don't know what they all are yet, but I will when I get there.  There also was two fuel level senders, which will be useful when I build the fuel tank. For those that aren't aware, aircraft store the fuel in the wings usually.

Small crate with aluminum parts in it next to other parts on a work bench

Crate two (the smallest of the crates) has some internals for the horizontal stabilizer and a few other things I am not quite sure (I also moved the wing stuff off the floor). You'll begin to see this trend where I don't know what I'm doing, but that's okay! Nothing ventured, nothing gained! In order to grow we have to put ourselves out there and be a little uncomfortable.

Empennage ribs, some boxes, and documents sitting on a workbench
Aircraft aluminum skins sitting in a crate

Ah, the empennage kit. The largest crate had all the goodies to build the tail-cone, the horizontal stabilizer, the vertical stabilizer, and the rudder. I've elected to leave the skins in the crate for now because I honestly don't know where I'd put them. I managed to get the main wing spars up in the rafters of my garage but that was a chore for sure. I have a feeling the rest of my wing kit will end up in the rafters while I build the tail.

Here is where you'll notice I don't have any pictures of the last crate being opened. Let me regale you with a bit of climate information and what the local weather looks like around here.

Weather information display: Temperature outdoors showing 29.8ºF (-1.22ºC)

It is cold, below freezing even. My garage, as nice of a shelter as it is from wind, does not have heat. So my plan of starting the uncrating process at 21:30 was ill advised in terms of temperature management. While I was wearing two pairs of socks, a hoodie, a winter coat, work gloves, a skull cap, and my hood up over the cap it was not enough for me. I started to get quite cold and I just didn't want to continue when I knew I had to clean up my big mess so I could put my car back in the garage and plug it in.

So the next steps are to unwrap everything and take inventory. From what I can tell, things are generally wrapped into sub-kits and the inventory list is arranged this way. Honestly that is super nice, and I think it will make the process go that much smoother. The part that sticks out in my mind is: How am I going to keep the sub-kits grouped after I inventory them? Parts love to wander and I don't want to hunt through all my stuff just to find one tiny thing hiding off somewhere. At least it gives me something to think about while I'm drifting off to sleep.

As for being cold, I plan on doing the inventory inside. I will probably also spend some time converting part of my basement into my winter workshop. It won't be as spacious as working out in the garage but at least I'll be able to feel my face.