Working with Aluminium
aluminium course

The working in aluminium courses have proved immensely popular as so many of the popular kits today use this medium. Gary Smith, John Michie and Norman Haines, all of whom have built examples of Van’s aircraft, will guide you through the construction of a Van’s toolbox. The build process is specifically designed to teach you drilling, de-burring, dimpling and riveting by various methods, and by the end of the day you will have a useful ‘apprentice piece’ to take home with you.  


The course syllabus will include: measuring and marking, cutting and drilling, deburring, fluting and straightening, countersinking and dimpling, and, the bit you’ve been waiting for, riveting; in fact, all you need to know to get you started on your aluminium aircraft project. These subjects will be covered by description, demonstration, and practice as you construct a Van’s toolbox kit.  We will also discuss workshop practice and safety, the technical rationale behind many common build techniques, such as de-burring and priming, and provide guidance on further tools and techniques required.


Aluminium is a clean material and no special clothes are required, nor will be provided. Overalls, lab coats, etc. are not necessary, but by all means bring them if you wish. Some safety equipment is necessary, however.  Please bring suitable eye protection (glasses, goggles), ear protection (muffs, plugs), and hand protection (gloves). If you forget, a small number of these items will be available, some to purchase.


All the tools required to assemble the box will be provided by LAA educational trust, but if you have your own air drill (PCL air connection) or pneumatic rivet gun then please feel free to bring them along (suitably identified). Gloster Air Parts, who supply aircraft-quality tools to many LAA project builders, will issue a tool catalogue and are happy to offer specific advice on tool selection and ordering.  Their website,, contains useful information for anyone contemplating building a metal aircraft.


Tutor: Gary Smith

Dates: Saturday 16th February 2019 OR Sunday 17th February 2019

Times: 9.00am till 5.00pm - one day course

Cost: £140 (lunch not included)

Venue: LAA, Turweston Aerodrome - directions

Facilities: Lunch and accommodation



Telephone LAA on 01280 846 786 to check availability and/or book or e-mail.