Where to build


Jun 30, 2019
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Anybody have advise or stories on building when your limited on space. I have a 2 car garage that fits 1.2 cars comfortably. I’d love to start a build but not sure it’s really doable. I can get rid of the car in the garage if I need to
We have folks at our local EAA chapter that started building in their apartment, spare bedroom, dining room table, family room (although that apparently caused some problems with the kids). Flight control surfaces and such are generally small enough you can maneuver them out through the door and hallway. We had one member that built his fuselage and wings in his basement and then demolished part of one wall to get them out.

We've even had a couple of them say the building process goes faster when they are working in the house compared to when they started on the bigger components in the garage or out at an airport hangar.
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I started my build in a 2-car garage... with almost nothing in it. The only limitation were the times I needed both wings on. Then I had to let a wing poke out the open door.
I started in my finished basement and eventually moved into our 2 car garage. I made everything mobile so I could keep pull things out and/or move them around as required if I needed to use more space. My contract with my wife was she’d be able to have her car in the garage during the winter or bad weather and I was always able to comply.
Depends on what you are going to build. If it has wood wings and tail, you can build all the ribs on your desk, with no power tools even. A set of Cub wings will take you several weeks of building time with just the ribs.
I think I want to build a carbon cub. I'm mostly just worried that the fuselage kit will take up the entire garage but without the engine mount or wings and gear it might not be as bad as I'm thinking.
Depending on the size (wingspan, length) of your project, a two car garage should be fine for the typical 2 place homebuilt.

You want your workspace to be as close to your home as possible; the garage is best. The further away from your house, the longer the project will take.

Watch this video last night. Makes me want to build a cub now...

I built a majority of my 10 in my 3 car garage, essentially using 1 car slot as storage for wings. Later I moved the wings, HS and VS to my hangar and then spent the last few months of the build at the hangar bolting everything together.
I think I want to build a carbon cub. I'm mostly just worried that the fuselage kit will take up the entire garage but without the engine mount or wings and gear it might not be as bad as I'm thinking.

I'm building a Javron super cub in my 2.5 car garage (one big door, one small door). I've also got the wings, a workbench and some storage in there (plus weight set/workout area). I wouldn't want to put a car in the garage. It would fit but that would bring in traffic I wouldn't be too keen on. For my garage, it needs to be somewhat diagonal to be able to get around it and install/remove tail feathers, etc.

When it comes time to hang the wings, I'll take it to the airport and use a hangar. Then bring it back for covering. There is another guy building that was able to put on a wing at a time in his garage.
A 2 place garage should be plenty of room to do all but the final assembly. When it was time to fit the wings to the fuselage I just rolled it out into the driveway for the day. As others have said, it will go much quicker if the project is at home. A lot of my building was done in small 1 hour blocks of time which is easy to do if you just have to walk out to the garage, but doesn't work if you have to drive out to the airport.
If you can at least make small components at home, the build will go much more quickly. It's amazing how much 15-20 minutes per day adds up over weeks and months.

My dad did a RV-7A and -10 at home. Smaller components were built downstairs in the basement. When it came time to build the canoe, he claimed one stall of the 3-car garage. We pulled it into the driveway to set the empennage and wings, then took them back off and put them in cradles and completed assembly of FWF and wiring, etc. Final assembly took place at the hangar.
You can build wings in a garage and you can do most of the airframe in a garage but the general rule for tube and fabric airplanes is to hang the wings and set the rigging before you cover anything, and you can't do that in a garage. Put it together, take it apart, put it together, take it apart. The Cub builder's mantra. And when that's all done you get to cover it. I wouldn't want to do that in a garage.
I am building in a 2/2.5 car garage. Due to other projects, kid's toys, a giant mill, etc. I current use about a 15'X5' space. Quite cramped, but doable for the tail section. As parts are completed I have to move them somewhere else for storage.
If I build, and I hope I get the chance, it won't be at home. My wife has filled the garage with her stuff, and it's accumulating faster than she can get rid of it. Plus, she is terribly sensitive to smells, so paints, solvents, epoxy with any odor at all is out.
Finally, unless she's listening to ear-splitting music at the local dive, she doesn't like loud sounds.

If we do buy a hangar home, the house will have a regular garage, and there'll be a detached hangar. I'm strongly leaning against giving her a key to the hangar, as once she fills up the garage, she'll want to start on the hangar!
My CH750 is coming together in most of a 2 car garage. So far it all fits fine. Final assembly will be at the airport, but when I have to walk past it a couple times a day I'm finding it's pretty easy to tinker .5 to 1.5 hours every day in addition to the scheduled times. The wise men say doing something every day is important.
A two car garage is sufficient to build any of the kit aircraft. You don't fully assemble the thing in the workshop. When the time comes to rig controls and the like, you roll it out in the driveway, temporarily attach the wings (for instance) and rig the controls. Then you disassemble it and move the pieces back inside.

On a bigger scale, you really, really want your shop to be wherever you are when you have free time (specifically, at home). Your house has heat, AC, electricity, a bathroom, an internet connection, warm food, cold food, a bed, and all those things that make it convenient. Building away from home is a great way to ruin your best chance to put time into the project.