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Scratch Building Basics
for Metal Aircraft


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This DVD set includes web links to complete PLANS (print them on your own printer) for building your own sheet metal brake and other important tools!

(2 DVD set)
Buy it now for $39
(Includes US first class postage & handling!)

Explaining basics of rib forms

Forming rib in vise

Forming Tip rib in vise

Preparing to cut horn from thick stock

Forming the nose radius

Examining spring back contour

Demo of sanding block

Forming rib on bench

Scotch-brite power deburring

Completed set of rudder parts

Transferring the pattern to metal

David's home made edge marking tool

Edge marking tool at work!

Want to know what it takes to build a Zenith plane from plans? (scratch build, that is!)

What planned adventure in life can top that of building your own airplane from scratch – -- using just raw materials, common tools and a set of plans?

It requires a builder with special skills, knowledge, and an attitude complete with persistence and imagination. Not all of us are cut out for a project like this… although most of us can appreciate the rewards that will result!

The purpose of this video presentation is to expose you to the world of building a metal plane from plans, demonstrated by one of the most considerate pair of builders you will find anywhere. You will witness the type of skills, materials, tools and commitment that is required to accomplish this feat. These two gentlemen, Mark Townsend and David Barth (owners of Can-Zac Aviation Ltd  the Canadian distributor for Zenith Aircraft Company) donated their time and expertise in making this video so that we could share their passion for this hobby.

This 2 disk DVD video (over 3.5 hrs runtime) is divided into the following chapters for easy navigation:

From Plans to Form Blocks

Creating Cutting Blocks and Form Blocks

Producing the Metal Rib Blanks

Deburring and Polishing Techniques

Forming Ribs

Fabricating the Rudder Spar

Fabricating the Rudder Horn

Fabricating the Rudder Skins

Creating a Full Size Wing Rib

Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Mark and David take you thru each step of the process required to create the components needed to build a Zenith rudder. A rudder was chosen because it contains nearly all of the components that are needed to complete the remaining parts of an airframe: ribs, spar, skin, control horns, etc.  The presentation begins with just raw materials and common tools. By the conclusion of the 2 DVD set, you will have witnessed all of the internal rudder components completed and will now be at the point that kit builders start their rudder project - ready to assemble these components into a finished rudder. This next step of rudder assembly is detailed in the companion DVD video from HomebuiltHELP entitled Metalworking101.

Details of the fabrication process are explained and demonstrated - such as: how to translate blueprint plans to a form block drawing, cutting, sanding and finishing the form blocks using common tools; choice of form materials (plywood, MDF, particle board, hardwoods, etc); tools for cutting aluminum sheet, (power shears, hand shears, scoring knife), forming rib blanks around form blocks (how many hammers can be used!), fluting techniques for curved edges, cutting lightening holes, various methods for deburring and polishing, sheet metal bending using a home made brake, and much more. Both Mark and Dave spend equal amounts of time explaining these operations and expend just the right amount of humor to make this truly fun to watch. 

Watching Scratch Building Basics for Metal Aircraft is an excellent way to determine if building a homebuilt aircraft from scratch is right for you... you will obtain a full understanding of the trials, tribulations, joys and successes that this type of building process entails.  Many builders have attempted this journey without fully understanding the challenges - and waste time and money when things don't go as planned.  This video presentation takes the mystery out of this journey!  Whether you are just curious what goes on in garages around the world - or if you are serious about getting started building your own plane from scratch - you can't watch these guys at work and not learn something that might change the way you think about the process and people that build their own planes from scratch!

This affordable 2 disk DVD video is approximately 3.5 hours in length and is divided into 10 video chapters to make navigation and review of desired sections fast and easy  The $39 price includes handling and first class postage. (International orders welcome!)   A great resource if you are really serious about starting your own project at home.

$39.00  Includes First class shipping

You can use your credit card by pressing the button below (uses secure encrypted connection)

 OR you can send a check for $39 to:

Box 111
Brussels, WI 54204

We ship same day we receive your check!


If you want to pay by credit card but not online, then email us at with your phone number and best time to call and we can complete the transaction on the phone

Snippet from the video:


Band saw for rib forms

Demonstrating air shears

Mounting form block

Solid riveting tool

Fluting pliers

Creating the nose skin

Bending in the brake

Almost complete nose skin

Creating lightening holes

Scoring knife for precision sheet cuts

Completed tip rib

Reviewing the plans

Creating flanges

Each step explained, not just demonstrated!

Home made file

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