Aircraft issues a sheet metal practice kit with each kit. They
also offer additional practice kits in order to familiarize you with
sheet metal construction techniques. At the time of writing,
Cleveland Aircraft Tool includes a practice kit with their RV tool kits
also. I have built five kits and am glad I did. It hurts a
lot less to punch a big dent in a practice kit with a rivet gun than in
the wing of your actual airplane. I worked on the practice kits
while starting on the emmpenage, since there is a lot of work to do on
the emmpenage long before any riveting is done.
The kits are fun to build, and the toolbox in particular, can be
useful. I've numbered them based on complexity, and the order I would
recommend building them if you go that route.
Kit #1 - Cell phone stand
This is a small kit that gives basic experience bucking rivets,
dimpling, back riveting and rivet squeezing. Not really useful,
but again, not something you feel bad about if you make mistakes
Kit #2 - Sheet metal coupons One
This kit was an unexpected surprise that came included with the Van's
Airfoil kit. A basic kit with a couple aluminum coupons and an
extruded aluminum channel
Kit #3 - Sheet metal coupons Two
Kit #4 - Toolbox
The toolbox is fairly easy. and is good practice. For @$20 cost,
I might order another one since these are the right size to keep a
small tool kit in your car or truck.
Kit #5 - Airfoil
The most complicated practice kit and hardest to build correctly.
If you go to A+P school, you will most likely build an airfoil section
very similar to this in your sheet metal classes.