January is definitely here! -32C today (that's about -25F for you imperialists) in the sun, without the wind. Brrrrr..... good day to be in the shop with the woodstove!
I thought we'd be on the road this weekend with the family, picking up supplies at Aircraft Spruce, but a major winter storm threatened to clobber southern Ontario and delivered over 40 centimetres of snow, right where we were headed. Glad we stayed home - we'll head south next weekend.
While I'm working on the 701 wing repair and making parts for my 750 STOL, Ron continues work on his Aeronca Scout. I hope to learn his methods for welding steel tube, he is a master craftsman. The rear fuse frame has been painted and the new wooden stringers are just about to be installed. Looking real good!
Got the trailing edge complete on the 701 wing. The plans call for squeeze rivets here - small ones!
With the trailing edge aligned, finger clamps are used to maintain the edges of the top and bottom skins. Spring loaded centre punch marking the location and spacing of the rivets, holes drilled and clecoed
With the wing now flipped upright, we need to strip off the last of the oh-so-pretty paint. The stripped works real well on the white, but the red primer underneath is painfully difficult to remove.
After 4 hours of applying stripper, scraping and scrubbing, the wing is now clean enough for priming once it is ready. I was so fed up I didn't take a picture. What a pain.
So far I've got 17 "standard L" blanks cut, so I used some time to day to bend them.
I made two test bends and used these as measurement jigs by taping them to the ends of the blanks. This provides the correct inserted depth in the bending brake.
Half an hour later, I had them all done and I'm happy how they turned out. They still need to be deburred, but that will be easier now that they won't flex all over the place. These are used all over the contstruction of my 750, so I'll score this under "other".
Spent the balance of the afternoon measuring and planning the installation of the nose skins for the wing. With the extension, we'll need to use two separate skins, one inboard and one outboard with the joint offset from the spar extension joint.
This will take some planning and some thought which I've started on. The end of this repair/extension is tantalizingly close.
Next weekend we're headed south to pick up some materials and parts.
Thanks for reading, more to come soon :)
In my previous post, I spoke of the standard 4 foot long L's that I have to make. There are apparently a lot of them, some sources claim up to 64 required for the plane, some as little as 35. They are simple to make and I'll need some quantity of them anyway, so today I worked in my downstairs shop to see if I could come up with a way to start producing these as I have some spare time.
I rolled my workbench out from the wall to give myself some room to work at the ends of the bench and locked the casters in place.
The cutting tool I made previously is perfect for this task (more information here).
The workbench already has some bolts I use for the drill press mount, but here I decided to use them as a front edge spacer. The first cut was measured and marked out on the aluminum sheet. Once I had the sheet in place, I was able to position the straight edge angle in the correct position so that the aluminum is cut to 36mm, the correct width for the "L" before bending.
Using the cutting tool, score the aluminum from one end to the other. Important note - if you are planning on using this method be sure you do not put any side loads on the blade - pull across the surface and let the tool do the work. Side loading the blade may cause it to snap. (Photo credits showing me doing the work goes to my supportive daughter Natalie!)
I found it took about 10 passes to create a good score line on the 0.025 aluminum. It creates quite a bit of "swarf" - the small pieces of metal removed from a workpiece by a cutting tool.
Once scored enough, I un-clamped the sheet and shuffled it forward - being sure to remove the front dog bolts - and placed the score line directly over edge of the bench and re-clamped it down.
To prevent the sheet from buckling upwards as I bent it at the scored line, I clamped down the edges and also held a piece of 1/3 on top
It took about 30 minutes or so to complete the first one and more like 10 minutes for the second one as everything was already set up.
I continued to produce these for a couple of hours and managed to make 12 in total. They still need to be bent and deburred, but I think this is good use of time and certainly cheaper than having the cut and bent in a machine shop. For now, I'll make up to 30 of them until I can confirm with Zenair the total count that would come in an ordered kit.
Here is a pic of the collected swarf (including some dust bunnies from the shop floor)..... more to come!
Ducked over to the shop tonight to work on making some 0.025 aluminum parts.
My original intention was to to start making the numerous (64? Are you kidding me!) 4 foot standard "L"s needed for my build, but I decided I wanted to accomplish something more tangible.
I cut out the 0.025 skin for the elevator trim tab. I'm going to leave it flat for now until I have more time to concentrate on bending it. It's a fairly complex bend over a narrow piece of aluminum, so it will pay to think it out well before committing to the bender.
Next I started and completed the wing spar tips. By laying them out opposite to each other on the aluminum sheet, I saved a some cutting and and prevented waste.
Once I had them cut out the next challenge was to bend opposite flanges with the correct web space between. Thankfully I had done this before on the 701 wing extension, so it was fairly simple.
After making the correct bends (I had to think about which side was which) I laid out the measurements for the lightening holes. Once satisfied, it was back to the fly-cutter.
Depsite my efforts to size the hole correctly, I had a bit of a rough time flanging the holes evenly. They will need a bit more work from the flanging die. Other than that they turned out real nice.
That's it for tonight, thanks for following along!
A quick glance at my countdown timer to the right of this column tells a scary tale of how little time I have to get this plane done.
Originally designed as a motivator, I haven't really been paying attention to it. Now with just over 400 days to go I really have to get moving.
After battling with a broken snow-blower belt on New Years Day, I managed to get over to the shop for a it of building therapy.
A couple of quick photos of what I got done on the 701 wing repair - getting so close to moving it into storage and starting assembly on parts that I've made for my plane.
Unfortunately, Ron was gone for the night and I couldn't find the right squeezer anvil head for these rivets, so it will have to wait until I can ask them. It's probably right under my nose, but rather than rush when I was tired tired it can wait until next time.
Going to order some more aluminum this week. I'll post more to my blog about that next time.
Happy New Year everyone, thanks for reading!
Time until takeoff
Husband, father and 911 dispatcher. Long time pilot with a licence that burns a hole in my pocket where my student loan money used to be. First time aircraft builder. Looking to fly my own airplane.