Log Entries

Project Location: WI US

Entry Date Summary Description
Entry Date Summary Description
2011-03-03 Construction begins Gusset number 1 completed with 64 copies. I am using 1/16 birch ply obtained from Balsa USA. I have a bit of an advantage, in that I live 15 miles away from them. Just wish they still sold spruce!
2011-03-05 More gusset fabrication Continued with gusset fabrication by making gusset number 2. I made a jig to make diagonal cuts in blanks I made.
2011-03-06 Gussets and more gussets Seems like all I do is cut big pieces of 16th inch ply into smaller ones! Today I got the biggest pile of gussets done. Gusset number 3 requires 600 of them. Again, I made a cutting jig out of 1/4" particle board and used that to make diagonal cuts in 1.75"x1.75" blanks. I taped stacks of 4 together so they would not shift when sent through the band saw. Worked well.

Also completed 144 copies of gusset number 4. Nice easy rectangle.
2011-03-08 Gusset number 5 completed, redesign gusset 6 Completed 72 copies of gusset 5.

I have been looking over fellow Classic builders' websites pertaining to the trailing edge. When I saw how the trailing edge must be milled per the plans and the goofy recess that must be made at the trailing edge of each rib, i thought there must be an easier way. Low and behold Scott's website and design change. I plan to follow his lead.

I will make my trailing edge 2" wide,by 5/8 at the leading edge and 1/8 at the trailing edge. Each rib will recess into the forward edge of the trailing edge stock by 3/8". This will require gusset number 6 to have the following dimensions: 2 5/16" long, 1 3/16" forward edge and 9/16" aft edge. The gussets on each side of the rib will also recess into the trailing edge, making the required slot 3/8" deep by 3/8" wide. I'll also router in 1/8" slots on either side of each rib to accept 1/8" gussets supporting each rib at the trailing edge stock. This is per Scott's modification.

That's the plan. So I'll lay out the modified gusset number 6 tomorrow and get those done.
2011-03-09 Completed gusset 6 Well, as with any project, there has been a change in plans....already! I thought about my trailing edge solution and decided not to go with a 2" wide trailing edge as I discussed last night. I am staying with the 1.5 Trailing edge as per the plans, but still going with making a 3/8" square recess in its leading edge to secure each rib. I looked closer at the plans and saw that I would have to do some fudging with the cutout at the bottom wing root where the wing meets up with the fuselage. I assume this is there to ease getting on the wing for entry.

So my only modification to the gusset at the trailing edge of the ribs, number 6, was to eliminate the notch at its aft end. I basically came up perpendicular from the base of the gusset at the very aft edge of the bottom of the gusset. This eliminated the notch.
2011-03-10 Wing rib gussets completed Finished up the remaining wing gussets. Just as I was hitting my stride too !!

Placed an order to aircraft spruce for my 1/4 x 1/4 spruce capstrips. Ordered 512 ft, which will probably be too much, but I am prone to making my share of bone-headed mistakes, so I figured that in. Also ordered some T-88 epoxy in a cartridge system. It allows you to use a common caulking gun to express the epoxy out into a mixing tip or out onto a mixing pad in equal amounts. Thought I would give it a try. Seems like it would work slick when glueing larger pieces, such as the leading edge ply, as it mixes as it is applied. Will see how well it works.

Next up, 1/4" thick ply tail pieces.
2011-03-12 Aileron rib tailpiece Fabricated the aileron rib tailpieces today. Was my first try at using my trimming router to make parts. Decided to use it in order to make the 1/4" slot in its leading edge accurately with each copy. Sure is a dust producing procedure!
2011-03-13 Rib tail piece and nose rib master Completed the rib tailpieces as well as constructed my nose rib master. Again used the router method to complete the tailpieces to make them all the same. I notice that on these smaller parts, and where I am using a 1/4 inch trimming router bit that does not have a ball bearing to guide it, I am getting slightly rounded corners toward the end of the part run. Not a big deal, just frustrating. This 1/4 inch bit just has a non-fluted area at its tip to act as a bearing.

I made an initial nose rib from my master and was able to use a 3/8 inch trimming router bit that does have the little ball bearing guide on it. Much easier to use and should eliminate the wear of sharp corners on the nose rib master.

2011-03-16 Nose Piece fabrication Got started on the 32 nose pieces required. What little time I had today resulted in 16 of them being made. Again, this is REALLY a dust producer. I found myself stopping after each piece was made and sweeping up the workbench a bit before moving on. This with my shopvac running too! I hope to get these done next building session, and then will move on to the false ribs. More dust in my future!
2011-03-19 Main rib Nose pieces completed finished up fabricating the main rib nose pieces. Will need to make the 4 required nosepieces for rib 10. Made the false rib template. I won't be needing these falsies until wing assembly, but I figured I would get these made while I am on a roll making plywood dust.
2011-03-20 False ribs completed Got all the false ribs made. I'll set these aside until needed. Good to have most of the routering/dust manufacturing done for now! Cough.....
2011-03-23 False ribs redux There really should be a section in this log entitled "Bonehead Maneuvers", cuz I had one with my false ribs. I went downstairs the other day to just putter around in the shop, and I was checking out my work on the false ribs. Checked the fit of the parts to the pattern on the plans and....what the....??!

Everything was spot on until I checked the aft bottom corner. All of my false ribs were 1/8th inch short here! Turns out that the bit in my router was not snug and slipped down just enough to router the edge of my master template slightly.

I'm not certain what the tolerances are with the parts vs plans, but this was too much of a discrepancy for me to be comfortable with. Maybe I am being a bit too picky, but it is my philosophy that little mistakes early in the project can be magnified toward its end, so I decided to redo them. I don't have my spruce yet, so I can't get started on rib assembly, so what the heck. We just had over a foot of heavy, spring snow last night, so I'm not going anywhere anyway!

This gave me an opportunity to improve the quality of my inside curve cuts. I realize these are not an important aspect of fit and finish, but there are some areas, like in the cockpit where you can see these inside cuts in the fuselage formers. So I went out and got a spindle sander that really made a difference. You can check out a pic of it in the tools section of this build log.

So now I am happy with my new false ribs and ready to complete the nose and tail pieces for rib 10. Then it is on to getting my rib jig set up. Hopefully it will be awhile before there is another entry in the "Bonehead" file....
2011-03-26 Rib 10 parts completed Got the nose and tail pieces for rib 10 completed. Received my spruce order. Next step is to get my rib jig ready to go.
2011-03-30 Wing rib jig cogitation Thought of another category for this log....cogitation. I found with my RV project that a significant amount of the build process was involved with planing my next move. Coming up with a game plan. This project is no different.

I had the pleasure of talking with Chuck Brownlow at Oshkosh last summer and was pleased to read about his immaculate Hatz Classic which won a Bronze Lindy in the latest Sport Aviation magazine (April 2011). In the article, Chuck mentioned how he had to redo his center section as a result of its spars not lining up with his wings. Its confessions like this from builders who have gone before us that really make this hobby/sport special. Without people like Chuck who tell of their trials and tribulations, we would all be more prone to suffering through our projects in similar fashion.

So keeping the problem that Chuck ran into in mind, I came up with a way to ensure that the distance between the center of the spars, the all important 25", will remain the same for all the ribs as well as the center section. I haven't seen this mentioned in any other build sites so I thought I would share this technique. I apologize if someone else came up with this first.

I made what I call a spar gauge that will set the spar distance. It measures 24 1/4", which is the distance from the aft surface of the front spar to the front surface of the rear spar. This will be used to construct the wing jigs for the main and aileron ribs as well as rib 10. It will also set the interspar distance in the center section.

Time for a beer. Too much cogitation for one night.....
2011-04-01 Rib jig construction Had a few minutes tonight to start getting my wing jig set up. I am using a piece of 3/4" laminated particle board shelving material for my jig. It should remain quite flat, and the lamination makes for a nice smooth building surface. I cut my rib template from the plans and used 3M 77 contact adhesive to stick it to the jig board, again made easier by the smooth lamination.

I am using clear 1/8" acrylic sheet as a glue barrier. I want to use small countersunk screws to secure the acrylic to the board prior to trimming the board as well as securing all the capstrip stops, but of course, I don't have the size I need in house. A trip to the hardware store is in order tomorrow.

2011-04-03 Main rib jig completed Been "gett'n jiggy wid it". Got the main rib jig completed today. It turned out as sort of a combination of old and new school as far as jigs go.

I am using a piece of acrylic sheet to protect the wing rib template from the epoxy. I duplicated the main and rear spars with pieces of 3/4" maple. To keep epoxy sticking to it where the gussets butt up to the spars, I placed packaging tape on the spar replicas.

I wanted to secure things well, so I am using the "cam" method, where I cut sections of dowel and drilled them off-center. Rotating the dowel then puts pressure on the rib component up against a fixed stop. Works great and was actually quite easy to fabricate. One other benefit could be that releasing the parts by counter-rotating the dowels could make separating each completed rib from the jig a bit easier.

In some places where I needed a stop where a gusset was located, I used a piece of 1/8" acrylic sheet so the gusset would not be interfered with, and the epoxy in these areas would not stick to the jig.

I plan to complete all the main ribs, and then make some slight modifications to the jig to complete the aileron ribs, and then the ribs that are located at spar doubler locations. This is one advantage to screwing my stops on instead of glueing them.

I need to make a second building board which will be used to glue opposite side gussets on after the ribs are removed from this jig. Also want to precut some of my 1/4" truss pieces for the ribs.
2011-04-06 Cooking spruce Started to pre-curve some capstrips in anticipation of starting to assemble my ribs. Checked on my clamp order, and of course, they are back-ordered. Since they are undoubtedly made in China, who knows when they will arrive. May have to make a run to Green Bay, home of the World Champion Green Bay Packers, (had to throw that in there for my Bear fan friends) and see what I can find. The local selection is rather limited.

2011-04-10 Rib 10 jig completed Since I am waiting for delivery of my ratcheting clamps, I am marking time before starting my ribs. I got my rib 10 jig completed. Basically the same construction as my main rib jig.

I ordered some clamps from amazon, since the ones I ordered from Menards are on backorder. Just realized that I will need both sets, since I will have one rib in the jig and then another on a board clamping/glueing the opposite side gussets.
2011-04-13 First rib in the jig Got my order from Amazon for my clamps. They only had the next size up from what I ordered from Menards, but they worked out ok. Actually the surface area of the clamp is larger so it negates the need for a plate over most of the gussets to make them clamp flat. A few still needed an acrylic plate over them.

Will let this cure over night and remove it from the jig tomorrow. Funny how it is a big deal to make your first rib, just like I am sure it will be to complete the last one!
2011-04-14 First Rib out of the Jig A small milestone. First rib came out of the jig just great. Had to pry it out a bit around the false spars, but not a big deal. Pretty neat to have an airplane part assembled. Still need to get a board set up for glueing the opposite side gussets.
2011-04-19 Rib spruce templates Rib construction continues. Will be at this stage for awhile. Second rib currently in the jig.
2011-04-20 Rib capstrip prep I am making all the top and bottom capstrips I need for the ribs in advance. This requires making the 1/16 in cutout at their leading edges as well as cutting them to length. I have my router table all set up to make that 1/16 in cut, and I don't want to disturb it. I want to trim off the excess gusset material after glueing up the ribs by using my router table, so I need to get all these capstrips done before I can start trimming off gussets and glueing the opposite side gussets on. I have about 30 more to go. Being slowed up since my bending jig can only do 12 at a time and I am letting the spruce dry over night after steaming it. I could make another bending jig, but I'm too lazy....
2011-05-02 Top and bottom capstrips completed Finally had a chance to get the top and bottom capstrips completed. Of course I had a "Doh!" moment when I realized that I made all but for rib 10 as main ribs instead of making some for the aileron ribs. I can be such an idiot sometimes. Main thing I wanted to complete was the 1/16th inch notch in each of them, so having a few a tad long is no biggie. Now I can really start rock and rolling on making these ribs. Next up I will get my opposite side gussets glueing board made.
2011-05-25 Wing rib factory Continue to construct wing ribs. I have not trimmed any gussets, nor have I glued the opposite side gussets. Assembled and glued first rib 10. I have gotten to the point where I can get a rib all glued and clamped within just a tad over an hour. Just the right amount of time to be in the shop, now that it is sort of turning into spring around here and the days are getting longer.
2011-08-08 The last rib Well, finally I have framed up my last wing rib. I have 26 of them to apply the opposite side gussets yet.
2011-08-14 started fabricating upper wing center seciton parts Had some time today so I surged ahead and started making center section parts. I used the old trace the part with carbon paper method I have used over the years building RC models from plans. Got the center section leading edge rigs made.
Gusset application continues on the ribs.
2011-09-02 Center Section ribs Completed the leading edge and trailing edge center section ribs. I nailed plywood blanks together and contact cemented the template for each trailing edge rib onto the top piece of ply. Then cut out the ribs stacked together so each pair is exactly the same. The leading edge ribs were constructed the same as the wing ribs leading edges with a 3/8" master template rib and a router.
2011-10-31 tank ribs I have decided to build my own tank since I have had experience building my RV. I had a local heating and cooling contractor order sheets of 5052 aluminum in .04 and .05 sizes and then had them shear and bend the bottom of the tank in the .04, and also shear a piece of .05 for the top. I used the technique illustrated on the EAA hints for homebuilders site for forming aluminum ribs. Worked great, and was kinda fun to to.
2011-10-31 Fuel tank rib fabrication Made my tank ribs from .040 5052 aluminum.
2011-11-08 drilled tank ribs to lower tank skin Got the tank ribs located and drilled on the lower tank skin. Next step is to fabricate and drill in place some bottom tank skin stiffeners.
2011-11-13 Tank stiffeners and fuel drains Fabricated my tank floor stiffeners from .032. Since I went with .04 vs .09 as noted in the plans, I felt I should add stiffeners to beef up the tank a bit. I followed the method as used in my RV.

Also located and drilled my fuel pickup (drain?) flanges. I had a friend (thanks Don!) remove the lip from welding flanges I ordered from Spruce. He is doing the same for my fuel sight gauge flange as well.
2011-11-25 Drilled top tank skin, riveted stiffeners Got the top tank skin positioned and drilled. Deburred all rivet holes and countersank the rivet holes for the stiffeners. Riveted and prosealed the stiffeners.
2011-12-07 Almost ready to close out the tank Took my tank over to a welder that I was referred to. Had him weld the filler neck flange as well as a vent fitting on the top skin. Craig did a GREAT job. Wish I had his skills. All that is need now prior to closing this puppy up is to shorten the float guides for my sight gauge (its for a Stearman tank and is too tall to fit in my tank) and to rivet and proseal the tooling holes in the tank end ribs.
2011-12-22 Tank Completed Finally got the tank all closed up. Leak tested it by making some plugs for 3 of the four fuel drains, and using a pressure fitting I had from testing my RV tanks in the 4th. Also made a plug for the vent and taped over the vent in the fuel cap. I pressurized the tank with a bicycle pump and then sprayed the entire outside of the tank with soapy water. Only leaks were around the sight gauge, mainly due to not snugging it down to the provided crush washer. I used teflon tape on its threads instead for this test. Also had a leak around where the fuel filler neck screws into the welded flange. I'll screw the filler neck in with some proseal later.

So this means I am three for three regarding no leaky tanks, taking the two I made for the RV into consideration. Woohoooo!

Now it is on to finishing making all the parts for the center section and then its assembly. Twenty minute job! ;^)
2012-01-16 Center Section I have been working on assembling all the parts needed to build the center section. I have everything pretty much ready to go, except the trailing edge bow and a leading edge capstrip.
2012-01-21 Center Section floor holes, Front spar problem Drilled the holes in the center section floor skin for the fuel drains and fuel sight gauge. Since I made my own tank, I had to alter where these holes were located due to riveting my tank instead of welding. There had to be a flange on the end ribs, which located the rib webs further inboard by about 3/4". So I traced the bottom of the tank skin prior to riveting everything up and also traced where the various holes were located. I placed this tracing centered on the center section bottom skin so I could accurately locate the holes.

After glueing the 1/4" doublers on the front spar, I set the spar down on a flat surface only to realize that I have a twist in it. DANG it! Its only 1/8" of a twist, but a twist none the less in a very important part, one that the rest of the airplane is built upon. So I fired off an order for a new one, and will use the spar I have to rip various spruce parts I need. Just that it will be 2-4 weeks before I get the new one. Drat.

Drilled the rear spar fittings and finished their edges.
2012-02-26 Started glueing center section Finally got my replacement front center section spar and assembled the 1/4" doublers and drilled the fittings.

Cut the slots for the front spar fittings on the aft side of the spar into the center section bottom skin. Used my new Dremel Saw Max circular saw. There is a picture of it in the tools section of this log. Great tool, and I can see that there will be many more applications for it as the build continues.

Glued the front center section spar to the bottom skin. My project has just become three dimensional!! Whoohooo!
2012-03-02 Rear center spar glued Glued the rear center section spar to the center section bottom after cutting slot in the bottom skin for the rear spar fittings.
2012-03-03 Left center section end rib glued Made the cuts/slots for the center section fittings in the end ribs while they were still stacked on each other. I used a leading edge rib to determine the fore/aft position of the end ribs and marked their locations for glueing.

I have been concerned about securing the edges of the fuel tank. The plans make no notation regarding screwing the edges of the tank down, only the leading and trailing edges. I decided to make some "screwing rails" to attach the outboard edges of the tank. I traced the curve of the end rib from spar to spar and then cut my screw rails out of poplar. I plan to use threaded inserts as noted for the leading and trailing edges of the tank.

I glued the left end rib as well as the screw rail. Everything is coming out nice and square.
2012-03-04 Right end rib glued Glued the right end rib as well as my "screw rail". in place.

Cut bevels in the leading leading edge glue rail which I had already cut 1/4 x 1/4" slots for the leading edge ribs. The top bevel was cut at 45 degrees and the bottom to 20 degrees to make blending the glue rail into the leading edge ribs easier. The 1/16" leading edge ply will be glued to this rail and trimmed flush with its leading edge. Then the leading edge will be laminated over the forward surface of the glueing rail, thus butting up to the forward edge of the 1/16" ply. Then the leading edge will be shaped to form the curved leading edge of the wing center section. This is the same technique used on the many RC models I have built over the years.

2012-03-07 center section leading edge ribs glued Glued the center section leading edges as well as the leading edge glueing rail. Notching the leading edge glueing rail 1/4 x 1/4" really made this process easy. I made camping blocks that made clamping the leading edge glueing rail to the front spar possible. I made sure the end ribs were nice and straight by clamping straight edges (in this case levels) to them.

Went to the aircraft wood isle at Menards and was pleasantly surprised to find nice clear mahogany and poplar wood. I took some over to Balsa USA and Mark was kind enough to make me nice 1/8" sheets out of it in preparation to laminate the trailing edge bow. Thanks again Mark!
2012-03-10 Forward tank mount glued Modified the forward tank mount to clear the spar doublers and the fittings and glued in place.

I made supports to aid in locating the trailing edge center section ribs.
2012-03-17 Rear center section rib fixtures I made fixtures to hold the rear center section ribs and today I secured them to the build table in preparation to establish the arc of the rear center section bow.
2012-03-19 center section rear bow outline In the process of getting the center section rear bow outline drawn so I can start laminating it up.

I set all my trailing edge ribs in place as well as the rear tank mount. I then dropped lines down to the building board at the points where the aft end of each rib will contact the bow. In doing that I determined how much of a bevel at the end of each rib will be required to make the rib fit flush with the bow. I got those bevels sanding in and then returned the ribs in position.

Next I applied blocks to the building board at the points where the bow will contact the ribs and then placed a strip of spruce cutoff from making bevels in the spars to duplicate the bow. I can now use this to draw an outline of the bow that I will use to construct a jig to make my laminated bow
2012-03-24 center section bow prebend I made a fixture/jig to bend/glue the center section bow by making supports from poplar and ply, with 1/8" acrylic glued to their faces to prevent unintentional glueing of the bow to the supports. The supports were screwed to the workbench at locations per the bow outline I drew from the locations of the trailing edge ribs.

I found that the 1/8" sheets of mahogany I had milled were just too stiff to insert four of them at once into the fixture to produce the 1/2" bow, so I decided to wet them and prebend them two at a time. I inserted spacers between the sheets while they are in the jig to aid in drying.
2012-03-25 laminated center section bow....with a change in plan I took my pre-bent mahogany out of my fixture and noted that not only did I get the bow effect, but the wood also cupped, like decking does.

After looking at my fixture, I decided to simplify things. I had read an article about laminating parts, and the author recommended making a fixture with "slots" the width of the finished part into which you inserted the glued up wood. I found this very difficult to do with the 1/8" material I was using, thus the pre-bending attempt.

I decided to remove one side of my fixture and use clamps to effectively pull the 4 layers of glued up mahogany to the fixture. Seemed to work just fine without the need to wet the wood. I used Titebond III for glue due to its sandability and waterproofness.

2012-03-29 Initial shaping of center section bow Got the center section bow out of the laminating fixture. Seemed to turn out ok. I set the bow at the trailing edge ribs and marked and cut it to proper length. Then I marked the top and bottom locations of the trailing edges of the ribs. I used a piece of 1/16th music wire to connect these marks and to draw the top and bottom edges on the bow blank.

I used my new Dremel maxsaw to cut just outside these lines, then planed the extra material to very close to the lines. A belt sander cleaned things up. I tried the bow in place, and see that I will still need to fine tune things a bit before I glue things up. Final shaping will be done after that.
2012-11-25 Hand holds, located tank, rear bow layup I'm Baaaaaaaaccck! Been a long hiatus, but construction has resumed. Got the handholds shaped and installed. They are made of laminations of 1" poplar. Lots of sanding/shaping involved.

Located and drilled tank in place. I had to order more ez-lok inserts to secure it, as well as the locator tool available. I found that just using a screw driver to screw the insert in place resulted in the anchor tilting as it went into the prepared 3/8" hole. Glad I tested this before trying it on the real thing.

I soaked a piece of 1/8" poplar and then clamped it to the rear bow. I will let this dry and then set aside until I complete the rear trailing edge after sheeting the aft of the center section. I'll glue this to the rear bow, let that dry, and then clamp subsequent laminations to it to shape the trailing edge. Gives me something to clamp to.
2012-11-28 installed tank threaded inserts Installed the threaded inserts for securing the tank. These are brass threaded inserts I found in the aviation department of Amazon. Yup....Amazon. Went with brass to prevent corrosion from occurring. The leading and trailing edges of the tank sit down real nice on the tank rails, something I was concerned about, especially with the leading edge due to the slight distortion that occurred from welding the fuel cap flange in place. No problem!
2013-01-06 Glued the center section bottom leading and trailing skins Holidays have been a bit busy! Finally got around to working on the Hatz by glueing the bottom center section skins in place. I used a nailing rail for the trailing edge of the forward skin and leading edge of the aft skin. Sounds a bit confusing!
2013-01-12 hardware installed, top leading edge skin glued Installed all the center section fittings and compression tubes. Glued the top leaking edge 1/16" skin in place. I sealed the underside of the skin with epoxy resin, West System 105 resin to be exact. I am using this as my sealer and find that I can apply one coat and get very good results. An added benefit that I assumed was that I could seal the entire piece and not be concerned with glueing the skin to the underlying structure, since I was essentially glueing epoxy to epoxy. A little voice said that maybe, just maybe I should test glue a piece of 1/4ply to a mixing stick I used to mix a batch of resin. So I did, only to find out to my horror that I could separate the pieces like nothin' !!!

After scratching my head and doing a bit of research, I found that there is such a thing as Amine blush, a waxy film that occurs on epoxy resin under certain conditions. I had heard about this with polyester resin, but was not aware it occurs with epoxy as well. This film acts just like wax paper, or packaging tape to prevent epoxy from adhering to it. It is water soluble, so simply washing it off will remove it. I tested some more samples and found that indeed, that was the problem.

To make me feel better, I washed off the resined parts with water first, then wiped the areas to be glued with acetone, as well as scuffed up the surface with sandpaper.
2013-01-13 Rear top center section skin glued Glued the aft top center section skin. Hey! this thing is looking like an airplane wing! How did that happen??! ;^)
2013-01-27 leading and trailing edges glued, fittings Got the trailing edge laminations done for the center section. I used poplar that I had ripped and planed to 1/8" sheets glued with titebond III. The leading edge is a piece of spruce I had from ripping my spars for the center section.

While the glue was drying between laminations, (I glued 1 lamination at a time) I have also been working on all the 4130 fittings required for the wing panels. Lots of work. I'm too cheap to have them cut for me professionally.
2013-01-29 Trailing edge of center section Completed contouring and sanding trailing edge.
2013-02-06 Preparing the nest I have been spending the last several days rearranging my shop so that I can begin assembling my wings.

Previously, my shop has been set up to mostly build model airplanes. I have had a task table setup that I have had since 1985 that was fairly high, which facilitated working on models and thus saving my back. It consisted of a 2x4 frame that supported two core doors. It has served me well over many years, but did not fit in with the immanent assembly of wings. Unfortunately, my shop is not large enough to simply shove this table into a corner. Therefore, I have temporarily disassembled my old friend and will store it in the garage for now.

My next task is to assemble 3 EAA work tables that I will construct my wings on as well as weld my fuselage.
2013-02-10 EAA tables Well, it took several years, but I guess I am now an official EAA member after building 3 EAA tables today. They went together very easily, thanks to the very complete cutting list that is available with the plans. Google EAA tables and you will find it on the net. One thing that is in error with the cutting list is the size of the bottom shelf sheet. The cutting list calls for a 1/2" x 24:" x 57" piece, when actually the length you need is 50". Its depicted correctly on the plan drawing, however.

These tables are really stout, and very versatile. I plan to place a piece of 3/4" particle board across them to make them wide enough to support the spars while assembling the wings. Its even possible that once that much table space is not needed, two of them can be stacked o each other to make a set of shelves.
2013-02-17 Making top left wing parts I'm trying to get as many parts made in advance for my first wing panel before the shop is taken up by a framed up wing.

I had Mark at Balsa USA make some trailing edge stock for me. He's my secret weapon in this project! Again, thanks Mark!

I am using slots in the leading and trailing edges as did Scott to attach ribs, so I got those cut today.

Also made my root rib for the left top wing. I took the dimensions for the wing bolt accesses for the bottom wing and cut those out, making a blank for the rib out of 1/4" ply. Then simply clamped this to the end rib of the center section and traced the rib out.

Got blanks cut for the spar doublers as well.

One thing that took up a load of time over the last couple days was figuring out the taper of the front and rear spars at their tips. As drawn on the plans, rib 10 would not fit at all. So I did some redesign and all seems to be working out.....on paper that is! Once I get to the spars and actually cutting/tapering/drilling them, I will outline what I came up with. As with everything in this build log, builder beware.

2013-02-24 Left top wing spars After much head scratching, and construction of jigs to cut spar tapers, I have successfully prepared the top left wing spars. Spar blanks were cut to width, beveled on their tops, tapered at their tips and cut to length.

I had to make some adjustments to the tapers as drawn on the plans, resulting in rib 10 being in proper position.
2013-03-05 Drilled holes for fittings, compression tube mounts Got the root end 1/8"ply doublers epoxied to the front and rear spars. The outboard doublers will be glued in place once the ribs located between the root and outboard doublers are slid into place.

I devised a way to pin the doublers to the spar while holes for fittings were drilled. It makes the doublers act sort of like a second set of fittings than can be glued/bolted after all the ribs are in place. Using my method, I have successfully drilled al the holes for the main spar.

2013-03-12 bending compression tube fittings Got my compression tube fittings bent, using the vise and rubber mallet method. seemed to turn out well.
2013-03-13 Ribs slid onto spars Ok. This was a biggie. I feel like I now have an airplane wing in my basement! slid all the ribs in place onto the main and rear spars. Was really not a major deal. I did not leave some of the rib structure out while building the ribs as some have done to make positioning easier. Although the ribs have nice snug fits to each of the spars, they were not difficult to position.

I have secured my center section to my table and have attached each of the spars to the appropriate fittings. I felt that this would help stabilize the spars, as well as facilitate proper placement of the root rib when the time comes. Wing fittings as well as compression tube fittings have been temporarily installed.

I devised a tool to record the exact distance between the main spar compression fitting and the rear spar compression fitting so that the tubes can be cut accurately.
2013-03-15 Cut compression tubes to length Fired up my Harbor Freight metal cutting band saw and cut the compression tubes for the top left wing. I used my "slide rule" to measure the length of each tube and transferred that measurement to 4130 tube stock. I was amazed how well it worked. I actually think I might file off just a tad of length, however, to allow for paint thickness before they are welded to the fittings.
2013-03-17 Outboard doublers glued Glued the outboard doublers for the main and rear spars. Prepping to weld what needs to be welded for the fittings and compression tubes.
2013-08-13 Drilled spar holes for compression tubes Finished drilling the holes for the compression tubes in the spars. Since my fabrication of the fittings for the compression tubes was not totally consistent, I assumed that all the holes would not line up if I just used the dimensions on the plans. So I tack welded the fittings to the tubes and bolted the compression tubes to the spars with one bold. Then I back drilled through the fitting into the spar using my 90 degree angle drill
2013-08-25 Finally welded fittings for left top wing After much practice, I have successfully welded the fittings and compression tubes for the left top wing. I have quite a pile of welded "art" aka practice pieces!

2013-09-07 fittings welded, primed and installed Fittings that required welding and priming have been completed and installed.
2013-09-08 Left top wing trammelled Got the top left wing spars trammelled. I made a trammeling rod to accurately lock in a given distance, Its simply a piece of 1/4" plywood about 1 1/2" wide by about 5ft. On one end a sharpened piece of 3/32" music wire is epoxied. On the other end, a sliding mount with another piece of music wire is placed over the plywood with a set screw. Worked very well.

Also set my end rib in place by spacing it off of the center section rib with pieces of 3/32"ply. I'll set the dihedral of the wing and then glue the spars and leading and trailing edges to the end rib. This will maintain a nice even gap between the wing panel and the center section.
2013-10-02 Glued false ribs Glued the false ribs to the main spar. I used my notched leading edge to locate them. Still need to modify those that are glued where fittings are located.
2013-10-02 Glued the trailing edge Glued the trailing edge to the ribs and root rib.
2013-10-12 Glued various supports for root rib and rib 6 Glued the 3/8" supports for the root rib as well as for rib 6.
2013-10-13 Laid out wingtip core I laid out the pattern for the wingtip bow. First made some graph paper with 2" grid and then transferred the 1/2 scale drawing to my pattern.

Worked on the short joggle of the leading edge at the wingtip. I plan to glue this piece as it is (after shortening it) and then cutting/sanding the top and bottom bevels in it to match those at ribs 9 and 10, which are not the same.
2013-10-19 laminated wingtip bow I am using the technique of laminating the wingtip bow with 4 laminations of 1/8" x 1" aspen, then cutting it in half to sandwich the 1/8" wingtip bow.
2013-11-08 Glued left top wingtip I glued the sandwiched wingtip bow to the top left wing. My sequence was to first glue the top half of the laminated bow to the 1/8" bow core while it was stabilized in place mounted on the front, rear and aileron spars. Then I glued the bottom lamination half at the same time I glued the whole works to the spars. Helped to not be juggling too many parts at the same time.
2013-11-09 Contoured wingtip for leading edge sheeting Today I trimmed/sanded the outboard leading edge to prepare for sheeting this area with 1/16th ply. This is a tricky area, as it begins with a steep bevel at rib 9, then reduces to a less steep bevel at the tip rib 10, finishing with being relatively flat where the wingtip bow meets up with the front spar. Time and patience are paramount here.
2013-11-20 Glued and clamped top leading edge skin of top left wing Got the top leading edge skin glued and clamped for the top left wing. I used a combination of nailing strips and duct tap to keep everything in place. I surprised myself with how well the sheet at the wing tip laid down. I was expecting puckers etc, but it really turned out nice. I was able to use one 8' piece of 1/16" ply as well as a short piece to complete the wing tip. Less seams to deal with.
2013-11-21 Trimmed leading edge skin for top left wing, root 1/8 sheet Trimmed the excess leading edge sheeting for the top left wing. I first used a router, then a block plane and finally sanding block. I'm very happy how this sheeting glued in place. One of those "who are you and what have you done with Jeff Orear' moments.

Getting reading to glue the 1/8" sheet at the root end of the top left wing panel by glueing supports for it.
2013-12-02 Root rib 1/8 bottom sheet Glued the bottom root rib aft section of 1/8 ply sheet. I glued 1/4" gluing rails to the root rib to better support the 1/8 ply. Also fabricated and glued the access hole supports for the wing mount bolts. The forward one is 3 pieces of 1/16" ply that I laminated. Individually, the sheets of ply had a curve to them that actually matched the curve of the underside of the leading edge quite nicely. I will add another lamination aft of the 1/16" leading edge sheet once the leading edge is glued in place. The rear support is made from 1/4" ply
2013-12-04 wing tip false rib There is a false rib drawn on the plans between rib 9 and rib 10 that I could not find a side view of to make the part. I made a pattern out of 1/4" balsa wood first and then made the real thing out of 1/4" ply.
2013-12-09 top left wing leading edge bottom Prepping the top left wing bottom leading edge skin.
2013-12-14 Closed out top left wing leading edge Glued the bottom leading edge skin for the top left wing.
2014-01-12 Contoured LE of top left wing Trimmed and contoured leading edge capstrip for top left wing. I'm taking my time here, and stepping away from the project every once in awhile to make sure I get everything sanded and contoured the way I want it. Actually treating it as if I am getting the wing ready for covering prior to sealing everything up.

Got the anti torque rod made out of 1/2"x.035 4130 tube. I'll prime it up once it warms up around here and I can do it in the driveway/garage.
2014-01-15 One down, three to go Finished up sanding the leading edge contour for the top left wing. Got to the point where I was looking at it too much and was time to call it good. I've decided to hold off sealing it until spring when I can do it in the garage/driveway and avoid stinking up the whole house. Must keep the spousal unit happy.

"Jeff Orear! You just got done building an airplane wing! What are you going to do now??!"

"I'm gonna build another one!!"
2014-01-19 Right top wing spars Cut the right top wing spars tapers and bevels. Sure went quicker than the left wing (my first wing) as I am usingthe cutting jigs I made.
2014-01-29 Right top wing parts Spent the last few days making the top right wing parts. The root rib, spar doublers, trailing edge, leading edge. Glued the front and rear root end doublers.
2014-02-01 Drilled fittings to spars for top right wing positioned and drilled the fittings for the front and rear spars for the top right wing.
2014-02-02 Prepping rib 6 Got rib 6 prepared for the 3/32" ply doubler that is placed at its aft end. I installed gussets on this rib, so I had to modify it to accept the doubler. I cut 1/4" x 1/16" ply strips that I laminated over the spruce 1/4" structure of the rib.

Also bent the compression tube fittings
2014-02-09 Compression tubes, fittings welded for top right wing Got all the compression tube fittings and outboard fittings welded. My welding is getting better.

Also got all the drag/anti-drag wires cut to length and threaded.
2014-03-15 positioned and glued ribs top right wing Assembly of top right wing continues. Used the slotted leading edge to position the ribs and glued them in place. All fittings have been bolted as well as outboard spar doublers. Compression tubes bolted in place.
2014-03-22 Top Right wing trammeled and false leading edge ribs Installed drag and anti drag wiree and trammeled the top right wing. Installed the spar cap strips between ribs. positioned and glued the leading edge false ribs.
2014-03-29 Glued leading edge right top wing Clamped and glued the right top wing leading edge
2014-04-16 Trailing edge, aileron spar, gussets I've been a bit lax with taking photos and updating the build log, so this is an attempt to get things up to date.

The trailing edge has been glued as well as all gussets and supports, The aileron bay spar has been cut to length and shape and has been glued in place. Gussets for the aileron spar have been glued.
2014-04-27 Glued leading edge extension and wingtip core for right top wing Cut to length and slotted the outboard wingtip extension and glued in place as well as the 1/8" ply wingtip core.
2014-04-30 Laminated top right wingtip bow Glued the top and bottom laminated aspen win tip bows to the top right wingtip plywood core.
2014-05-01 Top right wing leading edge supports Glued various doublers, false ribs for support of the top right leading edge skin
2014-05-02 Contoured right top wing wingtip lamination Contoured the top right wing wingtip lamination in preparation to glue the leading edge sheet. Again, this takes a bit of patience to get it to transition from the ribs to the wingtip bow.
2014-05-12 resined leading edge ribs Once the top leading edge sheet is in place, it can be difficult to gain access to certain surfaces of the leading edge ribs and false ribs to adequately seal them prior to installing the bottom leading edge skin. So prior to gluing the top leading edge skin, I have resined the areas that would be tough to get to. Even though the inside surfaces of the gussets gave T-88 sealing them, the edges of the ribs are bare wood
2014-06-07 Glued top right wing leading edge top sheet Glued the top right wing leading edge top sheeting. Again used a combination of glueing rails and duct tape….the homebuilder's friend!
2014-06-10 Top right wing wingtip top sheeting Glued the top right wing wingtip top sheet in place. Used the template made for the top left wing.
2014-06-11 Wing bolt access hole supports Made the access hole supports for the top right wing. One is 1/4" ply and is flat, whereas the other, the forward one, is 3/16" and has a slight curve to it to follow the shape of the airfoil at the leading edge. I laminated 3 pieces of 1/16"ply and clamped them so that this curve was created
2014-06-15 Prepped top right wing bottom leading edge sheet Cut the top right wing bottom leading edge sheet to length. Cut slot to accept fitting. Resined underside prior to glueing sheet in place.
2014-06-17 Glued top right wing leading edge bottom sheet Glued the top right wing leading edge bottom edge sheet. I used some bags of fertilizer and potting soil I had laying around to provide weight to make sure good contact was being made with the sheet and ribs,
2014-06-19 Glued top right wing bottom wingtip sheet Resined and glued the right top wing bottom wingtip sheet. As I did for my left wing, I am naming naming this panel after one of my kids. This one is for Kelly, second oldest of the kids.
2014-06-22 Glued top right wing leading edge Glued the leading edge capstrip in place and is now ready to contour.
2014-09-21 Varnishing top wing panels I've been working on finalizing the sanding/shaping of leading edges etc for the top left and right wing panels. The leading edges have been challenging for me since I did not use the molded piece as drawn on the plans. I've had to contour them in place and getting them nice and uniform down their entire length has been tough. I think I have them where I want them.

I have decided to use Polyfiber EV-400 epoxy varnish for internal and external surfaces of the wings. I realize that this is an expensive proposition, but after using it for the first time, this stuff is top drawer. I like how the first coat really soaks into the wood thanks to reducing it 50%. The subsequent coats are reduced 25%.

I also decided to brush all the coats on. Time consuming, but I like the facts that I am not wasting any material from trying to spray all the wing ribs and having a low percentage of the spray pattern actually hitting wing structure, and also not having to breath this stuff…even through a respirator/filtered mask. Actually doesn't take too long to brush it on, once you consider the time to set up a spray gun and then clean it afterward.
2014-11-07 Lower left wing parts I've been busy making parts for construction of the lower wings. Spent a load of time making the aileron linkage parts. Mostly due to stupid mistakes as well as my wanting to improve the products I was working on. May still redo some of them if I am so inclined. Welding skills are improving and I feel comfortable with the structural integrity of the parts I have welded. Its just the aesthetics that I would like to improve on. A learning process for sure

2014-11-13 Main and rear spars for left bottom wing Working on getting the spars drilled for the bottom left wing.

LOG UPDATE: You will note in the picture of the main spar wing root fittings that they are NOT DOUBLED as noted in the plans. This has been corrected, at great effort I might add. A classic case of RTFP.

2014-11-19 Bottom Left compression tubes, fittings Assembly of the bottom left wing has begun. Ribs have been positioned on the spars, and compression tubes have been cut and welded.

I found some square nuts in the aircraft hardware isle in the local Hardware Hank store that I felt would be easier for this novice welder to weld to the fitting they are located on. I went with 3/8" size nuts and tiedown rings. Getting everything cleaned up and ready for primer.
2014-12-06 glued ribs for bottom left wing Got all the drag/antidrag wires threaded and installed. Trammeled the wing. Glued all ribs in place
2014-12-09 left bottom wing spar capstrips and false ribs Glued the top spar capstrips and false ribs for the bottom left wing.
2014-12-13 Lower left wing inspection My new resident inspector, Cooper the goldendoodle, came down to my shop today for an inspection. He said I need to smooth some areas up due to them being a little "ruff"
2014-12-15 Root rib and trailing edge of bottom left wing I've been doing a load of cogitating about the root rib and the waco style trailing edge for the bottom wing. I made a template of the root rib using the drawing on the plans out of 1/4" light plywood jus to make sure I was on the right track. Was pretty close, but I will change the outline of the forward end of the rib to better fit the leading edge and to match the front of the ribs and false ribs.

I'm starting to work out a plan to construct the waco trailing edge
2014-12-27 Bottom left wing root rib, wing walk supports Used my 1/4" light ply root rib temple to make my birch ply root rib. I also cut the slots in it to accept the wing walk joists.

Glued the 3/16" wing walk supports to the top of rib 2. Also glued the 3/32" inboard and outboard doubler to rib 6.
2014-12-29 Waco trailing edge, aileron rib gusset left bottom wing Glued the gusset and support for the aileron rib (rib 6). Also glued the core of the waco trailing edge.
2014-12-30 Glued leading edge for bottom left wing Cut the leading edge to length and glued to ribs and false ribs. I left excess at the root end to allow for fitting this area to the fuselage.

Started working on making the aileron spar. Made a template to cut the top and bottom bevels into the spar to compensate how the aft edge of the aileron bay ribs are slanted to allow proper aileron deflection.
2014-12-31 bottom left wing aileron spar, wingtip bow Cut the taper for the aileron spar and glued in place. Glued the top waco trailing edge lamination after filing down the trailing edge "stub".

Glued the outboard leading edge to ribs 9 and 10. Glued the wing tip bow 1/8" ply core.
2015-01-01 lore left wing wingtip laminations Glued the top and bottom wingtip bow laminations. Also made a gusset to support the waco trailing edge to the root rib

2015-01-02 Bottom left wing root rib finishing Sanded the bevel on the top of the root rib for the bottom left wing. I made a sanding block that rested on the 3/16" wing walk supports that are glued to rib 2 so that the proper bevel could be sanded.
2015-01-03 Contoured bottom left wing tip bow Sanded and contoured the bottom left wingtip bow and outboard leading edge to accept the leading edge sheeting.
2015-01-07 Botom left wing leading edge prep Getting the leading edge for the bottom left wing ready to glue. There are two fitting that stick through the plywood leading edge, so I had to figure out how/where to cut slots to accommodate them.

2015-01-08 Top leading edge for bottom left wing Glued the top leading edge for the bottom left wing.
2015-01-10 Top wingtip sheeting for bottom left wing Clamped and glued the wingtip to sheet for the bottom left wing. I was concerned that it would not seat down without puckering, as I had to extend it toward the root end of the wing by one false rib bay due to the angled root rib. No problem at all. Made sure the skin was tacked down to ribs 9 and 10 well prior to clamping it to the leading edge.
2015-01-20 lower left wing wing walk supports Glued the bottom wing walk supports for the lower left wing. Also fabricated and glued the forward section of the front cutout for the wing attach bolt. This is make of 3/16" ply and will support the 1/16" leading edge in this area.
2015-01-24 Closed out bottom left wing leading edge Glued the bottom 1/16" leading edge sheet for the bottom left wing.
2015-01-25 prepping to close out bottom left wing leading edge Resined, using West System epoxy, the internal surfaces of the leading edge of the bottom left wing. Also resined the underside of the bottom sheet for the leading edge, leaving surfaces to be glued to the substructure clear to accept glue.

This wing panel is dedicated to daughter number 3, Megan.
2015-01-28 Varnished both bottom wings Got both the bottom wings varnished.
2015-01-30 Sheeted the bottom left wing wing tip bottom Glued the bottom wing tip sheeting for the bottom left wing. I was concerned as I started to clamp this sheet into place that it was going to pucker somewhere, since the wing tip bottom slopes up more than the top slopes down, if that makes any sense. I just kept flaming it along as I worked out toward the tip of the wing and everything seemed to sit down fine with some persuasive clamps
2015-01-31 Bottom left wing leading edge capstrip Glued the bottom left wing leading edge capstrip. This is a 1/4" piece of Ash that is glued to the leading edge and then contoured for the rounded shape of the leading edge.

Also made the tapering piece for the leading edge capstrip at the wingtip and glued in place
2015-02-05 wing walk supports for bottom left wing Fabricated and glued the vertical plywood supports for the bottom left wing wing walk. These are made from 3/16" ply as are the wing walk joists.

Also glued shims at the forward edge of the wing walk area to allow the wing walk to be glued flush with the leading edge skin. Also glued a shim on the rear spar to support the wing walk skin
2015-02-06 Wing walk skin prep for bottom left wing Began getting the top wing walk skin ready for the bottom left wing. I have decided to laminate two pieces of 3/32" ply to make the 3/16" top wing walk skin. This makes forming the curve of the wing profile in the wing walk easier. I just felt that clamping the 3/16" ply to form the curve associated with the top of the ribs would be tough.

I made a template out of scrap plywood to shape the trailing edge of the wing walk sheet to mate with the waco trailing edge lamination. I just traced the waco trailing edge top lamination piece onto the plywood to establish the curve I needed in the sheeting.
2015-02-07 First lamination of top wing walk sheet bottom left wing Cut lightening holes in the first lamination 3/32" plywood sheet to lose a tad of weight. Glued and clamped in place
2015-02-08 Glued the second wing walk lamination, bottom left wing Cut to shape and glued the second 3/32" plywood wing walk lamination. I used small screws, several of them actually, to "clamp" this piece to the underlying 3/32" plywood. These and several clamps around the periphery made sure there were no voids in the laminated plywood sheets. I'll fill the screw holes with resin/micro later.
2015-02-10 Glued bottom wing walk ply bottom left wing Got the bottom wing walk 3/16 ply glued in place. No need to laminate here as it is a flat piece.

Also located and drilled the tiedown ring hole in the leading edge skin.
2015-02-20 Bottom left wing completed Done with the bottom left wing. Actually, not really. I need to glue in the bell crank exit plywood. I'm going to redo the aileron linkages, as I don't like how the bushings are fitting. Being picky, I know, but that's me…...
2015-02-21 Started spars for bottom right wing Got the spars for the bottom right wing tapered and beveled. Made all the ply doublers and beveled them. Glued the root end doublers for the main and rear spars
2015-02-22 bottom right wing spars Got a great start on the bottom right wing spars. Tapers and bevels cut, cut to length and root end cut to plans.

Also got all the plywood doublers cut and beveled. Glued the root end plywood doublers for the main spar.

you would think I've done this all before!
2015-03-06 Saga of RTFP As I have edited my entries for the bottom left wing fittings, I realized that I had a major brain-flatulence when fabricating the root end main spar wing fittings. As the plans clearly state, this fitting is to be DOUBLED. I SAY AGAIN. DOUBLED!!!!

So I had to devise a plan to get those fittings out and redo them. It entailed cutting three access holes in the bottom of the wing, sort of doing a laproscopic surgery, as well as a slot in the root rib. Then cutting the safety wires for the compression tube bolts, disconnecting the drag/antidrag wires, removing the root end compression tube and then removing the fittings.

After the fittings were doubled and welded together, the compression tube had to be shortened and then re-welded to a new compression tube fitting.

In all, it was a bit of a pain, but helped to emphasize the need to RTFP!
2015-03-25 Lower right wing ribs on spars Picked back up with building the lower right wing after repairing the fitting snafu on the lower left wing. Got all the ribs slid onto the main and rear spars. Fun point in the construction of the wings as it makes the product three dimensional.
2015-04-08 Installed all fittings for bottom right wing Got all the welding done for the compression tubes and a couple fittings for the bottom right wing. Primed everything and installed on the spars. Outboard doublers were glued a the same time as installing the outboard fittings and 3rd compression tube.
2015-04-18 Leading and trailing edges glued for bottom right wing Glued the leading edge and trailing edge for the bottom right wing
2015-04-24 Aileron spar for bottom right wing Cut the aileron spar to shape for the bottom right wing. As has been noted earlier, the dimensions for this spar as drawn on the plans are not accurate.

I basically laid out the cuts for the spar by taking reference how the spar blank fits up to the ribs. I measured 3/4" down from the top of the spar blank and designated that as the center of the spar at its tip. I measured 3/8" from that mark above and below it and used these marks to draw a line that hit them as well as where rib 10 makes contact with the spar blank. Seems to have worked out OK for the other 3 wings
2015-04-26 root rib and waco trailing edge bottom right wing Cut out and glued the root rib for the bottom right wing. Also glued the waco trailing edge core.
2015-05-02 Leading edge bottom right wing Glued the leading edge for the bottom right wing. Also fine tuned the depth of the slots in the root rib for the wing walk joists

Glued the top wing walk joists and the top waco trailing edge lamination
2015-05-16 bottom right wing top leading edge skin Glued the top leading edge skin for the bottom right wing
2015-05-19 topp wing tip lamination for bottom right wing Clamped and glued the top lamination for the bottom right wingtip
2015-05-26 Outboard leading edge skin bottom right wing Cut to shape, clamped and glued the outboard wing tip skin for the bottom right wing.
Also glued a shim to support the leading edge of the top wing walk skin so that it will be flush with the leading edge 1/16" ply skin
2015-05-29 bottom right wing walk top skin Cut to length and shape the top wing walk ply for the bottom right wing. This is make of 3/32" ply and I have cut lightening holes in it.

Clamped and glued this skin in place

2015-05-30 top wing walk lamination for bottom right wing Cut to shape and glued in place the top lamination for the top wing walk, bottom first wing
2015-06-12 Prep of bottom leading edge skin for bottom right wing masked off and resined bottom leading edge skin for bottom right wing as well as resined the underside of the top leading edge skin and all ribs forward of the spar, as well as the spar forward surface.
2015-06-13 bottom leading edge skin glued bottom right wing Clamped and glued the bottom leading edge skin for the bottom right wing.
2015-06-18 Outboard bottom wingtip skin bottom right wing Glued the bottom wingtip skin for the bottom right wing
2015-06-20 leading edge bottom right wing Had a good build session today. Ripped and glued the leading edge capstrip, as weil as the outboard leading edge capstrip. Also made and glued the tapered wingtip leading edge.

Glued the bottom 3/16" ply wing walk after cutting to shape at the trailing edge and making wing bolt access cutouts.
2015-10-17 Bottom wing belcrank exit Made the exit for the aileron pushrod out of 1/16th ply. I made a stylus that fit into the aileron belcrank that i mounted on the bottom of the belcrank mount to draw an arc for the throw of the portion of the belcrank that exits the bottom of the wing
2015-10-19 aileron belcrank exit completed Completed construction and installation of the aileron belcrank exit
2016-01-28 Fuselage construction table And so it begins……the fuselage.

I built a table for constructing the fuselage using a design I saw on a guy's youtube site. He is building a legal eagle, and his videos are extremely helpful for general building tips. I wish I could remember his name, but if you search Legal Eagle in youtube, he has several videos there that show his construction process. A must see IMHO.

So what he/I did is use two 2x9 1/2" flooring joists to support the building surface. I used 16 footers with 3/4" particle board top and bottom. He used expensive 3/4 ply, but I was concerned about flatness so I went with the particle board.

I made two solid sawhorses to set it on and the whole deal is as solid as a rock and flat as a pancake. Beauty of it is once I am done with it I can disassemble it and store it very easily.
2016-01-31 Fuselage side laid out Drew out the fuselage side on the work table. Made jug blocks out of 3x1/2" pine.

"laid the keel" AKA the top longeron
2016-02-01 began notching tubes. While at OSH a couple years ago, I saw a booth by Mittler Brothers who provide metal working tools. Saw a slick tube notcher they were selling and you guessed it, took one home. Hey, when you are at OSH ya gotta buy some toys, right?

At the time I had no idea how tubes were notched to construct a fuselage. Now that I have had a chance to research the subject, I now see there are several ways to do the job without a notcher.

I figured that since I bought the thing, I would give it a try. So far I am very pleased with the results. I realize I have only notch two tubes with it, but I sense that I will get into a goove (or notch I guess) and really start to make major progress and be pleased with the fit ups.

2016-02-02 notching tubes for fuselage side Work continues with cutting and notching tube for the first fuselage side
The tube notcher is working great. I am developing a feel for where to make cuts etc.

I am at the point where I will bend the bottom fuselage longeron. There is a build log of the Baby Ace done up in Mechanics Illustrated livery as a replica of what started homebuilding on Facebook. In it I saw a series of pictures of Paul Poberezny heating up a bottom longeron in preparation to bend it on the build table with tubes forward of the bend in place. I will be using the same technique. Fire extinguisher is at the ready…..
2016-02-13 Bent fuselage lower longerons Bent the lower longerons for the first fuselage side. As I mentioned earlier, I used the method demonstrated by Paul Poberezney where you heat the longeron in assembly on the building table.

Since I did it solo, I didn't get any action shots. It was a very easy method and resulted in accurate bends. My concern with bending them out of assembly was that I would not be consistent with the locations of the bends. I'm sure there is a method for achieving good bends, but again, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so I went with what I saw worked.

2016-02-14 Tacked first fuselage side Got the first fuselage side tacked and off the table.

Spent some time making sure all the tubes were clean on the inside at each end. I am using my notcher to make all the fish mouths, and am using cutting oil in the process. Since you need to have mating parts very clean while TIGing, I made sure I cleaned out each tube end. I also cleaned off the mil scale on the outside of the tubes where they meet the longerons as well as the mating surface of the longerons themselves.
2016-02-21 Second fuselage side Got the second fuselage side all set to tack up with the TIG machine this weekend, only to realize I am out of Argon and Airgas is not open on weekends. ARG!!

Thought I would document how I am marking my tubes for making fish mouths for those that are interested…...
2016-03-06 Setting up fuse for tacking Got the second fuselage side tacked and set up both sides for tacking. I call it going "3 dimensional". Cut and fit cross tubes and diagonals for the top of the fuselage. I had pre-made the cross members for the bottom as well, fitting them to dummy longerons as I did for the upper cross members. This way, I was assured that they would be the proper length and would result in a fuselage that is square top to bottom.
2016-03-11 Continuing with fitting cross and diagonal tubes Continued to fit all the cross and diagonal tubes for the top and bottom of the fuselage. Where there are tacks for the fuselage side tubing, the tubing for the top and bottom needs to be customized to accommodate the tacks. Takes a bit of trial and error, which translates into more time, at least for me. Also, many of the diagonals are at less than 30 degrees, which is less of an angle than the tube notcher can handle, so these cluster fit ups need to be done by hand. Again, just takes a bit more time.
2016-03-13 Bent fuselage sides aft of station 84 Made the bend of the fuselage sides aft of station 84 with the help of my friend Mark Enderby today. Turned out well and the fire department was not needed.
2016-03-14 Cross and diagonal members aft of 84 Working on fitting all the tubing aft of station 84 to station 151
2016-03-16 Ready to tack aft fuselage Ready to tack the fuselage from station 84 to station 151.
2016-03-20 Prep for joining longerons at tailpost Ive been formulating my plan of attack to get the aft most bend in the longerons completed and joining them at the tail post. A bevel in the longerons is needed to taper them to fit around the 7/8" tail post.

I again followed Doug Mowry's lead by making some dummy longerons and making those beveled cuts. When pleased with the fit, a paper template will be made to transfer the outline of the cuts to the real McCoy longerons.

Again, thanks to Doug for his breaking trail on this one
2016-03-21 Marking longerons for tailpost cut I am purposely taking my time with getting ready to cut the bevels in the aft end of the longerons to try to prevent doing anything really stupid by rushing things. So today I made my template to transfer the outline of the cut required to bevel the longerons and used that to mark the longerons for cutting
2016-03-23 Longeron aft bevels and bends Well, I have been circling the target long enough, so I dove in and made the longeron bevel cuts and bent their aft ends today. All turned out well, and I am ready to tack the longerons at the aft end in preparation to fit the tail post.
2016-03-28 Fuselage tacked, tailpost prep Got the fuselage all tacked excluding the tail post and supporting diagonals at the tail post.

I have been contemplating how I am going to do my tail post. Some builders have opted to weld in a short tail post and then weld a sleeve into the vertical stabilizer spar that is then bolted to the tail post "stub". This makes it easier to rotate the fuselage while welding.

I have decided to go ahead and weld the vertical stab spar, a piece of 7/8" x .049 tube now. It only extends past the top longeron midline by 36.6". My thought is if it does get in my way while welding, I can always cut it and do the sleeve deal. I don't think it is going to get in my way tho. Worse case scenario I may have to build a platform to stand on to get to upper/lower parts of the fuse as I rotate it to weld.
2016-03-30 Installed tailpost I tacked and partially welded the tail post. This after I raised the fuselage up about 4" to allow the tail post to hang under the table. I made supports and then checked that everything was level and plumb.

I also fit the diagonal tubes that extend to the base of the tail post. I am going to flip the fuselage next so I can gain access to welding the longerons and remaining areas of the tail post prior to tacking them in. Otherwise access to the longerons would be impossible….well ok….difficult at best.
2016-04-03 Fuselage rotisserie I built a rotisserie for the fuselage to aid in the welding process.
2016-10-05 Finished fuselage cluster welding I've been away from the project for most of the summer. Three deaths in the family, busy family schedule for other events, flying, etc have kept me from making progress.

When I could, mostly when it was not too hot in my shop, I finished welding all the clusters for the fuselage. Since I am using TIG, I can't open the garage up in the hot weather due to having to keep breezes away from the weld process. Would blow the Argon away. Finally got things welded by early October.
2016-10-11 Floor supports, rudder pedal mounts Fabricated and installed the floorboard supports
2016-10-25 Started bending seat frames Began construction of the seats. I mentioned before how I had purchased a tubing notcher at OSH prior to starting my project and even knowing what I actually needed to build my Hatz. In addition to that tool, I also bought, again from Mittler, a tubing bender.

Up until now, I thought I had wasted a good chunk of change, as I had not found a use for it yet. Well, boy did I need it here! It really came in handy bending the tubing for the seats. I had seen several techniques used to bend the tubing for the seats, and was really not looking forward to the task. After figuring out how to use the bender, I actually was able to bend the seat frames in the first try.
2016-10-27 Continued bending seat frames Finished bending seat frames
2016-11-09 fit expanded steel to seat frames Cut and fit the expanded steel for the seats.
2016-11-12 began mounting of rear seat began mounting the rear seat by starting with the upper attach points.
2016-11-13 Rear seat mounting Started to mount the rear seat. Positioned with blocks like the rear seat
2016-11-17 Front seat upper mounts Installed the front seat upper mounts as per the rear seat
2016-11-21 Front seat lower mount Installed the front seat lower mount. Also installed support brace from rear of front seat bottom to lower seat mount
2016-11-30 Pilot seat rear supports Completed the rear supports for the rear seat. I was not happy with how the saddles fit the fuselage cross member, so I cut off the 5/8th tubing support along with the saddle and redid it.l I fish mouthed a piece of 3/4 inch tubing over the stub of 5/8" remaining welded to the seat after I cut it, and welded a new saddle to the 3/4" Turned out better, but still not absolutely prefect.
2016-12-07 Seat belt anchors Welded in the lap belt seat belt anchors. These are the first parts that my son in law's company water jet cut for me. What a time saver!
2016-12-20 Rear landing gear brackets In any experimental airplane building project, there are a series of accomplishments/successes that must or should be celebrated to gain motivation to keep forging ahead. Today was such an occasion.

I have been trying to figure out how I was going to bend the brackets for the rear landing gear mount. They are 1/8" thick, so bending them is no small chore, at least for me. I read all the Tony B books and watched a video the EAA has on its site about this very subject and decided to go with the method they recommend. Essentially, you bend two halves of the part and then weld them together.

So after some sheet metal cutting and whanging on cold hard steel with a dead blow hammer, along with some welding, I now have two rear landing gear mounts ready to go.

Small accomplishment for more seasoned builders, but big deal to me. Go figure.
2017-01-07 Torque tube end pieces Started work on the torque tube today by fabricating the end pieces. I cut out the blanks for them with my band saw as well as hole cutting saws. Formed the radius bend over a 1.5" diameter tube while applying heat.
2017-01-17 Torque tube end pieces welded Welded the torque tube end pieces where they overlap on the underside
2017-01-20 Welded end pieces to torque tube Welded the end pieces to the torque tube. I used a board to get things flat and aligned with each other, as well as to drill the holes for the control stick pivot. Also welded the retainer washers for the forward torque tube mount.
2017-01-24 Control Sticks Began construction of the control sticks. Wasn't quite sure of how to go about this, but Here is what I did and it seems to have worked out ok.

Today I started by drilling a hole in the end of the control stick tube. I then cut slots to that hole, and then flattened the sides of the tubing.

Then I welded doublers to the outsides of the flattened areas on the control sticks,
2017-01-31 Torque tube pushrod constructed the inner pushrod for the torque tube. I welded a bushing on one end that would be for the forward control stick and also welded the doubler/strap to retain it.

Then I made a fixture to weld the aft bushing, which is 90 degrees to the forward one. I used the technique of making an end piece for the tube rather than flattening it as I did for the forward end.

Also started positioning of the mounts for the torque tube.
2017-02-04 Welded torque tube mounts Got the torque tube mounts welded. Also made the aileron control horn
2017-02-14 Rear seat aft mounts Got the pilot's seat rear supports done. I was not happy with the fit of the saddle which rests on the fuselage fame, so I cut the 5/8" tube and welded a 3/4" piece over it to redo the saddle. Seems to have turned out a bit better
2017-02-16 Rear landing gear/Front wing spar mount Began construction/installation of the rear landing gear/front wing spar mount. I devised a fixture to orient the wing spar mount bearing. Once that was welded in place, all the other components of the assembly will be welded to it
2017-02-25 rear landing gear/Front wing spar mount Fabricated and welded sides to front wing spar bearing and began fitting strap support
2017-02-26 located and mounted the rear landing gear bracket Located and welded the rear landing gear bracket. I used rods to get the mount parallel to the wing spar bearing.
2017-02-28 Positioned front landing gear mount Located the front landing gear mounts. I used rods extending from the rear landing gear/front wing spar mount to orient the mount property.
2017-03-01 Welded front landing gear mount Welded the front landing gear mounts
2017-03-03 Master cylinder mount, brake axles Fabricated and welded the master cylinder mount Also welded the front and back brake axles
2017-03-04 brake axle mounts Welded the brake axle mounts in place. I made a fixture out of plywood to locate them and hold them in place to tack them.
2017-03-05 Elevator pushrod idler Located and welded the elevator pushrod idler
2017-03-07 Began work on brake pushrods Started construction of the brake pushrods. I fabricated one end of the rod, and also got the bend made
2017-03-10 Brake pushrods continued Finished up the brake pushrods. I made a fixture to allow me to locate/weld the bushings so that they are parallel with each other.
2017-03-14 Brake master cylinders Wanted to check how everything was working with the brake master cylinders and pushrods, so I assembled everything. Works great.
2017-03-18 Floor board templates Decided to have a change of pace and put down the welding torch for a tad and made templates for the floor boards.
2017-03-21 Horizontal stabilizer leading edge Started building the horizontal stabilizer by fabricating the leading edge. I made a bending fixture to bend the tip.
2017-03-22 Frame up laid out the outer frame for one horizontal stabilizer half.
2017-03-23 Horizontal stabilizer ribs Fabricated the ribs for the HS. Bent the flanges on my Harbor Freight sheet metal bender. Got all the ribs and supports located and ready to weld. Just like building a model!
2017-03-26 Horizontal Stabilizer welded Welded up the first HS half and got started on the second half
2017-03-28 Second horizontal stabilizer half Set up the second HS half and am ready to weld
2017-04-02 Welded Second horizontal stabilizer half Completed welding HS half. Looking like airplane parts!
2017-04-04 Elevator trailing edge Bent the elevator training edges. Decided to go ahead and do both while I was on a roll.
2017-04-05 Trim tab Cut out the area where the trim tab goes.
2017-04-05 Welded second attempt at a trim tab Frame up and welded my second trim tab. What, you're only supposed to make one???! now you tell me....

Having looked at several biplanes at various fly-ins, I want to provide a land area for the covering of the trim tab. Didn't see this on the plans, but thought it would tidy things up back there.
2017-04-12 Hinge parts Fabricated all the parts for the hinges for the elevators as well as the rudder
2017-04-22 Elevator leading edge Prepared the leading edge tube for the elevator by heating and forming to fit with the thinner trailing edge tubing
2017-06-17 Elevator frame fit up Fitted the leading edge tube to the trailing edge for one elevator half
2017-06-23 Left elevator ready to weld Fabricated the elevator ribs and got everything laid out ready to weld
2017-07-05 Trim tab ready to weld Got the trim tab all set up and ready to weld. I had previously made the hinges for it as well.
2017-08-01 Trim tab welded Got the trim tab welded.
2017-08-05 Laid out the curve for the rudder Trailing edge Again using a scrap piece of spruce, I laid out the trailing edge of the rudder, This involved setting up a grid to get the curve correct.
2017-08-09 Rudder horn Fabricated the rudder horn. This part was not included in those that are set up for CAD fabrication
2017-08-12 tailwheel control horns Fabricated the tailwheel control horns
2017-08-22 Rudder trailing edge bent the rudder trailing edge to shape
2017-09-12 Rudder frame-up Started getting the rudder framed up
2017-09-15 Rudder frame-up completed Got the rudder all set to weld
2017-09-19 Rudder welded Completed rudder, minus the control horns
2017-09-26 trim tab hinges Drilled the holes for the trim tab hinges in the elevator
2017-09-30 trim tab hinges located and drilled the trim tab hinges. I located where I wanted the hinges to go, then marked where to drill the holes in them to match up with those that were drilled in the elevator. Basically I marked past where the hinge covered the elevator the position of the hole front to back....essentially in the center of the tube. Then transferred that onto the hinge tab. Drilled a pilot hols, then out to size for the bolt

2017-10-10 Trim tab control horn Located and welded the control horn for the trim tab
2017-10-13 Lower cabane Vee Began construction of the landing gear by starting the lower cabana vee. This needs to be constructed accurately so that it fits the forward landing gear mount. I will admit, it took me a couple tries
2017-10-17 Bending straps Need to bend the straps that will secure the bushings to the lower cabana vee so I made a bending jig
2017-10-24 lower cabane vee continued I needed to make a bevel at the ends of the tubes to accept the straps that hold the bushing in place, so I made a jig that would let me do so on my disk sander
2018-01-27 Lower cabane vee continued I welded the bushings/straps to the ends of the cabane tubes. Again, this needs to be done quite accurately. I placed the bushings/straps on the forward landing gear mount, and then clamped the straps to the beveled ends of the tubes. I then tacked them in place and then welded. Care needs to be taken that you weld very carefully, alternating where you are applying heat/welding so that there is no distortion. I was careless with my first attempt, resulting in a cabane that did not fit.
2018-01-30 Began construction of the tailwheel mount Moved on to the tailwheel mount. Made a template for the forward mount and cut the part from rectangular stock
2018-02-06 Tailwheel mount Fit all parts for the tailwheel mount and welded in place
2018-02-07 landing gear compression tube spring tool I have the tubes etc for the compression strut for the landing gear at a machine shop to cut the necessary slots and associated holes in various parts, so while I wait for that to get done, I made a compression spring tool
2018-02-10 rear tailwheel mount/ clamp Fabricated the rear tailwheel mount and strap parts. Welded the bushings to the strap
2018-02-23 cabane mounts Located the front cabane mounts. I made a jig to set the angle of the mounts at 123 degrees. I also made a bending jig to form the doublers around the 3/4" tubing for a nice fit.
2018-02-24 rear cabane mounts Finished up with the front cabane mounts and moved on to the rear ones. Got all the doublers for the mounts tacked.
2018-03-04 center section support Finished up building a center section support to use for construction of the cabanes. For things to be much easier, this structure needs to be dead nuts accurate in dimension. I really took time and effort to do so.
2018-03-16 Fuselage repositioning/center section support I've had the fuselage on a rotating stand since it was framed up, and now need it to be level and stable for constructing the cabanes. I've been using the construction table as a work bench, it sitting on two saw horses. Now, I have set the table on 4 cinderblocks so that it is lower, and makes getting at the top of the cabanes easier. It being floor joists with particle board over them, its solid as a rock. I'm really glad I stole that idea.....
2018-03-17 Center section support continued Next up was to set the center section in place. Since I know my support is accurate, this was actually pretty easy. I marked on the longeron the distance the center of the center section front spar was designed to be away from the front of the fuselage. I then transferred that up to the top of the center section support. A mark was made on the center section noting where the center of the front spar was. Line that up with the mark on the support and that component is satisfied.

Next, I made spacers to set the lateral position. Measure the width of the center section support. Subtracted this from the width of the center section. Then divide that by 2 and you have the distance from the outer edge of the center section support to the outer edge of the center section. I made 4 "L" shaped spacers at that length that I was able to clamp to the end rib of the center section. This positioned the center section accurately side to side as well as setting things perpendicular to the fuselage. I used plumb bob lines to check accuracy and everything was spot on.
2018-03-23 cabanes Started in with the cabanes. I got the lengths cut and fit the ends together, making the top fit into the cabane mount on the center section. I got the top of the front cabane all set and welded before I drilled for the mount at the bottom of the cabane. There is a bushing that needs to be welded in place on the cabane mounts at the fuselage. On the plans you will note that the bushing is drawn short of the cabane on one side. This is to allow you to slip the cabane in place. At least in my case, if that bushing made contact on both ends of it, I could not get the cabane to slip over them, taking ito account you have to fit the cabane over the angled mounts. Its a geometry thang....
2018-03-27 cabanes continued Got the bushing welded to the front cabane. Next I bent and welded in place a support on each end of the top of the cabane out of .05 to close off the end as well as support the bushing.
2018-03-28 cabanes continued Got the strap welded to the top of the front cabane. Also welded the bushing in the fuselage cabane mount. Made a drilling jig to drill the holes for the bottom cabane bolts.
2018-04-18 Left Forward Cabanes Got more progress done on the left forward cabane. Have it to the point where the support strap is welded to the top of the cabane and am now ready to secure the bottom of the forward cabane struts
2018-04-20 cabane bushings located and welded the left cabane bushings on the lower cabane mounts.
2018-04-29 Horizontal stabilizer mount fixture I decided to break down and buy a 7"x14" metal lathe from Grizzly. I have a friend that has a lathe at his business that I could use, but getting our schedules to sync and needing to turn something over a weekend makes it hard to make progress, so I ordered one. Of course, its back ordered, so here I sit. I need one to make the inserts for the rear cabanes, among other things, so I can't finish up the cabanes until it arrives.

So since I have the fuselage set on my lowered construction table that is all nice and level, I thought I would start in making the horizontal stabilizer mount.
2018-04-30 Horizontal stabilizer mount surpports Fit up the little supports for the horizontal stabilizer mount
2018-05-04 Horizontal stabilizer mount surpports Finalized the location and alignment of the hs mount and tacked in place,
2018-05-06 Positioning HS incidence Getting ready to position and weld the rear HS mount. Setting incidence to"0"
2018-05-08 Welded rear HS mount Got everything where I wanted it and welded the rear HS mount
2018-05-18 Center section forward flying wire mounts fabricated and welded the flying wire mounts for the Center section
2018-05-29 Cabane cunstruction Construction of the rear, adjustable cabanes. Made the tapered end for the threaded insert.
2018-06-02 Cabanes continued Fabricated and welded the bottom mount on the forward cabane for the rear cabane to mount to
2018-06-04 cabanes continued Got the bushing welded to the top of the rear cabane.
2018-06-05 cabanes continued Fabricated and welded the supports for the rear cabane bushing
2018-06-07 cabanes continued Welded the retaining strap for the top of the rear cabane