Log Entries

Project Location: TX US

Entry Date Summary Description
Entry Date Summary Description
2006-07-10 nav/strobe/postion lights I have formed and shaped part of the wood molds for the fiberglass light wingtips. The clear lenses you see that will be used are actually the front fender blinker lenses from a 58 VW bug as well.. I thought it would add to the character of the plane since it would be powered by a VW engine too.
2006-07-14 wing tips mold Placed plaster paris on the wooden wing tip forms. I had not realized until I was making up the plaster that I probably could have used dry wall compound as well.. and had a big box of that already.
2006-07-17 complete mold and formed rough fiberglass wingtips I sanded the plaster, and then applied finishing putty to fill in the minor imperfections and sanded again. I then applied several liberal coats of carnuba wax as a releasing agent. I did the left wingtip first using a single layer of fiberglass cloth and resin. I was very pleased with the results and how easily it released from the mold, but it was a little thin and flexible, so I would apply another coat of cloth and resin to stiffen it some. The photos show the second layer being applied to the left wingtip (right side and forward in pics), and both layers applied to the right wing tip and drying. You can also see the Meguire's Carnuba wax I used as a mold release agent. I decided to try to get by as inexpensively as possible, so I tried to use a the wax instead of purchasing a commercially made release agent for a single set of tips and running up the cost. I learned the hard way not to apply two layers of cloth and resin before removing it from the mold. I destroyed one of the molds trying to remove the double layered tip. Luckily the tip was good. I hope I wont need an extra any time soon! The tips now just need final finishing with some light filler and putty and then they will be ready for primer and the electronics.
2006-07-27 finish out right fiberglass wingtip Since I am not very good or experienced at bodywork or forming fiberglass, this step may be taking me a little longer that what others would do it in. Here you can see I have finished out the right wingtip with primer. It may get one more "smoothing" with some finishing putty and fine sand paper before complete. I have already gone over this one several times, clearing imperfections in each step to get to this primer phase. Once finished, the lower part of the lense contacting the fiberglass will be sealed with clear silicone and held down with a center screw since minimal maintainance will be required on these, but accessibility will still be available if needed.
2006-08-20 wing tip stobes added I rough finished the fiberglass wingtips and painted them white. They will probably need a final finishing before final paint is applied. My Led Strobes have arrived and have been installed. They only draw 400 ma each at 12 volts and are very lightweight. I plan to weigh my entire lighting system alone before installation. Since they have a very small current draw, they use small gauge wiring which will save additional ounces as well after all wiring has been run. They have a very small and lightweight circuit box enclosed in epoxy to protect from the elements. Each strobe uses 18 ultabright flat and square leds. They are normally used in emergency vehicles headlights. They are visible in the daylight, but not quite as bright as photo strobes. If I find they are not bright enough for my use, changing over to a conventional strobe can be done easily, but naturally at a higher weight and cost.
2006-08-28 design and prototype pos/nav circuit boards Using a pc electronics program, I designed and prototyped the position and nav light circuit boards. Each lighting system will have two small boards , they will be placed at right angles to each other, a base board and an upright board. Each of the boards will have their appropriate color leds configured to point in different directions to allow the lights to be seen well from the required angles. In the photo, you can see the "paper circuit boards" on the light fixture it self which shows the circuit traces and the component drawings as well. Below the light, you can see the paper circuit board designs along with their respective prototype boards below that, ready to solder the components to.
2006-08-30 soldered and installed red nav lights After completing the circuit boards, I then proceeded to start with the Red Nav light, as I had those leds on hand already. Both the upright board and the base board have a total of 21 ultrabright Red leds. They are directed in different angles once the board soldering was completed to be clearly visible from all angles. After initial testing, I realized the strobe would drown out the lighting of the leds because the circuit board was semi transparent, so I gave the circuit board a quick white paint job on both sides to enhance the led light reflection, and shield it from the strobe lighting as well.. It worked out very well. The leds lights are still very visible from all angles as well as the strobe. After fitting the finished circuit board, I decided to mount the board inside the lense using hot glue, instead of on the fiberglass wingtip base. I believe this method worked better, but can always be changed easily at a later time if it does not work out. Below are pics of the working light. Here is a link to a short video of the strobe and nav light working. strobe actually flashes 4 times a second, but video does not catch it that fast.
2006-09-21 complete left wing tip light I received my last shipment of parts for the lights. I soldered and epoxied together the white leds and mounted the completed and painted boards with hot glue in the lense as I did the nav lights. I am pleased with the results.. the white light are very bright.. and a more white shade than the strobe light... you can differentiate the colors well. Now need to get the right tip done.
2006-10-16 Soldered right wing tip circuit boards right position and nav circuit boards soldered and completed. I have decided to mount the circuit boards to the fiberglass with nylon screws instead of the hot glue, for a neater and more durable installation. Once the circuit boards are soldered, painted and mounted and tested ok. I completed the assembly with mounting the lense to the fiberglass case using a rubber washer and 1/4 x 2 1/2 carriage bolt instead of the hot glue as originally planned for ease of access should it be needed for maintaince. I used nylon lock nut to secure the bolt to elminate loosening due to vibration.
2006-12-16 complete Wing Tip Light Assembly Both wing tip light assemblies are complete with the exeption of drilling for mounting to the wing tips themselves and electrical connectors which I will wait until installation to complete. I am very pleased with the completed products. Tested for current draw, and all lights including led strobe lights draw between .41 and .52 amps. That is superbly low current draw that I will have to verify is correct.
2007-01-06 Arrangements made to Buy Plans #969 and Forming Blocks Finally, After almost of year waiting for the right deal. I was able to make a deal on a set of plans for sale by another builder that had bought an almost completed project much closer to finish. I had almost bought a few others in the past year, one I decided against as they were an early set of plans an many revisions had been made since, I wanted as latest issued as possible to be sure and have the most up to date information. I did find one set, but the seller never received my email, and sold to someone else first, so needless to say I am happy to finally have a set with every thing I was looking for. This set was released in approx July of 2006. They should be arriving in the next few weeks.
2007-01-23 I am officially owner of Sonex # 969 Well, when I arrived home from work, I had my big box from UPS waiting for me. I opened it up and found my Sonex Plans #969, Builders Manual, Flight Manual and my Form Blocks and lightening hole dies. I am officially the owner and builder of Sonex #969!

I did'nt have much free time this evening, but did get a quick chance to thumb through the Builders Manual and some of the Sonex Plans. I have been researching and absorbing everything I could find on this aircraft for the last year since deciding it was the aircraft I would build. I feel like I know it inside out already. The plans are definitely first rate from what I have seen and am excited about studying them and familiarizing myself with them in the weeks to come.

2007-02-06 First Metal Purchased Purchased Most of my Angle and Flat Stock today. Only a few small miscellaneous pieces not ordered as I can order small pieces closer to my needs from Spruce or wicks. Most of the stock I picked up today was in 25' lengths. I tied it to the side of my truck and drove slowly the few miles to my house. I am very happy to have a Local metal dealer so close to home. I should be able to start cutting angle tomorrow with luck. I am really looking forward to finally making some metal parts.
2007-02-07 Angle metal rough cut list I cut my first metal for my aircraft this evening. This is a monumental moment for me. I used the Sonex Cut list supplied in the Builders Manual and cross referenced it with the parts in the plans. I found I bought about 50ft extra of the 1x1 1/8 angle, but figured there would be a good chance I would butcher up something down the line would end up needing it anyway. There was a minor confusion regarding the upper and lower longeron lengths, but soon realized they were for the front of the fuselage and the longer stock was for the upper and lower longerons of the Aft fuselage.
2007-02-10 first parts angle parts made. Today was the first day I was able to put in and make parts. I started really small with the wing tie downs. and moved up to slightly larger parts on the same page, the vertical stiffners. while making the stiffners, I realized I would not be able to make long straight cuts on my band saw as I had originally thought as the blade tended to wander and make crooked lines. I had recently burned up the motor in my table saw, so I went out to Harbor Freight and bought a replacement for $99.00 along with the 18" metal brake for about $26. This is the first time I did not shop around and wait for a sale on my power tools because I was pressed to get them today. I was slow getting started and actually scrapped a few of the tie down parts when I started. Once I got the hang of it.. I was on my way laying out the parts, cutting, deburring and drilling them. It was very nice to have the full size drawings so I could match my parts to them and be sure they were made correctly.
2007-02-11 cut angle for the flap detent I cut the flap detent today. I had a little trouble cutting out the indents evenly. This is not a structural part, and I added the additional detent for 20 degrees flaps as well as the retainer tips to keep the flap handle from popping out accidentally while engaged.
2007-02-11 fuselage angle parts I made several fuselage angle parts today using 1x1x1/8 angle and working from the Xcel parts list that Eric made. It is very easy to reference the parts using that list.
2007-02-12 fueselage angle parts I continued working on the 1x1x1/8 angle parts today. These parts are getting a little longer as I progress. I did it this way to get more comfortable with the multiangular and compound cuts needed on the some of the ends... and good thing too, because I had a good "oops" today where the lines were laid out correctly on the metal, but was not paying attention on one of the cuts and cut it incorrectly. Not a big deal, I will just make a new part and will pay more attention in the future. I am just glad to see it happen on one of the smaller pieces.
2007-02-13 angle parts 1x1x1/8 I spent today working on Fuselage angle parts. I made left and right of each, forward angles, horizontal forward angles, and vertical rudder angles. There is even a picture of me thrown in there at the drill press. Notice the safety gear... very important!! You will see I used a mask as well.. I spend alot of time on the sander and it creates a very fine aluminum dust that was getting into my nose.... yuck.. so I feel the mask is an important part of my gear.
2007-02-15 fuselage angle parts today I worked on the horizontal crossbar and the lower forward longerons. I then broke a drill bit while drilling pilot holes and needed to buy more. So I ended the day early, bought the bits and a few other items, and flowers for the wife since it is Valentines day!
2007-02-19 upper forward longerons Well, I goofed one of the longerons.. I placed the slots in the right one instead of the left side. So I will be remaking that part. I then marked and placed the correct points on the left longeron. I have drilled the end of the slots, but have not finished them yet. I will hopefully get to that tomorrow. Once I have completed the left upper longeron to my satisfaction. I will then remake the right one.
2007-02-20 upper forward longerons Well, I completed the Left Upper Longeron, and remade the the Right upper longeron that I had placed the slots (left longeron only) in by mistake. I was feeling pretty good because the remake came out much nicer than the first one anyway. That goes for the slots in the Left too. I was feeling pretty good about myself having made some progress in completing them both, and moved on to the longer pieces. The rear upper and lower longerons. I trimmed one and final cut and it came out well. I then started the second one.. and mismeasured and cut it 6 mm too short... OPS... I shut it down for the day then.. and decided to start fresh tomorrow.. I am SO glad I bought the extra angle... I am needing it just as I thought I would.. Now what was that tip for the day again... OH, I know.. I know.. measure TWICE.. cut once, Measure TWICE, cut once... etc....
2007-02-21 Seat hinge angle I completed the Seat hinge angle(dont think that is the correct part name) and it was my last part using 1x1x1/8 angle on the list. It had a nice little 1/2 inch radius cut in it, but was not too tough to do. I used a wd40 cap to draw the radius onto the part. It just happened to be the right size.
2007-02-22 Forward Wing Attachment Angle Left This evening I started working on the 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 angle parts. Still working on the fuselage, I started with the longer pieces this time. They were the Forward Wing Attachement Angles. This part calls out a 86.1 degree angle, So it was the first part I had to close the radius on. Using 2x4 lumber in my bench vise, it was a fairly simple project. The left one was completed tonight, cut, pilot drilled and deburred.
2007-02-24 forward wing attach angles Well, today has been one of those oops days. I went into the shop in the afternoon to work for a while after a good day at work. I made the second of the forward wing attach angles.. the right one. It came out nice and not much drama there. Until I placed it together with the left one, and realized I had mismeasured the left ones pilot holes by about 5mm due to a measurement reading error on my part. Not wanting to have to completely remake the part, I have sent the photos to Kerry for his opinion to see if it is a go or no go, and have to remake the part. Second ooops for the day. I had just made an order today with McMaster Carr for new scotchbrite Abrasive belts, plus some scotchbrite hand pads kit. They will be shipped out on Monday. I had only ordered one to try it out and I ended up liking and using it very much.. so much so that I broke the only one I had today. So I will be missing it for the next few days.. But luckily the Mcmaster orders get here pretty quick. I will just make do without the best I can for a couple of days.
2007-02-25 Aft Wing Attach Angles Today I did the Aft Wing Attach Angles. These needed to be trimmed down on one side from 1 1/2" to 1" and partially on the remaining side. They also had to be widened in the Vice to 96.1 degrees. I use my table saw for ripping the angle down, and I learned to be very careful today when ripping small pieces off of 1/2" or less.. The blade will grab the thinner piece and pull it down into the saw... Extreme caution must be taken when stripping them down this way. I had it happen several times. Each time I just removed the bent down piece and continued my cut.
2007-02-26 End Wing Attach angles End Wing Attach Angles (2) were completed tonight and were fairly easy and uneventful. They are the smaller parts on the left. The prints only show one, but the Xcel list I am working from showed 2, which I am sure each wing takes one, so I went ahead and manufactured them both. There was no left or right designation for them so I made two the same. I then made the Forward Wing Attach angles as well.. Neither one of these parts tonight required any drilling.
2007-02-27 angle fittings and attach angles Completed 2 pairs of parts today. They were small parts but another step closer to getting there! They were the Left/Right hand Attach angles and the end angle fittings. I had to remake the left attach angle due to incorrect layout and pilot drilling. The angles on the ends are not the same.. they are different and I had forgotten they were not even. All parts made today still need final polishing but still awaiting scotchbrite order.
2007-02-28 pivot attach angle Today was a big day for me! I completed my introductory flight this morning. After not having been in a small plane in over 15 years, and then it was only once in an experimental aircraft. A Protech when I was thinking about building back then. I felt right at home in the plane from rotation on through flight. I was comfortable having been studying my Sporty's flight school DVDs for the last few weeks. Jacob, my instructor landed the plane in a mild crosswind, and did an excellent job. He is a good and knowlegable instructor, even though he is young. He has the job I wish I would have had at his age. I gave the instructors my builders log address. Maybe they will check it out.

As far as building plane parts, My scotchbrite order arrived, so I spent most of the time polishing the parts I had done since the weekend. The hand scotchbrite pads are very handy and do a good job. I made one new finished part today. It is the pivot attach angle. It was an interesting part to make, and was noneventful. It is the base pivot for the handbrake handle, so it is a small part with a big job.
2007-03-04 crossbar, canopy hook, latch and lock Today I started in the 2x2 x 1/8 angle parts. I completed the upper cross bar and the canopy hook. That was a detailed part to make and took me quite a bit of time to complete. After completing the hook. I saw two other smaller parts on the same page. The canopy latch and the canopy lock. I went ahead and made both of those parts from the scrap I had cut off of the hook. The canopy lock was actually the first part on the plane I have clecoed together. Another first of many of the build process.
2007-03-04 seat belt attach angles Today I completed the left and right seat belt attach angles. There is plenty of cutting and shaping to do on thes parts. It is actually starting to look like an airplane now!
2007-03-04 Root Wing Attach angles These parts require that the angle be opened to 93.6 degrees. I am using my protractor to demostrate the closeness of the angle, as they turned out right on the money. I then layed out the cuts on stock, but didnt get a chance to cut them out other than ripping them down to 21/32 on one side of each piece.
2007-03-07 Root Rib Attach Angles Today I completed the 02 Root Rib Attach angles that were opened to 93.6 degrees. I also completed the rough stock cuts for the 03 Root Rib Attach angles that were closed to 86.1 degrees.
2007-03-11 root rib attach angles root rib attach angles completed
2007-03-14 upper and lower bell crank angles completed upper and lower bell crank angles tonight. I had a shop accident and a learning experience. While trimming one of the parts on the table saw, the part exploded and blew shrapnel all over me. I was hit in the upper lip (even though I had a full face shield on, on the stomach, right palm, right foreare and upper arm. All cuts were minor and only required minor first aid. Lesson number one: be sure and wear safety glasses even with a full face shield for extra protection. Lesson number 2, Wear a long sleeve denim shirt while working in the shop, no short sleeve tshirts as they do no afford you any protection from flying debris.
2007-03-16 right hand rudder pedal mount angle When I looked at this part on the prints, it looks more difficult than it really is. After taking a break from finishing up the root rib attach angles, I studied it again. I misdrilled two blanks before drilling correctly for the slot it has. Once I drilled correctly on the third blank, the rest of the work on the part went very smoothly with no complications. It looks just like a factory made part. I will complete the other one tomorrow.
2007-03-20 rudder pedal attach angles I completed the left rudder pedal attach angle today. I had to cut down more 2x2 angle after a few botched attempts on the right one, so this one took me a little longer to complete.
2007-03-22 miscellaneous Fuse parts Today I made a variety of miscellaneous parts for the Aft Fuse, including one of the 1x1 angle parts I had somehow missed previously.
2007-03-24 miscellaneous tail parts Today I made a variety of miscellaneous Tail Parts and finished up the 2x2 angle parts. I will now begin fabricating the 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 angle parts from here on. Once I have completed those several parts, I will almost be complete of the angle stock parts except for a few of the thicker 3/16 ones.
2007-03-31 cross member support and remake slotted left upper longeron After completing the crossmember, I started to transfer my completed parts into a plastic bin from the styrofoam box I had been using. That is when I realized that my canopy latch, did not match the slotted left upper longeron slots. There was about 5 inches difference in the fit of both parts. After researching both parts, I realized the error was in the measurement of the slots of the longeron, and not the latch. I remade the upper longeron with some spare 1x1 material I had. This was the third time of producing this part because of errors. I could have probably reslotted the old one, but since this is a very visible part, I want it to look good as well.
2007-03-31 left hand lower motor mount I completed the Left Hand Lower Motor Mount today. It was a fairly detailed part to complete.
2007-04-01 Motor Mounts and flap brackets Today I had a productive day in the shop. I completed the Upper and Lower Motor Mounts, the Flap Mount Brackets and a few miscellaneous spacers and pieces that were on the same page.
2007-04-02 F16 -06R -06L F10-05R-05L I completed the last few pieces of Angle metal today with the exception of the Horizontal Stab spars which I will be picking up the material later this week.
2007-04-04 Flap Handle and Rudder adjustments today I started working on the bar stock as I have finished all of the angle parts already with the exception of the Horizontal Stab spars. I went ahead and made a few familiar parts. The rudder adjustment and the Flap Handle. pretty easy stuff compared to some of the parts I had been making. Even so, I had to remake one of the rudder adjustments as I drilled one of the holes off center. It may have been ok.. but I felt better making a simple part RIGHT to plans
2007-04-09 main spar tail today I worked on my first piece of 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 3/16 stock. I made the TO3-02 Main Spar. I wanted to make sure I did it correctly and with precision, so I took it really slow and made my rough cuts a little extra wide. I am happy with the out come and happy to say no goofs on this piece or marginal work either. It came out very nice.
2007-04-15 Horizontal Stab Main Spar Remake After seeing the finished T06-03 Main Spar finished, I was not happy with a few nicks I had place in the slot radius from cutting too far with the Table Saw. I had plenty of Material so I decided to remake the part even if it did take me another five hours to do it. After all, This was a structurally important part, and the reason I wanted to build my own aircraft is so I would be sure it was built with HIGH QUALITY Parts and workmanship. So I have remade the part and am pleased with the turnout of the second one.
2007-04-15 Miscellaneous Tail Spar Photos Here are a few Additional Photos taken of the Tail Spar
2008-02-07 F03-03 First time back to work on the plane in 10 months after one move and remodeling two homes. I am just now getting the new work shop back in order to fabricate small parts. It feels good to be working on it again. fabricated part of F03-03 tonight.
2008-02-20 F16-07 Shear Plate Fabricated F16-07 shear plate tonight. My 11 yr old grand daughter Marizza wanted to start helping me build my plane, and has taken a big interest in it. I had her make the templates by tracing them from the plans to cut out the parts. I also showed her how to use a die grinder with a polishing pad to polish the parts. She does very good work!
2008-02-21 F07-06 Cross tie attach plate Fabricated F07-06. Tonight, my 11 year old Grand Daughter Marizza says we are going to name the workshop "Rizza Airworks and Company". I guess I am the and company part;)
2008-02-26 Left & Right dash panel brackets, and some gussetts I am working in the .090 metal parts now, and made patterns for several parts and started rough cutting them out. F07-07L & R Left and Right dash brackets were rough cut, I made one finish gusset of 12 for a template, and a finished a couple of F10-24 gussetts.
2008-02-29 F14-10 Gussets I finished rough cutting, pilot drilling and polishing all 12 gussets using the first one I made as a template. It turned out to be a little easier than I thought it would.
2008-03-04 F07-11 L left corner plate left and F10-25 Gusset spacers completed the F07-11L corner plate left and F10-25 gusset spacers tonight
2008-03-05 F15-06 flap access doubler I completed the Flap Access Doublers today... These were a difficult part for me as I had to finish the inside by hand file and that took me a while.
2008-03-06 Buffet of parts completed today Completed F15-09, Upper Gear gusset Plate x2, F15-10 x 2 upper gear gusset, F15-11 x 2 Seat Belt Attach Gusset Plate, F15-08 x2 Spacer Plate, F22-07x2 Spacer
2008-03-11 W04-04 Aileron Drive Plate Fabricated W04-04 Aileron Drive Plate X2. Drew full size pattern for the W04-07 Counter Balance Plate.
2008-03-12 W04-07 Counter Balance Plate Fabricated 4 W04-07 Counter Balance Plates. I was unhappy with the first one as I had cut the rough blank a little bit too small because when my band saw blade gets hot while cutting, it drips melted wax onto the part and paper pattern obscuring my cut lines with a black mess. So I have started trying to cut a little slower so as not to heat the blade up too much.
2008-03-13 F08-09 Trim Lever Fabricated and bent the Trim Lever F08-09, I decided to go with the Trim lever first and then if unhappy with performance after flying for a while, I always have the option of changing to the Sonex Trim Knob or maybe even electric trim.
2008-03-14 F20-08, F20-09LR, F23-08 I was able to get several parts completed this evening. First I fabricated the F20-08 Splice Plate, then F20-09 Left and Right Hand Attach Plates.
2008-03-14 F23-08 Fitting I finished the evening off with F23-08 Left and Right. You can see the 10 degree bend it has in the photo.
2008-03-29 L05-06 , T09-03, T12-02 Fabricated L05-06 Stop Plate, T09-03 Spacer and T 12-03 Spar Forward Strap.
2008-03-29 W06-04 X2 Flap Drive Plate
2008-03-30 W13-04, W14-02 Fabricated W13-04 x2 and W14-02L x 10.
2008-03-31 F26-08 Rudder Stop Plate Fabricated 2 Rudder Stop plates F26-08
2008-10-28 W21-11 Aileron Bell Crank Plate After 7 months of not working on the plane due to house repairs, work, family, hurricaine Ike, etc.... I am finally back to making parts and feel good about getting back to it. Tonight I started on easy parts to try and get back into the swing of it again. I started with W2-11 Aileron Bell Crank Plate. With this being made of .125 thick plate aluminum, it took me a while to fabricate as I had to do quite a bit of grinding on it.
2008-10-28 spacer block and Idler plate I am now working on the .190, the thickest of the aluminum plate material. The first part was simple, a spacer block, F10-20, but it was tough cutting and grinding to shape. The next part was a slightly more difficult but came out well. It was the F10-22 Idler Plate. I find myself spending a little more time than before reaquainting myself with the plans and drawings again due to being away from the project for a while.
2008-10-29 Main Spar Aft Strap & Forward Attach fitting Well today I was reminded again how dangerous that table saw is again when it kicks back plate aluminum. While cutting 3/16 plate, it kicked a big 12x12 square of it back into my stomach and sent it flying several feet away. It split my forefinger nail in half down the middle, and left a good bloody spot right above my navel. Lucky me it was thick metal, so it did not cut right into me like thin metal may have. But I am sure I will be feeling the soreness for a while to remind me.

Now for the progress, today I fabbed a couple of thick tail pieces. T12-01, Main Spar Aft Strap, and T12-07, The familiar Forward Attach Fitting. I had to put a 35 degree bend into it, and my big orange dead blow hammer was not doing it, so I clamped it down to the work table, and clamped 2 1x4s to bend it.. it worked well, even moreso easy.

These thick metal pieces are a slow process to make them.
2008-10-29 F26-04R Splice plate This one took me a while to cut down and deburr.
2008-11-10 F26-04L & 04R Upper Horizontal splice plate F26 -04L and 04R Upper Horizontal Splice Plate
2008-11-17 F26-06L &06R Lower Horizontal splice Plate F26-06L & 06R Lower Horizontal Splice Plate
2008-11-24 F26-07L & 07R Lower vertical splice Plate F26-07L & 07R Lower Vertical Splice Plate
2008-11-25 F26-05L & 05R Right & Left Hand Upper Vertical Splice Plate F26-05L & 05R Right & Left Hand Upper Vertical Splice Plate. These parts were pretty simple and straight forward to make. They were good parts to warm up with today.
2008-11-25 L05-05 Brake Handle L05-05 Brake Handle. This was a fun part to make. Pretty simple as it is made from bar stock, and I even molded my finger grooves into it. There are a couple of pics to show the bending of the 3/16 bar stock to the proper 25 degrees offset. Bending was a pretty easy task with my orange dead blow hammer seen in the back ground. A couple of quick blows and it started to bend right into shape.
2009-01-13 W13-01R Right Hand Attach plate completed W13-01R Right Hand Attach plate
2009-01-14 W13-01L Left Hand Attach Plate W13-01L Left Hand Attach Plate
2009-01-17 T12-07 Forward Spar Fitting (remake) I was unhappy with the way the first Forward Spar Fitting came out as it had some damage from my table saw that was too deep to get out, so I remade the part.
2009-01-17 T13-03 Drive Horn T13-03 Drive Horn
2009-03-07 W13-01L Left Hand Attach plate completed W13-01L Left Hand Attach Plate
2009-03-07 W12-04L -04R splice Plate W12-04L and -04R splice plate
2009-03-07 T12-06 Clip T12-06 Clip
2009-03-08 T12-09 Clips completed 2 T12-09 Clips
2009-03-08 F15-05 rudder Pedal Support angle L & R completed Left and Right rudder Pedal Support angles.
2009-03-14 W15-05 Forward Ribs Tonight I layed out the parts on the .025 Sheet metal. I roughly layed out the the blanks as well as the larger parts as Sonex Suggests on the parts layout diagrams.
2009-03-19 W15-05 Forward Ribs I have experienced some difficulty using a template and a router to cut out the rib blanks. I have gone through 2 router bits and destroyed them with melted aluminum and have had to remake the templates several times due to router damage on them. These were becoming more difficult and time consuming than I was expecting.
2009-03-25 W15-05 Forward Rib made by Rizza My Grand daughter Rizza was down to visit me for a few days, and she had the opportunity to make her first Rib. I showed her how to do one by example and she did the second on her own. Unfortunately they were getting ready to leave so she did'nt have time to do anymore. I hope she will be back down this summer to help some more with the plane. I think it is good for her to see how the plane comes together, plus she enjoys working on it too.
2009-03-29 W15-05 Forward Ribs complete Finally I have completed all 26 of the W15-05 Forward Wing Ribs. Those proved to be more difficult and time consuming than I had anticipated they would. With a total time of approximately 30.5 hours expended on it.
2009-03-30 W15-07 Gussets I fabricated the cardboard templates to make the W15-07 Gussets that go on the lower inside corner to reinforce the Forward Ribs against the Spar. I laid them out and cut them out of scrap metal with my snips. I then taped them all together and drilled the pilot holes all at once and then marked and bent them on my 18" harbor freight brake. I tried to bend a couple with my hand seamers but liked the results of the brake better. I was able to layout, cut, drill, and bend them this evening. I became so involved in the process that I made about 14 instead of only the 8 required. So I guess I will have a few extra.
2009-04-01 Reading Plans and layout .032 Today I spent a surprising amount of time on prep work and studying alone. A complete 2.5 hours just laying out a sheet of .032 Sheet metal for cutting according to the Sonex Reccommended layout and studying the plans in detail as I am getting ready to complete fabrication of the parts for the tail and start assembly of the vertical Stab. I am starting to get just a tad nervous at this point as I have really not had to worry about assembly, only the parts fabrication. I also need to make the formed channel and angle required, so I get to do some bending on the homemade brake.
2009-04-02 Z03 Channel and Z02 Angle Cut and bent the Z03 Channel and the Z02 Angle from the .032 sheet metal. This is the first .032 I have bent and am impressed at how difficult it is to bend compared to the .025 metal. I can see now how it makes a good strong part when formed and assembled. Here are a few pictures of the bending process on the homemade sheetmetal brake ala Dave Clay.
2009-04-04 Tail parts fabrication and assembly I was able to put in a good long day of work on the plane today. 10 hours total. I accomplished alot and am very pleased with the progress. I finished making the channnel and angle parts, as well as made the forms for the tip and leading edge ribs as well as fabricated those parts T10-08, Leading edge tip, T10-04 Vertical Tip Rib, T10-01 Root Rib, T10-02 Rib #2, T10-03 Rib #3, T12-03 Upper Spar Channel, T12-10 Clip, T09-03 Spacer (I know I already made the spacer but could not locate it, so I remade it.
2009-04-04 T09-02 Forward Spar Assembly Today was a very productive day, not only did I get to make many parts, but I started assembly of the Vertical tail as well. I completed the initial drilling and assembly of the Forward Spar Assembly. There were a few parts I had to dig up as I fabricated them a good while back.
2009-04-05 T09-01 Main Spar Assembly Tonight I completed the Main Spar Assembly up to the clecoed final cleco stage.
2009-04-11 T11-01 Vertical Stab Skin and assembly Now this part has been a tough one for me. I am already on Skin #3 and not really sure yet if this one will fly or not even though I have gotten to the final fitting and clecoed stage on it. The first skin, I misread a measurement, and several hours into the the skin fabrication and layout, I realized while layingt out the drill holes, that I had mismeasured it two inches too short... the second Stab skin was going well, and I traced the lines of the Spar skeleton into the inside of the skin and it looked like some of the layout lines were not going to line up correctly with the skeleton. So, I adjusted some of the lines to fall onto the ribs and once it was bent and pilot drilled and layed over the skeleton, guess what... the original lines would have been right on... That is what I get for trying to think too far ahead. Now I am on skin #3, It is bent, drilled and final clecoed on, but awaiting final word from Sonex on a minor problem I had. Two holes missed the ribs, and so I redrilled them correctly, but the holes are very close together... So I am waiting for the reply to see if I need to remake the skin again. At least now I can layout the skin and cut, trim, deburr and bend in no time flat.. practice makes perfect.!
2009-04-12 T10-06 Vertical Stab Hinge This was a fairly easy job compared to what I thought it would be. I dont know why I thought it would be more difficult than it was to install the first half of the hinge. Maybe I will find out just how hard when I have to do the rudder hinge part though. We will see.
2009-04-13 Vertical Stab I have the Vertical Stab Assembled, updrilled and clecoed. Now comes the complete disassembly to deburr, prime and reassemble.
2009-04-19 Restart Vertical Stab After completing my vertical stab to the second cleco stage, I was unhappy with some minor errors I had done during the drilling stage, in addition, I had built a little bit of a twist noticeable when looking at the leading edge. So I decided to rebuild a new vertical stabilizer from scratch.. and keep the old one as a conversation piece. So I am now buying some more .190 plate and some more sheet metal to replace that used on the "practice stab". Remaking parts today, T-12-05 Angle, T12-10 clip, T12-09 Clip, T12-06 clip, T12-02 Mains spar Forward Strap, Z03-02 channel
2009-04-29 Rebuilding Vertical Stabilizer Have been working on Rebuilding and assembling of the Vertical Stabilizer #2 the last 10 days, a little each day in the evenings. I am making good progress and pleased with the results so far.

2009-05-09 Vertical Stab Deburr, Prime and reassemble Getting close to finishing the Vertical Stab #2.
2009-05-10 Vertical Stab #2 Completed Today was the day I completed the Vertical Stab #2. I still made a few minor drilling errors, but nothing to be concerned about other than cosmetic. There is no twist in my leading edge either. It is nice and straight, and a good feeling of accomplishment for this part.
2009-05-11 Rudder Skin T13-01 I bent the rudder skin on my home made bending brake and was impressed at how nice and straight the bends come out.
2009-05-12 Rudder Assembly T13-05 made the Aft rib, rudder horn assembly, Rib 02 03, and began assembly of rudder. I didnt really like the way the bends came out. It seems I bent on an incorrect line and the rear corner where the hinge attaches was about 1/2 off. When I rebent the skin, you could tell where the previous bend was. So after intial assembly, I decided to call this one a practice part, and am going to remake the rudder assembly less the horn assembly.
2009-05-13 Remake Rudder assembly Starting to refabricate the skin for new rudder assembly.
2009-05-17 Remake rudder assembly first assembly completed and clecoed. Hinge attached and ready to begine updrill to #30.
Applying self etching primer to inside of skin at contact points and rib flanges, and back of hinge where it contacts skin.
2009-05-18 Rudder #2 completed Completed the remake rudder assembly and am pleased with the way it turned out. The skin bent just right and all cuts for the rudder horn were correct. See, Practice does make perfect! well I wont say perfect, but at least better!
2009-05-23 Z02-04 Horizontal Stab Ribs Began work today on the horizontal Stab. The main spar and forward Spars were already made when I did the Angle parts. I will be making the spar channels today, as well as the ribs for the Horizontal tail from Z02-04 Channel Stock.
2009-05-28 Main and Forward Spar Channel Fabricated the Main and Forward Spar channels. 2 of each. T03-04 and T03-06.
2009-05-29 Main Spar Assembly worked on the main spar assembly, T03-01. All Channels and parts were made from scratch. Centerlines marked and intial drill and clecoed.
2009-05-30 Horizontal Stab frame assembly I worked on assembling the Horizontal Stab Frame. I made sure and marked my lines on my work bench and anchored the two spars to the table with wooden blocks so I would be sure and have a nice flat, straight and square frame assembly to work on.
2009-05-31 Horizontal Stab Frame updrill Updrilled the assembled Horizontal Stab Frame assembly.
2009-06-04 Horizontal Stab Skin #1 and #2 no photos Made the first of two Horizontal stab skins.
2009-09-16 First Polishing of Rudder After being away from my project most of the summer because of heat and other life things getting in the way, I am back in the shop today after reorganizing and cleaning it up in preparation of starting to work on the project again. I recently purchased the Nuvite polish from Sonex, along with the wool cutting bonnets from Nuvite, and the polisher from Harbor Freight and I am eager to get started to see what my polishing future holds in store for me. I struggled for the first 30 to 45 minutes to get a decent shine because I was too worried about putting too much polish on the metal and creating more work for myself, that I was not putting on enough polish to cut and do the job correctly. Once I begin to put a little heavier dabs with my finger, I realized how much quicker it was cutting to a shine. I am only using the F9 grade at this point, and I did about 4 passes with the polish to get the shine. I was able to read the nuvite jar in the reflection just as Kerry states in the EAA polishing video clip, but there are still fine scratches that will need to be worked out with more passes, and the finer grades. But overall, it was exciting to see the difference the metal takes as it takes on the shine. It gives the metal a completely different look.
2009-09-17 initial polish on rudder This is a continuation of the previous first polish post to show a few more pictures.
2009-09-23 Vertical Stab Polishing After finishing the initial polish on the rudder (final will be done just prior to final assembly). I started on the Vertical Stab today. Curious now with a bigger surface to polish, and a little more know how under my belt how it would come out. It went smooth just as I imagined, and realizing how much I enjoy polishing the metal (on the bench). It also could be the great cool weather we are having that puts me in a great mood could be helping as well.
2009-11-22 Horizontal Stablizer Today, I picked back up on my project after not touching for almost 2 months. I recently got my first ride in the Sonex,thanks to Robert Barber and his Jab 3300 Sonex and have renewed ambition once again. I spent quite a bit of time figuring out what I left off on regarding the horizontal stab. Once I gave it a good going over, I completed the drill layout on the skins, I fitted and drilled the skins and elevator hinge, and then updrilled. It is now ready to be disassembled and deburred before final assembly and riveting. It is good to be working on the plane again.
2009-11-27 horizontal tail polishing I performed the Preliminary polish on the horizontal tail skins before assembly.
2009-12-11 Horizontal Stab Assembly Unfortunately due to a Computer crash, I have lost many of my pictures from Novembere to date. So these will be abbreviated to reflect the hours and what few pictures I did not loose. Completed Horizontal Stabilizer deburr and riveting. I also polished skins before final assembly.
2009-12-24 Elevators Over the course of 10 days, I have fabricated the elevator skins, the elevator ribs, assembled and pilot drilled, deburred, polished and completed assembly to the horizontal stabilizer.
2009-12-28 Fiberglass Tail tip forms I used Blue Styrofoam to mold the Horizontal tip forms. I made four blanks the rough width of the shape I needed and glued them together in a stack. I then used a file to rough shape the foam blank into the shape of the tip I wanted and covered it with clear packing tape so the fiberglass matting would not stick to the form and release well.
2010-01-03 Horizontal Fiberglass Tips I have most of one tip completed and sanded after several applications of filler with primer on and only minor filling and finish sanding completed. I am working on the second tip now. With preliminary fiberglass and filler applied. There are still several more thin coats of filler before I have a shape I am happy with.
2010-01-13 Berry Coppage visit Fellow Sonex builder Berry Coppage and a friend came to visit me today. I showed them my progress on my project so far which is the finished Horizontal and Vertical Stab with rudder and elevators complete except for the fiberglass tips which are in progress. We discussed the elevator movement and clearances and also making the tips. We also discussed the sheet metal bending of the elevator and rudder skins on the David Clay brake.
2010-02-07 slip/skid ball After seeing a great article in EAA Sport Aviation on making your own slip skid ball. I decided to make one myself and get a break from all of the sanding and finishing I have doing on the Fiberglass tail tips lately. There are not very many parts to purchase, and dont cost much either, but they are difficult to locate and it took me several trips to the Hardware stores, Lowes and a few specialty stores before I was able to locate all of the parts to make them. Once I had located all of the parts, I had enough materials to make many kits. I made some adjustments to some of the parts called out for in the article. I used bigger ball bearings, and bigger tubing as the ball is easier to see. I also used rubber expandable corks on the tube ends to make a nice neat and leak proof seal. Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of the instrument and it was considerably less expensive than the $40 to $90 currently available. It really fit my bill of being a scratchbuilder to make this myself.

If you want to build your own, Until my parts supply is depleted, I can furnish you a kit with all of the parts and save you the time and gas of trying to locate the parts in different places as I had to do and still get it built yourself for a lot less than a purchased one. Just shoot me an email through this log guest list or to vicdelgado9@yahoo.com

Thank you all for your orders, my inventory of parts has been depleted.
2010-05-06 Vertical Stabilizer Home made Tip fabrication WooHoo! I have been working on the fiberglass stabilizer tips what seems like an eternity (actually several months). Actually I made it worse, or should I say longer, as I would go out, sand a little, apply more filler, and leave it to dry for a day or two.. sand some more... apply more filler, and leave it to dry.. I did most of the sanding by hand so that took much, much longer, I would also try to remove as much filler as possible in an attempt to make the tips as light as possible, and that meant more work and time as well. Overall, I am pleased with the way they turned out, especially the Vertical tip, after having practiced and improving my technique with both horizontal tips. One thing I discovered on my Vertical stab was I left a little more than an eighth inch of skin over the tip rib, and this allowed me to tuck the fiberglass inside the skin, without actually having to squeeze in between the skin and rib, which was just to difficult for me to get done. I also riveted another rib upside down to the outside of the stab rib, and screwed my fiberglass tip to that using stainless steel screws. I will be starting on my spars next. It will sure be good to be back to working on metal instead of fiberglass and bondo.
2010-05-06 Vertical Stabilizer Fiberglass Tips fabrication Here are a few additional photos of the Home Made Fiberglass tips and fit.
2010-05-14 Finished Horizontal Stablizer/Tips/Elevator The homemade fiberglass tips have been painted and installed. The Horizontal Stabilizer is complete and ready to install to the fuselage. (after I build it that is ) The Tail may still be repainted witha accent paint once the plane is complete and has been flight tested.
2010-05-14 Vertical Stab Complete The Vertical Stab is complete, painted and ready for installation. For now it will be wrapped in storage awaiting the fuselage to be built for installation. The white color painted on the tips is most likely temporary as accent paint will be applied once flight testing has been completed.
2010-05-15 Aft Wing Rib blanks I rough cut the Aft Wing Rib Blanks and started routering with the template. I ran into problems and the router gouged the template. I will have to remake it and try again. I had the same type of difficulty while making the forward ribs.
2010-07-10 New design Led Position Nav lights I am now working on a new "encapsulated" design for my position navigation lights. They will be leds encased in acrylic. They will be smaller and lighter than the ones I made previously using the VW lenses.
2010-09-01 Compiling 4130 Steel order I have recently just purchased my Gas Welding kit, and will be welding my own controls. I have worked through the plans putting together my order of 4130 Steel tubing, square tubing and plate. I will not be welding my motor mount, but purchasing that instead.
2010-09-18 Inventory 4130 Steel Material I have received my order of 4130 Steel from Aircraft spruce and am inventorying it. It sure seems like less than what it looks like on paper.
2010-09-20 Cutting Main Spar Web blanks While cutting the Main Web Spar Blanks. These are the most crucial in the spar and must be laid out correct as all of the other layered parts are marked from these. Unfornately even though I measured twice and cut once.. I made a mistake on the layout. I will take the advice of several other scratch builders that have told me to order one from Sonex and use it as a template to make the other.
2010-09-21 Corvair Engine Cores Today was an exciting day for me, and a big one for my project as well. I went and purchased 2 Corvair engine cores from my Buddy and fellow Builder Berry, who had decided against using the Corvair on his project. I am really happy he offered them to me as I was not having much luck locating one on my own. After purchasing William Wynne's Corvair Conversion manual, I have been doing alot of research and studying on what it will take to Convert my Stock Corvair to a 120 hp Aero Conversion.
2010-09-22 Main Spar Web Cut and Layout I spent sometime today cutting and laying out the second Main Spar blank and decided after noticing the error in layout, I will order the premade blank from Sonex to make the layout and job easier and more precise.
2010-09-26 Cleaning Engine Parts I spent today inventorying the disassembled engined. I degreased and cleaned the push rod tubes, and the oil pump housing.
2010-09-27 clean, degrease and paint Cleaned and degreased The Valve Covers, Finished the Push Rod tubes and prepped for paint, cleaned and degreased the Harmonic balancer, and the cylinder cooling tins and then painted them all fire engine red.
2010-10-15 New Led Position Lights Design! I have been working on a new Led Navigation /Strobe lights design. I am very pleased at how they came out. I believe there is a need for a good kit that homebuilders can assemble themselves for Sonex and other aircraft, so I am working on getting a good affordable kit to market. Check out my new website for LED Aero Kit lites... KitLites.com
2010-11-21 Latest LED Light designs and welcome KitLites.com Here is the latest LED position lights I have made. I am beginning to fine tune the design and making it a more efficient, lighter and aerodynamic design while still looking good and providing excellent lighting qualities. This design uses the latest led technology. a combination of Superflux LEDs and How Powered LED anticollision lights and Strobes that rival many of the designs on the market at a fraction of the cost for these kits that will be available through KitLites.com . My New Webstore for Experimental Aircraft Builders.
2010-12-15 Lift Reserve Indicator I constructed the first part of my Lift Reserve Indicator which was the gauge. I will use an Air Craft Spruce Pitot tube for my sensor mounted to the opposite wing of the pitot tube.
2011-01-15 Drill/Layout Main Spar Web After almost 2 months of not working on my project, I finally got in there today, cleaned off my workbench of all of the kitlites stuff, and unrolled my spar web blank, and the one I purchased from the factory. I used it as a template, and laid out and drilled all of the holes within 2 hours. This web has ALOT of holes, and it would have taken me forever to layout accurately and drill them out. By using a factory predrilled web, it made the job very simple.
2011-01-15 Spar Webs This entry represents time worked from 1/15/2011 to 1/15/2012 for a total of 74.25 housrs working on the Spar Webs. Purchased one from Sonex and used as a drill template for completing the second.
2012-02-16 Visit from Jerry and Bernardo. Today, I received a visit from my friends and fellow builders Jerry and Bernardo. Jerry is building a Waiex with Jab 3300 and Bernardo is building a Lightening also with Jabiru 3300. During the visit, and discussing my dimpling the spar skins, it was decided that I needed to dimple them deeper. So that was the next thing on the list to do.
2012-02-16 Visit from Jerry and Bernardo. Today, I received a visit from my friends and fellow builders Jerry and Bernardo. Jerry is building a Waiex with Jab 3300 and Bernardo is building a Lightening also with Jabiru 3300. During the visit, and discussing my dimpling the spar skins, it was decided that I needed to dimple them deeper. So that was the next thing on the list to do.
2012-02-22 Redimple Spar skins After a visit from fellow aircraft builders Bernardo and Jerry, we discussed the dimpling on the spar skins and it not being deep enough. So the decision was made to redimple the skins deeper.
2012-03-10 Attended Corvair College #22 in Georgetown, TX I had a great time and learned quite a bit at Corvair College #22. It was hosted by Kevin and Shellie, and they did a wonderful job of hosting it. Great food, Great organization, and great hanger! William did a great job of helping us out, and spreading his enthusiasm for the Corvair movement. I look forward to getting my engine completed soon. It will be a 3.0 liter engine. William took my Engine case back with him to Florida so he could bore out for larger cylinders. I am looking forward to getting some progress done on my engine at the next Corvair College! Oh, We had 3 engines get run on the test stand over the weekend also! Great success and adrenalin pumper!
2012-03-12 modify starter and oil pump housing. Today, after having gone to CC#22, and learning a few new things, I modified the Starter housing to mount and also drilled out the oil pump case for higher output oil pump as mentioned by William.
2012-03-18 Rivet Spars This entry represents work from 3/18/2012 to 3/24/2012 for a total of 9.25 hours. With the loan of the Hydraulic C Press, I began the riveting on the Spar Webs with the standard round headed rivets. Once the Press was set for the correct thickness of the squeeze, it was a very easy process to squeeze the rivets to correct shop head thickness.
2013-05-22 Flush Rivet main spars After over a year of not working on my project due to working out of state and other obligations, I am now back. This entry represents time worked from 5/22/13 to 5/29/13 for 13.25 hours. Flush riveted the main spars and also riveted the hard to reach rivets with the hammer and bolt method. I was impressed at the simplicity yet good control to smash the rivets. The only thing is that it leaves a bit of a flat spot on the round head from hammering.
2013-05-24 Aft Rib Form Blocks I previously had problems making the forward ribs using the router method. I burned through 3 router bits and ruined the form blocks. I made new ones for the Aft Ribs, purchased a new router tip, and the black and decker router I have had for over 20 years gave out. I purchased an harbor freight router and used it once and everything started falling off of it. all of the screws were loose and it was mostly plastic. I went to Sears and purchased a router and another bit. This was my problem the whole time. The craftsmen router ran smooth as silk and made the cuts easily.
2013-05-24 Forming Aft Ribs This log represents work from 5/24/13 to 6/3/13 for 24.75 hours. Difficulties with changing routers and burnt bits prolonged this process longer than it should have been. The Rib flanges look a little narrow, but I am thinking they should be ok as long as I am careful when I am drilling.
2013-06-04 Forward and Aft Gussets This entry represents work from 6/4/13 to 6/8/13 for 20.75 hrs. I was attempting to make the AFT gussets and when I completed the set, I realized I had made Forward gussets instead, which I already had. So second try, I completed fabrication and installation of Aft gussets, and also completed installing forward rib gussets as well.
2013-06-09 Root Ribs made the Root Ribs. I also took this opportunity to perform a mod on the forward root rib by cutting the metal between the two lightening holes for easier access to the flap rods after wing installation. This is an approved modification by Sonex.
2013-06-10 Wing Attach blocks and spar tips I riveted on the spar tips which had not been done yet. I had not pilot drilled the wing attach blocks before installation thinking it may be easier to drill on the spar. Well I ended up breaking off 2 pilot drill bits in the blocks and had to remove and remake one of them. I have not redrilled it yet as awaiting new hardware since the bolts stripped.
2013-06-11 Bell Crank Assemblies Now this was a process that I quickly viewed a few times and underestimated, and never really realized how much work was involved in it. These actually had some detail to them and took me longer than I had originally anticipated. Total time was 15.83 hrs.
2013-06-13 Fabricate and Weld Idler Push Rod Today was a very big day for me. I had recently purchased a set of Oxygen/Aceteylene tanks and the cart at a great price after having searched for months. I also purchased a micro torch from ebay, so I was finally going to get to start welding! I have been apprehensive about this since I started the build. I took te EAA welding workshhop a few years back in 2010 so I was ready to give it a try. I ordered the steel from Air craft spruce a while back and it has just been sitting in my shop.

The first part I decided to weld was one of the control rods since I thought they would be the easiest to start with. After welding up a practice rod, and it turning out pretty good, I fabricated and welded the Idler push rod. I was very pleased at how the welding was turning out. It was by no means a "pretty weld", but I tapped on it with my hammer after completion and it was a solid and good weld. Whew! what a feeling of accomplishment!
2013-06-15 Fabricate and weld Flap pushrods As I am welding parts, each piece has a new procedure in addition to what I have already done. The flap control tubes have a bolt end and a plate metal end as I have already done, but it also had a bend in the tube as well. This was accomplished by placing the tube in the vise and heating the area cherry red in multiple areas and applying pressure by hand until I have acheived the bend and radius I am trying for.
2013-06-16 Fabricate and Weld Flap control tube. This entry is for work from 6/16/13 to 6/21/13 for a total of 15 hours. This part was only slightly different in that I was applying tabs and a ring to the tube. The tube was heavier walled tubing and welding the 1/8 steel plate it required just a bit more time to get the tube hot enough to weld with good penetration.
2013-06-22 fabricate and weld Rudder pedals This entry represents work from 6/21/13 to 6/24/13 for 9.5 hours.The rudder pedals were the first welding with square tubing and round tubing. The metal was thick, and my micro torch could not heat it hot enough, so I used my full size torch to weld these, and it had no problem. The welded ring on the end of the tube using #7 welding rod was a bit challenging. Also, when you weld the pedals on, the 1" main tubing becomes warped and distorted and requires straightening. I used a torch in the vise to bend it back in line just like bending the flap tube.
2013-06-24 fabricate and weld canopy corners This was back to the micro torch for some finesse welding. Cutting the small tubing and welding the canopy corners.
2013-06-25 weld and fabricate tail skid There was no drama here other than some minor straightening after tac welding the plates on the tubing and making sure the plates are at the correct orientation angle.
2013-06-26 Fabricate and Weld Aileron and elevator control rods. Keeping up the welding pace, I am having a blast! Fabricated the aileron long control rods and the elevator pushrods, short and long.
2013-07-01 1 modify and weld valve covers The stock Corvair valve covers are plain with no fittings. The Aero conversion required welding an oil fill spout on the right (passenger side) rear upper corner of the valve cover. The oil filler tube is the original taken from the oil filter housing and cut down to fit in the valve cover. The Left (pilot)side of the engine requires two oil breather tubes to be welded into the rear facing side of the valve cover. The upper (larger tube) being 5/8 steel tubing and the lower smaller tube being 3/8 steel tubing.
2013-07-01 2 modify and weld valve covers / fabricate starter brackets Completion of the valve cover modification by adding the oil breather tubes. Also fabricated and welded the two starter attach brackets pictured in black in the final photo. These mount to the top of the engine block cover plate and anchor the starter in place.
2013-07-02 Starter modification The starter has been partially modified by having a different ground down gear installed for contact with the flywheel. Also the top bolt ear has been cut off to provide a low profile. Todays modification is to install an aluminum "ear" to replace the mounting point previously cut off. Bolts used to attach the ear were upgraded to grade 8 hardware. A rear stabilizer bracket was also installed at the rear of the starter that attaches with one of the aluminum top cover bolts.
2013-08-07 5" Tail Wheel Received. I ordered the 5" Tail Wheel from Great Plains. It is supposed to be softer and long lasting. Not making as much of the "megaphone" noise while rolling. We will have to see how it performs. Price was right at $39.95.

The statistics for the tailwheel:

5" diameter 2 1/2" from center.
1 1/2" wide @ bearing
Made in Canada (not china, that is important for me)
There seems to be 2 independent bearings in the center. Each side can move opposite direction from the other.

17.75 oz
1.110 lbs.
504 grams
2013-10-06 fabricated tail wheel pushrod and tail wheel assembly Welded and Fabricated tailwheel pushrod according to plans. Received 5" Tail wheel from Great Plains and fabricated tail wheel Bracket to wheel size. Plans call for 4" wheel, but decided from other builders experience to go ahead and upgrade to begin with.
2014-01-12 Rework Spar Attach block bolts The spar bolts had bottomed out and the nut would spin instead of unscrewing. I had to cut the nut and bolt from the attach block and replace with a new one and used 2 washers to avoid bottoming out again.
2014-01-15 Flap and Aileron Rib forms Fabricated the forms for the Flap and Aileron ribs from plans.
2014-01-17 Aft Spars While reviewing the plans, I realized I would not be able to bend the Aft Spar Blanks on my Dave Clay Brake because it was only 7 1/2 feet long, and the long piece is just short of 8 feet. So I called up a friend of mine that does custom metal roofing, and he let me make the two pieces on his 10 foot brake. Bonus to that is I made the entire spar in one piece and did not require the use of the splice plates I had fabricated years ago. I had some problems and drilled some oversize holes in the attach brackets, so I will have to order some 5/16 pop rivets to correct it.
2014-01-17 Bend and Complete Rear spars I discovered that my 7 1/2 foot break was not enough to bend the rear spar blanks, so a quick call to a buddy of mine with a 10' brake, and I was on my way with the blanks. The bending went without a hitch, in fact I was really impressed how nice smooth a real sheet metal brake really operated and made nice straight bends. Since I was able to bend the spars in a single piece, I eliminated the splice plates and rivets. I probably saved a couple of ounces right there! Once back at my garage shop, I completed the rear spars.
2014-01-19 Flap Rib Drive assemblies and Bend Flap Skins Fabricated Flap Ribs and Drive Rib Assemblies. Also Bent the Flap Skins. I had a tough time bending the flap skins on my home made brake. It really was difficult to have a nice crisp bend in the center of the skin. The edges nearer the bolts were much sharper and nicer bends. But it was acceptable. They were straight at least. I will try to tighten the center bend radius using a 2 x 4 board.
2014-01-25 Complete Flaps I completed both flaps and during the course of trimming the skins, I ended up cutting a second right flap skin instead of the left skin. So I had to order more metal to complete another flap skin.
2014-01-26 Form Lead Aileron Counterweights I had some scrap lead from when I used to make surf fishing sinkers and some old lead pipe from plumbing repairs. I melted them down, created a form with scrap wood to the dimensions listed in the plans and lined the wooden form with heavy duty aluminum foil. I am surprised how well the foil held up to the hot lead. After making the lead bricks, I realized I probably could have used some scrap .032 and bent a form on my small break and sealed the corners with the metal duct tape, and it would have made really nice looking lead bricks.

How do I melt Lead?

This is an outdoor only project. A simple propane burner and a hand held torch is all I used. I actually used the burner on my outdoor grill, but you can also use a camp stove or free standing propane cooker. A cast iron pot is the best thing to use because it retains the heat and keeps the lead in its molten state longer while pouring. I used an enameled tin pot as that is all I had at the time, and it worked well for me. Important to remember: Anything you use that comes in direct contact with lead is no longer suitable for any other useage.

Caution: Lead is a very toxic metal. If you try this, be sure there is plenty of ventilation, use the appropriate mask for protection from fumes, and do not use any of the items exposed to the lead for food use again.
2014-01-26 More counterweight photos These are some additional photos of the counterweight making process for the ailerons and melting and forming the lead to do so.

Where to Find Scrap Lead:

There are multiple sources you can find your lead cheap or free. A great place to start is your local tire shop. They usually have buckets of old wheel weights sitting around and are usually happy to part with some or all for free or a very reasonable price.
I also did some plumbing repairs in some old homes that still had lead pipes in the walls behind the sinks and saved those as well. I even bought some lead ingots off of ebay as well someone had melted down and cleaned the lead before selling. Roofing Jacks (plumbing) are also a good source of lead as well and a good place to stop when you see a new roof going on as they are usually replaced at that time. Your sources are only limited by your ideas.
2014-01-29 Complete Aileron Counter Balance Assemblies Completed the Aileron Counter balance Assemblies and control rod rib. ready to begin on the skins, assembly and polish.
2014-03-29 Falcon Heads arrive Falcon Heads arrived for me while I was working out of town. Unfortunately, since I was called to work out of town, I missed Corvair College #28 in San Marcos. What a disappointment that was. I ordered my parts from Dan Wesemen, Sport Performance Aviation, was hoping to pick up my engine mount and some other parts while in Florida for work and thought I may save a little bit on shipping. But as fate would have it, Panther kits have them backlogged on the welder, and William Wynne was out of town for CC 29 when I was relased and ready to buy. Typical hombuilding scenario, just when you think you have it all worked out, it doesn't work out. I will just have to order and have shipped like everyone else.
2014-04-05 Mate Spars Today I mated the Main Spars. I had some issues with drilling the holes perfectly straight. I noticed when the bolts were in they were not seated completely perpendicular. Will try to correct this to a better fit on the updrill to 3/8.
2014-04-17 Polish Flaps I polished both flaps completely with F9 and on the tops sides with C grade also. They still have swirl marks, but tops have a nice clear image. Once they are installed, I will give final polish to the areas.
2014-04-24 Fabricate and complete Ailerons Fabricated both Ailerons and completed. I have a couple of construction tips on cutting out the skins for counter balance and end tip. To fabricate the end tip, I traced the completed skin onto the metal blank and added the 1/2 to 3/4 inch lip and bent it on my 18" harbor freight metal brake and hand seamer pliers. That seemed to be the easiest way to make it instead of trying to exactly build from plans dimensions which looked more complicated. I am learning more to build parts to the airframe instead of from plans. Skin trimming was done with hand tin snips and my Olfa knife to score them.
2014-04-27 Polish Ailerons Completed polishing the Ailerons today. Unlike the Flaps, I gave the skins the first polish over the rivet holes before installing the rivets. This gave a cleaner polish job around the rivet. Final polishing up to C grade was completed after riveting. C Grade polish was only applied to the top side of the Aileron.
2015-01-06 Attach ribs to Right Spar Starting on the Right wing box, Attached the ribs to the spar.
2015-01-13 Fabricate, attach and drill Lower and Upper Aft Skins Since I am scratch building, my layout and drill procedure is a little bit different than the predrilled kit builders did. First, I cut both the lower and upper Aft Skins, and attached them with clamps with the ribs of the spar in the vertical position. I then marked on the inside of the skins both sides of the flanges each rib with a sharpie. Then I removed the skin, Drew a center line mark where each rib was marked on the skins and layed out and drilled the pilot holes. I then reattached to the spar and ribs, centered the line on the ribs in the pilot holes and drilled them. I then removed the skin again and repeated the process for the opposite side of the wing. I learned on the horizontal tail, that if I layout the holes per plans, and then drill and install, there is a good chance something will not line up correctly since each part is scratch built. So I layout the holes according to how the ribs are installed and I am then able to center each hole in the rib for a good quality build.
2015-01-13 Fabricate Pitot tube assemblies I used the Aircraft Spruce Pitot tube preassembled and fabricated the bracket as specified by Sonex with the bracket mounted on the outside. I felt there was considerable additional metal riding in the slipstream which would possibly create additional drag, so I re fabricated the assembly to be mounted inside of the wing (behind the bracket) with only a small amount of the mount protruding into the slip stream. It is a much cleaner installation this way.
2015-01-14 Visit from my Tech Counselor Mike Singleton My Tech Counselor Mike Singleton stopped by for a visit today and inspected my partially assembled right wing, and welded parts. There were no major issues noted, He did mention I should clean up any small holes in the welds so there would be no internal rusting of the component.
2015-04-09 Lift Reserve Indicator probe Today, I fabricated and completed the Lift Reserve Indicator Probe. It is not the typical bar type probe you normally see. I cannot take the credit for the design as I saw one on the internet several years ago and I always had it in my mind that I would fabricate a similar one for my project.

Final adjustment will take place after the aircraft is flying, and I will then seal the aluminum tubing in the acrylic plastic probe head with clear rtv silicone.

The Acrylic I used for the probe was a little clear acrylic paperweight with a company advertisement on it. It looks like glass, but is very light when cut down to size and drilled. It will make a good conversation piece as well on my aircraft.