Just now entering journal onto website. As of today, I've just started building the 'bolt again.
Note: You've probably have read this a million times. But, if you are building your plane so that you can get into the air at a cheaper price, and faster, then
hang up your tools. Build your airplane because you love the act of building it with your hands. Appreciate building each part of the plane, one piece at a time.
reviewing the plans again. Will go to airport to see if
Gus is around so that I can ask him a few questions about
Half the battle of making the plane is convincing
yourself that you CAN DO IT.
Damn ! Talk about taking my good old time getting
started. FINALLY pulled evertything together and began
building ribs again. (takes a lot longer than I remember)
Cut and fitted up one rib and glued together, nailed
I forgot how tedious the job of nailing in 1/4" brands is. Asked the biplane group what they've used for weights. One guy
said to use 3/8" sockets. Someone else suggested cutting down round metal stock. Soooooo ..... I just ordered (40) 2 1/2"
metal stock cut to 1 1/2" for weights. I'll be able to lay up both a bottom and a top rib let them sit over night and then flip them
over the next day to complete. Lets see . . . a total of 46 ribs to make, 5 completed, 41 to make, 2 per night, I should have these
done in about 2 months (allowing for nights that other things need to be done; painting a room in the house, etc.)
Time flies. I just got back from skiing and have reaclimated myself to being back from all that beautiful snow up in
Killington, VT. BACK TO WORK, both the job and the project. First time using the weights. Even though I needed to run
around a bit to final-cut and fit the rib pieces together, I'ver cut the time down to an hour or fitting and glueing up one
side. BIG change from 3.5 hrs of nailing brads into each of the gussets. I should move along pretty good now.
*Next move is to either purchase the basic fuselage or buy the metal tubing and begin cutting and jigging the frame,
after making the jig for it.
Took rib out of jig (that was weighted) and it looks beautiful. Turned it over and glued and weighted second
side. Laid up and weighted another tib in the jig. NICE
Received the R plans today. Looked over new fuselage drawing and 3-pc wing drawings.
Flipped another rib and glued the second sid. Laid-up and glued the gussets to another rib. Coming along
REAL nice. I need to make the jig for the alerons while building the bottom and top wing ribs. Need to ask around
if there is a place close by to purchase steel tubing for the fuselage.
Attended Chapter 216 meeting and they suggested Dillsburg Aeroplane Works in PA, for the steel tubing.
Called Dillsburg and asked them to send a price list.
* I think I'll order the tail feather tubing. Just like the building of the wing ribs. Keep the cost to a minimum while starting
something new to see if I like doing it. I've never worked with steel tubing before. Should be interesting
Removed rib from jig and glued and weighted second side. Fitted up, glued and weighted new rib in jig. I'm getting
a little bit better with this. Cutting off some of the time. NICE !
Boy, does time fly. Got back from FL and haven't had a chance to take a look at the plans. Looked over the revised fuselage
plans for the radial engine version of the Skybolt. Just a little bit confusing. All of Hal Wallace's drawings are clearly shown as to
what scale they are. I took at look at what Curtiss drew up for the R version and I see 1/10 and 1/2, among other "scales." Wanted
to come up with a tubing list so that I could get some tubing ordered from Dillsburg but with not knowing the scale I couldn't figure
out what was what. I'll need to call Steen tomorrow to find out more info.
Called Steen and spoke to David. He took a look at the plans and said that Mr Pitts kind of was all over the place when making
drawings and the 1/10 is drawn 1/10th scale and the 1/2 is 1/2 scale, etc. David mentioned that a fella out in Australia has completed
the wings and fuselage for the R version and that some of the clusters will need to be modified. Revisions will be sent out in the
near future, along with a cut list for tubing. (Yikes, I'm going to ask the Biplane group if they have progressed along enough for
them to pass along this information.
Went to Carter's (Southern Cross Airport) saw Gus there and asked him about ordering 4130 tubing. Got into a discussion about
using the Joint Jigger. Decided not to use it. Instead, Gus said that a good pair of metal snips will do the job better than the Joint
Jigger and I'll save about $150.00 to boot. (Gus is a member of EAA and has been a long time friend.) He offered the use of his
tables for laying out the fuselage and to help with the cutting and fitting up of it. (He's built at least three biplanes that I know of;
a Hatz (the first biplane and experimental plane that I ever flew in), a WACO from plans that he got from the Smithsonian, and he
is just about finished with a Kelly D. This is in addition to various other rebuilds that he's completed. He said that it should take
a weekend to cut and weld up the fuselage. Oh YEAH !
Came home and pulled out the plans to figure out what and how much 4130 I need to buy and to see decide if I would fabricate
any of the fittings. (still undecided)
Cut additional gussets for two of the lower ribs that are located at 57 1/4. These are the large gussets that are attached to the
back portion of the rib, from the back spar to the trailing edge. Pulled the last of the eight ribs (Rib LB) from the jig, turned and
glued second side. Place the first of the two ribs that are located at 57 1/4 into jig, glued and placed weights on it. Unhappy with
the LWB gussets on two ribs. Used a chisel and the Dremel Tool to take these two off and then glue on new LWB gussets
Took rib out of jig, glued and weighted. Laid up new rib in jig, glued and weighted.
Took rib out of jig, glued and weighted second side. Finished both ribs LC. Fitted up first of (8) LD ribs. Need to cut gusset
exclusive to LD. This gusset is fitted towards the trailing edge of the rib. Gusset covers the last vertical cap strip and the top
angled cap at the back of the rib. Took off nose rib gusset that crept and glued on new gusset.
Traced and cutout back gussets for LD ribs.
Went to airport and briefly spoke with Gus. He mentioned that in addition to a few pieces of 4130 tubing that he had, he just spoke to a friend that completed the fuselage on a project J3 and had several pieces left that I might be able to use for the side pieces on the fuselage. His friend will be dropping them off tomorrow. I'll have to go over there next weekend to take a look at them.
Traced and cut out back gussets for LD ribs. No, I didn't just repeat myself, well, yeah, I guess I did. I looked closer at the prints and saw that the gussets needs to have a little "kick-back." Gotta do it right so I took another 1.5 hours to trace and cut new gussets.
I also took the 1st LD rib out of the jig (time flew again since laying it out.) Fitted up the second LD rib in jig. Will glue later on tonight.
Need to get some honey-do's done before the day is gone.
Glued up rib that was in jig and also glued second side of rib that was taken out of jig
Fitted up, glued and weighted rib in jig. Glued up and weighted rib just pulled from jig.
Another rib fitted up, glued and weighted and the second side of another rib glued and weighted.
Went over to airport to see Gus. Checked out what tubing he had for the fuselage. Was able to pick up 120' of it for about
half of the going rate. And NO shipping to boot ! BEAUTIFUL ! Now I can begin cutting the tubing a little over sized, mark them and then
be ready to cut and fit pieces into fuselage jig. (Still need to order additional tubing from Dillsburg and figure what tubing is needed
for tail feathers.)
Fitted up another rib, glued and weighted. Glued up and weighted rib just pulled from jig.