January 11, 2016 Faceted or flat-wrap ???
There's no debate.
I've been spending the last several days working out the sheet metal for the top and sides of the fuselage. So far I've come to the conclusion that I'll need to put doors on the port side of both the front and rear cockpits.
And now that I'm figuring out the curvature of the top of the fuselage I can start working on some other things... like the faceted windshields. I wanted them faceted because I think it gives the biplane a nostagic look (although many of the older biplanes had flat, wrapped plastic for their windshields). It's just my opinon...
Love the "Jug" and decided to look to see what the windshield on it looked like. And... I like it. It comes to a point in the front as opposed to a flat screen, with two glass sections on each side.
Unique ? Badass !!!
Click on image for close up.
I've been sketching out a few ideas that I'll be trying on the display board sheet metal tomorrow...
12 and 13, 2016 Faceted ???
it work ???
Played with the look of the rear windshield for a while the
other night. Made up a few display board patterns. They look
good... tried them out. Let it set for a cooling off period.
Looked at it again today. Still looks good but the flimsy
display board ain't giving me a real good feel for how this
will look on the biplane. Found some triple-wall cardboard
and traced the pattern on it. It's plenty stiff enough and
with a little tweaking it looks great !
Before taking this much further... I'll need to get the actual
skin on the fuselage to make sure I'm making this to the right
shape. By the way... this ain't science here. It's an art...
the shape and size of the screen has a bearing on the wind
in the cock-pit. and... It seems that some sizes work for
some biplanes while that same shape and size doesn't work
on another. We'll see...
May 14 and 15, 2016 Got 'em...
well, not yet...
I heard back from the guy with the UC-78 drawings, as mentioned in my post from May 12/13 on "thecockpit" page. They're in the mail this week on a thumbdrive. NICE !
Time to fill so I decided to work on the rear 'pit's should harness support. Now... this is gonna be a pain in the ass, not because of how it's made, but... because it will BE in the way of the hatch into the turtledeck. I had my sister take a mark of where it needed to be above the longerons and that mark is at 3inches. The shoulder harness support needs to be above your shoulders so that, in the event of an off-field landing, there's no chance of crushing your spinal cord from the downward forces on your shoulders. It's similar to the one I made for the passenger's 'pit back a ways ago, back in October of 2014 (on page this page).
Checked the drawings for the dims on the tubing in that area (.o49 x 3/4). Took a few measurements, found a few pieces of tubing (which wasn't easy) and made the jig. A few cuts with the cut-off saw, and a few cuts with the bandsaw... and I was ready to weld these puppies up.
Tacked the pieces together the next day for a dry fit. Looked go soes I welded the top, horizontal tubes to the two 22.5degree vertical tubes. Tacked them in position and... sat down to make sure that they worked. And... they're right at the place I wanted them to be. NICE ! They're ready to be welded on and then fitted up with two tubes angled/facing forward for support of the harness support moving forward.
Click on image for close-up.
May 17 and 18, 2016 Getting past...
I use to be pretty creative with my writing. I'm now finding that I just don't have the time to even write in this journal every day... and that's a problem.
Playing catch-up is never any fun. Trying to recall exactly what you did over the past few days... the hours aren't hard to remember because I write those down. It's what I did exactly and what I was thinking at the time of doing it... is left to chance when you don't put pen to paper right away.
And so again... I'm writing for a few days of work. I know what I did; I cut the forward support tubes for the pilot's should harness support. Can I add any more to that than "more notching and fitting" ??? Heck yeah !
Sometimes there are periods in the build where you are doing the same thing over and over and over again... you (I) think, do I really want to spend time doing THAT again ??? Two things; 1. if you don't, it will never get done and... 2. if you can push yourself pass hesitation you'll get into whatever you're doing that day and an hour or two will fly right by. AND you'll realize the joy you get from doing whatever it is on the project. (I've said this many times before... but it never gets old; the number of times that it happens and the number of times you need to push through it !)
A few days work; welding on of the main back support for the pilot's shoulder harness and notching and fitting up of both forward, angled support tubes. All I need to do is weld these on.
By the way... and I was wondering, what is the width of the webbing (fabric) on the Hooker Harness ? I need to know this in order to create the slots to hold the harness in place. With a little research... I found it. It's 1 3/4inches.
May 19, 2016 A nut...
or a contortionist ???
Sometimes you feel like a nut... sometimes you don't ! Actually, I felt more like a contortionist tonight; again.
Needed to weld on those two forward, slanting supports for the shoulder harness support in the back pit.
Three quarters of it was easy to get at. The other quarter... not so much. The fuselage isn't on the rotisserie so it's a little hard to get at some spots on the frame. Four of the puddle runs I needed see how I was going to approach them. First... how was I going to squeeze into the area I needed to get to. Second... ask the question "Can I bend like that?". Third... once I get in there will I be able to run the puddle with the torch (not always an easy thing to do when you're twisted and have no place to rest your arms). After one and a half hours I managed to get into all those small spaces AND run the puddles.
It's almost a daily occerance for me to think of how small of a space I have to work it and "Man... it'd be great if I had a shop I could just have everything laid out and not have to constantly shuffle things around or squeeze around." But, hey, I'm happy to have as much room as I do. I can remember reading in one of Tony's books about him with his first build... he started that build in a closet. Had a picture of him there facing into the closet working on the ribs or something like that.
Anyways... here's a photo of the welded up harness support for the back pit.
Form/make and weld on the harness "guides" and this project will be finished with...
May 28, 2016 Twenty-four...
Heck, it's 10:30PM on a Saturday night. Ever since I wanted to build the raised shoulder harness support I've been thinking of how I was going to make the guides for the webbing.
4130 tubing bent ?
4130 tubing notched/angled and welded ?
.250 4130 flatstock< ?
That flatstock got me to thinking... no need for it to be that thick, but I could shape it/cut it to the desired look and easily weld it to the back of the tubing... Wait... why not weld it to the top of the tubing and cut away that extra length of metal I was going to weld onto the back of the tubing ??? By Jov... I think I've got it !
The movie I'm watching "Bridge On The River Kwai" I've seen several times before. Good movie... just that I'm now on a mission. Drew up the idea and went down to the basement workshop to cut a few of them out. Actually, cut all four out to a rough shape. Tomorrow I'll finish grind and sand to size then weld them on.
Four parts and a paper pattern.
May 30, 2016 Four point...
Figured I could get the webbing guides cleaned up real quick and be on to another project... Not so much.
Took the better part of a day to grind, file and sand to size... then position and tack and weld onto the raised shoulder harness supports. All four done. All four look good !
Brief update: While waiting for the tacked firewall mounts to cool I cut out a paper pattern of a corner cap (for the seat backs) that I thought of while driving over to my Mother's today.
August 8, 2016 I'm seeing a pattern here..
Another brief update: CAD'd up the corners and printed them out at work; 1inch lengths for each side. Turns out to be too long. The one in the above photo is 3/4inch. Can't be any longer than 7/8ths.
August 23, 2016 Filling voids...
both time and space.
A few days before the metal comes in for the jigging of the sheet metal's tabs for the upper formers and the sheet metal supports that will be welded to the upper longerons. So... with a few days to fill, I'm gonna fill it. And, the first thing I spot is that gap between the front-lower turtledeck and the fuselage cross-tube just in front of it. There's about a 3/4inch gap that needs to be filled.
Spent the better part of two sessions figuring out how I was going to attach the "L" piece of aluminum to the tubing and hold it at the approximately 45degree angle. All this time I'm thinking of welding tabs onto the fuselage tube. Today, I figured out... I'll bend a few tabs on the one side of the "L" and screw it onto the bottom of the turtledeck.
Then after looking at the two different size aluminum "L" extrusions I decide to use the larger one. Spent all night figuring out the notching on the one side... and I'd finish cutting to length and notching the other side tomorrow. I'm writing this now and I think the smaller one will look better... and I won't even notch it. I'm thinking that notched piece of aluminum, hanging next to the painted tube is just gonna rub the paint off anyways. I'll just cut the smaller extrusion with a slight curve to show a "finished" look. Yeah yeah yeah...
Test piece with bends.
Test piece being tested.
One edge filed to fit. Although...
I just may use the smaller extrusion.
August 24, 2016 Filling the void again...
different time, same space.
I'm going to have to retract my statement from yesterday... I'm going with the smaller "L" shaped extrusion. I'm just liking the look of it better.
So, I don't get started on the project until 9PM; long ride home, a run... and then walk the pup (past few times he starts to limp a little towards the end of the run). Finish up having a salad for dinner and I'm not really feeling like going out and working on the biplane at 9 tonight... but, I did.
For some reason I kept running the look of the larger and the smaller "L" extrusions in my head today (yeah... fun thoughts, eh ?) I don't know why, but I think it looks better. And, I decided that I'm not going to try and wrap the face of the extrusion all the way across the horizontal tubes. I kind of like showing those tubes... in all their angled ways.
Took my round file to the starboard end. Laid it up against the tube and it's looking pretty good. Took a rough measurement of where it needs to land on the other tube and filed the same shape as I did the other end. Tried it the first time and it was WAY off... sticking out past the tube by a good margin. THEN, I took a closer look and saw that the tube starts to come in just after where I'm notching it for. Lifted the turtledeck up slightly... slid the piece forward and BOOM ! beautiful fit. It ain't gonna get any better than what it is. If I do anything to it, it's just going to screw it up.
With the length cut and notched I made marks for where I'll be notching the tabs that I'll bend to give it a slight forward and up kick and a place to attach it to the under-side of the turtledeck.
Below are a few shot of the new extrusion. Doesn't look much different does it? But... it is.
August 25, 2016 Making the thing...
that fills the void.
Okay... so the piece is fitted. Now it's just a matter of making the tabs for attaching it.
Used the same pattern I had used on the turtledeck hatch. It's the same L-shaped extrusion, so why not. Didn't notch the entire piece... why would I... it would only allow the piece to bend.
A little over an hour and I have it drilled, notched and filed/sanded smooth. Still need to drill the holes in the tabs for the screws... but I can't find my smaller center drill bit. AND... I always put it back into its case (or at least I did in the past... until maybe this time???). Without the centering bit I don't want to drill that hole because I don't want it to wander in the least bit (not much room on those tabs). I'll take a look again. If I don't find it I'll have to buy another one.
There are so many decisions to be made with the biplane. It ain't a kit... no pulling one piece out of a bag... pulling another piece out of a bag and bolting them together. I spent a few days just figuring out what I wanted to do with the space between the turtledeck and the cross-tube in front of it. Hmmm...
Just went on ebay and bought another set of centering bits. I can't count on finding that lost one... wherever it is.
September 21, 2016 Fitting the thing...
that fills the void.
Drilled and bent the tabs on the filler panel you see above... and below. Big deal ? you may say... well, it's a part of the entire project. May not seem like a lot, but, believe me, it is a bog deal.
November 3, 2016
The in between hours...
keeping busy on the build.
Waiting to get those side former bent... I'm trying to keep busy with a few smaller things. Also need to purchase a few large ticket items to keep moving with the bigger picture; expensive bearings for the controls, wheels/brakes (not happy with what I have)...
Began the night by looking at the fuselage figuring out what still needs to be done then thought that that is just an exercise in wasting time. I had things to do, both big and small... just get about doing it !
Grabbed a 1/4inch reamer, had to look for the reamer handle, and reamed out all six motor mount tabs (the brackets that I made to bolt the firewall onto the fuselage). Check.
Wanted to cut down the guides for the shoulder harness straps ever since I made them (too big). Took a lot more time that I wanted to invest in them... but it's done.
Need to weld on the tabs on the upper former behind the pilot's seat for the sheet metal. Been thinking about that and how I want to align them. Figured I'd take the measurement of the tabs on the former just in front of the pilot's seating and make them match it. Makes sense to me...
Shoulder support guide cut down.
Support before cutting down.
Upon further inspection, I just may angle the sides of the supports to give it a better look AND take away some of that excess metal.
November 4, 2016
Ever been there...
where you feel something just isn't right. Sometimes it's obvious... so you make the change... and sometimes that doesn't even quite match what your unknown expectations were expecting. There's something not quite right with it... still.
I guess there is a point where you get from "wanting to get it made"... to "wanting to get it made to your unexpected expectations".
It's in the little things... the shoulder harness guides. And... it's in the bigger things... making all new seat backs. I just have to smile inside with a little disapointment... or, maybe it's a little pride in knowing that I'm working toward "excellence" whether anyone else knows it or not. Taking that a little further... there are things that you "have to do" and then there are things that you "Have to do"; the first, you do it because you have to do it (whether it's an obligation, a society norm, etc.), the second, ,you do it because it is intrinsic to you. If you fail on the second, you fail on yourself.
Still doesn't look right (to me).
that's IT !
Now to get to work on re-doing those seat backs...
November 6, 7, 8, 2016, 2016
Filling the void...
keeping the forward going...
For those seat backs... I'm not drawing them up by hand. I'll take to that 2D CAD program I have and I'll draw them up. It'll be a lot faster and more accurate. Won't seem faster 'cause I'll need to wait to print them out...
The front seat back won't be an issue with wrapping the sides to the frame... the back... another story. There are a few diagonal tubes for the fuselage structure that "get in the way" of an easy attachment. Pilot's seat back is on the right in the image below.
Wasn't able to get to a print place today (Tuesday, November 8th, 2016) so I decided to align and tack the tabs on the former just behind the pilot's seat, just in front of the turtledeck. Needed to make a simple jig to align the four tabs. Took a little longer that I would have like... but they're now ready for finish welding.
November 9th: Welded on those four tabs. By the way, no matter how small of a job you're doing with the welding, make sure to put on all gear, including your gloves. Ya never know when you may touch something hot by mistake. OUCH ! also...Did a lot of thinking and figuring out of things in my head... looking at the fuselage. Still figuring it out...
November 10, 2016, 2016
That great idea...
And all those hours...
Too many pages to choose from... a few of the past day's posts were posted to the fuselage page... made that correction just now. So... now I have it on both pages.
Problem: couldn't find a place to print out my CAD drawings in .dwg. Everyone wanted them in a pdf format. I couldn't convert my drawings so I need to convert them myself. This is adding hours to what should have just been a simple "cut and paste."
Spent two hours drawing up the "simpler" of the two patterns and gluing it onto the sheet of aluminum that I hacked off of the larger piece.
Rough, blue outline IS NOT my drawn pattern. It's the line showing me
the rough area to be cut out. The thin
line inside of that is the pattern.
All that time I spent on the previous seat backs... thought they were the best thing since slice bread. Got them made... and they look good, but not what I'm looking for now. I guess I can chalk it up to rivet squeezing practice ?
November 11, 2016, 2016
of just drawing...
More manual labor... drawing up the second seatback pan. I'm liking this idea of a "pan" for the back. Nice and clean... and after I work out all the bending that needs to go on, easy to attach ?
I remember, and learned, from the lessons when I made the seat pans. I went through of few iterations with those before getting it right. I say I remember from the learning... we'll see when I go to cut them out and make the bends.
I modified the back pit's pan slightly. We'll see if this works. If not... I'll be going back to the original one that I drew up. You can see the change below... the revised edition is the one of the far right. Originally it was the center one. Kept the original front pit's pan; it was a relatively straight forward design.
Before fitting and wrapping them in place I'll need to grind off the existing tabs I had welded on for the other seats. This will actually give me more of a cushioned back... the tabs probably took away 2inches from side-to-side.
November 12, 13, 14, 2016
past the drawing...
Continued working on the seat-back pans. Another aluminum blank cut then spent the next two days cutting out the patterns from the aluminum. Made a nice pile of aluminum clippings...
I think I might be welding up a back-seat frame back so that I can wrap it without the fuselage tube structure interfering... THEN cut and trim to fit.
November 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2016
More work on the seat-back pans. Basically a repeat of when I made the seat pans... cut-out shapes, file edges down to pattern lines, initial bends... and that's where I'm at right now. Five hours in four days... and that's where I'm at right now.
I'll be annealing and wrapping these soon.
November 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2016
Wait for it... wait for it...
Grouping a few days up together... seems to be the norm lately, eh ? (Hello, Norm !)
Still working on the seat-back pans. First needed to bend those hard to get at bends. Needed to make a simple jig to lift the pan high enough off the table to clear the other bent bends and also have it cut to the width of each of the sides.
Started with the widest bend and cut down the 2x4 as I moved along to each of the other three bends. Worked like clockwork, just like it did when I bent the sides on the seat pans
With all that work... I'm gonna be real careful (as if I wouldn't) with annealing and bending them to fit on the fuselage.
I go out to size them up on the fuselage; to see if they'll actually fit and DAMN ! They're WAY too big with those DAMN tabs still welded onto the seat frames. But eyeing them up real quick to the frames, they look like they're the right size. I'll need to grind off these tabs before I know for sure.
Spent the next three days carefully grind then filing then sanding all sixteen tabs. They're off now and I've fitted the seat-back pans up to them. The back pan is perfect. The front pan is a little over-sized... but not a problem. I can slide them one down from the top and it will have a little wedge shape to it (a 1/4inch or so).
I'm going to need to cut two slot on the top-back of the pilot's seat-back pan to allow it to slide past the two upright I have for the battery tray. Otherwise the pan is sitting even with the cross-tube; no depth at all for the seat-back cushion.
Tabs need to be ground off.
Pilot's seat-back pan fit before grinding off tabs.
Back view of above area.
Once I make the jig to keep them at a certain depth... they're ready for annealing and wrapping.