April 19 - 30, 2021 Bending and grinding...
and what it's all about.
More time put on Big Ass Bird's motor mounts...
Making the final bends on the 3-piece mounts; a few of the outer pieces need a few bends, and then all the bends on the center pieces. Each of the center pieces have two bends.
Finished up the outer pieces and made the first bend on a center piece. The fit was SO good, that the wing slipped right over the base of the area it was bent over. TOO GOOD... there was som excess material on that side wing and it bent the vertical on the center piece back from being vertical. I grabbed my Dremel tool and cut the excess out between the two... thus making a gap, not too large, but larger than I had wanted.
With that information in hand, I went back and filed down the bottoms of all the side wings so that I wouldn't have that issue with the rest of them. And... in doing so, I wouldn't need to spend an excessive amount of time perfecting my Dremel Tooling Skills.
okay... all bends have been made, so I decided to cut the existing motor mount brackets off before beginning the welding of these brackets. Not a fun job going back and destroying the brackets that I took so long to make... But then... a nice feeling knowing that I am close to welding the new ones back in their place.
A good feeling knowing that I'm close to where I was with the build back in August. YIKES!
I started the build thinking as long as you follow the plans, and instructions, nothing would go "south". I'd be finished in 2500 hours or so... I, as you can see, didn't find that to be true. I've had a learning curve on many of the smaller biplane projects I've taken on. And, I've taken it ALL on. Don't let "good enough" be good enough... strive for that EXCELLENCE that we all have. There is a minimum standard set by the aircraft building industry... achieve at least that... and above, if that is your EXCELLENCE.
May 1 - 8, 2021 Heavy Metal...
and we're not talking about Rock and Roll.
Busy work??? Not so busy as far as moving forward... I'm thinking. More of the filing going on this past week... filing off of the excess weld joint from when I cut off all four of the motor mount brackets...
Thursday, and I think I'm finally to the point with the fuselage that I can weld on the new brackets. But first... I need to weld those puppies together.
Spent most of Saturday cleaning up the areas of the workshop, both the garage and the basement. Oh... they aren't spick and span clean... I've basically cleared the benches where work is to be done. Also a bulk of that cleaning up time was just going through stuff I had sitting on shelves in the garage that I hadn't looked at in years. Tossed most of it... next week I'll wonder why I just through that away 'cause I need it now for a project around the house. Anyways... I'll do a bit more cleaning next week. But not nearly as much, so I can spend more time on Big Ass Bird.
Before beginning welding up of the motor mount brakets I thought it wise to practice on a few thick pieces of 4130... so I grabbed a few sets of the "test" brackets pieces I made... inserted a 3/8inch bolt through all three pieces, clamped them together and started heating them up. Used an AW205 tip on the Smith Welding Rig to do the job.. Worked out nice... I think I'll do another test piece today before the actual pieces are worked on.
May 9 - 15, 2021 Number 205...
Moving right along with the welding. A LOT of welding to be done on these four sets of mounting brackets!
I read an earlier post in the blog about wishing that the #205 torch tip was working correctly... from the first time I welded these puppies up in 2016. The 207 WAY TOO much heat, and the 203 taking forever to heat things up. Started working the metal with the 203... but ordered a new 205.
The AW203 worked great for welding the curved sections of the motor mounts... then the 205 arrived and BA-BAM! Picked up a new oxygen tank and... Sweet music!
I'm almost there... just about finished welding the brackets competely together. Another welding session and they'll be done... then I'll be welding them onto base plates so that I can then weld them onto the fuselage.
Just starting... AGAIN
Almost ready for the fuselage!
May 16 - 22, 2021 Bigger mounts...
need bigger openings.
Finsihed up welding the three-piece motor mounts together. Now I need to weld them to the mounting plates before welding them to the fuselage.
Flipped the fuselage so that it was sitting up... re-mounted the firewall and did a test fit of the mounts. As I thought, the holes in the firewall need to be enlarged slightly (I had made a change to the mounts when making the second set).
I spent the rest of the week using my angle grinder to grind down the sides of the existing openings to enlarge them. Now to test again on the fuselage to make sure things fit before welding the mounts to the mounting plates. I've decided to add angled tubes to the firewall so that the angled side of the mounting plate can be welded to a piece of the structure instead of just "hanging" out there.