October 11 - 16, 2021 Back to...
mental, er metal working.
The Fall is here and it's feeling GOOOOOD! Nice cool temps... my kind of weather.
Working steady on Big Ass Bird... All this welding is finally paying off! I'm close to completing the main welds on the engine mount. A few left to do after this past week. I still need to cut and fit the four, I'll call them spacer bars, tubes that keep the rear section of the engine mount supported at the correct distance. (That's all kind of wordy, but the best I can do at the moment.)
With all of this getting close to being completed I've started thinking again about the reinforcing plates for the mount. There will be a total of eight; four at the rear supporting all four clusters, and four at the front supporting all four of those clusters. They'll be very similar to what I saw on the existing mount. I'll be using .040 4130 metal as the material. I took a few sheets of scrap paper... held them up to the clusters, made a few marks, squared things up... I'll use my trusty Delta CAD program to draw them up and if need be make a few adjustments for the final patterns. Then it's back to metal working... again! (which got me to thinking... mental work! This project is MUCH MORE than fabricating pieces that will eventually end up as a biplane, the larger challenge is the mental part of the project. Whether it's starting over on a piece that has taken you many hours to work on and towards the end of that project... you messed it up, or just pushing past complacency to go out and work on it after a looooong day... it's all a part of your plan.)
On side... ready for more welding.
October 17 - November 5, 2021 Stepping...
into the unknown.
Work progresses on the engine mount. It's taking longer than most weld jobs of this size because I heat an area and then only weld a small part of the cluster weld... then move on to the next then the next then the next... finally back around to the first in the series of weld clusters. Each cluster is taking me at least four heating and partial weld sessions. That's a lot of time for just heating the cluster area.
I'm having an issue when flipping the fuselage. I have .032 bent with locknuts for installing the aluminum skins running along the longerons in the forward section of the fuselage. It's difficult to juggle holding the fuselage off of the sawhorse and placing a piece of 2x4 wood to keep the fuselage from resting on the bent .032 metal. I have an existing rotisserie that I made for the fuselage that was connected to the engine mount mounts... that ain't gonna work since I have the engine mount now mounted to it. I spent a few days creating a new rotisserie jig for spinning the fuselage. Not pretty but works great! The two days I spent on it will save me hours of fighting with trying to flip the fuselage and juggling that and the blocks for holding it up, or possibly damaging those bent pieces with the locknuts.
The new rotisserie is working like a champ. The rear of the fuselage isn't mounted to anything, just resting on a sawhorse. To flip, I lift the tail-end of the fuselage, turn to either side or flip so that it's upside down, then rest it back on the sawhorse. I can't get the various degree angles that you can if both the front and back are mounted to a rotisserie jig... but works great for what I am needing it for at the moment.
With the last weld run... I took that step into the unknown... did the mount move with all that heating and cooling? and if so... how much? A few quick ballpark measurements before I left the fuselage that night but wasn't happy with just ballparking it... because I wasn't taking the measurements from the same points. The next day... I took a few more precise measurements... it looks like the engine mount moved .0625 of an inch, or about 1/16th of an inch. I'm not sure if I could have done that any better than I did. I'm EXTREMLY!!! happy with that outcome! YES!
Now to begin making those reinforcing straps... I've created and cut out two of the eight so far. Modified those two to be welded on in three pieces instead of one. And I have partially welded on those first two pieces...
November 6 - 21, 2021 It took some time, but...
It took some time, but the birds are finally back feeding at the birdfeeder in the back yard. Love seeing birds fly to and from it... But wait, I'm not on here to write about birdfeeders am I? Or am I?
BIG ASS BIRD... You got it! More time on the engine mount!
Work on cutting out the reinforcing straps plates... AND Working on getting the four cross piece tubes that for the rear of the engine mount cut and fitted...
The reinforcing straps are odd little guys. What the paper pattern says will work... doesn't translate into real World situations. The first two straps I designed and fitted using paper fit perfectly. After cutting out and starting the aligning and weld... not so much. They're turning this way and that. Not really that bad, but I thought they'd lay down and do their thing without much fuss. I'm having to modify the reinforcing straps by making them in three pieces instead of one solid piece. Once they twist the outer "wings" of the strap aren't aligning correctly with the associated tube that they need to align with.
As with the rest of the challenges on my biplane project, I'm working through them. Remembering what happened for the next time that I need this self-advice.
As for the cross piece tubes (these are the ones that keep the rear of the engine mount from springing in when not bolted to the fuselage... cut, aligned and tacked those on. Started welding the clusters and needed better access to a few of the welds and thought "Now is the time to release the beast from the algning tubes." Made the decision to cut the original aligning tubes from the mount ring and the fuselage. After cutting them off... standing back and admiring the view. (Purty...) After a few moments of reflection, back to welding up those clusters.
Tofurkey Day is this week. And I didn't spell that wrong... I've gone Vegetarian slash Vegan with my wife, Fernanda, and I'm attempting to make a Turkey tasting tofu main dish. That, along with cole slaw, carrots with butter and brown sugar, green beans, mashed potatoes with vegan gravy, cranberry sauce, and maybe a pie for dessert. Save the animals!, we're all sentient beings. (photos to come) Happy Thanksgiving, my Friends.