Building Aero 3D Day 44: Rib Caps & Sheeting Glued

Rib Caps & Mid Sheet Glued

Yesterday, after work I went straight to the workshop as I wanted to get my previously cut and sanded rib caps and W-SH-3 sheet (middle section) glued.

As typical, I used wood glue and after marking the mid-sections on any previously missed rib caps I applied glue to the top of the ribs and along the edge of the sheeting as well as the caps themselves prior to putting them in place. I then used weights where necessary to keep the sheeting down, especially on the two W-SH-5s.

In the case of the remaning outter rib cap I used a damp cloth to wet the balsa piece so that it would form to the shape of the rib better since it was of stiffer material (for some reason) and in a more precarious position since I was gluing it on the outer edge, instead of centering like the others.

Prior to gluing the middle section I added some supports, like I did for the other pieces of sheeting, both sides, providing additional support as there isn’t much to glue to otherwise. I used scrap 3/32” basla pieces and glued approx. half, using medium CA, under the pre-existing sheets. Seen in the image below.

Once that was done I switched back to wood glue, applying to the supports, edges and ribs prior to putting the sheet in place. You can see the state in which I left everything, weighted and otherwise in the featured image above.

Building Aero 3D Day 43: Trim & Rib Caps

Rib Sheeting Made

Yesterday, I made some more progress on my wing in stages throughout the day. The first session of the day was involved getting the remainder of the bottom trim glued in place. I already had the piece made so it was more about figuring out how to get everything down and in place.

I discovered that this piece actually fit better then the other side I did previously… I think this is because, though it appeared at first, the addtional block wasn’t sanded down enough, or something else was preventing the sheet from sitting down in far enough near the trailing edge. I started sanding the angle for the trailing edge to see how this was going to work, as I’m a bit concerned how that is going to turn out, but we’ll see as Peter says “There is no issue that cannot be overcome.” My issue is I thrive for perfection in an imperfect world.

I had previously marked where the sheeting came up to on the ribs so I poured out some glue and place it aong the rib edges as well as along the inside of the trailing edge. I then placed glue along the edge of the sheeting and the one end that butts up to the previous piece. Placing the sheeting I started at the but end using scrap balsa to assist in clamping the sheet tight to the trailing edge as well as over the bottom and top when clamping deown on the sheet itself. Once I had everything clamped and weighted down I added some medium CA along the butt joint to keep it aligned.

You can see the result in the image below:

Continue reading

Building Aero 3D Day 42: Various Aspects of the Wing

Trailing Edge Bottom

Today, I made some more progress on the wing of my aircraft. I started this morning with the beginnings of rounding the leading edge by using a plane to take of the initial corner and then sand paper rounded over the leading edge moving top to bottom as well as along the leading edge from one end to the other. I cut a smaller strip to do inbetween and around the dowels.

I had a centre line scribbed down teh middle of the leading edge from a previous session as my guide. Once that part was done I took a picture and sent it to Peter as I wasn’t sure and from there I used the plane to take off the edges closer to the center line and followed up with some more sanding. I’m still not loving the job, but we’ll see. You can see how I left it for today in the image below:

Continue reading

Building Aero 3D Day 40: Trailing Edge Glued

Trailing Edge Glued Top View

So, finishing the thought from my previous post the epiphany I had while trying to sleep was that during my last session with Peter the plan was to glue the trailing edge (W-TE-1,  1/4” x 3/8“, ) on while the hinge support blocks were still exposed. This allowed me to use them as anchors for clamping.

To follow through with this plan I checked how the leading edge piece was fitting on the back of the wing and did some touch up sanding to remove excess glue around the scarf joint. Also, went over everything using the balsa pieces I cut to ensure the balsa sheeting would lay flat, sanding where I needed to.

Once I was happy with the fit I poured up some wood glue and lathered it on the back of the wing where the piece is going to go. I then placed W-TE-2 (Trailing Edge) on and clamped, from left to right, along the back of the wing. I started this holding the wing up, balancing on the leading edge, until I made enough progress.

Once I had it all clamped down I went back to the beginning and ensured the trailing edge was flush with the top (which is actually the bottom in the picture) trailing edge (W-TE-2). As I worked my way down I discovered it was off a bit. So I loosened the clamps and re-adjusted and then reapplied the clamp.

Once that was done I went back over the entire thing until I was satisfied that the trailing edge (W-TE-1) was, to the best of my knowledge, properly in place.

I then left everything as seen in the pictures to let it dry.

Building Aero 3D Day 39: Trailing Edge Work

Trailing Edge Build-Up: Close-Up

Sunday, I couldn’t take not building anymore so I went rogue and got back to work on my aircraft. I started prepping the back of the wing so I could add W-TE-1.

First I was thinking about the trailing edge and looked at making the W-TE-2 pieces. For this I took a piece of 3/32“, 4” wide, balsa sheeting and cut it in half, measuring 2 inches along the sheeting. Unfortunately my cut wasn’t perfect as I learn to do things on my own, the sheet shifted and thus not a perfectly cut in half piece. This is where a bandsaw would come in handy :). When I go to put it in place I will see if it will still work or not.

Fixing my overzealous sanding involved using some shavings from where I cut the back down. I sanded pieces to fit into gouged out places. I then used wood glue to glue them in place, pinned on each end and clamped in the middle.

You can see a close-up of this in the featured image above and the general locations for the 4 touch-ups in the image below.

That wrapped up this session. I didn’t want to do to much as I was still uncertain exactly how best to approach the rest; however, check out my next post coming as I did have an “epiphany” that night while sleeping. 🙂

Building Aero 3D Day 38: Trailing Edge

Servo Wire Hole Drilled

Wednesday, Peter came over and we made some more progress. Could only do a little bit as the trailing edge is required to continue.

First, using a forstner drill bit, I drilled a hole into the top center of the wing. Peter held a piece of ply behind to help prevent the balsa sheeting from splintering while I drilled. This hole is where the servo leads (likely a Y extension) will come up through and into the fuselage to connect with the receiver.

Once that was done we determined the length of the trailing edge, which needs to be made out of two pieces, insuring some excess. Allowing for 3 inches of overlap I cut the excess off of one piece to make it more manageable to work with and then:

  • Marked 3 inches from each end of the scarf
  • Drew a line along the diagonal of the wider side of one
  • Marked side to be sanded
  • Determined how the diagonal line needed to be drawn on the other and which side marked to
  • Ensure pieces would fit together, one on top of the other
  • Sanded down to the line testing the fit along the way
  • Using 30 minute epoxy I glued the two pieces together
  • Placed a pin in each end and clamped to dry

You can see the final scarf joint clamped together and left to dry in the image below.

Due to Covid-19 and social distancing I’m not sure when our next session is going to be.

Building Aero 3D Day 37: Hinge Supports

Sanding & Hinge Supports

Sunday, Peter & I did some more work along the trailing edge of the wing. I started by continuing where we left off cutting down the trailing edge. I took a few more passes with the utility knife and then moved on to using a sanding block to get it flush with the back tip of the ribs. I did my best to ensure I didn’t nick the ribs in the process, but unfortunately I’m not perfect and you can see some light patches where I brushed against them with the sand paper.

Continue reading

Building Aero 3D Day 36: Trailing Edge Trim & Bottom Sheeting

Trimmed Trailing Edge

Yesterday Peter came over and we got to looking at the ‘instructions’ again. It appears the top and bottom sheets go right to the trailing edge along the ribs and then a cap goes right along the back.

Because of that I started cutting off the excess WKA/WKB that has been hanging around incrementally using my utility knife. You can see the trailing edge in the featured image above and notice that the process isn’t completed. We kept a piece of 3/32” balsa up against the excess edge as a guide. Once I reached that point we stopped the process this session. Once we are confident in the configuration, Peter is going to bring W-TE-1 ( 1/4”x 3/8” balsa piece) so we can determine how everything is going to come together before proceeding with the trailing edge.

That didn’t stop us from making more progress as we moved on to the bottom of the wing. Peter cut out some more ‘sheet glue supports‘ from balsa and marked the center lines. I then used medium CA to glue them under the leading edge sheet between each rib.

I then cut out a piece of 3/32”, 4″ wide”, balsa similar to the peice on the top of the wing in length and curves. Using wood glue I applied it to the glue supports, ribs (previously marked how far back) and along lines Peter marked on the bottom of the sheet that’ll make contact with the ribs.

The sheet was pinned in place and weights placed on top while the glue dries. This wrapped up another session!

Building Aero 3D Day 35: Wing Top Sheeted

Top of Wing Sheeted

Wednesday we completed Step 4 of the wing instructions (minus cutting flush the trailing edge). Peter brought all the W-SH-5’s & W-SH-4’s he cut at home out of 3/32” balsa a bit longer then required.

I lined one of the pieces up on a rib, marked how much needed to be sanded off one end and then sanded them down to fit. Once I had them all sanded I marked the center of the rib on the top and bottom sheets so that while gluing we had a reference point to center the ‘rib caps’ on the top of the ribs.

Continue reading