Today Peter and I made more progress on the sides of the aircraft. The day started by removing all the clamps from the previous session and seeing how well everything stuck. Overall we were very impressed with how the wood working glue held everything together. Using this glue is new to us. We then trimmed as much of the excess we could, starting with my utility knife from front to back. Then to get a little closer switched to using an exacto knife to shave off some more in the curve for the wing (seen in the featured image)… once we get the other side done will sand to get the final finish.
Worth noting is that there were a few spots near the edges where the sheeting didn’t stick down so we used a good portion of medium CA in those spots, clamped it down and in one case sprayed accelerate on it. This didn’t take long to dry and then we were able to move right along.
Moving on to the other side we cleared all the excess away and flipped over the fuselage. We sanded any glue gobs and lined up the FU-SH-2 piece of balsa, which is 51 inches in length of 3⁄32” x 4″ balsa (as before) to see how it fit with the sheet flush to the back of the fuselage. At this point we basically repeated the exact same steps as before to get everything situated.
One thing we did do differently is apply the wood working glue a lot more liberally, as we thought we didn’t apply it thick enough last time. Also faster, as we were wondering if it dried a little to quickly on us.
Once the big piece was glued and clamped in place I cut a piece for the front, a little oversized, and we glued that piece in place and used a weight to keep it down. You can see how we left things in the two pictures below.
That wrapped up another building session as we were unable to progress. Next time will be cutting and sanding the two sides down to shape. Perhaps applying some touch up pieces as well.
Tomorrow morning I need to remove all the clamps and before the next session I need to give the work bench a good clean.
Today I sanded the sides of FU-ST-9, the balsa block at the very back, seen in the image below, to run smooth along the outer edges of the pieces it is glued between. I also glued some balsa pieces under FUH and to the back of former 10 (F10) to provide some additional support to the joint where FUH buts up against the former. Medium CA glue was used for this task.
I then moved on to prepping the side of the fuselage for the first balsa sheeting by making sure there were no glue gobs present and sanding down any bumps. We then lined up the FU-SH-2 piece of balsa, which is 51 inches in length of 3⁄32” x 4″ balsa to see how it’d fit with the sheet flush to the back of the fuselage. This sheet wasn’t quite long enough to reach to the front.
Wednesday I made more headway on the build, working together with Peter. First we removed the balsa block from tail that was temporarily glued in place to help support FUH. Then we moved on to this sessions main goals.
From a session by myself I had already prepped the FUBs to be glued in by sanding them and continued this session by ensuring the fit of FUDA (landing gear block) by trial fitting it with the FUBs in place and doing some directional sanding to get the outter edges to flow with the curve of the fuselage. During all this trial fitting we do have the firewall (F1) clamped in place, but not glued yet.
For the FUG pieces of 1⁄4” x 3⁄8” hardwood, to be the servo mount for the rudder, elevator and throttle, I placed it in and made a line with a pencil to mark the length and then sawed it off and repeated for the second piece. The measurements in the instructions are to make it 35⁄8”.
Once we were happy with how all the pieces (FUBs, FUGs & FUDA) were going to glue in place I mixed up a batch of glue. I started by:
Peter came over this afternoon and we made progress on building the aircraft. Today we completed Step 3 and made progress on Step 4. If anyone is curious, for the fuselage there are 11 steps total of which Step 10 is a biggy.
Peter brought over a bunch of balsa block scraps we could use for positioning/stabilizing the doublers (FUAs) along the balsa stringers. We started by figuring out what we would need and where, including heights, and making them. Used some CA to glue pieces together, then cut them out and sanded so they’d fit flush to the sides. You can see the pieces we made in the featured image at the top. We also slid some pieces underneath the stringers, as they are raised off the surface, to ensure the balsa stringers are snug to the top of FUAs.
Oh yes, technically it is the top as the fuselage is getting built upside down, encase you’re wondering.
This morning Peter came over and we tackled the remaining formers. We were very pleased with how the previous session set.
We started this session by completing Step 3 of the instructions; I use that term loosely with this build. The final result can be seen in the featured image above. I mixed up a batch of 30 minute epoxy and started with placing glue along the edges of former 5 (FU5). For all the pieces I avoided placing glue along the bottom notches as at this point we did not want to glue the doublers (FUA’s) to the balsa stringers. Once that was done we lightly clamped the piece in place.
Next, I placed glue along the edges of FU6, and during this process realized I never placed glue along the front and back of the tabs sliding into the doublers so backtracked and did that for FU5 and carried that process through to FU6 and onward as want to make sure there is glue on every surface that is in contact with part of another piece. We then lightly clamped FU6 into place. This procedure was then repeated for FU3/4 and FU2.
Yesterday, Peter was over and we got to work assembling the fuselage by determining what we can get done in which sessions. What we essentially got done this day was Step 2 (minus installation of former 10). I did start by sanding the excess glue off formers 3&4, previously glued together, drilling out the wing dowel bolt holes (so the dowels will fit through nicely), and cutting out the excess glue from the three slots in the top of the formers.
In order to get the back formers glued into place we had to assemble the formers (except the firewall F1) and doublers at the front as well, clamped into place to aid in determining spacing of the back formers. I marked the centers on formers 7 through 9 (F7-F9) using my centering ruler. The balsa stringer is elevated off the table when slotted into place in the doubler so we used some excess 1⁄4” x 1⁄4” balsa along with an excess 1⁄8” ply piece wedged under the stringer near the front (in the image below) ensuring everything was flowing from front to back correctly. I did have to do some very light sanding of one balsa stringer end at the back to ensure a proper fit with the tail piece (FUF).
It is neat, how if you have everything lined up and straight the placement of the formers is just where they fit (that is where the balsa stringer fits properly in the left and right slots on the bottom of the former). The diagram based instructions tell you nothing about measurements of where things should be.