Building Seamaster Day 54: Push Rods, Linkages & Support

Push Rod Linkage to Servos

On March 17th it was about push rods, control horns and linkages.

The first step was to get the push rods in place and attached to the servos (like you see in the featured image) all in there neutral position, the one isn’t… and may have lead to a correction being made later on if I’m not mistaken. In the image you can also see the hardwood glued into place to support the servos that have been screwed into it to keep them firmly in place during flight (so we hope). 🙂

When dealing with the push rod for the rudder, seen in the picture below, need to figure out where the control horn (the white piece attached to the rudder) needs to go to be in line with the rod coming out of the fuselage. Secondly you need to make sure it is in a place where it can be securely fastened, via screws, to the rudder. There is a back plate on the other side that the four screws pull in causing the front and back pieces making up the control horn to come together like a ‘clamp’ on the rudder.

Once the horn is in place, I then needed to figure out where to cut off the push rod, specifically the fixed outer casing (in black) and the inner yellow rod (actually moves) in order to have full motion of the control surface, which in this case means full left and full right on the rudder.

The control linkage (the metal part I screwed in earlier to the yellow push rod) then needs to be adjusted by screwing in/out so that it attaches to the control horn with the rudder in the neutral position. Don’t forget to ensure the servo arm (see top picture) is also in the neutral position as you want to have full range of motion for pushing and pulling the control surface.

Rudder Push Rod, Linkage to Control Arm
Rudder Push Rod, Linkage to Control Arm

Prior to attaching the elevator control surface the outer casing for the wire was attached to the ‘arch’ in the stab, but due to a design flaw (?) a wedge needed to be made and place under the casing since there was a requirement for it to be raised higher up off the stabilizer to connect properly to the elevator and be able to gain full motion.

Though a traditional push rod was not used, instead a piece of metal wire was fit through the tubing, a similar process was followed with figuring out where the control horn needed to be and making adjustments for proper attachment of the control linkage. This is seen in the pictures below and again ensuring the elevator and the servo are in the neutral position.

Tubing, Control Horn and Stab Supports
Tubing, Control Horn and Stab Supports
Elevator Linkage to Control Horn
Elevator Linkage to Control Horn

Lastly, due to an actual design flaw you will see two support wires that I attached from the bottom of the fuselage at the tail to the bottom outside edges (where there is balsa to screw into for support). Thanking to John V. for making the linkages for me… I believe it was out of fishing lure materials.

This is necessary as it was found that the tail of the aircraft, specifically the stabilizer would flex on the fin to much and not function as intended to provide stable flight.

Building Seamaster Day 53: Covering Sides & Tubing

Covering Fuselage Front

On March 12th I completed the covering of the sides of the aircraft in white. This involved cutting some over-sized white covering for each side and ironing it on, again about a quarter inch over the exiting covering. Started with lining up the straight edge with the edge of the black paint on the nose to give a cleaner looking finish.

Once ironed, trimmed the excess to be flush with the top and bottom.

Since this is an aircraft for the water need to ensure anywhere water can get in is sealed. To facilitate this for the control wire that is going to work the elevator tubing was run from within the fuselage up the leading edge of the fin and towards the back of the stabilizer. This process has not been completed yet… stay tuned!

Elevator Control Tube
Elevator Control Tube

Building Seamaster Day 51 & 52: Covering & Painting

Windshield Nose Painting

On February 26th the theme was black. I installed the ‘windshield’ and by that I mean I ironed on a piece of black covering trimmed to be flush with the side edges.

Afterwords I painted the nose of the fuselage, which is a solid balsa block I sanded into shape, matte black. You can see the result of these two things in the featured image above.

March 3rd was about covering the sides of the aircraft from the tail to the front of the ‘windshield’. The reason you start at the tail and work your way to the front is that each piece covers about a quarter inch of the previous piece. This allows the wind to flow over the covering, if you were to do it the other way the wind would slowly works its way under the edge of the covering pulling it back, undoing your hard work!

Back Left Side Covered
Back Left Side Covered
Back Right Side Covered
Back Right Side Covered

Just like my previous build I’m doing the fuselage white. I’ve basically settled on a color scheme that I like for my aircraft’s, which is:

  • Green for the control surfaces
  • Yellow for the top of the wing and stab
  • Orange for the bottom of the wing and stab
  • White for the fuselage

The only deviation from this I foresee in the future would be for scale builds where I want to keep the colors (exterior of the plane) modeled after the real deal. 🙂

Building Seamaster Day 50: Painting Fiber-glass

Fuse Bottom Painted

On February 3rd Peter and I took a field trip to Mark Bayes place who generously let us use his massive workshop to paint the fiber-glass surfaces.

The first step was to prep the fuselage so I could paint the bottom. Using Frog Tape, another great tool of the trade, attached newspaper to the bottom edge of the fuselage on both sides to flop over and cover the sides (and top) of the fuselage to ensure no paint accidentally splatters on those surfaces. Also used wax paper to cover the tail area that is not being painted.

Fuse Prepped For Painting
Fuse Prepped For Painting

I then turned the fuselage onto its top and painted the entire bottom red. I worked the paint from front to back, ensuring no globs existed along the way to help ensure a smooth finish. The painted bottom can be seen in the featured image above.

The last task for the day was painting the floats, you guessed it red :). As I completed a floats paint job I hung it up to dry.

Painting Float
Painting Float
Painted Floats Hung To Dry
Painted Floats Hung To Dry

Building Seamaster Day 49: Fiber-glass Bottom

Bottom Fiber-Glass Applied

January 22nd involved a lot more fiber-glass and wet-sanding so thought I’d provide the gist of the process, which is as follows:

  • Make templates of areas to be fiber-glassed (I used cereal box cardboard)
  • Measure and cut the fiber-glass to size, approx. piece per surface area
  • Wear disposable clear plastic gloves
  • Mix up epoxy
  • Lay first piece of fiber-glass onto surface area ensuring equal coverage and as flat as possible (this tends to be tricky and this was with the assist of a second individual, Peter)
  • Start in the center and brush the epoxy over the entire surface, from inside to the outer edges
  • Use a plastic hand scraper to run over the surface to remove, “squeeze out”, excess glue
  • Leave to dry

You can see the bottom finished at the top of this post and the front and nose fiberglass below left. Below right is the completed sanding of the fiber-glass previously applied to the floats.

The last piece to this process is the wet sandpaper used for the wet sanding, also eluded to this product earlier.

SandWet Waterproof Sandpaper
SandWet Waterproof Sandpaper

Building Seamaster Day 48: Wet Sanding Edges

Sanded Bottom Fiber-Glassed Edges

On January 20th, since the fiber-glass placed around the edges of the bottom of the aircraft was dry it was time to prep for the next phase.

If you look closely at the fiber-glass along the edges in the previous post you’ll notice some really rough spots where glue pooled and dried.

This involved wet sanding the roughness out of the fiber-glass as well as any excess that was hanging over the edges, namely off the bottom over the drop between the front half and back (tail) half.

I also applied the fiber-glass to the seam where the light balsa curves up under the trailing edge of the bottom balsa piece. You can see the excess handing out past the sides.

Sanded Bottom Tail Fiber-Glassed Edges
Sanded Bottom Tail Fiber-Glassed Edges

Building Seamaster Day 47: Fiber-glass Bottom Edges

Bottom Front Edges Fiber-Glassing

On January 16th I continued work on fiber-glassing the bottom of the fuselage. This day was focusing on applying fiber-glass all around the edge of the bottom of the fuselage as well as on the nose. This ensures the seams, spaces between where the bottom connects to the sides, are thoroughly covered.

Also fiber-glassing of the nose of the aircraft to help ensure water tightness there too, preventing the balsa from getting soaked since this will be in the water, partially, and leading the way.

Once this was done had to leave to dry.

Bottom Tail Edges Fiber-Glassing
Bottom Tail Edges Fiber-Glassing

Building Seamaster Day 46: Fiber-glass to Keel

Fiber-glass Keel

On January 14th I continued with the fiber-glassing process. This time, seen above, I applied fiber-glass to the keel of the fuselage. The process was similar to before, this time cutting strips that would wrap over the keel and about equal parts on each side. This is done prior to the remainder of the bottom to ensure there is good coverage along the joints / corners where the keel is attached to the fuselage.

Afterwards I started wet sanding the wing tips. For this I used special sand paper that I dipped into a small bucket of warm water. This keeps the fine fiber-glass particles being sanded away from becoming airborne, you want to avoid breathing these in!

You can see the finished sanded product of one of the floats below:

Sanding Fiber-glass Wing Tip Float
Sanded Fiber-glass Wing Tip Float

Building Seamaster Day 45: Fiber-glassing floats

Rotary Cutter used for cutting fiberglass

On January 13th the fiber-glassing process started with the wing tip floats. This is my first experience working with fiber-glass.

Peter has a big sheet of the stuff. The first step was to cut out the pieces for covering the floats by creating the least amount of waste possible, it’s expensive stuff!

The pieces need to be over-sized so you have enough to work with. Looking at the image below, from left to right, the pieces are:

  • Two for the back concave curve of the floats
  • Then the pieces for the sides
  • Then pieces for the top & bottom of the floats
Preparing Fibre Glass For Floats
Preparing Fibre Glass For Floats

Once you have all the pieces for the day ready you mix up a batch of epoxy and stir it well to ensure the chemical reaction is complete.

After picking a starting point you lay a piece of fiber-glass across the appropriate float surface and brush the glue on ensuring to cover the entire surface area prior to moving on to the next piece.

Once all pieces are glued on you hang them to dry, not worrying about any excess, as seen in the pictures below.

Initial Fibre Glass of Float Tip
Initial Fiber Glass of Float Tip
Initial Fibre Glass of Other Float Tip
Initial Fiber Glass of Other Float Tip

Building Seamater Day 44: Gluing Hinges / Control Surfaces

On Dec. 18th I could really start to see things coming together as I worked on putting the bondages for all the control surfaces into place.

The first step was to ensure the hinges fit into the slots off the main surfaces (wing for ailerons and fin & stabilizer for the rudder & elevator respectively). Once confident of that and also checked with placement of the corresponding control surface attached as well along with their range of motion it was time to mix up a batch of glue.

Gluing in Hinges
Gluing in Hinges

Prior to gluing the hinges into the slots I prepped them by spreading Vaseline onto the hinge joints to ensure no glue gets into the join, which would prevent the hinges from working properly, don’t want that! I then applied glue into the slots as best I could as well as onto the hinge and then placed them into the slots.

Gluing in Hinges
Gluing in Hinges

Once that was done I applied glue to the other end of the hinges, seen above. I kept the container below to try and avoid making a mess from excess glue dripping from the hinge as I applied the glue. Before connecting the control surface I did my best to run glue into the slots on the ailerons, elevator & rudder pushing it in with the stick / using gravity to let it seep into the slots.

I then slid the control surface onto the hinge and confirmed all hinges were in place, movement was there and then left them to sit and dry. This concluded another building session and you can see the result below.

Note: I did one control surface at a time, applying glue to the hinges and connecting using the process above prior to moving on to the next control surface.

Been on a hiatus over Christmas which has allowed me to catch up on my blog posts. I am now all caught up and am hoping to get back to building this week! With luck I won’t get this far behind again, lol. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and let me know you are out there 🙂

Seamaster with Wing & Control Surfaces
Seamaster with Wing & Control Surfaces