On May 2nd we did a fitting of the wing into the fuselage and figured out where the wing hold down bolt holes needed to be drilled. My first drill was a little off, which is why we do some test drills with a tiny bit to see where it lines up with the wing bolt down blocks glued into the fuselage.
Once happy with the angle and how everything will fit I drilled the hole with using a bigger bit right into the wing hold down blocks. The final result can be seen in the picture above with the bolts started in the corresponding wholes to ensure they line up and will work.
On April 20th finished off the floats and worked on sculpting the nose of the aircraft. In the case of the floats seen above I sanded the edges of the top sheeting I glued on previously. I sanded the edges of the sheeting to be flush with the sides of the float.
To continue with the theme of sanding I did a lot of sanding on the block of wood I previously glued to the nose of the aircraft. I marked some reference points on the wood, grabbed some sand paper and went at it for the evening getting my dose of cellulose that evening working. The goal was to follow the lines of the fuselage and sculpt the nose accordingly with an added dip near the end of the top of the nose, seen below, as well as a gradual incline up from the bottom of the nose seen in the picture at the bottom of this post. You can also tell there was more sanding done on the sides of the nose piece as well to give the final look seen in the pics below.
On April 19th I completed the ‘wood’ version of the floats (still needs to be fiber glassed, etc.) and worked on the nose of the fuselage. In order to do the floats I measured out a bunch of light balsa to glue to the top side of the float sides to make up the top of the floats. These were glued along the top edge as well as the front and back edges of top pieces where it made sense.
I also started sculpting the balsa block which will make the nose of the aircraft.
On March 6th not a whole lot of progress was made and some backtracking and discussion occurred. Discovered that the fuselage had warped. Looking down the fuse you could see that at the tail it curved inwards instead of ‘straight’ back and at the nose it was not curving properly either. This lead to much discussion about how to fix this, which due to time I left in the hands of John & Peter.
The next session Peter informed me of what he’d done to start fixing it. He built a contraption to hold the fuselage in place after steaming it to make the wood malleable.
The only other thing I got done this day was a start on the L wing panel, seen below. I pinned the main and rear spars in place on the plans along with the cutting and pinning the bottom trailing edge in place. I then went to work on cutting and sanding the sheeting for the wing. This went way more painfully then I care to admit as I had to start over a couple times due to over sanding (the first time by quite a bit and the second time by just enough such that the sheet wouldn’t work). There were also a couple times at the beginning where I didn’t measure right and thus cut it to short. I was clearly tired this day as I measure 2 or 3 times before I cut, but I was measuring consistently wrong, oi. I eventually got my 1/4, 1/8th, & 1/16th of an inch sorted out and got the sheets to the right size and glued into place. What you see in the image below are the sheets glued and weighted down for drying.
On Feb. 27th worked on the fuselage and started the wing! It was at this point I really felt like progress was heating up 🙂
One of the tasks for the evening, now that the front of the aircraft is shaped and dried was to install the front formers (F3 to F1, that’s the order of installation). You want the bigger one, that is further back on the fuse, installed first as that starts bringing the sides together and helps ensure a proper shape.
Then proceeded to start work on the wing, specifically the right wing panel. For this needed to get the trailing edge cut and Peter already had the spruce rear spar made (smaller rectangular piece of wood). Once that along with the main spar were pinned securely in place, ensuring some overlap on both sides I cut the balsa sheeting to size such that it fits snug between the main spar and rear spar as well as between the rear spar and trailing edge sheet.
Another great building session took place Saturday February 24th. The first thing, as seen in Fig. 1 and 2 below is that the screw hole for anchoring the engine support post (is what I’m calling it) to the fuselage was drilled. The groove carved into the ‘post’, seen in Fig. 1, Peter had done at another builders place. This groove is where the wires will run down from the engine (i.e. for the throttle servo). While Peter held the support in place I drilled a hole between the two bottom tabs (ensuring I was in about the middle and below the hole where the wires will be routed for the control services via the groove) a bit smaller than the screw being used as this is what will hold the post in place.
Once that was done I glued formers F6 through F10 in place connecting both sides of the aircraft. This was done with Sig Cement and each one was clamped in place to hold everything tight while the sides dried to the formers. All the formers were previously sanded.
The last item for the day was to start shaping the front of the aircraft. The prep work for this was having two pieces of wood with two notches made in them. I then soaked the wood using a spray bottle and carefully bent the two nose pieces inwards and placed the sticks in place, top and bottom, to hold the pieces in place while the water dried.
While waiting for the wood to dry we chatted and then about an hour later sprayed the wood again and move the nose pieces in further. Then cut new notches in the wood to hold the pieces at the new closer position. At this point I had to go home, but Peter repeated this process a couple more times until the two pieces were close enough together such that the F1 former would fit snug at the nose of the aircraft.
Wasn’t concerned about the wrinkle because if necessary can slit it with a knife and glue it smooth. That concluded another building session!
February 21st was about finishing off the Pylon and starting to get the fuselage sides attached. The first step was ensuring the seems of where the spacers meet the formers are secure by applying a bead of medium CA glue long the seems. This was done for all four areas, inside and out, making for eight beads of glue.
After that was done, this type of glue dries fast! I did a trial fit of the pylon to each fuselage side. While doing this I made a line along each side to determine where I needed to apply glue (seen below). After that was done I placed glue along the left side of the pylon (ensuring sufficient glue on the tabs) as well as on the fuselage side and then put the pieces in place and clamped them together as seen in the picture at the top of the article.
That wrapped up another day as couldn’t go any further until this dried. Once dried Peter did the same for the other side so that the project wasn’t held up to much as that needed to be done before anymore formers could be trial fitted and glued in place.
Monday the 19th was a day of dang’s and backtracking before nicely getting ahead. When I first got there and was working discovered that the sides of the fuselage hadn’t stuck together well enough. Bad batch of glue! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it… the only other evidence I have is that Peter tossed both parts for mixing it up and the fact they didn’t stick.
To rectify the sides coming apart I had to re-glue it (seen above) and thankfully this time it stuck! Same process as before (without all the sanding), but unfortunately means not as much progress was made this day. Also did a lot of sanding (John helped as well) due to the excess glue around the top of the doubler as you want to make sure the wing will sit nicely within the ‘saddle’.
What was suppose to be the main focus of this session was building the pylon, pictured below. This is the main support for the fuselage and the engine mount (that will be above the aircraft mounted onto the piece of wood sticking out, plus other pieces I’ll get to later in the build).
For this I had to find the 4 pieces that make up the pylon (two of them are formers, F4 & F5). The front is the smaller of the formers. I then went to sanding the sides of all the pieces, followed by gluing the pieces that will help hold the main support for the engine (or so I’ll call it) and complete the pylon connecting F4 & F5.
That was it for this day as needed to wait for everything to dry before proceeding. Also to make sure everything stuck together properly as well!
Playing catch up on my blog posts here as been busy! Last Saturday, Feb. 17th, was a building session that focused on getting the 3 pieces of each side of the fuselage glued together and stabilizer.
In order to glue the pieces of the fuselage together you mix up a batch of glue as it is made from two equal parts. Once mixed you glue them together and place weights (with wax paper between the weights and the wood to ensure nothing gets accidentally stuck together that could tear away the wood) to hold the seems together. The reason for the ‘cartoon teeth’ like look is to provide some interlocking which adds strength as gluing to flat ends together would not hold up well!
In the picture below I’ve glued the doubler to the fuselage making sure the curve lines up with the side of the fuselage. This piece is on the inside of both sides of the fuselage to provide support for the wing. You need to make sure that it is flush with the top (as the bottom is right above where a tab for one of the formers fits in) and lined up properly front and back too as there are tab holes there as well that if it covers you’ll be loosing support from where you need it.
For the stabilizer (shown at the top of the post) used Sig Cement to glue. The only reason why I’m mentioning this is because the next time I went to Peter’s I discovered the sides didn’t hold, dun dun dun. But I knew my stab was still OK as I used a different set of glue all together.
For the stab I had to find all the pieces, do some light sanding to remove the laser burns, and then line them up on the plans to ensure everything lines up and lightly sand where necessary. I then glued and pin the perimeter pieces together followed by the center piece. I then has to measure and cut all the individual pieces for reinforcing the stabilizer. This involved cutting and sanding to make sure my angles were right to get a tight fit where the individual pieces of the ‘inside’ touch together along with where they touch with the perimeter of the stab.
Woot, woot! Wednesday this past week I got to start another build. This time around I am building a Seamaster. This build has taken some time to get started with all the major life changes that happened over this winter and some hiccups in the creation of the kit itself. This kit is no longer manufactured so someone Peter knows out of Winnipeg cut the kit for me, so a big thank-you to him! I got to see the pieces for the first time Wednesday.
Peter put together a manual for constructing the kit, which I am reading through to get a general understanding of the overall process and also in being a guinea pig on the thoroughness / ease of use of the manual. 😉
This will be my first seaplane and I’m excited to experiencing taking off / landing and flying over water. I’m getting ahead of myself though as I need to build the aircraft first! To start I read through the introduction of the manual Peter wrote up along with the first bit on the fuselage. I then laid out the plans on the table, covered it, and pinned it all in place. I found the 6 pieces making up each side of the fuselage and laid them out.
You can see the front portion laid out in the image at the top of the post and the back portion of the fuselage sides in the image at the bottom of the post. Due to the kits being laser cut the first step is always to do lots of sanding! Which is what I did most of this day, was sanding all the edges to get rid of the ‘laser burns’ and give a better edge for the glue hold and allow the pieces to stick together (as shown in the top 3 pieces).
That sums up the first day of this build and am looking forward to Day 2! I hope others will be interested to follow along on yet another build by yours truly 🙂