On Nov. 27th I started the process of covering the elevator and rudder for my Seamaster. This day consisted of covering the ends and trailing edges of the two control surfaces. This is done first in order to ensure the edges are properly covered and ensure there is no exposed balsa in the end.
In the next session on Dec. 5th I finished covering by cutting two rectangular pieces, one big enough to wrap around the elevator and the other around the rudder. The key here is to make sure it is big enough to cover the widest/longest part (the leading edge in this case) with enough to wrap around the surfaces beyond the trailing edge.
The covering process is similar for both. Starting with wrapping the covering around with the leading edge aligned somewhere in the middle you tack/iron down the covering to the leading edge.
Next you pick a side and iron the covering around the leading edge and to the side of the control surface making sure to work your way from the centre out to the three remaining edges. When ironing at the edges make sure it’s securily ironed at the edge itself and be careful not to have the excess covering touch (cut excess as you see fit). Once done the one side you can trim the excess covering along the edges before proceeding.
Next, flip the elevator or rudder over and repeat on the other side. Starting with rolling the iron over the leading edge and continuing to iron the covering to the other side of the surface starting at the centre of the leading edge out into the middle of the side and working your way out to the three remaining edges. Then trim excess covering. This process left me with covered control surfaces.
Tuesday was another 2hr building session, which is about my typical. When you look at what I got done to the uninitiated you may think to yourself “It took you that long to do what?”. In order to install the rudder and elevator push rods correctly it takes time.
The first step is to figure out where the control horns need to be attached to the control surface (rudder & elevator). This is done by using a combination of the plans, to get a general idea where the horn needs to go as it’ll show where the support for it resides, and attaching the push rod to the servo to see where it lines up. The second allows you to determine the angle at which the control horn needs to be fastened to line up with the end of the push rod. As seen in the picture at the top I already have a hook in the push rod, which is attached to the servo arm.
Ensure that when you are installing the control horn and push rod the servo and control surface is in the neutral position.
Once this is determined you drill two holes through the control surface to act as the guides for the screws using a hand push drill, not electric, with a tiny bit. In my case it is two holes kitty corner to each other on the base of the control horn for fastening. When drilling you need to ensure you are going perpendicular to the surface and straight through, not at an angle, so take your time as it will pay off! I made this mistake and didn’t get it right so when placing the screws the opening on the back wasn’t lining up with the holes in the back plate causing issues. Thank-you John for the help correcting this and getting me on the straight and narrow for the elevator!
Today I started working with working on connecting the two elevators with with wire. This involved first marking the centre of the edge and then using the plans to line up where the wire needed to be inserted and mark it. Then drilled a whole 1/8th in diameter an inch into the elevator. Then grooved out a line using the drill bit from the whole we made to the inside edge about an eighth of an inch deep and had to groove it down deeper still to make sure the wire is flush and not sticking up past the edge of the elevator. This was repeated on the other elevator as well. Will need to sand the metal piece before gluing into place to securely connect the two elevators.
Once that was done for the night I sanded the edges of the right side of the plane as well as the edges of formers F1-F6. After laying the right side of the plane down on the table, inside up, we placed the formers into their proper locations to ensure they fit and used solid 90 degree objects as weights to ensure they are vertical. The firewall was a bit to big and required some light sanding to make it fit. This is after ensuring their was no excess glue from where we glued the fuselage doubler.
The next step was to glue the formers into place. For this we had to mix yet a different kind of glue. I still don’t have this part memorized. It takes a long time to set making it great for this as creates a stronger bond but also means to ensure we don’t warp/twist the fuselage we can only do one side at a time. Then you let it dry before continuing on. Some people do multiple sides at once and hold it together with elastic bands but I’d rather just take the extra time.
Once glued into place we used clamps to keep the formers in place and vertical against the 90 degree objects. We then rigged it up to place weights on top to ensure the glued areas are firmly pressed together.
This concluded another building session and planning to get in another tomorrow!