Return to building

Classes the last year or two have taken up nearly all of my free time since I had decided to pick up the pace on classes to finish up my B.S. degree sooner.  Fortunately, as I'm narrowing things down for the home stretch, I'm slowing down the pace to only 6 credits per semester, which should hopefully allow time to return to building things.   One tool that is helping make this even more efficient is a laser cutter/engraver.  With it, I was able to knock out all of the legal eagle wing rib gussets in a matter of 2 short evenings.  In fact, I spent more time picking the gussets out of the machine and keeping them organized than it took for the machine to cut them.  The end result however, is that I now have all the gussets needed to build the wing ribs for the legal eagle, the wing rib jig, and the cap strips, so all I need to do is spend a few minutes per night to start gluing them together. 

 I could never have made the gussets as quickly as the laser can.  Next up will be leading edge nose ribs and aileron specific gusset pieces.  I just need to get the plywood first!  Onward and upward!  I'm hoping to make 2016 the year I return to flying on a regular basis.




Some new machinery

Well I will have to admit there isn't much to update about on the airplane front.  Classes and work have kept me busy, so most of my free time is spent doing other jobs and maintenance around the farm.  However now that fall and winter is on the way I'm hoping to get some more time down in the shop.  My classes are keeping me busy, but not as busy as the 5 credit lab science classes were.  I have however picked up some "new" machinery, the first of which is in place - a Bridgeport series 1 with a 9x32 table.  It's a 1hp 3 phase motor, so I'm using a VFD to convert from the 220v single phase to 220v 3 phase.  It's in place, wired in and working good! 

 Sries 1 bridgeport with 9x36 table.

On the gear!

Well it's been a while since my last update again - Classes are starting to pick up and demand more of my time, so I haven't spent quite as much time building as I'd like, and since building necessarily comes before website updates, I've been focusing on the building when I can.  So with that said, I have been making at least SOME progress on it lately.  As the picture shows below the fuselage's main structure is fully welded, the gear is built and fit in place, and I have the seat built as well.   The seat I decided to buck rivet with AN470-4 rivets I had on hand from the Mustang II project as I figured it would save me a small bit of weight compared to the Cherry N pull rivets.  Not shown in this picture is the vertical fin and horizontal stabilizers which I have built up and held together with clecos.  I've used them to weld in the mounts on the tail of the fuselage.  I need to order some tubing so I can fabricate the hinges so I can get the rudder and elevator in place on it, which will then let me weld mounting tabs for the flying wires on the tail and fairleads for the rudder cables.  It's amazing how fast the overall fuselage goes together, but it's the little details that take a ton of time and make you feel like you're moving at a snail's pace.  I'm seeing where they came up with the term "90% done and 90% to go!".


Legal Eagle on gear with seat.


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