July 17, 2005

I measured out and glued the frame #5 laminations today (one for each side). Frame #5 is located under the cockpit, and above the retractable landing gear storage. Most of the frame consists of spruce boards built up with the laminations in the shape of the fuselage only going from about the horizontal centerline down about 370 mm or so. This will all make much more sense as I lay out the rest of the frame for the complete structure. For now, use your imagination.

As you can see (perhaps), I'm trying something new to protect the inner strip of the lamination from dents. Another Falco builder, John Kahrs, suggested I use a thin strip of oak or maple to protect the lamination between the spruce and the clamps. I found a 1/8" strip of red oak at Rockler and ripped that to the same width of the spruce strips and covered it with plastic wrap. When I put the strips with glue applied into the jig, I just slipped the oak strip in there between the spruce and the clamps and clamped as usual. I guess it makes perfect sense that this should work. The rigid oak strip should evenly distribute the force of the clamps all along the glueline giving a more even pressure and no small areas of high pressure. I don't even think the oak strip will get dented because it is a harder wood, although it may need some rethinking when I get to some tighter curves. So thanks to John for the idea. John just recently started building his Falco and is working on assembling the stabilizer (tail wing) and tail control surfaces (rudder, elevators). Check out his website.

So I finally ordered a combination disc/belt sander for my workshop. It was much too difficult getting good fitting gluing surfaces for the bracing and gussets on the first frame I made with hand sanding. My joined frame #3 and the complete structure for frame #5 will have to wait until I get it in order to be finished. But no wasting time so hopefully this week I can do the laminations for frame #6 which are similar to the ones for frame #5.

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