August 25, 2005

So I'm moving on to some of the closed fuselage frames. Closed frames are laminated in a complete circle. There are a few ways to accomplish this because you can't just butt the ends together to complete the circle. One way is to join each end of each strip together with a scarf joint (angle on one end, exact opposite angle on other end to form a complete circle for that strip), and then stagger the scarf joints around the circle so they aren't all in the same area. This way sounded like it would be a really large mess that would end badly. Another way, which I'll do, is to make one half of the circle at a time, then use scarf joints to join the halves. I'll have pictures to show this as I go.

For now, I started with one of the smaller ones to try the method out. Frame #10 has a much smaller radius than the other frames I've worked on, so I decided to soak the strips of spruce and pre-bend them in the mold so they wouldn't break. This unfortunately takes some time because I soak the strips for 24 hours, and then let them completely dry, for about two days, while they are clamped into the mold to get them in about the right shape. I started this process on Monday and the strips are about dry.

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