October 8, 2005

Yesterday I went to rockler and got a replacement drum sander attachment for the drill press. The last one became swollen and I couldn't get a new sanding sleeve on it. I guess maybe I had the drill press on too high a speed. As a precaution I set it to spin at a slower rate for the new attachment.

I prepped the mold for frame #1 with the new attachment and mounted it to the backboard for gluing. I was purposefully waiting to glue this frame because it's the one frame that the manual says to be as accurate as possible with. This frame is the firewall and will have lots of internal structure to mount things to it and will also have the engine mounts attached to it...one of the more important frames! I wanted to know all the little things to watch out for and the small tricks here and there to make it easier before attempting this one. Today I glued the first half of it. Everything went smoothly.

I also put the scarfing jig to good use with frame #10 and the first frame #8. Frame #10 was the one I had tested the jig with before, but the cut was conservative so I just had to take off a little material using my new method. Here are the two frames with their cuts. They line up perfectly.

It was a productive day and I plowed through cleaning up 4 of the frames I had previously glued. It's pretty messy work cleaning these things up but the finished product is really satisfying. A perfectly shaped airplane part... This is frame #7 and frame #9.

Next thing I'll have to figure out is how to join the scarfed frame halves while keeping the shape of the frame correct. The open halves tend to constrict a little when the moisture in the wood and glue changes. I'll have to use the molds to keep the halves in the right shape, but I'll also need to clamp the halves together in the other direction where the scarf glue line will be at the top and bottom.

Oh, and I also started soaking the strips for frame #11 which is the smallest frame in the fuselage wood kit. I'll need to pre-bend these guys so they won't break when I glue the frame.

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