They say the days are getting longer. Ya, I can't tell either!!
Last evening, we held our last Work Session of the year 2021. Youth present were Christopher and Dillon. Dillon is one of our Ray Scholarship recipients working on his Private Pilot's Certificate. This is Dillon's first time working on the Sedan Project, welcome Dillon! Mentors were the usual crew, Tom, Frank, Mike, Bill, Milt, Barry and me.
Earlier in the week a few of us brought the flight control surfaces back from Brennan's shop to the Chapter Classroom to be ready for tonight's work. All set up and after a brief description of the task at hand we went to work. Christopher and Dillon each chose a piece and we Mentors joined in with them, some of us taking our own piece to work on. First with the little irons to flatten any loose edges and wrinkles. With one cross coat of Eco-Fill these spots stood out. We also went around all the edges of the tapes to flatten the pinks along with any rough spots, and around the PK screws too just to make sure all the tapes and fabric were properly shrunk and secure.
Once satisfied everything was smoothed out next came the sandpaper, 320 grit, to further smooth out any rough edges, remove specks of dust and scuff the first coat to give the next coat something to hang on to. The work progressed nicely, many hands etc. We only had enough table space in the classroom for four of the seven pieces so as one got done we exchanged them for ones sitting on a table in the Hangar. One by one the work was completed. We then went back over them to be sure all spots were addressed, and the pieces made ready for the next coat of Eco-Fill. There will be two more cross coats of the filler to bring the level of UV light protection up to the desired level.
As we get to the end of this year, I am drawn to reflect on the time spent on this Project and the Youth we have introduced to Aviation through it. We acquired this aircraft in the summer of 2013, over 8 years ago. Since then, we have had 43 Youth involved in our Aeronca Sedan Restoration Project, getting a taste of what's involved to rebuild a classic airplane. We are all proud of our work on this Project and its influence on our Youth. We are also excited to see what this next year brings, getting even more kids introduced to Aviation and bringing our Sedan closer to leaving the ground under its own power!
Happy New Year to all, may this year see us with joy and new opportunities, and an end to this COVID business!
What an interesting evening we had yesterday, a big move was at hand!
Youth present were Christopher, Quinn and Krish. Mentors were Brennan, Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Bill, and me, with Glenn again observing the whole operation.
Once everyone was gathered at the Chapter Hangar, we all descended upon the "laundry" hanging on the line, seven pieces of flight controls. We took them down to march them over to Brennan's shop,100 Octane Aviation, for the spray application of EcoFill, the Stewart Systems UV protectant and filler first coat. We hand carried the flight controls to avoid potential contamination from dirt if we laid them down to transport. Besides, it's just a short walk to the other end of the field, in the dark I must add (watch your step!), which was made in short order.
Once at Brennan's we hung the parts from wires attached to the ceiling of the paint booth at the proper height and spaced so all could be sprayed without running into the others. The next order of business was to wipe them all down with special tack rags (no bees wax to avoid potential "birds eye" blemishes) to remove any dirt and dust. Brennan loaded up the spray gun and cut in all the edges of the surfaces and let them sit and dry while he explained his painting process and technique to us. After a brief explanation he invited all to join him in the booth to begin the work. Our three Youth were eager to answer the call, donned respirators and followed him in.
Brennan explained and then demonstrated the cross-coat technique for application to provide complete coverage and then offed the spray gun to the Youth. Chris took him up on his offer. Brennan coached him through the work as Quinn and Krish paid close attention. Each of the guys got their turn to try it out, Brennan coaching as they went until they got the idea. "Do you want to keep working?" he asked of the Youth, YES was the reply so on they went, taking turns with the gun and doing a mighty fine job of it too I must add. Brennan left them alone to work, looking in occasionally to answer any questions. Meanwhile, the rest of us "Mentors" were milling around outside the booth, sneaking peeks of the work and checking out all the interesting projects Brennan has going in his shop. He has at least 6 aircraft in there in various stages of work besides the various fuselages and wings and parts all over. A veritable candy store for the likes of us!
By the time our evening was ending, our Youth had both Ailerons and both Horizontal Stabilizers completed leaving the elevators and rudder to go. Brennan said that he'd get those after we left, completing the first coat of the EcoFill on our "laundry".
What an exciting stage in our Project, applying finishes to our flight surfaces. Next we'll bring them back to the Chapter Hangar to lightly sand the first coat and iron out any standing seams and such before we apply the second and final coat of EcoFill.
Thanks to all who braved the dark and ice for the sake of our li'l Aeronca Sedan, the "Spirit of Katrina". We are definitely making progress in both the restoration and in the education of our Youth. These experiences are a once in a lifetime opportunity to broaden their horizons and contribute to their ever-expanding world, maybe even inspiring new careers in Aviation!
Happy Holidays to all of you following these Reviews. Your interest and support mean the world to me and the Crew. It is truly a joy to share our Project with all of you and to receive your feedback.
Neither fog or thunderstorms in the December night can keep our Crew from advancing the restoration of our Aeronca Sedan, and boy, it was foggy! Youth attending were Thomas, Christopher, and Quinn. Mentors were Brennan, Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, and me. Glenn also came to observe our project and progress armed with cookies! Hi Glenn!!
Our work tonight actually started last Saturday when Bill, Tom and Mike met me at the Hangar to set up a laundry line to hang all our covered surfaces for the sealing process. We hung all the tail feathers then to save time for our work tonight.
So, the first order of business was to iron down all loose edges and corners on the Ailerons we finished taping last week. Irons were plugged in, and the smoothing commenced while Brennan inspected the tail feathers hanging on the line. Armed with yet another iron, he addressed a few wrinkles found.
Ready for the next step. Ailerons all smoothed out, we hung them on the line too and began the cleaning process. We used a solution of Stewart’s EkoClean and distilled water sprayed onto the fabric with a spray bottle, then wiped them off with a clean shop towel. Next, we sprayed pure distilled water onto them to rinse off any cleaner left behind and again wiped them dry with shop towels. After a little extra drying time, Brennan mixed up a batch of sealing juice, a mixture of EkoBond cement with more distilled water at a 3:1 ratio. This mixture is quite thin to allow it to penetrate the weave more easily with minimal build up. Then with a little demonstration, Brennan pointed out things to keep in mind like "apply only light amounts of sealer to prevent runs on the inside of the fabric, leave no bubbles, stroke the entire width of the surface, brush off any excess sealer." We went to work. Some of us with brush in hand, some of us just holding the parts to keep them from swinging all around as we went. We applied the sealer on one side of the parts, let them set up a little and then went after the other sides. We went back over them all and brushed out any sags and runs we found to leave a consistent even coat.
What surprised us was how quickly the work progressed (many hands, you know). We finished a little ahead of schedule, so we were able to do some clean up in the classroom. With the tables empty we had an opportunity to cut a length of fabric for the belly of the fuselage. 18 feet should do it. Brennan and I measured the fuselage a few weeks ago in anticipation of this opportunity, so we took advantage, wrapped it up and set it aside. Even then we finished our work for the evening about a half hour early. What to do now? Easy, we hung around talking and ate Glenn's cookies, perfect!
Thanks to all who braved the treacherous weather to work on our little bird. Next week we'll find our way down to Brennan's Hangar with our parts, spraying on EcoFill, a coating to provide ultraviolet light protection and a base for finishing color coats of paint. Progress!!
The Crew was at it again last evening, with Quinn, Thomas and Christopher making up our Youth contingent. Mentors were Tom, Frank, Bill, Brennan, Mike, Milt, Barry and me.
Work continued on the Ailerons, applying finishing tapes on the perimeter of both. With Brennan's coaching we managed to move right along, (in the correct direction I might add) and reached the point of final ironing of the edges once the cement dries (next time). Brennan also noticed that the left side elevator was missing access to bolt holes for the trim tab. The crew mobilized. The holes are hard to see under a few layers of fabric and tape, so Mike rounded up the tab to aid in the search. With the tab set in place, it was easy to locate the holes with a sharp pencil, and melt them through with the iron for this purpose. The holes will be handy eventually for bolting the trim tab in place, a nice thing to have for controlling stick forces in flight!!
We are at a sort of milestone at this point. With all the flight control surfaces covered, the next step is to seal the fabric with a diluted mixture of cement and distilled water. We will rig up a system in the main hangar to hang the surfaces from so that the sealer can be brushed onto both surfaces without fear of damaging the treatment if we did the deed in the flat on a table. It will be kind of a weird laundry line of Elevators, Ailerons, and such. Stay tuned for what happens next week!
Thanks to all who came out last evening, all dark and snowy with winter upon us. That can't stop us!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! We all have so much to be thankful for, even for those of us which this day is not a national holiday. Thank you for all our blessings and health this day and always! Thank You!!
Last evening was a busy one with 4 Youth in attendance: Christopher, Krish, Quinn and Thomas. All were eager to work and work they did! Mentors present were Brennan, Frank, Mike, Bill, Barry, and me.
Ailerons continue to be the focus of our attention. We located a missing washer from last time and completed the PK screw saga on the last rib of one aileron. A 2" tape went on top and onward we went. Shrinking fabric around the screwheads and ironing down and smoothing pinked edges consumed our time for a large part of the evening.
When that task was completed, edge tapes were next. With Brennan's guidance, we decided to continue mitering the intersections of tapes at the corners rather than overlapping them, starting with the ends. Next will be the leading edges and last the trailing edge. With so many hands working at the same time it was a delightful challenge to keep the process flowing, providing direction where necessary and encouragement for the good work done.
The light at the end of the tunnel for this phase of the operation is becoming brighter with every Work Session. Thanks to all for coming out on a holiday eve to spend time on our Project.
Next Wednesday is the time for our monthly Board Meeting, so no Work Session. Our next one will be December 8 at the usual time where we'll pick up where we left off. Not far to go now!
As predicted, at last evening's Session it was dark. Well, outside, not inside! Inside was the light of several pairs of eyes shining out above a mask. We got to work!
Attending to represent our Youth were Quinn and Krish. Mentors were Tom, Mike. Bill, Milt, Frank and me, with Krish's Dad Mike looking on, encouraging us all and picking up some tips of his own!
We continued our work on the ailerons, attaching the fabric to the ribs with PK screws and covering them with 2" finishing tapes. It is a somewhat repetitive process, but a necessary one. Lose fabric can flutter as air passes over at flight speeds, it's a very destructive force and must be controlled. Screws and the rest of the system are the answer.
Work progressed, cementing, and smoothing the tapes and finally trimming them to the leading and trailing edges in preparation for the final tapes to be applied around the perimeter. One side of one aileron needs to have the tapes trimmed, then both will be ready for the final tapes.
Good work crew, I think we're all getting the hang of this covering business! That's good because we'll need all the skills we're developing now for when the time comes to cover the fuselage!
We look forward to next week for the last opportunity to work before December, it's the day before Thanksgiving, and my wife Cathy's birthday. I'll have to see if she'll let me attend! (I'll be extra nice to her during the day!!)
Last evening was another productive one with Quinn our sole Youth in attendance. Mentors were Mike, Bill, Frank, Milt and me. We had Quinn outnumbered but he held his own. Ha-ha!
Ailerons continue to be the objects of our attention. Last week if you remember, the PK screws we were installing seemed to be too small for the holes already in the ribs, most of them would not tighten so we removed them last night and installed the next size bigger. That did the trick, all tightened up nicely and the work progressed. As you also recall, the screws hold the fabric closely to the structure of the ailerons to prevent fabric flutter, a very destructive force in aviation, and elsewhere too I imagine. Can't want it! We all joined the effort to change out the screws in the first aileron just to get the rework out of the way.
That completed, Quinn and Mike moved over to the other aileron. Shrinking the fabric was next on the list for this piece. First set the iron to 250 degrees for the first pass. Little by little, moving around to shrink as evenly as possible. This keeps stresses in the structure to a minimum and allows the fabric to settle in evenly. Back and forth, side to side until the entire surface, both sides, have been brought to the 250-degree temperature. Next, set the iron to 350 degrees and repeat the process. Moving around heating every square inch and gradually bringing the fabric to the correct tightness. I still get a kick out of this effect, a wonder of science!
Next is reinforcing tape over the ribs and washers and PK screws to fasten the fabric to the ribs. Now everybody is working on the screws. Frank and Bill took over the first aileron and continued installing them while Quinn, Mike, and later Milt worked on the other one.
Frank and Bill finished with the screws, so they moved to applying the 2" finishing tapes over the top of them.
Suddenly it was time to go. "Time flies when you're having fun" they say, and they're right. Another great session, thanks guys, what a team!
Last evening's Work Session went off without a hitch. Youth present were Christopher and Quinn, Mentors were Mike, Barry, Frank, Bill and me.
Ailerons were the focus of our attention, with Chris and Quinn each on their own flight surface.
Quinn and company ironed out a few wrinkles in the fabric attached to the forward spar and then it was on to the main fabric shrink. First at 250 degrees, then up to 350 for the final shrink. It still amazes me how that fabric shrinks under heat, pulling out all the wrinkles and tightening the fabric like a drumhead! Next up was to prepare for attaching the fabric to all the internal ribs with PK screws. First locate all the rib screw holes, apply reinforcing tape, then washers and screws. 36 screws per side. The process gets a little tedious, just ask Quinn (so many screws!). ;-) We got on with the work though, and by the end of the evening we had the first side just about covered, leaving more to do next time.
Christopher was not to be left behind. Last time he just got the fabric wrapped around back to the forward spar and some glue spread when it was time to go. Now we have to position it, get all the wrinkles out and ironed down. Next in the process was to wrap the ends and trim excess fabric. Just like wrapping a special Christmas present! Meticulous as ever, Chris and Barry went over every inch of the forward spar and end ribs with the iron and glue, ready to shrink the fabric next time.
Thanks to all who came out to work on our Little Bird, every step seems like a little victory, and there are so many steps!
Next week is time for the Chapter Board Meeting, so no Work Session. We'll meet next on November 10 and continue the journey.
We had a good turnout last evening with Christopher and Quinn making up our Youth team and with Mentors Brennan, Frank, Barry, Mike, Milt, Bill and me.
We got right to work, Christopher and Barry finished up the last details on their Elevator. Two missed finishing tapes were installed and then it was inspected by Brennan. Deemed ready for sealing, this piece, along with the other tail feathers, were wrapped with plastic and set aside while we worked on the Ailerons.
Quinn and company continued work on their Aileron. It was marked and ready to cut where the fabric goes over the hinges and control horn so that was done. Anti-chafe tape was cut and placed over the PK screws on both sides of the trailing edge, or false spar, before the fabric was pulled around. The face of the leading edge, or main spare was coated with glue and the fabric maneuvered into place. Next the ends were wrapped, glued and trimmed, ready for the first fabric shrink next time.
Christopher and crew set up with the other Aileron and began the process the same way we did the first one. They were able to progress to the point of wrapping the ends and also ready to shrink the fabric.
This seems like progress, the last of the flight control surfaces getting covered. Next week we'll continue, securing the fabric to the structure and then finishing tapes. Can't wait!
Thank you to all who came out last evening. You all make this Project an enjoyable accomplishment, working and learning together. It makes me proud to be a part of it.
Last evening, we had another productive Work Session, with another new Youth added to our Crew! His name is Krish (with a silent "h"), brought to us by his father Mike Bastin. Thanks Mike, Krish is a very welcome addition to our Project. To round out our Youth corps last night were our old friend Christopher and our newcomer from last time, Quinn. Three hardy young lads, eager to work and learn! Mentors aboard were Mike, Barry, Milt, Frank, Bill and me.
Christopher and Barry went right to work on their left side elevator and invited Krish along to get acquainted with what they were doing. What they were doing was finishing up the perimeter finishing tapes and joining the corners. Krish got a taste of gluing fabric and how the corners were treated. By the end of the evening all that's left of the piece is a final going over and approval before being placed among the other surfaces to be sealed.
Quinn and Mike were busy detailing the right-side elevator with the small iron, getting it ready for it's final approval before sealing.
With that, attention was shifted to one of the two ailerons. One was retrieved from the hangar and a place was made on the worktables. Krish came over to join us in our efforts. The aileron was still dusty from its previous sanding and clean-up, so we got some rags and some alcohol and wiped it down. Previously cut fabric was placed on the table beneath the aileron and placement adjusted and marked so that we had just the right amount of overlap on the leading edge. The fabric was then removed to keep it safe, and glue was applied to the leading edge. Quickly, before the glue had a chance to dry at all, the fabric was put back into position and attached to the aileron. Brushing and smoothing the fabric to remove wrinkles and ensuring full penetration of the cement was the task. Did you follow all that? We are going to cover the aileron with this single piece of fabric, so now we must attach the hinges and control horn because access to the nuts on the inside will be gone once the covering is complete. With the bolt holes located in the aileron, they must be made through the fabric. A special iron is used for this operation, one with a pointed round element just under 3/16" in diameter, so the hole is melted in the fabric, not cut. This eliminates any frayed edges that could come unraveled over time. Now the hinges and control horn can be bolted on and the covering continued. The fabric will be pulled around the aileron and overlapped on the leading edge. It will pass over the hinges and control horn so it must be relieved with a cutout around these parts. The fabric was marked, and cutouts drawn out. (Again, did you follow all that?)
By this point our time had come to an end so cleanup was next. Quinn asked, "What's next after we finish the ailerons?" Good question! We will seal the fabric on all surfaces we have covered so far and finally spray a coating of UV protection on them down in Brennans paint booth, in his shop. The tail feathers will be stored awaiting final painting, then back onto the fuselage! Quinn nodded with approval, sure looks like progress to me!
Thanks to all who came out last evening, especially our new Crew members. Our Project is very alive and well!
Last evening was fun, educational, and productive. The Youth contingent was composed of our old friend Chris and a newcomer to our Project, Quinn. In the Mentor department there was Mike, Barry, Frank, Milk, Bill and me
Quinn got an introduction Project with an overview of the work so far and an idea of what the plane should look like when it's ready to fly. He asked when that would be, a natural question, and we replied, "When we're done". Simply, we don't know but it'll be a "while". "OK", he said. Quinn is an 8th grader from Duluth and a very eager participant. He is using our Project to satisfy an assignment from his school, learn something new. Quinn is new to aviation but has long harbored an interest so here he is! He is so convinced that our Project is just what he has been looking for that he predicts that he'll stay on long after his assignment is satisfied. Welcome Quinn!!
We all went to work, Chris and Barry back on the left side elevator and Quinn and Mike got after the right side one. The rest of us Mentors chimed in wherever we could to further the cause, work proceeded well.
Edge finishing tapes were the name of the game. Chris is an old hand by now, and a natural by all accounts. Attention to detail with a very focused approach. The left side elevator has only a couple of tapes left to apply. Getting closer!
Quinn, with Mike and me, and Milt too, got introduced to fabric covering, finishing up the edge tapes of the right-side elevator. At the corners where the tapes come together, we mitered the joint, butting the two tapes together as close as we could get them without overlaps. Adding a tape to the counterbalance gave him an idea of what's involved in applying these tapes. Quinn took to it right away showing a keen eye and attention to coaching. He will be a very welcome addition to our program indeed!
Suddenly the evening ended, and it was time to pack up. Thanks to all involved, I think we're doing good work!
And the Project keeps rolling along! Thomas was along to represent the Youth corps, with Brennan, Frank, Mike, Milt, Bill and me to carry the load of Mentors (not a huge burden).
Right away Brennan gave us some direction in the covering of the ailerons, enough so that in his unlikely absence we can carry on. We measured and cut some fabric, big enough to cover in one piece. Place some anti-chafe tape over the PK screws, then cover the top sides. Next install the Hinges and Control Horn and finish. This conceals the nuts inside the aileron therefore they should be installed at just the right phase of the work. Just before the covering began, we discovered we lacked new hardware to attach the Hinges, so we decided to wait. Next time we'll have the bolts and nuts!
No worries, we have plenty of other work to do! Thomas and Mike got back on the right-side Elevator, continuing with the edge finishing tapes they were working on last time. On went the tape around the hinge knuckles and then around the corner toward the counterbalance.
Not to be standing around with their faces hanging out, Frank, Milt and Bill got irons heated up and began some cleanup work on the Horizontal Stabilizers and the left side Elevator. Once the finishing tapes are applied over the PK screws, it leaves a little pucker with loose fabric. Ironing around those with the iron at 250 is all that's needed to shrink and tighten them up. It's a little tedious yet a very important step in the process which needs to be done. Done. Now the H.S. are ready for sealing.
Thanks to all who came out this evening after such a lovely fall day. We're starting to think about scheduling the painting of the UV coat on the tail feathers, exciting! Brennan will help us do that in his hangar paint booth, what a guy!!
It wasn't long though before we got down to business. (Chris had a little extra smile on his face tonight!) Mentors present to help were Tom, Brennan, Barry, Mike, Frank, Bill and me.
The left side elevator was begging attention, around the inside trailing edge where the 2" finishing tape made a sharp turn around the corner. Last time we attempted to shrink excess material without cutting it which turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Brennan to the rescue! "Go ahead and cut a little wedge out of it" he said. We didn't know if that option was even legal, Brennan assured us that it was. So that's what we did, and the tape laid down quite nicely and we were able to move on.
Chris and company shifted focus back to the right-side elevator, the one he had been working on these last few weeks. Finishing tapes on this one was also the name of the game. We were able to finish some details and move on to more tapes before the Session ended. Progress!
In the meantime, the rest of the crew, with the coaching of Brennan, continued preparing the ailerons for covering. Replacing oversized PK screws in the trailing edge "False Spar" with the proper sized ones. Bigger screws were installed to fill stripped out holes. The bigger ones turned out just too prominent after covering so we drilled a new hole beside the oversized one to receive the #4 PK screw called for in the manual. Brennan assured us that the extra hole left behind would not be an issue, so away we went! Brushing and scraping to remove loose material and dirt and I think they're ready to cover. Brennan went over his preferred procedure for covering with one piece of fabric. We discussed the attachment of the hinges and control horn in the sequence of steps, so I think we have a handle on the deal. We'll see next week!
All in all we had a productive time. Airplane flying and restoration, what's not to like! See you all next week.
Last evening felt good! We had our regular couple of Youths aboard, Chris and Thomas with a contingent of Mentors; Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Milt and me, with Bill in the building getting ready and inventorying supplies for the Fly-in Pancake Breakfast/Young Eagle Event that will happen this Saturday, and occasionally checking in on Sedan progress.
Chris and Barry got to work right away on the left side Elevator, picking up where Tom and Frank left off last time. The reinforcing tapes were trimmed to length and 2" finishing tapes were applied on top of them. Once completed they too were trimmed to create a butt joint on the perimeter tubes in preparation for the edge finishing tapes.
In the meantime, Thomas and Mike got back on the right-side Elevator. The 2" finishing tapes had been installed and trimming started last time so that's where they picked up. Once completed the perimeter finishing tapes were applied, starting with the trailing edge. Centering the tape on the tubes and shrinking the wrinkles around the curved sections is the challenge of this phase. The property of this tape material to shrink with heat is remarkable, as we've mentioned before, and handy to get the tapes to lie flat against the surface. Carefully as we go, one spot at a time!
Tom and Frank couldn't sit still, so they picked up the Ailerons to get them ready for covering. The Hinges and Control Horn were removed previously, and corrosion was found below the Control Horn. It wasn't too serious so a little spot sand blaster and conditioning pads that Frank brought, along with some elbow grease and the rust was gone. The Ailerons were inspected, and it was found some of the PK screws in the trailing edge were loose or missing so Milt went over them, checking security and replacing them were necessary. They were then dusted off before a couple of coats of epoxy primer were applied getting ready for the parts to be reinstalled.
Thanks to all who turned out last evening. Little by little, inch by inch we're making progress, soon the tail feathers will be covered, and it will be back onto the fuselage. That will feel like progress! (Actually, it all feels like progress!)
Well, with another Work Session in the books, our Sedan inches ever closer to the magic day when it "slips the surly bonds of earth" as Magee would say.
Don't hold your breath though. It's still a way off, but not as far as it used to be!
Youth present for the evening was our old friend Thomas, alone giving us permission to work. Mentors were Tom, Frank, Mike, Brennan and me.
Thomas went straight to work on the right-side elevator that he had been working on last time. Mike had brought a supply of nylon washers to go under the PK screws, so Thomas got busy. Mike, Brennan and I assisted at times throughout the evening. By the time we were finished, Thomas had installed all the screws and finishing tapes over the inner ribs. Next was to butt the tapes together at the leading and trailing edges in preparation for the finishing edge tapes. Just a few more tapes to butt up and the edge tapes will be next.
Meanwhile, Tom and Frank continued work on the left side elevator, laying out the rib tapes and screws. By the end of the evening, they had all the screws installed and were ready for the 2" tape to cover them.
With work on the tail feathers proceeding right along, thoughts turned to the ailerons, the last flight surfaces to be covered with fabric. The control horns on both ailerons are pitted with corrosion and must be replaced. We'll work on that. Other than removal of the hinges and some minor cleaning, they are ready to be covered too. Mike removed a control horn to serve as an example between helping Thomas and tending to last details on the horizontal stabilizers.
Last evening's Session went off without a hitch, Youth in attendance were Christopher and Thomas. Mentors were abundant, with Tom, Barry, Mike, Bill, Frank, Milt, Brennan and me on board. Who's having more fun, the Youth or us old folks? I think it's a toss-up!
Thomas and company got busy where they left off on the left side horizontal stabilizer. As you might recall, work had progressed to the edge finishing tapes around the perimeter. A few details to tend to and it was ready for fabric sealer.
With plenty of time remaining, Thomas moved over to the right-side elevator that Brennan and Bill were working on. With both sides brought up to the 350 degrees fabric shrink and ready for the reinforcing tapes that go over the ribs, where the fabric is secured to the ribs with PK screws. PK screws are little sheet metal like screws about a quarter of an inch long that get installed into little holes in the ribs. Some airplanes use little pull rivets for this task, some use a light cord and a process called Rib Stitching. Locating the little rib holes through the fabric is achieved with a bright light shone from the bottom, then marked with a pencil. A 3/8" wide tape is applied over the rib and the screws are to be installed with a plastic washer before being covered with a 2" wide finishing tape. Quite the process, but that's what it takes to make the surface airworthy!
Christopher wasn't just standing around during this whole time either! After some cleaning of the irons used to attach and shrink fabric, he was back on the left side elevator, right where he left off last time. A good once over inspection of and it was time to bring the top side fabric up to a 250 degree shrink. Again, the elevator was inspected then the iron temperature set to 350 and the final shrink was done. Things are shaping up. Next, I had Christopher and company prepare and apply the finishing tapes to the perimeter, mistakenly! The next step should have been to begin the location of rib holes like Thomas and company were doing on the right-side elevator, with PK screw reinforcing tape installation. Brennan was quick to correct our sequence of operations. No worries however, work was not in vain as the finishing tape applied had not crossed any ribs and so can be left in place. Whew! So, rib holes were marked, and then time was up so the Work Session came to a close.
With another Work Session in the books, progress on our Sedan continues. Youths out for the evening were Thomas and Christopher. Mentors were Frank, Tom, Bill, Milt, Barry and me.
Thomas and Milt, along with Tom, got right back into the left side Horizontal Stabilizer, picking up from where they left off last week. On were the finishing tapes over the ribs, trimmed to meet on the leading and trailing edges. Where the tapes covered the PK screws required a little ironing to lay the tape down and then the edge finishing tapes were applied. Work progressed smoothly, and by the end of the evening all the perimeter tapes were applied with the last one on the leading edge fit and tacked in place. We'll finish that one next time!
Meanwhile, Christopher and Crew continued work on the right-side elevator. The job tonight was to work on the top side fabric that was started last week. The fabric was secured around the perimeter and trimmed to the final size. Progress was made but more work needs to be done to make ready for the final tapes.
Last evening was the first real Work Session on our Aeronca Sedan in over 15 months, and we picked up on the project with no hesitation with the guiding hands of Brennan Hawkins of 100 Octane Aviation, our A&P and Mentor's Mentor!
Youth out for the evening were brothers John and Thomas Thro, veterans of our project. It was good to see them back at work. It was also easy to see how they have grown and matured; life happens fast at their age!
Chapter Mentors also along to assist were Mike, Bill, Milt, Frank, and guest, Chapter Member, John Whelan.
After just a short review and orientation we went to work. As you may remember from a previous email, we had set up the classroom as it was before we suspended the Project, so everything was laid out and ready.
Thomas, along with Mike and Milt, chose the left side Horizontal Stabilizer. This piece had been completely covered with fabric, reinforcing tape applied over the ribs and PK screws installed to hold the fabric tight to the surface. Next in line was to apply 2" wide finishing tapes over the reinforcing tape and screws. Thomas had performed this task on the other H.S., so it didn't take long to get back into it. He and Milt teamed up with Mike making sure they had all the stuff they needed. Away they went. By the end of the evening, they were trimming the ends of the tapes as they meet on the leading and trailing edges. Another flight surface making its way toward completion!
Meanwhile, John teamed up with Brennan on the right-side elevator. This piece had been covered on the bottom side previously, so an inspection and cleaning was in order. That completed, the fabric needed to be tightened to the preliminary stage to a temperature of 250 degrees. There is a procedure for this to make sure every inch of the fabric is brought to the correct temperature providing an even tightness. Next, a section of fabric was selected, and the fitting began. Brennan pointed out things to keep in mind about fabric orientation and positioning while John took it all in. Marking and trimming was next, anchoring the fabric and cutting it around the hinge lugs, then fitting it around the perimeter.
Not to be left out of the fun, Frank and Bill got after the left side elevator. This piece had the fabric on the bottom side as well, with the first shrink to 250 degrees already done. An inspection and cleaning being the first thing to do. After that they selected a section of fabric and began the fitting process similar to what John and Brennan were doing on the right-side surface.
The whole time we were working, Brennan went from table to table answering questions and giving direction on details of the processes.
With February quickly entering the history books, we have yet another Work Session in the books too. Youths Thomas and Chris were on board to make it happen. Mentors to tag along were Tom, Barry, Brennan, Frank, Bill, Al and me.
We are deep into the task of covering our tail feathers with fabric and moving right along.
Thomas and Barry continued with their work on the right-side Horizontal Stabilizer. Two-inch tapes over the inner rib screws on the second side, then match up the joint where the tapes meet each other from one side to the other. Thomas is getting quite good at this stuff; the joints are practically invisible!
Chris got busy with the other HS along with Frank and Bill and Tom and sometimes Brennan when they got stuck on some detail. They were finishing up the application of the bottom side fabric, removing all wrinkles, especially where it curves around by the counterbalance cutout, marking and trimming the edges and ironing them down. Shrinking to 250 degrees came next. Next time we'll do the final shrink to 350 degrees and then on to the PK screws that hold the fabric to the inner ribs.
Meanwhile, Brennan couldn't sit still so he went after the left side elevator, finishing up securing the bottom side fabric to the perimeter.
As you may remember, we had some trouble with the right-side elevator. Once covered, the trailing edge tube (3/8" diameter) bent when the fabric was shrunk to 350 degrees. We removed the fabric, and I was about to replace the tube when I realized that the elevator was just too twisted to continue. Re-evaluation was in order so between Brennan and I, we decided to set the tail feathers back on the fuselage to better judge the condition. So, when we had about a half hour left, we all took our pieces out and put them in place. The right-side elevator is definitely out of shape but we're not sure exactly were. We decided to bring a digital level to the hangar in the next few days and take a good hard look at what's going on and come up with a plan to correct it. Stay tuned!
All in all, it was another productive evening, everyone pitching in, working, and learning. It's fun!
Last evening was a-buzz with activity, action at every table with 4 pieces of tail feathers in various stages of covering. Youth attending were Chris and Thomas, along with the Keehl Brothers, Brayden, Noah, and Levi. Their Dad Jake was there too getting in on the action. Mentors were the usual crew, Mike, Brennan, Barry, Frank, Glenn, Bill and me. Tom had other obligations to attend to. Missed you, Tom!
One of the first things to do was to evaluate the right-side elevator covered last time. As you may recall from Mike's report last week the trailing edge, made of 3/8 diameter tube, bent under the strain of the fabric shrunk to the final heat of 350 degrees. This was a condition we could not allow. Not only from a cosmetic point of view, but also because it points to the tube weakened by internal corrosion. The tube must be replaced. So, removal of the fabric was necessary, and the Keehl Bros were up to the task. It was an interesting exercise. I was amazed how much work it took to get the fabric loose and off the structure, these guys really worked at it but eventually won the day and the piece is now ready to be repaired. Now, where did I put that extra tubing...?
Meanwhile, Thomas and Mike resumed work on the right-side horizontal stabilizer which was covered and shrunk last time. Now it was ready for the PK screws to attach the fabric to the ribs. Mark the hole locations with a pencil, apply reinforcement tape, washers and screws. Thomas was an old hand at the operation, remembering the task from work on the rudder. Once both sides were screwed down, covering with 2" tape was next. Barry joined the fun and before we knew it tapes were in place on the one side, ready to flip over and treat the other side.
Brennan and the Keehl Bros went to work covering the other side of the left side H.S. Brennan's little crew followed directions like they've been doing this sort of thing all along. By the time the evening ended they had the fabric ready for the final trim.
Not to be left behind, Chris, Barry, Frank, Glenn and Bill set up the left side elevator for the first layer of fabric. Ok now, which side is up? Cover the bottom side first, right? With that preliminary issue figured out the fabric was rough cut, cement applied and dried, fabric located, and anchoring began. It went pretty much like clockwork. It’s fun to see how practice makes the job easier and faster. This team got the bottom side fabric glued on and ready for the first heat shrink next week.
All in all, the evening rolled on like a well-oiled machine with lots of progress made. I predict that by springtime we'll have a very nice set of tail feathers ready for paint. They'll look nice back where they belong, ready for the Spring Show at our first Pancake Breakfast of the Season!
The end of January is near, days are getting longer, can you feel it? We up here in the frozen north celebrate the end of January with Groundhog's Day next Sunday, February 2nd. This signifies that half of the winter is over, and we may get an early Spring depending on if the Groundhog sees his shadow or not. Some do not put any stock in the ritual with the rodent but nevertheless we're on the back side of Winter, and that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned!
Winter does not deter us though as indicated by our turnout last evening. Youths Chris and Thomas were on board to pitch in as well as our regular crew. Mike, Tom, Aaron, Bill, Frank, Al, Glenn and me. Brennan couldn't make it as he had an engagement at his shop that needed his attention, so we pressed on without him.
First off, Chris was back on his Rudder which is in the finishing stages now. His task was to remove any excess cement and to iron down any rough edges on finishing tapes. There was the question of whether the fabric was brought up to the final shrink temperature of 350 degrees. Last week there was no clear recollection by either Chris or Brennan, but they thought so. Considering that there would be no harm in setting the iron to 350 and going over the Rudder again we did, both sides, twice, to insure we had the proper tightness. Sure enough, the fabric seems tighter now. I don't know if there is a gauge or a method of measuring the tightness of fabric before it is sealed and coated but I intend to find out. Anybody out there know if there is. At any rate, we know now that the final heat was applied, so onward!
Meanwhile, Thomas and Tom were busy preparing the right-side HS for the second layer of fabric. Another team of guys got out the roll and cut a blank for them to use along with another for the right-side Elevator. Thomas and Tom got after it, drawing out the 3" allowance around the HS and cutting the fabric to shape. Next came applying cement to the perimeter. After the cement had dried to the touch, the fabric was centered and rubbed in place, ironed to anchor it and a trim line was drawn on. They then applied glued and wiped up to the line so when the final cut was made the fabric wouldn't unravel. Aaron and Bill joined in from time to time as well.
Not to be standing around with their hands in their pockets, Al, Frank and Glenn prepped and attached the second side of Fabric to the right-side elevator that they started last time, much in the same way as Thomas and Tom were doing with the other one. While their cement was drying, they cut more fabric to fit the left side HS. Then, back on their Elevator.
Chris had brought the Rudder as far as he could, so he joined Bill applying cement to the left side HS on another table. After the glue had dried, they centered the rough trimmed fabric and rubbed it into place.
Talk about activity! Glue was flying, scissors were cutting, hands were rubbing, and tail feathers were taking shape. We have four pieces in various stages of covering.
Suddenly it was time to go. It's true, time flies when you're having fun! Next Wednesday is our meeting night so no Work Session then, our next one will be February 12th, so we'll set our sights for then. Enjoy Groundhog's Day!
The work goes on, Youths Autumn and Chris came by to help lead the charge. Present to assist were Brennan, Tom, Frank, Mike, Al, Barry, Glenn, Bill and me.
Fabric covering of the tail feathers is still the name of the game. Chris again focused his attention on the Rudder. How do we treat the area around the aft position light socket? Brennan showed the way we do it, iron down the outside while the inside gets relieved with scissors to make the turn around the perimeter. The aft position light housing will further anchor the fabric around this opening while in service. Clean excess cement from tapes, Chris is showing Barry some interesting techniques! More cement on the aft finishing tape and trim the end as it terminates at the counterbalance. All the tapes are on, now iron down all edges and prepare for the first coat of EkoBond. We'll learn more about that in the next Session.
Meanwhile, Autumn and Tom continued work on the right-side Horizontal Stabilizer (HS). The bottom side was covered and cemented in place last time so now the task was to ensure all the edges were ironed down properly, excess cement rubbed off and the interior was clear of debris, such as little glue balls and dust. After the blessing from Brennan the HS was deemed ready for the first heat shrink. 250 degrees with the big iron in a sequence that would insure all the wrinkles were removed and the fabric pulled in straight. Iron across the piece and then go perpendicular, making sure every bit of the fabric was brought to temperature. What to do about the corners where wrinkles still showed? Brennan again to the rescue, showing Autumn, and all of us really, the technique to remove them. It still amazes me how this fabric responds to heat!
Wile all this was going on some of the rest of us were working on the right-side elevator which we covered one side last time. Same thing as the HS, iron down the edges, remove excess cement, clean the interior, flip over, and shrink. With Autumn's recent experience on the HS, she was asked to shrink the fabric on the elevator. Like a pro she wielded the iron and shortly the 250-degree shrink was complete.
Next time we'll cut and fit fabric on the other side of these parts. The work goes on!
Thanks to all who came out last evening. Are there any new faces we could see at the next Session? Come on over and check us out, especially if you know of any young person that might enjoy working on our Sedan, we'd love to show them what we're doing.
Now this feels like January in northern Wisconsin (Burrrr)! That fact didn't stop Barry and Chris from coming out to work on our bird. Our other Youth were otherwise occupied dealing with the snowfall and other matters, but Chris was here! Mentors aboard were, Barry, Brennan, Tom, Al, Frank, Bill, Glenn and me.
Chris led the way with his work on the Rudder, final ironing and applying edge finishing tapes with occasional guidance from Brennan and help from Barry. Tom and Glenn continued the work on the right-side Horizontal Stabilizer that Thomas started last time. Not to sit idle, Brennan and Al got busy and started the right-side Elevator. While Brennan was occupied helping Chris, I stepped in on the Elevator project along with Glenn and Frank. We were able to get both the Horizontal Stab. and Elevator through the first side of fabric.
As you can see from the pix, Chris really gets into action when it comes to detail and is doing a marvelous job. He stops at nothing short of standing on his head to make the cuts just right!
We are rolling along well with the fabric covering. Time goes by too fast in these Work Sessions, it seems that we no more get started and we're cleaning up and going home. I encourage you all to come over and join us, especially if you knew of a young person who would enjoy working on an actual airplane. Bring them by and show them what's possible, you never know what kind of fire you may spark!
The first Work Session of 2020 is behind us, we're on our way. Braving the cold were our regular Youths Chris and Thomas. Also, on board was our old friend Autumn, home on break from college. It was fun to see her again and to catch up with her and her studies as well as her catching up on our Sedan work. Welcome back Autumn! Mentors there to help were Brennan, Bill, Barry, Glenn and me.
Chris and Brennan got right back to the Rudder, applying edge tapes this time. Autumn joined the project after a brief recap of our progress since she has been gone. A 3" straight tape to the Rudder hinge post and counterbalance return. This tape took some time as there are hinge knuckles and the rudder control horn to go around. A technique to keep the tape straight was demonstrated. Fold it in half lengthwise and put the crease in the center of the tube, easy-peasy!
Meanwhile, Thomas and I, along with Bill's help, (Brennan was there too, of course) selected the right-side Horizontal Stabilizer (HS) to cover next. Let's see, which is the top and which side is the bottom? Cover the bottom first. We brought out our roll of fabric (yup the one we got from Aircraft Spruce), rolled out 7 feet or so and laid the HS on it, shifted to one side. We traced out the perimeter allowing a 3" or so margin and checked to see that we would have enough to cover the other. The roll is 72" wide, so we flipped the HS around to check. We have more than enough in the remainder so on we went. Thomas cut out our fabric blank, we put the rest of the fabric away and proceeded to glue the blank to our HS.
It took a little bit to get back into the swing of things considering the Holiday break but in no time, we were moving right along. Thomas painted glue (yup, the stuff we got from Stewart Systems) to the perimeter and tacked the fabric in place minding the margin and keeping the wrinkles out. Fasten the leading edge first then pull snug, mark and trim around the hinge lugs before tacking to the hinge tube. Glue all the way around and cut in for the Elevator counterbalance cutout. By the time the Session was done the fabric was securely in place and ready for final gluing.
Again, the evening's time ticked by way too fast and it was time to cleanup and go. It's good to be back at it, we're looking forward to making great progress in the coming weeks. Thanks to all who came out on a cold winter's evening. I can't wait to do it all over again!
Well, here we are at the end Work Sessions for 2019. Christmas is next Wednesday, nobody wants to work that day, go figure! :)
Youth Participants Chris and Thomas were on the job along with Mentors Brennan, Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Bill and me.
The focus was again the Rudder. Brennan led our guys through applying the 2" finishing tapes over the ribs and screws. It only took a little re-training for us, mainly me, to get back with the procedure. Chris and Thomas made quick work of the job, and in a professional manner I might add.
The next step was to cut reinforcements for where the rudder features penetrated the fabric, specifically the rudder horn and rear navigation light. Brennan demonstrated the procedure for cutting them from remnant fabric using a coffee can cover as a circle template the appropriate diameter. Rotary pinking shears are the tool of choice for a nice neat cut. Fold in half, then in half again to find the center. Cut the circle in half and apply to the Rudder on each side. Trim the intersection of the two halves so they meet with a closed intersection that doesn't overlap.
Chris took the first one and applied it to the rudder horn, and Thomas cut the second one. Smaller this time. We used a quart can as our template to reinforce the navigation light location. The smaller diameter is more appropriate to the smaller fixture.
So many steps to take to finish the covering process, and we're not done yet. Next comes the edge tapes, some straight, some cut on the bias for the curved trailing edge. These we'll tackle next time. Our time together comes to a close too soon each time. We just get on a roll and we have to put it all aside for next time!
No worries, there will be a next time, next year.
To close out the evening, we were all treated to homemade ice cream! That's right, Thomas and his friend have started experimenting making ice cream for a possible future business and he brought some along. We all got to be samplers of their latest attempt. Delicious is the best way to describe it. Those of you who didn't come to the Session really missed out! See, this is some of the FUN we have restoring an old airplane. Thanks Thomas, keep up the good work!!
As I mentioned earlier, we will not meet next Wednesday. We will all observe Christmas in our own way, with loved ones and friends. We'll see you all January 8th. I wonder if there'll be any ice cream left!?!
Last evening greeted us with frigid temperatures but that did not dissuade us. Youths Chris and Thomas were on board and eager to get to work, as well as our usual Crew. Tom, Mike, Frank, Brennan, Bill, Barry, Glen and me were there to assist in any way we could.
First, I was happy to assemble a display of the treasure of donated materials that arrived through the generosity of Andy Humphrey of Stewart Systems and Jim Irwin of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. Andy got us set up with EkoBond fabric Cement, EkoClean fabric cleaner and EkoFill that is used for ultraviolet light protection. Andy also sent us a quart of surplus top coat to practice painting techniques. Andy agreed to supply us with the rest of our fabric coating products when the time comes, thus preserving the shelf life of the same, given our rate of progress. Jim was generous to the point of supplying us with all the SuperFlite tapes and fabric to cover our Sedan, as well as reinforcement and anti-chafe tapes needed along with inspection hole reinforcement rings and aluminum covers. Our own Mike and Tom donated money for shipping some of this wonderful stuff, PK screws and special washers required to hold the fabric to the ribs. We needed a couple of screw drivers, spray bottles and distilled water. Mike didn't hesitate to run to the store for these items, never asking to be reimbursed. The rest of the Crew is constantly giving what they see is required and helpful to the Project. I was able to download the procedure manual for Stewart Systems and had a local print shop make 4 copies to be available so we could all be up to speed with the process. The Sedan Fund paid for these manuals as well as more of the shipping of the products. If anyone of you reading this feel a desire to help support us in our work of educating these young minds, your check or cash will be put to good use. We still have a long way to go!
Speaking of go, we decided to try an experiment. In the manual, they caution us to limit the temperature of the irons shrinking fabric to 375 degrees F. Beyond that temperature permanent damage is done and may not be realized until the aircraft is put into service. Humm, what does that look like? We decided to take our trial panel we produced some weeks ago and apply excess heat to it. What will happen? We started with a small iron turned up all the way to 400 Degrees. Nothing noticeable, no smoke or discoloration. We next used a big iron that went up to 425 degrees. After holding it in place for a few seconds, POP! The fabric split open in dramatic fashion. Clearly there may have been damage done to the fabric with the small iron set high, but it seemed unable to hold the high temperature long enough to cause the dramatic failure observed with the large iron. A worthwhile experiment, not held to strict scientific methods for sure, but useful nevertheless. The conclusion is to keep the iron temperature within limits as prescribed to insure the best results possible.
Now, down to production. Under the guiding instruction of Brennan, Chris and Thomas got busy with applying reinforcement tape to the rudder ribs, then washers and PK screws. Once both sides were tended to, finish tape went over the top of these. 2" wide straight pinked tape was cemented in place with lessons on proper procedure and how to keep them straight for the professional look we're after. The boys caught on quickly and our rudder is looking great. Time for the Session wound to a close with some nice progress complete. We'll continue next week with the rudder. When that is done, each of our Youth will have his/her own control surface to cover, from start to finish. I have a feeling we're going to have some Master Coverers in our company by Winter's end!
Thank you to all the brave souls who challenged the cold to attend our Work Session last night! I does my heart good to see the excitement and commitment of everyone involved!
Yesterday was yet another in a long line of successful Work Sessions in the restoration of our Aeronca Sedan. It was a little quieter evening though with Chris and Thomas making up the Youth Participant contingent. Aboard were Mentors Tom, Mike, Frank, Brennan, Bill, Barry and me.
Chris and Thomas continued their work on the rudder under the guiding eye of Brennan, ironing the edges of fabric and wrinkles out before shrinking the second side, Before applying the irons, their temperature was confirmed using bi-metal and a laser thermometer to confirm the 250 degree setting on the irons. The worst thing could be that the irons are too hot and we overheat the fabric. After that shrink they stepped up to the next heat level of 350 degrees and shrunk both sides, again paying attention to the edges and perimeter making sure all the loose spots and wrinkles were indeed down and out. It's still amazing how this fabric behaves under the iron. Once that was accomplished, they painted the fabric edges with glue, there were a few spots that weren't saturated with glue that prevented them from laying down properly.
The next step in the process is to locate the holes for the fastening screws and washers. These screws attach the fabric to the internal ribs to prevent fabric flutter in flight. Sometimes the fabric is attached by stitching with waxed cotton thread and sometimes with aluminum pull rivets. It all depends on how the airplane was originally certified. All seem to be good methods, each having their own benefits and drawbacks. Brennan showed the guys a technique where a light is shown from below and the holes are marked with a sharp pencil. With a poke and a twist of the pencil the hole is marked.
We'll need some rib tape to continue so Chris and Thomas joined me and the rest of the crew on the fuselage, fitting the aileron pulley brackets we've been working on for the last few sessions. With the brackets reworked from the time before they seem to fit better. With time running out, we'll weld them on next time. Hopefully this will be the last welding we need to do on our fuselage, clearing the way for covering and headliner and such.
With steady progress we continue the rebuild. Our next Work Session will be on December 11 due to the Thanksgiving Holiday next week and our regular meetings on Dec 4th.
There is a very good chance that we will have all the covering materials for the Sedan in our hands at this next Session. Andy Humphry from Stewarts Systems and Jim Irwin from Aircraft Spruce and Specialties have teamed up to supply all our materials to cover the Sedan, all we are responsible for is the shipping (can you believe this?). We are all over the moon by their generosity and faith in our program. With their help there is no stopping us from educating these Youth in the art of recovering and restoring a vintage aircraft to good as new, some may say better, condition. We have our winter's work ahead of us, we're all excited!!
Thanks to all who came out last evening to continue our work. I want to wish you all a Happy and Joyful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for!!
What a nice turnout we had last evening. Even though the roads were as slippery as they can get around here, we had Chris and Thomas, Ethan, and a couple of new fellows, brothers Brayden and Noah Keehler, and their Dad Jake, from way up in Cotton Mn. Welcome to the crew guys! The usual bunch of Mentors were aboard to round out the Session, Tom, Mike, Brennan, Frank, Al, Barry and me.
As suggested in my announcement for the Session, we went on a Field Trip. All the way down to Brennan's hangar where he had another 1948 Aeronca Sedan, in for a recovering. What an opportunity! Brennan invited us over to look at and start to remove the old fabric. This fabric had been on the plane for about 10 years but was failing due to it being painted with automotive paint. This paint doesn't have the additives to give it flexibility required with a fabric covered airplane. The paint was cracked all over and through the cracks weakened the fabric to the point it would tear very easily. Brennan gave us a few instructions and with knives in hand, our crew of Youth had the fabric laying on the floor in under an hour. The great thing about the whole process is that nobody cut their fingers or any other parts of themselves! With the covering off we could inspect the insides of this airplane and compare it with ours. There are a few differences but many similarities. We could see how the headliner was installed and how their stringers were attached and protected from the fabric with tape. We also were able to examine the aileron pulley mounts that we're having trouble with on our fuselage. Their alignment with the cable is just fine so we'll try to duplicate the setup on our fuselage.
Around about 7:30 we had removed about all the fabric we could, had a good look at the insides and headed back to our hangar to continue the work on our Sedan.
Back home Chris and Thomas got back on the rudder, making the final trim on the second side and gluing and ironing it down nice and tight. Next time we'll be ready for the first shrink, then screws and tapes. What a process. It goes a lot slower than removing the stuff!
Our new pair of Youth Participants, Brayden and Noah joined Mike and Tom bolting down the brake torque plate onto the right-side landing gear. If you remember, one of the bolt holes stripped out. We drilled out the hole for a through bolt that we secured with an all metal stop nut. It and the other three bolts were tied up with safety wire strung through holes drilled into the heads of all four bolts. This wire will keep the bolts from turning and loosening up on their own. So, Noah and Brayden got a lesson in torqueing and safety wiring a group of bolts. Both boys seemed quite at home with the process, a tribute to their Dad Jake for sure. Good job Dad!
Ethan and I focused on fitting our Aileron Pulley mount. Also, as you may recall from last time, I made up a pair of replacement mounts to better align the pulley with the cable. Ethan and I discovered though that they won't work as configured. As Barry pointed out on the Sedan down in Brennan's hangar, the bolt wasn't at 90 degrees to the tube like I had made them, but more like 105 degrees. Hmmmm. Back at our hangar Ethan and I tried to make ours fit but could not find an arrangement that held the pulley in the proper alignment to the cable. Our conclusion was that I'll remake the mounts like the ones on Brennan's Sedan and try again. With our work at a standstill for the evening Ethan threw in with Chris and Thomas on the rudder, gluing and ironing the fabric edge. This was Ethan's first experience with covering. I suspect he'll get more opportunities in Work Sessions to come!
Thanks to everyone who came out in the Winter Mix we had yesterday. It's fun to have a big crew to work on our bird and amazing the things we learn as we go!
Are you ready for the Ghosts and Goblins that will prowl the streets tonight looking for treats, or tricks? I hope so, they can be scary!
There weren't any last night, just our good buddy Chris, ready and willing to work and learn. Mentors along for guidance were Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill, Glenn and me.
Brennan was otherwise committed so we shifted our attention to a task other than fabric covering that has been waiting to be handled. Aileron control pulley mounts. The two attached to the fuselage just below the rear seat supports on either side of the cabin to be specific. These mounts were positioned in such a way as to hold the pulleys at an angle that would not allow the cable to run true to the pulley center. The cable was rubbing on the inside flange, this was true for both sides, and we want to correct it.
Chris was primarily an observer of the process tonight while I sawed the mounts from the fuselage. My thinking was that if the mount was rotated a little the pulley/cable would come into alignment and the mount could be welded back on. Not so fast. As it turns out, the mounts, which consist of a 5/8" tube about 2" long with a 1/4" bolt welded perpendicular to it at the end, were bent. Short too, as far as we could determine, so was the bolt. We experimented with a couple of 1/4" spacers on the old mounts and that seemed better. The conclusion is that I will make up a new pair of mounts with the extensions added and try them out for size next time. Keep your fingers crossed!
With a little time remaining to us for the evening, we shifted our attention to the right side landing gear. This is the one the had the threaded bolt hole stripped out, the one that holds the brake caliper torque plate to the mounting flange. In preparation for this we ordered a few all metal Stop Nuts, the kind used for high temperature service but have a smaller hex and built in flange that will fit our small space. We cleaned up weld spatter in the area which left just enough room for the nut to turn clearly. We determined the bolt we need is a AN4H-7A, one with a 7/16 grip and a drilled head to safety wire to the other bolts in the pattern. We'll get this one for next time too!
All in all it was a rather quite Work Session with just Chris to focus on, but those are kind of nice too. A little one on one, and we got work done too! Thanks to everyone who came out last night. Now to get ready for the Spooks!
Next Wednesday, the 6th, is our meeting night so no Work Session then. Set your sights on the 13th when we'll be back a it!
Last evening found us with the heat on, both in the hangar and the classroom, it felt good! Along for the Work Session were our two steady workers, Chris and Thomas. Our Mentors were the usual crew; Brennan, Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Bill, Barry and me, with a Chapter Member becoming a regular to our Sessions, Glenn McGill. Welcome Glenn!
Brennan, as you know is the owner/operator of 100 Octane Aviation, an airplane maintenance shop on the field. He is now engaged in recovering a 1948 Howard DGA-15. This is a fabric covered high wing utility airplane powered by a 450 hp radial engine. This airplane makes our Sedan look like a toy! Brennan brought over the rudder for us to look over and uncover, just to see another way that fabric can be attached to a flight control. Very cool! So, to put a little perspective to this rudder we all walked down to Bennan's hangar where the Howard is to see what the fuselage looked like. The first thing that hits you is that this airplane is BIG! What a monster, controlled by this little rudder, but it does the job! Back in our hangar Thomas and crew, after a brief coaching by Brennan, got after removing the skin. It is attached basically the same as ours will be except that the fabric is stitched to the ribs with a waxed, either cotton or linen, cord. Our rudder will use little screws to do the job. How it is attached is all dictated by how it was attached when the airplane was certified. Anyway, it was interesting to learn how this fabric was attached, and how it looked on the inside since it was last recovered in the 1970's. Slowly but surely they worked at cutting the fabric and stitching until the skin was off reveling a framework in not too bad a condition. Only a little corrosion on an aluminum fairing piece on the bottom that can be replaced. Interesting!
All this time, Chris could not be stopped, so he and Brennan got back on our rudder. Final preparation for attaching the second side of fabric was made. Set the wire for the aft position light in place, iron down any edges that are lifted from the tubing and paint a little glue onto the perimeter of the rudder for anchoring the new fabric. Once the glue was dry set the fabric onto the rudder. They centered the fabric and the first cut was made to allow the rudder horn to penetrate so the fabric could lay flat against the framework. Nothing to it, especially when we have the capable hands of Brennan on board to lead the process! Next was to rough trim the fabric to within 3 or 4 inches of the rudder and then iron it down to secure it in position. It's fascinating how a little heat will soften the glue enough to penetrate the fabric and hold it there, no need for clamps. As soon as it cools a little the fabric is stuck in place, but not so much that it can't be lifted and re-positioned if required, and anchored again, and again until we're satisfied. Once we were satisfied the new fabric was well stuck in place, we turned the whole thing over and continued ironing around the outside, further anchoring the fabric in place. When Thomas and crew finished with the Howard rudder, they came in and joined Chris and company on our rudder.
The clock on the wall eventually showed that our Work Session had ended, so we left our rudder on the table, ready to further trim and glue down the fabric.
Progress, it's fun to see. Chris and Thomas are going to be experts on the covering business by the time we get the Sedan all covered! A valuable lesson they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives, awesome eh?
Thanks to all who turned out to join in the Session. Even Tom, who's Birthday it was yesterday, chose to celebrate it with us at our Sedan Work Session. Happy Birthday Tom!
The Work continues! Our Youth, Chris and Thomas arrived eager to get to it with their eyes on the rudder we started last time. On board to assist were Mentors Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill, Brennan, Barry and me.
We continued our work in the Classroom again, better tables! First order of business was to apply anti chafe tape on an internal brace tube to prevent damage to the fabric from any future flutter in the fabric that may beat against the tube. Brennan admitted that we should have applied the tape before the fabric was applied, but no worries, now is the next best time! A little glue on the tube, let it dry, apply the tape and iron it down. Nothing to it! Next was a final trim on the fabric to wrap around the perimeter tubes and anchor with glue. Pull and iron, pull and iron until all the edges were down and smooth.
Once that was completed, we turned the rudder over and the fun began. First shrink and remove all the wrinkles. We got out the big iron set at 250 degrees and went at it. It is amazing how this fabric shrinks under the heat of an iron. The reason an iron is used instead of a heat gun is control. 250 degrees is the max temperature we want to apply at this time and a heat gun is just too hot and hard to control. "Start in the middle and work your way out" is the way. Kind of like bolting down an engine cylinder head if you've ever done that before. Nice and even and gradual. Next comes the small iron to get in the corners and remove more of the wrinkles. Sometimes the fabric needs to be lifted from an tube and pulled a little tighter to get rid of extra fabric but again, no worries. Lift the fabric, pull tight and iron down again until satisfied. "Stay away from the main ribs to prevent lines showing up in the final shrink" says Brennan. If the iron comes up on the rib during the process the fabric can shrink differently and show up as a line even after paint is applied. So many things to keep in mind, but once the process us understood it all seems logical.
Next week we'll start on the other side. Kind of fun to see things taking shape!
Thanks to all who came out last evening. Little by little the saying goes, and so it does!
Last evening met us with warm and light breezes. That was good as earlier the wind was strong out of the south west and might have prevented us from having the big door open for our Work Session. Not to worry, big door open, nice!
Add a couple of familiar faces, those of Chris and Thomas, ready to work and learn! Joining them were our crew of Mentors; Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill, Brennan and myself.
The task of the evening centered around fabric. As you may remember, member Mark Marino donated some Poly-Fiber fabric left over from his dealership recently sold. We rolled it out and discovered we had enough to do the rudder. The elevators and Horizontal stabilizers were too long, but the rudder fit just fine. We’ll have enough for both sides. Onward!
We got set up in the classroom where we had lots of free table space to roll out the fabric and rudder. Step by step, Brennan took us thru the process, just like the trial elevator counterbalance we covered the last couple of sessions. With most of us looking on and contributing where we could, Chris and Thomas glued, trimmed and attached the fabric to the side of the Rudder with Brennan there to keep the process going smooth and correct.
Before too long the evening came to a close and we had fabric attached to the Rudder half.
Next time we’ll continue with the glue and irons to completely anchor the fabric and get it ready for the first shrink. This is real progress, covering flight surfaces! Squint your eyes and you can almost see this bird in the air!
First of all, I want to apologize for the late post. The reasons are multiple and include an early morning rise to meet the dark yesterday to take Cathy to the airport to go to her Mom's for a visit. I could have come home to write the Review after that, but I had another appointment at another airport. This one is located in Superior where I am currently keeping my newly minted Glasair Sportsman. The appointment involved a CFI Dan, from central Wisconsin flying up to fly with me in my new bird. This thing flew for the first time a week ago under the capable hands of a good friend of mine, Dennis, also from out of town. Yesterday I was able to log around 2 and a half hours breaking in the new engine and shooting a few landings. As a rusty pilot flying a faster airplane, I need instruction, and a little more adding to yesterday in the coming days. Long story short, (too late for that!) I got home yesterday evening dog tired and unable to gather my thoughts for the Review. Refreshed from a good night's sleep, here goes!
Wednesday Work Session was greeted by a couple of eager Youth, Thomas and Chris. Mentors, pretty much the usual Crew of Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and I were aboard to assist.
Brennan was unable to attend to guide us in the fabric work, so we went another direction. Thomas and Mike got back on the left elevator, drilling the rest of the PK screw holes in the ribs. Finished with that control surface, they got the rudder and drilled the same holes in the new rib that replaced the old bent and repaired old one. With these tasks complete they moved to the forward floor closeout Chris and Mike had been working on for the last few Sessions. First thing to do was trim the leather anti-chafe material glued on last time. Ez Pz. Next, they fit it into place and transferred the holes to the cabin floor for installation of T-nuts. Meanwhile, Chris and Tom got under the fuselage and checked to see that all the mounting holes were drilled prior to their removal. The floorboards were then removed, and the T-nuts were installed in the left side forward floorboard. They'll do the other side next time as time ran out and the Work Session ended.
While all this was going on, Chris and company, mainly Tom and Frank, removed the engine cowling and related sheet metal including the firewall and stored the pieces upstairs in the attic. These pieces will be refreshed or replaced as required before their return to the fuselage, so storage for now is the plan. Once the fuselage was clear again, the wooden stand was reattached to the front so we could remove the main landing gear also. The gear legs need a little more work before they can be attached for keeps, and we also want to be able to roll the fuselage around for a little more work it needs too before covering and interior parts can be installed.
All in all, it was a busy and productive evening. As far as the fuselage is concerned, it kind of looks like we're going backwards, but sometimes that's what it looks like. We're moving forward; the picture can get a little tricky sometimes!
Yesterday was a crazy stormy, windy and warm day. However, by the time our Work Session rolled around the winds had diminished with temps still in the 70's. Beautiful evening. To take advantage of it were Youths Chris and Thomas, along with Mentors Tom, Mike Frank, Brennan, Barry and me.
As I mentioned in my invitation yesterday, fabric covering was on the menu. Chris and Brennan got back into it, smoothing out the work from last week and then proceeding to cover the top of the elevator counterbalance. I questioned the crew, and a few had watched some of the Stewart Systems video so we're beginning to get a picture of how this covering phase is going to go. Brennan took Chris thru the processes, step by step, and by about 8 o'clock had the top skin ready to shrink. That will happen next time as the glue has to dry completely first. The shrinking puts a lot of pressure on the glue joints, so we want to make sure it's good and dry.
Meanwhile, Thomas and Mike and I removed the left side elevator. For some reason, this controls surface had internal ribs that weren't drilled for the PK Screws used to hold the fabric down in the interior of the surface. Thomas and Mike spent the better part of the evening laying out and drilling the little holes. Nice job fellas.
Not to remain idle, Frank and I removed the rest of the tail feathers including the rudder in preparation for covering these surfaces too. Mark Marino donated some remnant fabric he had on hand, some 10 yards or so, enough to get a good start on covering the real thing next time. Thanks Mark!
With a half hour left in the Session after Thomas had to leave, Chris and Mike glued the anti-chafe leather strips onto the forward floor closeout they had been working on for the last few sessions. Clamped and left to cure, our Session ended.
Thanks to all who came to work last evening. It's truly amazing how things come together once the word gets around, people are talking, and things happen. It just kind of makes me smile!
September has blown in like summer's over for the crying out loud!! Burr, we even had the heat on in the Hangar yesterday. Good thing too, that wind off the Lake was chilly!
That didn't stop us though, Chris showed up with his Mentor Barry and we got to work. Chapter Mentors were the usual crowd; Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Bill and me. We even had a guest Mentor/Instructor on board to introduce us to the Stewart Systems of Aircraft Fabric Covering, Brennan Hawkins, owner of 100 Octane Aviation which is located on the field at SUW. Brennan began by explaining in general how the system works. It is a water base system of cement, sealers and topcoats which makes it environmentally much safer, nonflammable, nontoxic to breathe (I don't know about ingesting the stuff but that's easy enough to avoid!), and handle. This is ideal for use on our Sedan and the participation of our Youth, as safety is our highest priority. We still intend to ask Poly-Fiber thru Mark Marino to help us with the fabric as it is identical to Stewart Systems so we can share the load, and Stewart is fine with the use of Poly-Fiber fabric under their products.
We got started with covering the counterbalance portion of a rejected elevator. This part was replaced because of excessive corrosion but is perfect for practice and demonstration. Chris got right in there applying the cement and fabric. The use of the iron comes in right away to anchor the fabric with lots of steps on our way to completion. The surface is covered one side at a time for better control which leads to a higher quality job, with steps that cover several days. This will be a very interesting and educational journey, covering our airplane. I can visualize this as our winter project and consider ourselves fortunate to complete by Spring, we'll see!
With our work on the elevator as far as we could take it for now, Brennan said "Good Evening, see you next week". We still had a little time left so Chris and Mike got back to work on their floor closeout they have been producing for the last few Sessions. Clean up the last corner cutout and it's ready for primer and paint. Mike will take care of that task away from the Work Session and have it ready for next time to attach the anti-chafe strips and drill mounting holes.
Thanks to all who came out yesterday and especially to Brennan for starting us on the long trail to covering our bird, a very big step!
Summer is winding down right along with August. Last evening, we had our last Work Session of the month with Chris and Thomas representing our Youth contingent. Mentors along to help were Mike, Tom, Al, Frank, Bill, Barry and me.
Chris and Mike continued their work on the forward floor closeout that goes ahead of the rudder pedals. As you may recall, this piece is being made of aluminum sheet. We made the first one out of plywood, the same material as the rest of the floor, until we realized that it will be impossible to remove a wooden piece without first removing the rudder pedal assembly. We didn't want to paint ourselves into that corner, so we chose to use aluminum sheet which is flexible enough to allow us to remove it when necessary by only removing a piece of cowling, a much simpler operation. Chris and Mike had all the areas cut out to go around the rudder pedals, brake cylinders and frame members and are cleaning up the edges to remove burrs. This is kind of tricky as the edges are so thin, they chatter under the file. To combat this, they clamp the metal between two pieces of wood with just the material to be removed sticking out. File down to the wood and done. Sounds simple doesn't it? Easier said than done, but they're almost finished, one more spot in a corner, then it’s on to mounting holes and paint. Sometimes airplane building can get a little tedious if you want to make it nice!
Thomas, along with the rest of us set out to hang all the sheet metal on the front of the fuselage. This was done to check fit and condition of the parts. Which ones need to be replaced and which ones need only reconditioning? Most of the parts are rough. After 70 some years of engine vibration, flight hours and service operations, damage and repair, this poor aluminum assembly is looking kind of sad. Squint your eyes a little tough and it helps complete the airplane. One can almost imagine a propeller and spinner out in front, ready for action!
First to go on was the firewall and wrap around assembly (sometimes called a boot cowl). As part of this group of parts is the glare shield and instrument panel. We used clecos instead of screws and bolts to hold these parts in place, as the assembledge is temporary. Next is the engine cowl assembly. These pieces were really grimy with dirt and engine oil so Tom and Frank got busy and cleaned them off. Dish soap, scrub brush and the water hose did the job. Now we can handle the pieces without dealing with all that mess, thanks guys! The engine cowl along with the nose bowl went on and viola, it looks like an airplane!
This trial fit of sheet metal provides good information regarding condition and fit with the bonus of looking good for our Pancake Breakfast/Young Eagle event coming up on the 7th of September. We got to look good for the masses of folks coming by the Hangar to inspect our Project, right? We're hoping to attract more Youth participation, after all that's our Primary Mission!
Not to be left out of developments within the Work Session, Mark Marino, Chapter Member, airplane builder, fabric expert and Friend of the Project, stopped by to help estimate the material list for covering our bird. Mark used to have a Poly Fiber dealership which he sold to Joel Timblin of High Road Aviation. Mark and Joel are scheming out a plan to get us started, possibly as early as next month. How exciting is that? Fabric covering on our airplane. Wow, Go Mark and Joel!!
Thanks to all who turned out last evening, Many hands make the task easier, and more fun! We couldn't do it without you!!
Next Wednesday is our meeting night so there'll be no Work Session. Come to the Breakfast/YE Event on the 7th though, enjoy a few pancakes, go for a Young Eagle ride and check out our Sedan. See you there!
What a turn out we had last evening! A total of six Youth were on board to join in the fun. They were Brothers Mica and Noah, John and Thomas, with Autumn and Chris rounding out the group. We had the usual crew of Mentors in attendance; Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Bill, Al, Mike S., and me.
As John and Thomas came in, John presented us with a gift. A hand drawn picture in colored pencil, of our Sedan as it could look all done ready to fly! I've attached a pic of it, check it out! John did a wonderful, this kid has some serious talent in so many areas. Now we know he can draw! Thank You John, we'll hang it up on the classroom wall with pride. John will be spending his Senior High School year at the Perpich Arts High School in the Cities concentrating on Music, his real passion. He'll still come join in on the Sedan Project when he can. All we can say is "Good Luck" with your new adventure John, we know you'll do outstanding!
On with the Work Session! Mike took Chris and later Thomas and Autumn to pay attention to the fwd floor closeout in progress. They cut holes, slots and reliefs to fit around the rudder pedals, brake cylinders and frame members. Now what's left is to refine the cuts, produce the attachment holes, and put in primer.
We recently discovered a wooden bulkhead, number 4-15 to be exact, that was bowed a little, so Tom, Mica and Bill set out to correct the situation. They removed the tie wires holding everything together and moved the bulkhead around to flatten it out. Some progress was made but not perfect. Our conclusion is that it will do the job it will be called to do, so good enough!
Frank and Autumn took on the task to inventory items Member Frank Tahtinen donated to the Chapter last week. These are items Frank had in his hanger which he no longer needs and thought that the Chapter could make use of them. Things like a brake bleeder and fluid, oil filter cutter for inspecting oil filter elements at oil change time, various lengths and diameters of SCAT tubing, gauges, a compression leak tester, and many other aircraft related items too numerous to list here. Two big plastic tubs full. We'll have the full list at our next Chapter Meeting for all to view. Thank you so much Frank, we appreciate the valuable contribution! The tubs were carried up to our storage attic already full of Sedan and other parts. Frank and Autumn and Mike S. straightened it up a little so at least we can walk around in there without stepping on stuff. It's amazing what accumulates, am I right?!
Thomas and John threw in with me and we took care of a few miscellaneous jobs. They torqued the correct nut on the tail wheel pivot bolt as well as the eyebolts on the rudder steering horn. We bolted the elevator trim tab onto the left side elevator and connected the control cables to it. We then removed the brake master cylinders to inspect the seals, trying to understand how to rebuild them. These cylinders don't have any part numbers on them to tell us what they are so we'll just have to measure the O-rings for replacement. We discovered that there is a cup shaped seal for the main plunger which we'll have to try to identify. If we can't, we may have to replace the pair of master cylinders to get the brake system working properly.
We had so much going on last evening, I'm sure I'm leaving out something! It was amazing, everyone doing stuff, working together, and I think, having fun!
Thanks to all for coming out and giving us your time and talent, it's a wonderful thing!
Last evening was a full one, complete with airplane rides! On board to join in the fun were our Youth Thomas, Autumn and Chris. Mike brought over his beautiful Stinson and spent the evening giving Thomas and Autumn, one at a time, a nice long ride trying the controls and enjoying the scenery with smooth clear air. What could be better?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Frank, Bill, Barry, the remaining Youth and I were preparing our Sedan for showing off at this Saturday's CAF event at their hanger at the Superior Airport. They are going to put on a first annual, all day classic car and airplane show complete with live music in the afternoon, to a visiting AT-6 flying in to sell rides. Ever want to go for a ride in an AT-6? Well, here's your chance!
We have been invited to display our Project there so we're taking advantage of it to get the word out and perhaps raise some badly needed funds. So, we thought it would be a good idea to put the wheels back on, along with the newly primed tail feathers, thanks to Chris Penny and Custom Powder Coating in Superior, to make a better showing. It's now ready to taxi down to the CAF hangar Saturday morning, take the Apparel Cabinet out of the airport terminal and set up a little display. Wanna come down and help tell the story of our Project? We'll be there till midafternoon at least so don't be shy, come on over!
Thanks to all who came out last night, our little plane is getting a little personality now, FUN!
It was such a busy Session that I hardly had a chance to take any pictures but attached are a couple. Work work work, the place was hummin'!
It's me again, except I was unable to attend the Work Session yesterday as I was out of town. However, a good share of our Crew was there and carried on and didn't even miss me!
Mike stepped up to write a Review of the Session. It is as follows:
Youth: Chris, Thomas
Mentors: Tom, Al, Bill, Barry, Mike
Chris, Mike, Barry and Bill began by mounting the brake torque plates to the landing gear with the new, proper hardware. Chris had this well in hand on his own until it came time to torque the new bolts down. The last bolt kept turning rather than holding at the proper torque value. We had never noticed it before, but that hole was slightly stripped and consequently could not be tightened. At Al’s suggestion, we reamed the threads out of the hole and will fasten that bolt with a nut on the other side of the plate.
The other gear leg held the bolts just fine, so Chris was able to take a try at safety wiring. Mike was able to demonstrate that old aviation saw “you aren’t done with the safety wire until you are bleeding.” Luckily Chris was able to complete his portion of that task with no harm to himself.
Thomas and Tom spent the evening locating the remainder of the floorboard fastening holes. The floorboards seem to be one of those tasks that don’t ever have an end. A good deal of the time was spent rounding the corners of the boards so they will lay flat against the air frame welds. Patience will pay off in the end when everything fits into place just the way it should.
Chris, Barry and Mike finished the night laying out the forward floor closeout on a new piece of aluminum. Even got a couple of holes cut before the session ended.
Thanks to everyone who came out last night, and a reminder that there will be no session next week.
As you can tell, everything moved along without a hitch. I'm so proud of those guys, Youth and Crew!
I will be present at our next Work Session, on August the 14th, just so everyone doesn't get too used to me not being there!
I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was nice to have a little lake breeze last evening, cool things off a little. When the temps hover around mid-80's and 90's, we up here in the north just can't take it, Haha!!!
Out to enjoy the weather were three brave and eager Youth: Autumn, Chris and Noah. The Mentor crew consisted of Mike, Tom and me with Barry acting as our Photojournalist and Noah's Dad Mike S. helping as well.
Chris along with Mike and Barry proceeded to clean up the bolt holes in the main landing gear brake torque plate mounting ring. The threads have always been a little dirty so running a tap through them did the trick. The torque plates now bolt up clean and facing forward as intended. Now we just need some bolts the right length with drilled heads so when in place can be secured with safety wire.
These guys next turned their attention to the aluminum closeout that goes on the floor in front of the rudder pedals. We received a pattern from Chet Nelson when Mike and I went to visit him this week. It was a good thing because his pattern fit much better than the aluminum one. We'll make a new one from some material Mike has and get the pattern back to Chet. Thanks Chet! They then went on to fit and form a pair of leather rub strips for the outboard edges of the closeout, leather courtesy of Mark Marino. Thanks Mark! The leather will be attached to the closeout with staples eventually.
Autumn and I worked on the tail wheel assembly. Last time it was temporally hung for the Chapter Breakfast we left out a few things, like thrust washers between the assembly and the fuselage. We installed them as well as the shock cord ring that provides the spring for suspension. We installed the standard ring that we had on hand. We may move up to the heavy duty one that Chet recommends at a later date. With this complete for now, Autumn threw in with Noah and crew to help with screw holes in the floorboards.
Noah, along with Tom and his Dad Mike installed some cable guards and brackets that were cleaned up and primed last time. Boy, everything is turning up all shiny and new, cool!! After that little task they got the floorboards back out and placed them into the fuselage in order to drill the mounting screw holes for eventual final installation. While set and clamped in place we rotated the fuselage on its side and drilled and clecoed the boards in place. We didn't have the right size washers to hold the 5/32" clecos in place so we made some out of thin aluminum. Autumn helped with that. By the time the clock wound to 8:30 they had a good start on this task. We'll finish up next time.
Next week is time for all aviators to travel to our Mecca, or Airventure at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the greatest aviation gathering and exhibition in the world! So, as a result there will be no Mentors available to hold a Work Session. Therefore, we must cancel next Wednesday's Session and turn our focus on July 31st. We'll all be back by then, all enlightened and refreshed by our experience, and ready to continue our Prize Project! Join us then, won't you?
Thanks to all who came out last evening, it continues to be a pleasure and joy to gather, work and learn!
Have I mentioned how much I love Summertime? Well, I do and it's great! Shorts or long pants, shoes or sandals? Big decisions all, that's what comes with Summer. What else comes with summer is working on the Sedan with the big door open and gentle breezes coming thru the hangar. That's what it was last night during the Work Session. Autumn, Chris, Thomas and Milt were the Crew of Youth Participants, guided by the usual group of Mentors; Tom, Frank, Mike, Al, Barry and me.
If you remember from last Session, we had an issue with the brake calipers clocked in the vertical down position. We want them in the forward position, a much better place, out of harm’s way (most airplanes have them in this position). This week Chris and Mike and Barry drilled the torque plate mounting bolt patterns 90 degrees to the original using templates drawn on AutoCAD to locate the holes. They then fit them to the axles, and they fit! One axle hole needs to be chased with a tap, but other than that they'll do the job.
Meanwhile, Autumn and Tom, with Franks help, secured some missing bolts in the fuselage. One that holds the aft position of the bottom center stringer (got that?). another pair that secure the clamps that hold the fairleads for the rudder control cables. Next on the list was to remove pulley cable guards and clips that needed sandblasting and painting. Autumn got a primer on the use of our sandblast cabinet, a handy tool for cleaning up small parts. The parts were primed and hung to dry on wires.
Not to be left out, Thomas, Milt and I got into a little TIG welding repair of the right-side forward seat back frame. There was a longitudinal crack about an inch long that needed to go away. First things first and a little demonstration of what we’re going to do was in order. I showed the guys what I was going to do on a piece of scrap tube and then Thomas got an opportunity to try his hand. First simply making a puddle, moving it along the tube and then adding filler rod to make a weld bead. Thomas has had some experience with MIG, or wire welding so this was not completely foreign to him. Making the puddle with one hand while adding filler metal with the other, all the while controlling the heat with a foot pedal was a new experience though. He did well, all he needs now is a little more practice, and then after that, a little more practice! Once the seat frame was repaired there were some weld defects on the right-side landing gear that needed attention, so we took care of them too.
Again, before we knew it, our time was up and we had to return the hangar to an airplane storage space and regroup for our next Work Session. Thanks to all who came out last evening. Did I mention how much I like Summer? It was a great evening for working on an old airplane!
See you all next week!
What a glorious summer day it was yesterday, and the evening was even better. The wind quit, upper 70's, sunny, what's not to like!
We had a good turnout too. Youth Participants included Chris, Thomas and Ethan. Mentors, the usual crew of Tom, Mile, Frank, Barry, Bill and me.
Chris and Mike went right to work on the main landing gear. We want to change the position of the brake caliper from below the axle to in front of it. We feel the caliper is too exposed to FOD (foreign object debris (that is a technical term)) damage hanging down, and the brakes will be easier to bleed with the caliper in the front position. So, off came the wheels and torque plate to measure the bolt pattern holding the torque plate to the axle. With this information in hand we'll see if we can simply drill the existing plate or if we need to replace them with ones drilled correctly. The gear legs were also examined, and a couple of weld defects previously found were prepared for repair.
Thomas and Frank in the meantime took on the job of varnishing the floorboards where they were trimmed in the last couple of Work Sessions, and any suspected areas missed on the fuselage. Thomas is a good brusher, working deliberately and thoughtfully throughout the process. Good Job!
Ethan and Tom were not to be left out of the fun. They turned to the airplane interior; side panels, headliner and seat frames. They took turns inspecting the frames for cracks and other defects, each on one and then the other so the seat frames got a two time once over! One crack was found, originally discovered by us some time ago during another inspection. It's good to look at these things thoroughly to be sure nothing is missed. The crack is simple and can be welded. We'll do that next time along with some repair of a weld defect on the main landing gear. The side panels were all located and accounted for, trial fit and identified. We'll be able to use them as patterns. Now to find someone who can drive a sewing machine to help us renew them. This task falls outside of our collective skill set for now, anybody know anyone who can teach us.
As another Work Session ended, a flock of airplanes came in to visit from Cloquet. A J4, an Avid Flyer, and a couple of Champs. What a lovely sight on a beautiful evening. Not a ripple in the air and totally blue ski. They stayed for just a little while and then took off for places known only to them. Now, how much work do we have left on our Sedan?!?
Thanks to all who came out yesterday. As June ends, we'll set our sights on July 10, two weeks from now for our next Work Session as next Wednesday is Meeting time.
Last night was a flurry of activity in the Chapter Hangar. We were blessed with a large group of Youth Participants, 6 in all. They were Chris, Autumn, brothers Noah and Micah, Thomas and Ethan. Mentors on board were Tom, Frank, Al, Bill, Barry, Mike Stevens and me. What a crew! If we had this many every week, we'd have this thing in the air in no time!
We had plenty to do too. Chris, Barry and Bill finished up fitting the forward floorboards. I found the aluminum sheet closeout to replace the wooden one we had previously made. This is located just ahead of the rudder pedals. It was pointed out by our friend in Little Falls, Chet Nelson, that the aluminum one is what the original part was made of and would make later maintenance a lot easier. Thanks Chet! We'll use it as a pattern to make a new one, completing the floor.
In the meantime, there was work being done in the very back of the fuselage. We were preparing to remove the tail feathers. Just about everyone else was involved in this task. Control cables were removed and secured, brace wires removed, and hinge pins driven out. With the elevators off, Ethan and Al got busy straightening out the trailing edge tubes where bent, using shaped blocks of wood, the worktable and a wooden hand screw clamp. Block and squeeze here and there. Way better!
Miscellaneous items were tightened, like the bolts for the rudder pedal bearing blocks for example. Chris and Thomas torqued and marked them with torque seal. Autumn found the rudder pedal toe brake assemblies along with the brake master cylinders and fit them in place with help from Bill and Barry. This in order to determine what needs to be renewed and what can be used as is.
Next came a big moment, remove the main gear. With the fit assured the gear needs to be removed to make some weld repairs as well as eventual covering with fabric. It was quite the operation, rehang the forward stand, add temporary legs to raise the wheel off the floor, remove the rope that served as a shock cord substitute and bolts holding the gear on. First one side, then the other. We used the removed rope to hold the gear from falling after the bolts were gone, and before we knew it, the gear was off and the fuselage was again on the stand. Boy, it sure looks different sitting so low on the floor!
Suddenly it was time to clean up and end the Work Session. Time flies when you're having fun, and it did! Thanks to all who came out last evening, I've got a feeling we're going to have lots of help this summer. Stay tuned because there is going to be some significant progress coming soon!
What a lovely evening it was yesterday, don't you just love summer? We had a great time yesterday with Chris, Autumn and Milt coming by to contribute and maybe learn something new. Mike, Al, Barry, Bill and I were along to help make sure 1. No one got hurt, 2. We had fun and 3. Learned something!
As far as operations go, we had the forward floorboards to fit better. If you remember from last time, they didn't fit that well with the rudder pedals in place. Chris, Barry and various Mentors got to work. Little by little, trim and fit (repeatedly) and they lay down well. You trim for an interference one place and another shows up. We want to be cautious, so we don't leave big gaps in the final fit. Bill got out his saber saw for some cuts, so Chris got some more experience with that tool. Every time I turned around, they were fitting the board back in. They did a nice job, now we have more varnish touch-up to do!
Not to be left out, Autumn and Mike focused on the pair of pulleys that guide the elevator trim cables back to the tail feathers. There are three sets of these pulleys, this set is the most forward one. They were missing when we got the plane, so we had to A. Find some and B. Fit them. Mike had a pair made, they are like the ones used on his Stinson, then we needed to fit them to a sleeve/bushing that fits over the attachment stud on the fuselage. After cleaning up the bore with sandpaper on a mandrel (made from a pencil) and trimming the sleeve to length, the pulleys run free and easy in their new home. We used the drill press as a makeshift lathe to trim the sleeve to length with a hack saw and file to square up and fine tune the end. The cable guard was just a little tight on the pulleys too, so we bolted them together, chucked up the bolt in the drill press and filed off a few thousandths from the outer diameter. Like I said, free and easy. Autumn got a little demo in using what tools we have rather than what tools we want to get the job done. I hardly ever have all the tools I want (who does?) so it's kind of fun to experiment with expanding the range of the ones we have!
Summertime!! Well, yesterday it was, warm enough to have the big door open and let all the heat in. Boy, I like this weather!
I was not alone in this thinking either. Our Youth, Chris and Ethan came out to help with the Project, as well as our mostly usual crew of Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Al and me.
On the agenda for the evening was to put the rest of the landing gear on, to check for fit and to just see how it looks on wheels. Well, to put it in a nutshell, it looks great!
The first order of business was to pick up the fuselage and attach an extension onto the front stand. This set everything up high enough to put the right-side landing gear in place. Chris and Ethan were a team all evening, working together to coax the parts to their intended positions. Once the right gear was in we Ethan it up with rope instead of the eventual shock cords, the front stand came off and the fuselage was standing on its own two feet, or wheels if you prefer, looking very nice!
Next our guys shifted their attention to the tail wheel. With a little lube on the bolt and bushings it went right into place like it belongs there. They installed the second stop bumper and checked its range of travel. Just like factory! Now, how do we steer the thing? The Steering Fork was bolted to the bottom of the rudder post and the connector assembly with the springs and chains adjusted and attached. I think it'll work! Ethan tied it in the up position just like the front gear. Out came the bucket it was sitting on and our Sedan was on rubber! We couldn't hardly stand it so we rolled it outside to see what it looked like in sunlight, “Very impressive" was the general consensus. It stands very tall was my impression, even though there is no weight there to speak of and a pair of landing gear stop pads aren't installed causing it to ride higher than normal. Nevertheless, "Very Impressive".
A question begged an answer, should we put the floorboards in? Yes, was the answer! We rolled it back in and set the floor in place. Only the right front piece needed a little trimming, so Ethan and Mike took that on. In and out a couple of times and we’re closer but not quite right yet. Every trial fit revealed another spot that needs attention. Time had passed for the Session tonight with one more little spot that needs trimming. We'll get that this Saturday morning before the Pancake Breakfast. It'll just look better that way.
Meanwhile, we discovered that the tail wheel tire was low on air. "Hey Chris, you want to air that tire up?" Chris grabbed the air compressor and fired it up. Before we knew it he had got the air in and the tire was standing like it should. What Chris had missed is that there wasn't an air chuck on the end of the hose. That didn't stop him! He simply shoved the air-line coupler onto the tire valve stem and in went the air. "How'd you do that?" was the question! But like the bumble bee that doesn't know it isn't aerodynamically able to fly, it does anyway. Chris didn't know he needed an air chuck, he did as he was asked and put air in the tire!
Thanks to all who came out last evening, it sure is fun to be part of the changes happening to our little airplane!
Yawl come to the Chapter Hangar this Saturday, have a little breakfast, check her out in person, and for all you Youth, go for a Young Eagle airplane ride!
Next Wednesday is our meeting night so no Work Session. Our next chance will be June 12, so we'll see you then.
Will this rain ever stop? Seems a little soggy these past days, makes it hard to get the crops in! 'Course I suppose we'll be looking for some of this moisture come July or August. That doesn't stop us though, we had a good crew on board for last night’s Work Session. Ethan and Chris were the main Men, or should I say Youth! Mentors were Mike, Tom, Barry, Al and me.
We were getting ready for the Spring Fashion Show, or as the Chapter likes to call it, our Spring Pancake Breakfast/Young Eagle Event, coming up June 1st. We are trying to put our best foot forward as well as making some trial fittings to understand what will be needed for the final fit-up.
To that end, Ethan and Mike got the main landing gear out and fit the brake calipers and wheels. With only minor massaging, the parts found their way home and were ready to mount to the fuselage. The hunt for the old bolts was more of a challenge!
In the meantime, Chris and Barry focused on the rudder pedal shafts and their bearings. The bearings are phenolic pillow blocks in the outboard position and made of aluminum in the center. When they were fit previously it was without lubrication and now, they squeak! No good! Chris and Barry took the bearings apart and applied some lube. Molybdenum Disulfide with Graphite (try saying that 3 times real fast!), or its trade name Dri-Slide, to do the job. As the name implies, once applied and the lube dries out it stays put, withstands extreme pressure and does not collect dust and dirt like ordinary grease. We'll see how it holds up. With lube in place the assembly was put back together. No squeaks!
With that task complete, Chris and company moved to the rudder to check it's range of travel. We had a protractor and an angle duplicator, so we were able to measure its deflection relative to the vertical stabilizer. According to the Service Manual, Chris reported that we need 25 degrees of deflection +/- 2 degrees. We made our measurement and left rudder went to 15 degrees. Not even close! We took a quick measurement of the Rudder's right deflection and it was closer, about 20 degrees, but still shy. The rudder stops are adjustable on our ship, so we screwed the left side stop bolt all the way in and we gained about 5 degrees. We think if we removed the jamb nut and... We'll continue with this task next time, as it was getting late and we wanted to mount the Main Gear.
So, we all focused on the front of the airplane, tipped the fuselage to the side to lift the mount area and set the left side gear in place. That sounded easy! There was a little struggle (isn't there always?) but we got the two outboard bolts in place and instead of the Shock Cords we tied the gear up with rope. Ta Da! Time ran out for our Session with only one leg to stand on but we have a plan for next week. We'll have our hardware all together and move forward. I predict that by the end of the next Work Session we'll have our Sedan standing proud on three legs, ready to show herself off!
What a nice day to have a Work Session, it was cool outside, but the hangar was warmed by the day's sunshine, not by the thermostat! That must be a sign of Spring, right?
We were greeted by two eager lads, Chris and Ethan. They were guided by our usual crew of Mentors; Tom, Mike, Barry, Bill and me.
Our task for tonight was to check the Control Cables on a preliminary basis so if any major correction needs to be made, we can do that before final rigging.
First thing on the list was for Chris and Ethan to study (read) the section of the Service Manual: Rigging. Specifically, the sections about the Elevator, Rudder and Trim Tab. There is a certain order of procedure in rigging the control systems, and if done in the proper sequence the job moves along without backtracking and confusion. We try to work this way but are not always successful! Tonight, we were.
Once our two guys were somewhat familiar with the procedure, we measured the Elevator travel. The previous setting seemed to be within tolerance except the "down elevator" was off by a couple of degrees. We shifted spacers in the Elevator Stop and travel was brought within tolerance (15 degrees up and 20 degrees down, +/- 1 degree). Next, according to the Manual, was to set the Control Wheel Neutral Position (8 1/2" between the center of the Yoke and the face of the Panel). We held the control shaft in place with a couple of spring clamps. Then it was time to adjust the length of the Elevator Push-Pull Tube ("The length of this push-pull tube should be such that, with the control wheel in a neutral elevator position, the distance from the center of the bolt hole in the right end of the elevator bell crank to the center line of tube No. 71 is exactly 4.00 inches measured parallel to the thrust line. Tube No. 71 is the 1 1/4" tube onto which the bell crank is anchored."). This took a little bit of a procedure called "Trial and Error" (we do this a lot) to get the bell crank position just right. Barry pointed out that, as it happened, the threads on our bearing’s ends are 1/4"-32, that is 32 threads to the inch, so each full turn of the bearing moves it 1/32". That came in handy, good tip! (Leave it to an Engineer!) Finally, with the Elevator held in the neutral position, the Control Cables were adjusted to fit the Bell crank. This procedure brought everything together, with each cable turnbuckle adjusted equally, ready for the Control cable to be tightened to the correct tension when the time comes.
With time running out we outlined our work for next week where we will continue with the Rudder and Trim Tab.
Thanks to all who came out last evening. I may sound like a broken record here, but it is a such joy to see our Youth engaged in the work of our restoration, and the progress, little by little, that we make every Work Session.
Hey, what the heck is with this snow! Did we already have our summer? It was pretty nice that one day a week or so ago! Goes to show, you can never tell about the weather around here! That didn't stop us though, the Session went on as planned with Chris and Milt on hand to get 'er done! Member Mentors were the usual crew; Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Al, Bill and me.
Chris and Mike went ahead and continued their work on the Elevator Trim Control Pulleys. Their task was to clean up the pulley bores to spin freely on their bushings and fit the Cable Guards. Putting them into place, checking the fit are all parts of the process. It's amazing how many times things go together, come apart, before the final installation.
Milt, Frank and I worked on the left side Horizontal Stabilizer (HS), repairing a misfit hole for the retaining bolt. The HS is not original to the fuselage and the holes for the AN3 mounting bolt did not match up. We first tried reaming to 3/16" but that left too much movement in the HS. Next we tried drilling and reaming the holes up to fit a AN4 bolt. That did the job. the HS is now held nice and secure up against the stop collar on the fuselage.
Next on our list was to fit a fairlead onto the Upper Aft Cabin Bow to lift up the Elevator Trim Cable from rubbing on a fuselage cross tube. That worked out nicely so that the cable runs free except for the one spot where the Parts Manual calls out a strip of anti-chafe tape to be applied to another cross tube.
Speaking of Anti-chafe tape. Some of which we applied a few sessions ago was lifting off the tubes where applied, apparently the adhesive isn't strong enough to hold it onto the tubes. So, Chris and Milt used some 1" wide adhesive tape to secure the ends of the anti-chafe tape. No worries about the tape coming loose now!
Thanks to all who came out, even though the weather was nasty last evening, we had a good Work Session, learning and building. You can't beat that! We'll hit 'er another lick next week.
Last evening's Work Session went off without a hitch. We had a pair of eager Youths on hand, Chris and Autumn. We had a hand full of the usual Mentors as well. Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Bill, Barry and I were there to continue molding these young minds into the Aircraft Restorers they are becoming (Haha, sounds like we're doing a great job, doesn't it?)!
Chris began the evening working with Tom to prep the wooden Stringers and Bulkheads for the last application of varnish, places where we missed before and where rough spots were smoothed over. When the extent of the work was determined they mixed up a batch of epoxy varnish. After the induction period Chris applied the mix to the wooden work. Varnishing is complete! (we think, you never know) While waiting for the varnish, Chris joined Mike examining the brake cylinder's condition in prep for installation. After the varnishing was complete Chris, Mike and Barry removed the elevator Trim Control Pulleys, the 1" diameter ones, for examination and cleaning. Mike has discovered a source for replacement ones, so we'll be able to complete the entire set. With the components disassembled and cleaned, Mike took Chris over to the sand blast cabinet to clean up the cable guards for painting. When asked if he had learned anything new tonight, Chris said he learned two new things, how to mix epoxy varnish and how to run the Blast Cabinet. The Lad is expanding his experience!
Autumn worked with me for the evening. We were checking the Rudder Control Pulley Bolts for size and security. We checked the bolts installed against the Parts Catalog for length and type, drilled or not. It calls out drilled bolts, so Autumn got a lesson in tightening AN310 (Castellated) nuts, how many washers to use and how to install cotter pins so that they don't rip a chunk of your hand off when you get within striking distance of said cotter pin! (boy those things hurt) Autumn left a little early to get home to her schoolwork. This girl is dedicated to her education, it's going to be fun to watch her grow, she's going places!
Thanks to all who came out last evening. We are all getting excited about the prospect of covering the fuselage, but there is much to be done first. It's coming though, little by little!
Next Wednesday is May and Meeting Night for the Chapter, so no work session then. Let's set our sights on the following Wednesday, the 8th, for our next Work Session.
Last evening, the first Work Session of April, was rainy and cool, but that didn't stop us in our quest of a superbly restored Aeronca Sedan! Ethan and Milt were on board as well as Mike and me. Tom is out of town, but he left us with a cork board with packages of fasteners he had ordered for us through Aircraft Spruce, all organized, mounted with push pins, for us to find for our work.
The first thing we did was to rehang the Rudder. We had temporarily set the Rudder with regular bolts, but the heads of the bolts are too big to fit the space provided for the hinge bushings. Special pins with a smaller head are the ticket, and we found a set on Tom's cork board. Once the bushings were cleaned and lubricated, the Rudder and pins came together, allowing free movement throughout its range of motion.
Next was the Horizontal Stabilizer and Elevator. The Elevator was hung with the same temporary bolts, so they were removed. The right-side Horizontal Stabilizer was also removed and examined for fit as it wasn't aligning well up until now. Where the H.S. engages the fuselage was discovered to be slightly misaligned so we cleaned and lubricated the spots and it fit with only minor persuasion. The Elevator hinges bushings were cleaned, lubricated and new pins installed. This gave the Elevators free movement throughout their range and the realignment of the parts relieved the control cable clearance problems.
The last order of the evening was to reinstall the Elevator Trim Control Cable with the correct orientation and routing (we had the cable installed backwards, go figure). Once that was done, the Trim Tab moved freely in the correct direction, with plenty of travel available. Fine tuning the travel and cable tension will happen after the Fuselage is covered.
Thanks to all who came out on a drizzly evening yesterday. Neither rain or snow or gloom of night will stay our efforts to restore this Sweet Sedan!
Boy it felt like spring yesterday, upper 50's, snow melting like mad, I love it! We had a great turnout last evening with our good friends Autumn, Chris, John and Milt aboard to work and maybe even see something new. Mentors to help facilitate that effort were Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill, Barry and me.
Team Chris, Tom, Frank, and Barry set about to continue installing new bolts in the control system. First off, Chris and Frank tightened the Rudder Torque Tube Bearing Blocks to their final torque. After that they all went after changing out the old pulleys and bolts for the Elevator and Rudder control cables. Chris was the main changer outer while the rest of the team helped him with what parts go where. Pulley bolts were not tightened finally as we need new nuts. Next time! After that the team continued to determine what other hardware is needed so we can put in an order for next time.
Not to be left out, the rest of us, Autumn, John, Milt, Mike, Bill and I got after renewing the Elevator Trim Cable. This one is LONG! As you can see in one of the pictures attached, we had to extend our fixture to 33 ft. This cable is a one-piece item that goes from the Trim Tab on the back of the elevator forward to the Trim Control assembly, around the drum and back to the Elevator Trim Tab.
What I didn't get a picture of is the Stop Sleeve that goes on in the near center of the cable run. This little round piece of copper with a hole in it is crimped onto the cable to anchor it in place on the trim control drum. From there it's a precise length of cable out to the turnbuckles, a little shorter on the "up tab" end. So, the first thing we did was to set the old cable onto our fixture to locate the overall length and the center stop sleeve. With these three locations set we removed the old cable and assembled the parts of the new one, turnbuckles, thimbles and sleeves. First, we squeezed the stop sleeve on and anchored it in place in the fixture. With that established we squeezed the end sleeves at the turnbuckles just like we did with the other control cables. Next, we took down our fixture and set our cable in place in the fuselage. Up was down and down was up. We switched the ends of the cable up to down thinking maybe they were labeled wrong and that just made things worse! Now, remember we discovered that the stop sleeve isn't in the exact center of the cable, so apparently it makes a difference which way the cable goes around the Trim Control Drum to get the correct response out of the trim tab. It appears we put it around the drum backwards. About then, close to 8:30, it was time to pick up and conclude the Session for the evening. We'll test my backward theory next time we meet. It seems there is no limit to the things a person can learn while restoring an old airplane!
Yay, it feels like we've got winter on its heels! I get so excited this time of year, I sure hope that summer falls on a weekend this time so we all can enjoy it!!!
All kidding aside, we had a great Work Session last evening. Our Youth Participants were Chris, John and Milt; and our Mentors were Tom, Frank, Al, Bill, Barry and me. It was good to see John back on the job, he's a busy guy with his theater, drivers ed and his music. Keep up the good work John!
We had some new hardware to install so Chris and Barry got after the task. We got new bolts for the rudder torque tube bearing blocks. The old ones have lost their corrosion protection so out they go. New bolts in all three blocks, we'll tighten them next time when we bring a torque wrench to the job. Next was to start an inventory of more bolts to replace in the control system. Chris along with Frank and Tom went through the parts book and identified what size they are and made up a list of bolts to order. They should arrive before our next Session so we can install them too.
Meanwhile, John, Milt and I continued with the makeup of new cables. This time it was safety cables, the ones that hold the main landing gear in place in the unlikely event the bungee cords part. These cables will (hopefully) hold the aircraft off the ground after the event to prevent further damage. John got his first taste of crimping Nico press sleeves, along dealing with thimbles and clevises. Squeezing the sleeves with the crimper is no task for the weak, as John discovered! We finished the two cables, complete with heat shrink tube to protect us from the pokey raw cable ends that protrude from the sleeves. We also checked the crimps with a gauge to confirm that they are sufficiently squeezed.
Yesterday’s Work Session was led in my absence by our own Mike Gardonio. I was called away on Town business, so Mike and crew pitched in and did a great job. In his words, the following is Mike's report of the evening.
"Students: Chris, Ethan Deters, Milt
Mentors: Frank, Tom, Mike, Barry,
Spent all the night working on the cabin aileron cables. The right side was removed from the airplane at the last session and was ready to be duplicated. During the first attempt we used the wrong die on the crimper, thanks to a mentor error (no names need be mentioned, but his initials are mike). After cleaning that up, all the rest of the crimping went very well, and the cable finished.
The students removed the left side cable from the airplane and that cable was duplicated as well. We are doing very well at making these cables correctly on the first try at this point so that means we probably don't have any left to make.
We finished with the cables at 8:15, and with the crummy weather and not much else to do that we could get done in fifteen minutes, we decided to quit a little early and try to get home without getting too wet."
Well, the snow held off for us last evening long enough for us to get in a good Work Session. With us were Chris and Milt, and a new fellow, Joe Hagen. He and his Dad Alan, who are Frank Kolo's neighbors, came by to see what we were up to. Welcome guys! Mentors on hand were Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill, Barry and me.
We started the Session with a little re-work. Life is too dull without a little re-work! The rudder cable made up last time had the Nico press sleeve squeezed a little too far away from the thimble leaving the cable a little loose, so we set about to correct it. No worries, a good lesson is what happens when things don't go as planned. Mike brought his Dremel tool with an abrasive cutoff disc installed. We scored the sleeve above the dead end of the cable to almost through and did the other side the same way. We then used a cold chisel to split the sleeve, releasing the undamaged cable. It was a simple matter of squeezing on a new sleeve, a little tighter to the thimble this time and we're good as new, no harm, no foul, just a good lesson!
Next, we installed the cable in the fuselage, all good. We noticed that we were having trouble getting full up elevator and wondered if the cables were reversed (one is longer than the other) so we switched them. We realized that the bell crank won't operate fully that way, so we switched them back. Another lesson learned! I'm not sure what we did, but we now get full elevator travel. Isn't airplane restoration interesting?
With the evening rolling along we had just enough time to remove the left side aileron control cable and put it up on the fixture and set the length for the new one. It's nice to have seed for next time.
Thanks to all who came out last evening, and especially Al and Joe Hagen. I hope to see you fellas again soon!
Last evening was a quiet one. Our Youth Participant being the one and only Chris S. Mentors were present in good form were Tom, Frank, Barry, Bill and me.
We were prepared for a productive evening, and we had one. I brought a pair of aluminum I beams to use as a fixture to replicate the control cables. Tom, Frank and Bill set them up in the Classroom right away. The beams, remnants from my welding shop days, are 12 1/2 ft long, and together 25 ft, plenty for our purposes. I had used them on my own project, making up control cables for my Glasair Sportsman, so the process is tried and true. We'll use the old cable as a pattern since the length and identification has been confirmed on our Sedan. This will set the length and configuration for the new cables.
Meanwhile, Chris helped me weld on the tab of the misaligned pulley in the aileron control system. We did some refinement of the weld joint, prepared a heat shield for the upper outboard cabin bow and cleaned the weld joint area. I explained to Chris my procedure and why I did what, to control distortion and alignment, and to achieve 100% penetration of the joint. We welded it up and everything came out just fine. Alignment good, penetration 100%. Chris applied some self-etching primer to the location, we called it good.
While inspecting our cable run, Barry noticed another misalignment. This time in the left and right lower aft pulleys. Barry has a protractor app on his phone and measured the cable and pulley (aren't these phones amazing?). He concluded that the pulley is about 6 degrees out of alignment with the cable. Hmmm... We'll have to think about this one. The left-hand pulley mount had been repaired at one time but the right one has not, it looks factory, but they both measure about the same. This condition cannot exist as the cable is bearing onto one side of the pulley which will wear prematurely. These pulleys won't be as easy to realign as the upper one, they are held by a bolt attached to a short piece of tubing. I suspect the mounts will have to be removed any new ones made to carry the pulleys correctly. I'll do some checking. One can hardly say, even with the log books, what this old bird has gone through. Surprises at every turn!
Once we were satisfied that we could do no more with the Aileron Control System tonight, we shifted to setting up to make a new control cable. We chose the down elevator cable. We removed it from the fuselage and placed it on our fixture in the Classroom. We attached it to brackets and stretched it out tight. Once the length is firmly established, we'll remove it and set in a new cable paying attention to the arrangement of turnbuckles, clevises and such and voila, a new Control Cable. Stay tuned for next week when we get serious!
Another Work Session is under our belt! Present in the Youth Participant category were Autumn, Chris, Ethan and Milt. In the Mentor group were the usual suspects; Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill, Barry, Al and me.
First order of business, Autumn and Tom ran the left side aileron control cable from the control column to the bell crank which attaches to the fuselage in the cabin overhead. If you remember from a previous report that our aileron bell crank’s bearings were not up to the task and we had replaced them with aftermarket bearings without success. A call out to our friend in Michigan, Mike Hoag produced a pair of bearings from his stash of spare parts. I don't know what we would do without our good friends in the Sedan Community like Mike and our other good friend, Chet Nelson in Little Falls, MN. Thanks, you guys are life savers! Chris, Mike and Barry pressed the new bearings into our bell crank and mounted it in the overhead just in time for Autumn and Tom to terminate their cable run. In the meantime, Chris and Barry jumped on the right-side aileron control cable to route it the same as the left.
Frank had brought some fasteners to further attach the elevator trim tab, so he and Milt installed them. While looking at the trim cable run, it was noticed that there was interference with the fuselage so a re-route was initiated. Ethan joined that project and at long last, with reference to the parts book, trial and error, the cables are in place and the trim tab operates in the correct direction per the placard for the trim gearbox. The book calls out some areas of anti-chafe protection that will be applied with the final installation.
Operating the aileron controls from the Control Column we discovered considerable drag and resistance in the system. It was discovered that the left side upper aft pulley, the last one before the cable gets to the bell crank was way out of alignment causing the cable to bind on the pulley side. Further examination shows an earlier repair where one of the support tabs had broken off was rewelded. I was alarmed somewhat when I began to adjust the mount and the outer tab just came off in my hand. It had been holding on by just a fraction of the weld! My heart just kind of jumped a little imagining what would have happened if it came loose in flight. No doubt we will be checking the integrity of the other pulley mounts!! With one of the two tabs loose, we were able to adjust the alignment and with the loose tab bolted in place it can easily be welded back on next Session. All this shows that thorough inspections are critical to our restoration, let no stone be un-turned!
All the time while the above was happening, Frank got the rest of the crew sanding off the face of the stringers where the fabric will sit to remove the lumps and bumps that will show through once the fabric is stretched in place. Once complete, a light coat of varnish will be applied, and we'll be good to go!
Thanks to all who came out last evening. Our Youth are getting excited seeing the Sedan take shape, learning what makes what move and how important it is to do things a certain way, all to make sure our bird can make every flight a safe one!
Last evening was a busy and productive one. We had a great crew all working together, and sometimes on top of each other, with our focus on running the control system for the rudder and elevator. Our group of Youth Participants were Autumn, Chris, Ethan and Milt. Our Mentors were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Bill, Barry and me.
Like I mentioned, our focus was on the rudder and elevator control system. For starters Chris, along with Mike and Barry, set the rudders in place. A little evaluating and cleanup of the bearing blocks was in order before the actual bolting in place. The outer bearing blocks, actually a phenolic composite, appear to be in good condition, with the center one, an aluminum block, also in serviceable condition. The mounting bolts are somewhat corroded and will eventually be replaced. Once finished with that they set the elevator cables in place.
Autumn and Tom went for the rudder cables to set them in place. As with Chris and company with the elevator cables, it all seemed like a big puzzle, but fun to figure out. Let's see, the cable goes under this tube, over this bulkhead, or is it the other way around? Now, where do the pulleys go? After about four attempts for each team they had the cables run from front to back the way the factory intended.
Ethan, Milt, Frank and Al concentrated on the elevator trim control. They installed the gear box assembly in the top of the fuselage, set the trim tab in place, and then ran the cable. It too was a puzzle to route, and which way is nose up or down? Clockwise on the crank for nose up, or is it the other way around. Remember, the tab must angle up for nose down and vice-versa for nose up. Eventually they got it right!
We will run the aileron cables from the Control Column to the Aileron Bell Crank next. All this exercise is to determine where the cables go, is there any interference, and are they the right length. With those questions answered and problems solved we can then use the old cables as patterns for fabricating new ones that we can install permanently. We can also evaluate the hardware holding everything in place and replace as necessary. We'll put in new pulleys too, everything will be nice and new and shiny!
Here I am after returning from out of town for Christmas to correct my last Review. As an explanation, my computer was acting up and I had limited time to work with a plane to catch. Somehow the message scrolled way down, and I couldn't control it. Well, here it is, with the bonus of pix I failed to attach last time:
It was kind of a drizzly, dark evening that greeted us at the hangar today. That didn’t stop a hearty crew of youth and Mentors from gathering and getting some work done. Youth today were John, Chris, Ethan and Milt. Mentors ready and willing were Frank, Al, Bill, Barry and me.
Right away Chris and Barry got busy fairing in the upper side cabin bows to their stringer following behind. The cabin bows were a little proud of the stringer, and the stringer a little proud of the bow that would have shown up in the covering with some sharp edges and possibly tearing of the fabric. Not any more, Chris did a nice job of smoothing them out. After that job was finished, they went up in the attic and dug out the control cables and pulleys for the elevator and rudder. They got them sorted out and identified by their tags and reference in the parts book.
Ethan and Frank set about to replace the AN3 bolts holding the upper forward cabin bow in place with AN507 flat head screws. These won't show through the headliner as it wraps around the bow. Of course, the bolt holes needed to be countersunk for the screws, so they got out the micro drill stop with a 3/16" piloted countersink and went to work. A little glue under the screw heads and job done. Next there was the issue of the nails helping to hold the top three stringers to the forward bow were too long and presented a picker (technical term) as you brushed your hand by them. So, the nails were clinched close to the stringer tang to move the nail points out of the way of wandering fingers. After that they went up in the attic and found the elevator trim control that Mike had repaired and studied it to determine exactly how is to be installed. I think they got it! We'll try it out next time.
John and Milt got busy replacing a pair of brass screws holding the top of the rear window frames to the fuselage with steel screws the same size. At the time the brass ones were installed we didn't have steel ones. Now we do and they're in place now! Once that was complete, they moved to the tail feathers and replaced some temporary safety wire holding brace wires to the horizontal stabilizer with AN3 bolts.
Last evening, we were greeted by warmer than normal temperatures, outside and in, (we are finally figuring out that if one turns up the slab heat in the morning with our remote-controlled thermostat, the hangar will be warm by the evening!) as well as two eager Youth Participants. Autumn and Chris were there to continue the work. Mentors available for guidance were Mike, Tom, Frank, Al, Barry, Bill and me.
Frank took Chris aside early for assistance mounting our new vice. We barely missed a beat in the Vice Department with Frank's timely acquisition of the tool after we broke ours last time. Thanks Frank!
Next in the order of business was to turn our fuselage around, end for end, so that we would have room to test fit the tail feathers. Once that move was accomplished real work commenced with Autumn and Tom cleaning up glue joints in the rear window frames and then moving to attach the rest of the stringers to their anchorages with safety wire. Chris and Mike spotted a few bolts attaching stringers to the fuselage that needed their attention before joining Autumn and Tom with their wiring project.
As it became apparent that Autumn and Tom were going to finish the stringer wiring, Chris and Mike (and company) moved to the aft end of the fuselage and removed the rear fuselage pivot fixture to make room for the horizontal stabilizers. We set the fuselage on a bucket cribbed with 2 X 4's for now.
The Horizontal Stabilizers were set in place and brace wires temporarily affixed to support them. The elevators and rudder were also set in place. Man does that make a visual difference! We are now in a position that we can mount control pulleys and run cables to check their routing and length before we make up the new cables to replace them.
Well, we're back at it! John and Milt were on board to get some work done, so off we went. Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill and I were available to guide and assist their endeavors.
The first task was captured perfectly in the log book by Mike. The following is a transcript: (my comments are in parenthesis)
Mike & John & Jim & eventually everybody tried pressing bearings in the aileron bell crank. The new bearings were a substitute as the old removed bearings are no longer available. To get enough bearing surface we were replacing the two old fat bearings with a stack of three thinner ones. All went well until we tightened up the new bearing stack (pressed in the bell crank) with a bolt and found the new bearings are not true enough and the bolt & bearings were binding. It was then a race to get the new bearings back out before the sleeve retainer hardened. Eventually everything came apart, including the vise, and no harm was done (except for the vise). We will search for more new bearings with closer tolerances." It was amazing to us how out of line the bore in the inner race was, in all three, to the rest of the bearing. It just goes to show that not everything is perfect (except us of course)!
With that task behind us, John and Mike moved to replace a couple of broken screws holding the Control Wheel Column bushings in place. Come to find out the little #8 screws don't require much torque to twist off!
That task didn't take very long so John and Milt joined me in cleaning up glue joints and nailing the ends of top three stringers into the Upper Forward Cabin Bow. We had some experience with using small diameter nails earlier in this area, with difficulty, so we decided to drill a pilot hole smaller than the nail to aid in the installation. This worked better and still provided a good interference fit of the nail.
With this time ran out and the Work Session ended. Thanks to all who came out last evening. Sometimes it seems that we don't get much done during these Sessions, but we always learn something, even us old "experienced" guys! Isn't that the real reason we're doing this? By the way, does anybody have a bench vice they're not using? The Chapter Hangar could use one!
Last evening got underway with a large contingent of Youth Participants. Autumn, John, Parker, Ethan, Chris and Milt came out and were all eager to work. Mentors were Tom, Mike, Barry, Bill and me.
Chris and Milt went with Mike to press new bearings into the aileron control bell crank. They were in there pretty good, in fact they had to be removed from the inside out with a punch. Then the new ones that Mike was able to find are just a whisker small (another Technical term) on the outside diameter so they'll use a bearing mounting Loctite to secure the new bearings in place. Mike will bring the material next time. After that team Chris and Milt drilled the mounting holes in new oil lite bushings, that Mike found online, for the control wheel shaft. We had tried to reuse the old ones by rotating them, but they ended up too sloppy, thus the new ones. Once prepared, the old bearings were replaced with the new which made a big difference. Good job team!
Autumn and John joined Tom in installing the rear window frames for the last time. After they were bolted in John wired in the attached stringers while Autumn helped Tom glue in the window sills, and spacer the on the right side. Everything fit as it was intended to. By golly, it's fun to see our Sedan take shape!
Ethan and Parker were also on the job securing the top three stringers to the upper forward cabin bow. Last time as you may recall, the stringers were wired in place before they were secured to the bow, no fault of our Youth, they were just doing as they were told (by somebody, maybe me). So the wires were loosened, stringers move forward and glued in place. Next time we'll tighten the wires again and move on.
What a beautiful day it was here in the Northland, sun shining (setting), mid 50's, light breezes. Still, we kept the big door closed, ha-ha! We had a light turnout of Youth Participants, Parker and Ethan. It was nice though as without them we couldn't work on the plane, and a eager pair of workers too! Mentors were Tom, Mike, Milt and me. You notice that Milt was on the "Mentor" crew last evening. Milt is in a special situation with us, sometimes Mentor, sometimes Youth Participant (even though he is as old as any of us). Milt came to us years ago to learn about TIG welding while we were repairing the fuselage and stayed on learning about all the other aspects of aircraft restoration that we get into. When the time comes, he is all in passing on his experience and knowledge to other Youth Participants. Thanks Milt!
So, Parker and Milt got after wiring the stringers (which Milt is pretty good at). Parker had not to this point done any safety wiring, so he got some good practice under Milt's guidance. By the time the evening ended they had finished up all the remaining stringers except for the ones attached to the window frames (which I'll get to in a just a shake). It was at the very end of the evening that we discovered that the 3 stringers on the top came away from the forward upper cabin bow. This is all on me as they asked if the top stringers were ready to wire and I gave them the go ahead. I hadn't noticed they weren't attached to the cabin bow, which should come first. Darn it! No worries though, next time we'll release the wires and secure the stringers in the bow and continue. When one is learning (and we're all learning) mistakes happen. That's one way we learn. We'll back up and then move forward!
Meanwhile, Ethan and Tom got setup to finish the varnishing of the window frames and stringer assemblies. The stage was set in the meeting room and parts were removed. Tom mixed up a batch of epoxy varnish and during the induction period (about 30 minutes) Ethan and Mike installed the elevator bell crank into the fuselage. That was just about enough time for the varnish to sit, so Ethan and Tom went to work with the brushes. When that task was finished there was just enough time for Ethan and Mike to set the elevator push-pull tube in place on the control column and elevator bell crank. They didn't permanently install it as its length will need to be adjusted to aid in the elevator's full range of movement. We have moving parts in our airplane, yay!
In between times, Mike took some measurements of the control wheel shaft bushings, so we can replace the old ones. They looked good a first but, they allow too much lateral movement in the control wheels for our liking. Mike will prepare some materials for another work session to renew that bearing. Thanks Mike!
Thanks to all who turned out last evening. Now notice, next Work Session in on Halloween. Costumes are optional! I for one am going to dress up as a "Spirit of Katrina" Sedan Work Session worker guy! (see if you can recognize me!) How 'bout you?
Last evening greeted us with light winds and a cool clear sky. We had the heat on in the hangar and kept the door closed, cozy! Autumn, Chris and Milt were there to get busy. Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill, Barry and I were there to help.
Rear window frames were on the menu again this time, so Autumn and Chris got to it with Tom's and my guidance. They cleaned up the glue joints from last time and shaped the stringer coming into the window frame. Mike dug out some pulleys and cable, so we could stage the aileron cable that goes past the window sills, giving us a reference to precisely locate the sills. Their task got to be a little crowded, so Chris and Mike moved to tie wire the stringers, an ongoing process. There are a few spots left, but we're making progress. The stringers attached to the window frames are left loose so that we can remove the window/stringer assemblies for a final varnish touch-up on a bench. We flipped the fuselage right side up to continue our work, my but this thing is starting to look like an airplane!
Tom and Autumn continued with the window project and located the rear headliner former into the window stringer. This former is an 1/8" wire that is anchored into the stringer, giving the head liner something to hang from. There are five such stations where the headliner hangs from, the rear one being the biggest. It also should be nice and straight, I mean all on the same geometric plane, so the headliner seam has a nice straight line. After considerable attention, I think they got it!
Thanks to all who came out to work on the Sedan last evening. With the continued participation of our Youth, little by little, we continue to make progress. See you all next week!
Is Summer over or what?? I hope this weather is not a harbinger of things to come! Nevertheless, we had a great turnout last evening. Eager to get to work were Jacob along with his Dad Brian, Ethan with his Dad Jordan and Chris with his Mentor Barry. The Chapter crew ready to lead the charge were Tom, Mike, Al and me.
Jacob was especially excited to do some more riveting, anxious to see what he remembered from his lesson last time. Al was happy to guide him, and together they reviewed the basics and riveted two pieces together. Jacob has big plans about finishing his project, he wants to add to it for another project he has going at home.
Ethan was not to be still, so he and Tom got busy with a drill stop and countersink to fit flat head fasteners in the window frames and upper outboard cabin bows. That task complete, Ethan installed AN3-6 bolts and nuts in the upper forward cabin bow. With time to spare he and Tom, along with Al, glued the reinforcing strip on the left side window stringer splice.
Chris, in the meantime got busy cleaning up the glue joint on the right-side window frame/stringer he and Barry clamped up last time we met. That turned out real nice. After that the two of them joined Mike to put the final torque on the right-side Control Column pivot bolt. Last time you may remember we were unable to finish that job for lack of a thin washer to help clock the slot in the castellated nut for installation of a cotter pin at the proper torque. (Whew!) With the additional washer, the nut drew up within the proper torque range and the cotter pin slipped in. Setting the pin went smoothly and on to the next task they went. Wiring the stringers to the wooden bulkheads was the job, a continuation from last time too.
It's fun, from one Work Session to another, to witness what these kids retain and perfect with practice. I think we're starting to help them develop some skills that will serve them well in the future!
I can't believe September is winding down already, at this rate it will be spring before we know it! No? Well it was worth a shot! Last evening's Work Session was over before we knew it, a busy couple of hours complete with visitors curious about our progress. Mike Busch stopped by as did Tom Setter and Ethan's Dad Jordan. Youth Participants ready to work and learn were Ethan, Autumn, John, Chris and Milt. Milt is kind of a floater, sometimes one of our Y.P. and sometimes Mentor, pitching in when able. Thanks Milt! Mentors were some of our usual crew, Tom, Al, Barry and me. Mike and Frank were off fulfilling other obligations.
The evening got started with Chris and Barry picking up where they left off on the right-side window frame/stringer junction. Their glue joint cured, it needed to be cleaned up which they took care of. Sanding flush the stringer to the frame. Next, they prepped the area for the reinforcement strip and glued it into place.
Autumn, John and Tom prepped the left side window frame for the same operation, drilling the additional fastener hole through the frame to the fuselage at the top aft corner and gluing the stringer extension to the bottom of the frame.
Ethan and I began the process of fastening the stringers to the wooden bulkheads with .032 diameter safety wire from Tom's supply cabinet. Thanks Tom! I gave Ethan a demonstration of the procedure with Milt looking on. Ethan did the next one with both Milt and me looking on, and then Ethan and Milt were off to the races. I left them to their task, checking in occasionally. They were doing great work and completed a good third of the connections.
With me on the loose and Autumn and John finished with their window/stringer job, we went after the control column again, tightening the pivot bolts and installing cotter pins to safety the nut to bolt. Neither Autumn or John had had any previous experience with a torque wrench, so we went over some basics, reviewing the torque table in the 43.13 manual, why we control the tension on bolt and nut fasteners, and so on. Then the actual tightening of the nut. With a range of torque acceptable we started on the low end and checked the position of the slot in the castellated nuts to the cotter pin hole to see how it matched up. If the hole was clear and the cotter pin would slip in place, we stopped there. If not, we set the wrench to mid-range, loosened the nut some and torqued again, and again, until the cotter pin would go in. Autumn and John then got a lesson on installing cotter pins to safety the nut and bolt combination. On the right-hand side, we got up to the maximum setting and the cotter pin hole was still covered. The next step is to place a thin washer under the nut and torque again, provided there is room at the base of the slot to receive the pin. Well, we didn't have a thin washer on hand, so we'll have to wait until next time. No worries, I'll bring one from home and we'll try again, all part of the learning experience!
Meanwhile, John tried his hand at wiring up stringers, and with Al's help really got into it. You got to love this kind of enthusiasm!
Autumn had to leave early to catch up on homework (there's a reason she gets so many A's), and Chris had worked himself out of a job, so he and I installed the lower aileron cable pulleys onto the control column. Chris also had no previous experience with a torque wrench, so we went through an intro and away we went. Tightening, checking, shimming with another washer, tightening and checking again and then installing the cotter pin. Chris watched me do one, then he did one. Good job Chris. It's fun to watch the expression on his face when he's concentrating, can you say Focused?
Thanks to all who came out last evening, including our visitors. It's still so great to be in the hustle and bustle of activity during one of these Sessions, the excitement is contagious!
Next Wednesday will be October and time for our monthly meeting so no Work Session then. We'll see you back here on the 10th for another round, can't wait!
With yet another Work Session in the books, our Sedan is really taking shape. Work continues on the controls and wooden work. Youth present to join the fun were John, Autumn, Chris and Milt. Mentors were Mike, Tom, Barry, Bill and me.
John and Mike got busy right away with their production of the brace wire lugs. One to go and it was completed in short order. It's too bad that there aren't more to do because they've got it down now. System perfected, Good job!
Chris and Milt with Tom and Barry, got back to work on the rear cabin window frames, getting the right side one ready to glue to its stringer. Once the surface was prepared, they set the frame in place and drilled the additional mounting hole for a #6 flat head screw to the vertical fuselage tube. Now with the frame in place, we turned the fuselage upside down to provide better access to the glue joint. With everything in position, they glued, and clamped the joint with teeny tiny (AN specific grade!) nails and allowed to cure. Next week we can finish the joint by gluing on the reinforcement piece, and then doing the same thing to the left side.
Meanwhile, Autumn and I went to work on the control column some more. Our focus was on the control yoke shaft bushings. These are a brass piece 1/8" thick that fastens to the fuselage behind the instrument panel. We are using the old bushings but rotating them to the sides without wear. About half way through John, who had finished his work on the brace wire lugs, joined us. We studied the bushings, identifying the area worn from years of flight control. We rotated the bushings putting the unworn area to the bottom and bolted them on. We then shifted our focus to the lower main pivot bolts. Last week we discovered and interference between this bolt and the aileron cable pulley mounted next to it. Reversing the pivot bolt would correct this interference, but what about future serviceability? We tested the solution by a trial fitting of the lower boot cowling. We realized that in the future, the bolt can be accessed from the outside by removing this cowling. Good to go. We reversed the bolt and checked interference with the pulley. Just fine! Just as we were going to torque and safety the bolts, John and Autumn had to leave to do homework. No worries, we'll complete this task next time and move on.
Thanks to all who came out last evening. Inch by inch, bolt by bolt, we are learning, and restoring our Sedan!
Last evening was as warm as any this summer so we enjoyed the big door wide open, that was until after dark when the mosquitoes found warm bodies hard to resist! Still, the warm air was welcome.
Youth here to participate were our old friends Samantha and her brother Brett, Milt, John, and a couple of new fellows, brothers Parker and Ethan who brought their Dad, Jordan Deters. Welcome to the team guys! Mentors were the usual suspects, Tom, Frank, Mike, Al, Bill and me.
Samantha and Brett got busy with Tom and Frank on the rear window and stringer connection. The outside edges of the stringers were smoothed and rounded to make a nice line in the fabric. At our Pancake Breakfast we were informed by Chester Nelson (who flew his beautifully restored Aeronca Sedan to the event) that there is another attach point for the window frames we had not considered. In the upper aft area of the frame as it crosses a vertical tube there is an #8 screw hole that is used to hold the frame to the fuselage at that point. Our holes were stripped, so we elected to move the hole up on the tube and make it a through and through, so we can put a flat headed screw there with a nut on the backside of the tube. So, I welded up the old holes and we will tool up for the new attachment.
John and Mike got back on their production of brace wire lugs. They got three of the four done before John had to go.
Parker and Ethan joined me in the final installation of the Control Column. We checked the bolt and washer arrangement of the main pivot and torqued and installed cotter pins. We then tried to install the lower aileron pulley when we discovered an interference between the pulley and the pivot bolt. The parts book shows the bolt going from the inside out presumably to allow for servicing the joint after the airplane is finished, but the nut sticks out too far holding the pulley away. Further research is required. Mike joined the task after John left and he and the guys test fit the elevator bell crank. Everything went OK except we decided to find a shorter bolt. This one uses too many washers. I think I have one.
Thanks to all who came out last evening and a hearty Welcome! to Parker and Ethan. It's always great to see new faces and aspiring Aeronauts!
Yesterday presented yet another beautiful evening to work on our Sedan. We did that and more. On board were Youth Participants Autumn, John, Chris and Milt. Mentors were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and me.
First, Mike had his beautiful Stinson 108 over and he and Autumn went flying. After they got back, John went up with him for a little lesson in basic pilotage.
Back here on the ground we got busy. The crew of John (before he went flying), Chris, Frank, Milt and I began to fit the rear window frames to their stringers in earnest. The splice member was cut and fit, now nearly ready for the glue.
When Autumn got back, she and Tom got after the control column, greased the pivots and set it in the fuselage along with the control yokes, ready to torque and safety.
The evening flew by, literally for a few of us, and suddenly it was time to wrap things up. August is ending and next week is our meeting time, so no Work Session next week. Meanwhile, don't forget our Annual Chapter Pancake Breakfast September 8th. Good food, lots of folks visiting, Young Eagle rides and (fingers crossed) great weather. Come if you can, it'll be fun!
What a pleasant late summer evening it was yesterday. Big door wide open, nice breeze, perfect for varnishing! We had a good crew of Youth Participants on board to work and learn. Micah and Noah were there along with our old friend Chris. Along to help was our regular Mentor bunch, Tom, Mike G., Frank, Al, Barry, Bill, Mike S., and me.
The first order of business was to scuff up the first coat of varnish on the stringers. A week has gone by and the stringers needed the shine knocked off to accept the second coat. This was a team effort. All three of our youth grabbed a pad of Scotch Brite, along with Tom, Frank and Mike S. Our concern was that we'd run out of time before the job was completed so we jumped all over it! Once the scuffing was done, a wipe with solvent to get rid of the dust, the varnishing began. I mixed a batch and they went to town, even Al got into the act! As they say, many hands make light work, and the task was completed in plenty of time, in fact, time to take on other tasks.
Meanwhile, Bill came around with his trusty C172 and offered Chris a Young Eagle ride. Chris finished scuffing the stringer he was working on and took Bill up on his offer. Barry went along, just because he could! They all came back with smiles on their faces, and Chris got his Log Book signed. Now he's ready to start his Private Pilot Ground School thru Sporty's online course!
Micah and Mike G. got to work on the Control Column. We wanted to remove it to install drill a grease hole in the main pivot sleeves to provide some lubrication to the joint. In the past these have rusted up and transferred the movement to the attaching bolt and support brackets, not good. At the same time, we will replace the old bolts, better than new!
Chris and Noah got busy touching up some places on the fuselage missing varnish, the notches cut in the bulkheads for the stringer tang. That complete and with Barry's help, began installing new bolts to hold the bulkheads into place. Barry would hand each an AN bolt of the right length, a couple of washers and a nut to replace the stove bolt we used to temporarily fasten the bulkheads in place. With all the fasteners in place, Chris and Noah tightened the nuts to the correct torque. Now, normally the bulkheads are held in place with a special hollow rivet, but with these not available to us we improvised using 1/4" AN bolts, thin washers and nyloc shear nuts. With no torque specification, it was "tighten to just the right how much” With the bolts in a shear load, we wanted them to hold the parts securely but not to crush the wood. I tightened the first one to what I judged enough, and the guys took it from there. The bolt would turn with a wrench, but with resistance that they compared with the rest of the fasteners. Chris and Noah got serious about this task and did a very good job. Thanks guys!
Just like that the Work Session ended. I'm excited to get the stringers back on the fuselage, permanently! With the Control Column in place, the next step will be control cables and pulleys and stuff. Our Sedan is taking shape, good reward for hard work. Let's see what we can get accomplished next week!
Last evening was a busy one and another Work Session in the book! We welcomed two new Youth Participants into the Project, brothers Micah and Noah Stevens along with their Dad Mike. Welcome guys, it's great to have you aboard! Also, in attendance on the Youth Participant side were our good friends Samantha and Brett LaGraves whom we haven't seen for a while (summer activities), and our steady team mates Autumn and Chris. We had our core group of Mentors on the job, Tom, Frank, Mike, Barry, Al and me. We had a full house, just in time too as varnishing was on the menu.
Autumn and Tom got updated on her Privet Pilot studies and they were joined by Samantha as Tom went over the pre-flight checklist on his Glasair II. Meanwhile, Micah and Noah got introduced in the fine art of mixing Poly Fiber Epoxy Varnish. I poured out the 2-1 ratio of Varnish to Catalyst and then after mixing we added another part of reducer for the first coat on the stringers, nice and thin so it would soak in. Once completed, they removed the bottom three stringer an set them up on plastic covered tables in the Classroom. By this time Autumn and Samantha were finished with Tom's instruction and joined the varnishing crew. With Frank's help they set up another station in the Classroom, removed three more stringers and begun applying varnish. About halfway through, all four of our Youth Varnishers signed their names to one or two of the stringers, permanently recording their participation in the restoration. Fun! By the time the evening was done, they had the first coat on all the stringers. Good job!
Meanwhile, Brett and Mike took on several tasks. First was fitting a washer for the control wheel bearing that Mike made to replace one missing. The shaft hole needed some refinement to fit so Brett and he got out the file and went to work. They temporarily fit it in place, perfect! Next, they trimmed off the dowels glued into the misaligned holes in the left side rear window frame and fit it into place aligned with the related stringer and drilled new holes. Finally, they moved to making more the brace wire attach lugs. As you may recall, the top ones are finished and on to the bottom ones. They got the tab bent and drilled as the Work Session ended.
Chris and Barry continued their work refining the bolt holes in the wooden stringers. With that job completed, Chris grabbed a brush and touched up some placed missed on the bulkheads. He next took the little touch up brush we had and applied varnish to the tie wire holes drilled in the bulk heads. That completed, he finished up the same holes in the stringer the other team had not finished.
As you can imagine, there was a lot of activity in the Hangar last night! It was fun, and time flew by. Thanks to all who came out last evening, I still get a thrill out of seeing all the activity and concentration, everyone trying to do their best work. See you all next week!
It's Been a while since we've been at the Hangar to work on our bird, what with AirVenture and the monthly meeting, but we're back in full force! Youth present to participate were Autumn W., Chris S., Dave G., and Milt. Mentors were the core group, Frank, Tom, Mike, Barry and me.
Autumn got together with Tom right away to clear up some questions she had regarding her Private Pilot studies, including but not limited to, the phonetic alphabet. This bugger can be confusing to the newcomer, but she's getting it! Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and so on. Next they moved their attention to the stringers. Varnishing to be specific. We rolled the fuselage on it's side to present the bottom three and they checked them over good before cutting the zip ties holding them in place. They wanted to be sure all the fastening holes had been made in them and the bulkheads, and that the bolt holes will receive the final fasteners. The safety wire holes are all in, but the 1/4" holes thru fuselage clips needed to be cleaned up a little with a file to make a better fit. With that done, they set up a varnishing station in the Hangar Classroom on the long tables, covered with protective plastic to do the varnishing. At this stage, they realized time was short. Given that the pot life of mixed epoxy varnish can be measured in hours at best, that mixing a small batch of the two-part finish plus reducer for the first coat is not an exact science, and in the interest of conserving materials they decided to wait until next week to mix and apply the first coat of the epoxy varnish. We want to maximize the generous donation of another kit of varnish from member Mark Marino of Hangar 10 Aero, we know this stuff doesn't grow on trees! We should be able to get most of the stringers coated then.
Dave and Mike set their focus on the Control Column. It was discovered that the Control Wheel Shaft Stop was installed on the right-hand side instead of where it belongs, on the left side. They corrected that. They were going to install new hardware in the Column pivot when we remembered that we want to drill a grease hole in the Column pivot sleeves. We didn't have the correct tools for the job, specifically a countersink to cut a bevel in the hole to match our needle zirk, so they set that project aside for now. Next was fitting the rear window frames to the stringer they mate up with. At first it seemed that neither of them lined up once the stringers were set into place, but closer examination showed the right-hand side was OK. The left side however needed to be moved slightly and the frame itself required trimming to optimize the fit. So, they trimmed the frame and glued short pieces of 1/4 dowel into the existing holes, so they can be re-drilled.
Milt and Frank got busy gluing up the scarf joint in the broken stringer. Remember the broken stringer? Frank took it and a remnant section home to his work shop to cut the tapered joint required to make the repair, brought it back to finish, and demonstrate the correct way to make the repair. They then directed their attention to the elevator bell crank we received from Mike Hoag. As you may remember, our bell crank had pitted bearings which we were unable to find a replacement for. Mike reached out to us with the offer of a surplus bell crank he had with good bearings, which I received from him while visiting AirVenture. Thanks Mike, again showing your friendship for our Project! The part was fit into place, but we need a thin 5/16" washer we'll bring for next time to complete the installation. I picked up a rod end ball joint at Oshkosh too, to replace the rusted one we had in the elevator push pull tube, they installed it. With that stuff out of the way and little time left in the Session they did a little house cleaning. Putting away the steamer setup for one. General organizing of tools and table tops is a necessary job in a busy work shop. With attention primarily on the job at hand, an occasional "roll up" is required to clear the space for more efficient activity. Thanks guys!
Not to be left out, Chris and Barry inventoried/received a shipment of hardware ordered from Wag Aero for the wooden bulk heads and control column. Chris got a good lesson in identifying and measuring AN bolts and washers and nuts. A couple of discrepancies were discovered. We received washers in pace of nuts and one bolt was undrilled while we ordered a drilled one. No worries, human mistakes. I called the supplier this morning and they will be sending out the correct items right away free of charge, with no loss of production in the shop! With the receiving complete they turned their attention to the 1/4" holes in the wooden bulk heads. We want to be sure the fasteners have a clean fit that we can varnish before they're finally installed. So Chris, with file in hand and with Barry's help, went around to each of the holes and made sure the bolts fit.
What a nice evening it was at the airport yesterday, upper 70's and just a whisper of wind. Perfect for Young Eagle rides, and that's just what happened. Bill I. took Chris S. and Barry up for a spin. Smooth, barely a ripple I was told. Autumn and Tom were in the air again too, continuing from where they left off from last week. Autumn went through the pre-flight inspection of Tom's Little Deuce Coupe with Tom guiding and observing. Then they went flying, more checklists, GPS programming and navigating. They spent the whole time in the air and on the ground. Autumn is very serious about this flying business!
Meanwhile, back at the hangar, there was work to be done. Aaron was there with his two beautiful kids to do some riveting on our practice materials. Tyler gets right in there, and so does Abby, until I come over to see how they're doing, then she gets a little shy. They both do good work though, with the guiding hands of their Dad!
Milt and Frank and I went over the stringers and decided that the next order of business would be to drill tie wire holes in them and the bulkheads. No better time, before we cut them loose for varnish.
Once Chris got back from his Young Eagle ride and had his feet firmly on the ground, he and Barry commenced a hardware inventory. With the lack of Waterbury eyelets, we will use AN4 bolts to hold the bulkheads in place. We now have a list. We also got a list of new bolts needed for the Control Column. Chris received a good lesson in measuring bolts and AN specifications.
The workforce was a little light last evening in both the Youth Participant and Mentor areas, but understandable. Summer is a busy time around here with lots going on and such a sweet short time to get it all done! No worries, it's all good!
Speaking of stuff going on, EAA's AirVenture is on for next week in Oshkosh. The annual gathering will deplete our Mentor staff to the point that we have decided to not hold the Work Session next Wednesday, and the following Wednesday is our monthly meetings, so our next Work Session will be held on August 8th. I hope you can hold your enthusiasm until then, when we will resume with renewed vigor!
It was a busy evening at the Chapter Hangar yesterday. Youth Participants Autumn W, John T, and Chris S were on hand along with Milt H. Mentors were the usual bunch; Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and me.
Autumn and Tom got busy right away, pursuing Autumn's Senior Project which includes Flight Training, with which Tom is happy to oblige. They got started with outlining procedures for flight; preflight, engine start, takeoff check lists, and went flying. Among other things, Autumn executed a 360-degree shallow turn, maintaining altitude and speed. Then the landing check list and post flight debriefing. Tom complimented her on her skill and natural talent handling his speedy little Glasair. Well done Autumn!
John and Mike continued their work manufacturing the brace wire lugs. Mike had made a fixture to help maintain accuracy in the parts which made the process go a little smoother, but not without its challenges to which John offered solutions that were adopted and included in the process. The education continues! Upper brace wire lugs finished, lower ones up next.
The rest of us got after the remaining stringers and placed them into the steam tube to soak for an hour and a half. With the steam pouring out from the tube we decided to spend our time placing the control column into the fuselage, determine what hardware needs to be replaced and see if anything else presents itself as needing attention. One thing we discovered is the bearings in the elevator bell crank should be replaced. Frank had removed them earlier and cleaned them up in hopes they would be serviceable but no such luck. We'll search for new ones.
With time drawing to 8:00, we returned our focus to the stringers. We turned the fuselage right side up and pulled the stringers from the steam one at a time and zip tied them in place, starting with the bottom ones on the sides and working our way up. Those sticks bent like cooked spaghetti! Well almost, but they all bent right into place except for the ones that tie into the bottom of the rear windows. We put a ratchet strap on the forward end that we thought should bend to the inside about a half of an inch, and the end of the right-hand side one cracked, just as we thought we had it. Darn! We examined the situation and determined that the piece can be spliced with minimal to-do (a technical term), so not the end of the world.
What a difference those stringers make in defining the shape of our Girl, with all the curves that show off sleek shape of the Sedan. We can just picture it with fabric, but only in our mind's eye for now. We have lots of work ahead of us!
Thanks to all who came out last evening. Many hands working in the same direction accomplish great things!
I want to make note here about our upcoming Work Sessions. Our Session next week will go on as scheduled. During upcoming AirVenture at Oshkosh however, our Session for the 25th will be cancelled, all us Mentors will be at the Show. We'll meet again afterwards on Aug 8, the first Work Session of that month. So, see you next week for more fun!
We had a light turnout in the Youth Participant category last evening, John T was there along with Milt H. Milt rotates between” Youth Participant" and Mentor, depending on conditions! (kind of an artistic license) Milt is always looking for a chance to learn something new, just like our Youth!
The usual crew of Mentors were there, Tom, Frank, Mike, Al and me.
John and Mike continued their work on the brace wire lugs, trying to perfect the operation. It hasn't been to their satisfaction regarding hole placement, so Mike decided he's going to make a fixture to hold the lug blank. It seems like a lot of work to produce 4 pieces of each type, but when they're barely an inch long, it's the only way to make them identical. Mike will make this fixture at his own hangar and bring it to our next Work Session. This is yet another way to teach the fabrication method, also John is getting good on the bench grinder!
I came up with a modified steam tube. It's essentially the same as before, a length of gutter downspout, but shorter and insulated with 2" green foam, with a little bench made of 1/2" hardware cloth an inch or so high to hold the stringers off the bottom and allow the steam hose to be under the stack to be treated. Our tube is now about 5 1/2 ft long, just long enough to treat the forward end of our stringers, the end which bends the most. I got there early to get the water heating. Our experience last week suggested we need more time to steam the pieces. I also put a water pot on the kitchen stove to boil some back-up water. Like I mentioned earlier, John and Milt were our Youth for the day, so Milt was our student for the task. Along with Frank and Al, we got the steamer set up and loaded with a remnant and the three bottom stringers. This thing was delivering some real heat to the tube! We tested the remnant after an hour and it seemed flexible. We put it back in and let it soak some more. We decided to let them all go until 8:15. Frank brought a pocket full of zip ties to temporally fasten the stringers in place, and the whole gang of us were on the job. They bent like cooked spaghetti, well almost! It took a total of about 6 minutes to place the stringers one at a time on the fuselage. I think we have a winner in the steamer department. We'll get the rest of them bent in place and dry, then remove and varnish them before installing permanently.
While monitoring the steamer, Milt and Tom cut the last slot in the forward upper cabin bow for anchoring the three upper stringers. We are now ready to set the rest of them in place. Nine more left to bend, can we get them all in the steam tube at once? We'll see next time!
Thanks to all who turned out on a beautiful summer evening. To our amusement and entertainment, runway 4/22 Right, our grass runway, was full of powered parachutes, cruising around the pattern. Wind was light from the west, temps in the upper 70's, delightful!
Next Wednesday is the 4th of July so we're taking the night off. See you all back here the week after to see how the steaming goes. Stay tuned!
With another Work Session under our belts, we are making progress. Present to drive the project were several of our Youth Participants; Autumn W, Chris S, John T, and Dave G. Present to guide and assist were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry, and me.
Stringers were again on the menu. Dave and Autumn along with Tom, finished shaping and fitting the two which are just outboard of the top center one. They then located and cut slots thru the upper forward cabin bow to anchor the forward end of the top three stringers. Meanwhile Chris and Frank added a spacer to the very bottom center one. This necessity presented itself upon a trial fit. Once accomplished, they set up our steamer apparatus to begin that process. They started with a four-foot piece of stringer material left over as practice. By the end of the session the piece was soft enough to bend. We tied it into place to dry. It's going to take longer than we thought. We also need a little refinement to the procedure, but we have ideas like; insulating the steam tube, making a support to hold the stringer off the bottom of the tube, and preheating water on the stove. It's all a learning process, but hey, isn't that what we're up to? It's not just the Youth that are getting educated here!
Not to be left out, John and Mike continued their work on the brace wire lugs. Mike acquired some 1/8" strips of 4130 steel 5/8" wide to begin making the real parts. As you may recall, last week they were experimenting with mild steel, just to prove their process. After some more experimenting they have developed a procedure that works and are now in production. They also discovered just how much stronger 4130 is than mild steel, it takes quite a bit more effort to bend! They will likely make good progress on the next go. I also noticed how John is becoming more comfortable with the tools required for this job, it's great to see!
Thanks to all who turned out last evening, I never tire of being in a room full of activity, all pulling for a common goal!
Yesterday greeted us with clear sunny sky, light winds and upper 70s. What's not to like? A great evening to have the big door open and air the hangar out! We were also greeted by three eager Youth; Autumn, Chris and John. Autumn now has the official "go ahead' to use our Project among other things for her Senior Project at Superior High School. Yay! Her Project centers around (let's see if I get this right) learning how to rebuild an airplane and learning to fly. Best wishes to you Autumn, we'll do all we can to help you complete your Project!
Mentors present to assist were Mike, Frank, Al, Barry, me and Milt. As you may recall, Milt has previously been regarded as a "Youth Participant" as he wanted to learn all he could about welding 4130 tubing. He assisted me quite a bit while we were repairing the fuselage. That phase nearly complete in our project (I say nearly because you never know), he can use his varied experience and skills to help guide the young minds that grace our Work Sessions every week!
With all that said, Autumn and Milt continued the work on their stringers, as did Chris, Frank and Barry. Much work has been done on this phase, and what's left is the aft end of two upper stringers that Chris and company are working on. What's next is to start the steaming process to bend and tie the stringers into place. Once that is done on all of them and they have dried, we can remove them, apply a couple of coats of clear epoxy varnish, then fasten them in pertinently.
Meanwhile, John and Mike began to experiment making some new tail feather brace wire support tabs, or simply "Lugs" as called out in the parts book. They began with some mild steel 5/8" wide and bent them in a mini press brake that Mike made up for use in the bench vice. Quite the little piece of equipment. With just a minor tweek or two, John and Mike will be in the Support Tab (Lug) Business!
As the Work Session was ending, a major clean-up got underway. From miscellaneous scraps of wood to trash to tools lying about, to dust and cottonwood fluff blowing around on the floor, our crew got to work. The result is a little cleaner hangar and work space. We get a little lax in the clean-up department, with our focus on the task at hand, it's hard to break off for housekeeping. It's nice to start off with a clean and organized work space, which just seems to allow the work to proceed that much better.
Last evening, we finished off May's Work Sessions in great style with Chris and Autumn representing our Youth Participants, and Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and me rounding out the Mentor side of the deal.
Stringers again were on the menu with Chris and Frank teaming up and Autumn and Tom doing the same. We are making steady progress on this wood work, working our way up from the bottom of the fuselage to the sides and eventually the top.
Mike did some independent research in the attic, retrieving the aileron control system to evaluate its condition. He found a couple of bearings in the aileron bellcrank less than perfect, so he's going to see if he can find new ones to replace them. Mike also found the elevator trim control and brought it down from the attic. Between Mike and Al and myself, we rediscovered exactly where in the fuselage it is located. As you may recall, Mike and Youth reconditioned the trim control mechanism in past Work Sessions, so it's ready to be installed. These systems will be focused on as soon as we complete the stringer phase of the project, so we want to be ready.
Big "Thanks!" go out to all who came out last evening to work. It's fun to see the progress on our bird, these stringers provide the fuselage all the graceful curves the Sedan is known for. Exciting!
Another Sedan Work Session is in the log book, with a good turnout of Youth and Mentors alike. Youth Participants included Chris Schlies, John Thro and Milt Huhta. Mentors were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and me. Stringers were the name of the game and we all got into it.
First, John and Mike finished up their inventory and evaluation of the Horizontal Stabilizer brace wires. They determined what parts we can use, and which will need to be replaced. All eight of the wires are looking rough but will be useful in staging the tail feathers and aiding in running control cables.
So, on to the stringers. For those not familiar, the stringers are narrow strips of wood the run fore and aft along the fuselage, and wooden bulkheads in the aft portion of the fuselage, that give the fabric support for the aerodynamic shape it needs to reduce drag while in flight and make possible the incredible speed for which the Sedan is known for (100 miles per hour, maybe!).
Chris teamed up with Frank and Barry, Milt with Tom and John with Mike. Al and I oversaw the operation, primarily trying to stay out of the way of progress, answering questions as they came up and helping coordinate the three teams. I brought in a hand-held power planer that helped speed up the tapering of the aft end of some of the stringers, while the rest of the guys shaped the forward ends and adjusted the fit in the many standoff brackets that hold the stringers in place. All the bottom ones are fit, and now we're working our way up the sides of the fuselage.
Next week will be more of the same except for possibly hanging the horizontals and elevator to start staging the pulleys and control cables. Of course, we don't want to impede the progress on the stringers, we'll see how it goes.
Last evening was the first time we had the big door open during the session, it was nice to have fresh air in the place for a change. Boy, I like summer!
Thanks to all who turned out, you all work like a well-oiled machine, busy in the airplane factory!
Last evening, we had a crew of eager workers; Chris Schlies, John Thro and Autumn Wolters. Mentors were about the same bunch as always, Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, and me. Bill Irving made himself available and of course, Barry was there for Chris.
For the most part, Stringers were on the menu. Chris and Frank continued their work on the center bottom one. Besides shaping the forward end to fit into its socket, they sanded down the tang of the stringer just a bit to fit the slot of the support brackets. Mission accomplished, all except for tapering off the aft end of it, which we will tool up for next time. A bench hand plane should do the job nicely. I have a couple I can bring in. They then moved to another pair of stringers, moving up the sides of the fuselage.
Autumn talked to Tom about using our project, among other aspects of aviation (including flying of course), as part of her Senior Project at Superior High School. Tom agreed to be her official Mentor for her Project. As I understand it, all Seniors are to complete an in-depth effort of independent study in an area of their choosing as a requirement for their graduation. Autumn is the second Youth we have had use our Sedan for their Project, glad to help! With that discussion complete, they continued work on the two stringers Dave and Tom started a couple of sessions ago, fitting them to the support brackets like Chris and Frank were doing.
We're going to get good at this stringer business, before you know it they'll all be fit, and we'll be ready to fire up the steamer again!
Meanwhile, John and Mike finished up the riveting on the Forward Rudder Cable Cover. It is now ready for final fitting and adjustments that may have to be made once it's fit onto the floor of the cabin. With time left, they gathered up the Horizontal Stabilizer Brace Wires to assess their airworthiness. They found all the parts that go with them, labeled them, and initial impressions are that they need replacing. Further inspection may confirm that, we'll see next time.
It was discovered that our fuselage had fallen victim to hangar rash! One of the stringer support brackets got bent to the point where the weld cracked, so I welded it back on. These brackets are delicate without the stringer in place and have enough sharp corners on them to jump out and grab anyone walking by. We must be careful with our baby as work progresses so that we can keep moving forward!
Thanks to all who turned out on what became a very cool and blustery evening. Crazy, from record high temps during the day to upper 40's by Work Session end. That is the magic of Lake Superior. The wind switched from SW to NE, the temps dropped 20 degrees in 20 minutes! It's amazing we don't all catch pneumonia! Haha!!
Yesterday was a little dampish, but we had a good turnout just the same. Chris Schlies, Brett LaGraves, Jacob Koczur and Milt Huhta were there with open minds and eager to work. Mentors were Frank, Mike, Tom, Bill, Barry, Jacobs Dad Brian and m.
Stringers were a point of focus and Chris and Frank dove right in. They finished the scarf joint and reinforcement glued up last time, sanding off excess glue and shaping sharp corners. This stringer is the one intended for the center of the belly, sixteen feet long requiring a team effort to even move around the hangar! With a preliminary fit, they rough cut it to length and prepared the forward end to fit into the socket that keeps it in place. It was a matter of shape and fit, shape and fit for a nice engagement but they got it. Now to taper the end to eliminate any stress risers and then shape the aft end.
Meanwhile, Tom and Jim went through the remaining stringer materials to make sure we had them organized and sufficient to complete the job. As you recall, we previously thought we discovered a shortage of material. Upon closer examination and including a rectangular shape (that Ken Peters had provided us) for the lower side stringers (which were original to the aircraft), we now have all stringers ready for fitting. We will dry fit all of them, get the steamer going and set them in place to dry. I can just imagine them filling out the fuselage, giving our Sedan it's beautiful aerodynamic shape!
Not to be lost in the shuffle, Brett and Jacob worked with Mike with the intention of finishing the riveting on the forward rudder cable cover. Some practice was in order, so they got their strips and angles. Mike guided them on the finer points of squeezing rivets, both universal and flush head. They started with the smaller diameter 3/32" size before moving to the larger 1/8" diameter ones. As it happens, time ran out before they got to the big ones so that will have to wait till next time. The extra bonus of working on their strips and angles is that they can take their work home with them and show off what they've been doing. All in all, very nice work!
Milt got busy and replaced a couple of window frames and formers removed from the fuselage when the paint was touched up. Last Monday, Mike, Frank, Tom and I came in and painted the fuselage satin black in the places that won't be covered when the project is finished. Places like the "V" brace below the windshield, wing and landing gear fittings, and other tabs and handles that will be left exposed. We did this job without any Youth present simply because of the hazardous nature of the oil-based enamel, keep it safe!
Don't forget to check out our project on our Sedan page at sedanproject.com that our web guru Bill Irving keeps up to date. It has all kinds of fun info about us!
Thanks to all who came out last evening, it sure is exciting to see the old bird take shape! See you all next time.
What a lovely evening it was yesterday, lots of sunshine and light winds. So nice that Bill Irving showed up with his trusty C-172 and gave rides to all takers. Chris went for the first time, didn't say much I heard, but came back with a giant grin on his face and a big thumb up! John, Abby, Barry and Aaron went along too. Just a nice chance for a ride.
As you may have gathered, Youth Participants ready for work were Chris, John and Abby. Mentors were Tom, Frank, Al, Bill, Aaron, Jim and Barry.
John and Frank glued up a scarf joint that Frank had prepared earlier in the week at home on his radial arm saw. This was on a stringer, number 4-38, the long one on the bottom of the fuselage. Later, Chris joined the project while John went for his airplane ride. They glued on a 4" long piece of 1/16 aircraft plywood, a reinforcement at a nail hole, mixing up a batch of glue/sawdust to fill a low spot.
Chris then joined Tom at the fuselage to install the upper forward cabin bow. They drilled holes to attach the stiffeners and glued on the block splices.
Al suggested we choose a paint color to paint the fuselage tubing that doesn't get covered up. Oops! I guess we had better before it's too late. Now, which part of the fuselage is that.......?
When John got back from his ride, he and I gathered up the forward rudder cable cover with the intention of finishing up the riveting on it. Well, first we though a little practice was in order as John had never driven rivets before. We started with 1/8" rivets on a piece of scrap which didn't go so well, so we moved to our practice pieces with 3/32" rivets. Much easier, and better to perfect our technique before moving up to the larger rivets. We finished up with our practice just about the time to quit for the night, so we'll have to wait ‘til next time.
I can't tell you what a difference nice weather makes ('cause you already know 😀). It won't be long, and we can keep the big door open for our work, smell the fresh air and feel the gentle breeze. Can you tell I love summer? Next week is our meeting time, so we'll see you all in a couple.
Spring is in the air and I just love it! I heard last week that we've had over 180 days with snow on the ground. 6 months? Enough already! This week we'll be saying "So long snow!" Exciting, isn't it?
We had a good turnout last night, Chris Schlies, Dave Gramstrup and Milt were our Youth Participants. Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill, Al, Aaron and myself were the Guides, along with Barry, Chris' Mentor.
Milt, with Frank and Bill got busy gluing tie strips onto the bulkheads installed last week. Those things are in place for keeps now! When they were done with that Milt worked with Aaron to practice squeezing flush and universal head rivets on our practice materials. New skills to be had all around!
Dave and Tom continued sorting out the stringers, combining an inventory and quality inspection at the same time. They discovered that we could use two more pieces about 8 feet long to round out our requirement. I'll be contacting our friend Ken Peters to see if he is able to help us out. We then rolled the fuselage over to make the bottom easier to get at and fit the two that go along the outside edges of the bottom. Dave got them cut to length and began to trim the ends just like the old ones. This thing is really starting to take shape!
Chris and Mike continued their work on the forward rudder cable cover. Chris, as you recall had some practice squeezing rivets on our practice pieces last month and helped fit the new piece on the cover a couple of weeks ago. So, he was all set to move up to the next level, driving rivets with the pneumatic rivet gun and bucking bar. With some practice on other material Mike was confident Chris was up to the task, and away they went. Just a few rivets left, and the piece will be ready for paint.
Thanks to all who came out last evening. I wouldn't be surprised to see an airplane ride happening in the next Session or two!
Yesterday was a momentous occasion. We welcomed the fuselage back from paint with a brand-new coating of epoxy primer, thanks to Chris Penny and his Precision Powder Coating team for sandblasting and painting, and to our own Mark Marino and his Hangar 10 Aero for the primer materials. Thank you both for bringing to close a two year long repair of the fuselage, the foundation of our Sedan.
To witness this grand occasion were Youth Milt Huhta, John Thro, Dave Gramstrup and Chris Schlies. Chapter Members present were Tom, Frank, Al and me with Barry Beyer, Chris' mentor.
Now we get to add stuff to it! Things like wooden bulkheads and formers. That is just what we did. After John and Frank reattached the aft pivot block, we all set it on the floor and got busy.
John with Tom and Frank set about to sort out the stringers, making sure we had them all, matching them up with the old ones to better understand how the ends will be shaped, and giving them a close inspection for defects and determining how they'll be affected. As you all well understand, Airworthy Standards are quite particular, so we must be careful. Thing are looking pretty good so far.
Chris, Dave and Milt went about setting the wooden bulkheads and formers in place on the fuselage. Boy, does that change the look of our project, starting to get some character!
Thanks to all who came out last evening, our Sedan sure looks different than it has for a long time!
Boy, yesterday felt like spring! Snow melting, water running, blue sky and sunshine. I can feel it!
We had a good turnout last evening, with Dave Granstrup, Chris Schlies, Abby Breitkreutz and a fellow new to our project Jacob Koczur along with his Dad Brian. Along to help steer the evening were Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill and me.
Dave, along with Tom, Frank and Bill got busy with the wooden stringers. They brought them all down from the attic and began to re-acquaint themselves with what we have and where they go, so they might find an extra one to experiment with in the steamer. Easier said than done. There was some sorting going on, with deciphering inventory notes taken two years ago, but I think we have it. They found a likely candidate for the steamer, treated it and placed it on the fuselage. I think it's going to work!
Chris and Mike went to work on the rudder cable cover, removing rivets and installing the new part. Chris seems to be a natural, picking up on guidance from Mike well. They got the new part aligned and drilled, ready for new rivets.
Abby and Jacob joined me at the rivet station where they were introduced to the rivet squeezing process on materials from KidVenture. Abby is so cute! Young as she is she pays attention and follows direction happily. Her little fingers are just the right size for inserting the rivets into their places, and squeezes with all her might (I help) to set the rivet. Jacob also is a bright young man, eager to do and learn, welcome to the crew Jacob. They each got about halfway done with their pieces and took them home to show off. They'll bring them back next time and finish them up.
Thanks to all who came out last evening, all pulling together to show these young people a little of what it takes to make an airplane!
Next week is time for our Committee meeting, so no Work Session. See you April 11!
Last evening went off without a hitch with the help of our Youth Participants Chris Schlies, Dave Gramstrup, Abby Breitkreutz and Milt Huhta. Mentors present were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Bill and me.
The first item of business was to load the fuselage onto a trailer I brought to get it ready for the move to the paint shop. Chris Penny's shop is busy right now with customer work and doesn't have room for us, so we'll wait 'till he has space and time to take care of us. The good thing is, when he says OK, we can respond. We're ready when you are Chris!
Dave and Mike were working on the forward rudder cable cover, riveting on the new section. Mike doesn't like the result. The rivets were set correctly but the part was not well aligned. He will now take this opportunity to deliver a lesson in rivet removal, and reassembly of the cover with a new part he will make up in his own hangar. Sometimes things must go a little backwards in order to move forward, it's just another lesson in life, and after all we're here for the education, right?
Bill and Frank were busy setting up a steamer to eventually steam the stringers we have that, as you may recall, were produced by our good friend Ken Peters two springs ago. This process may take a couple of sessions to perfect but seems to be progressing nicely. Bill brought in a wall paper steamer, which when warmed up, produces a surprising amount of steam. They directed the steam into a section of gutter down spout holding the experimental wood. Looks promising!
I decided to introduce Chris into the world of riveting. We took a couple of pieces Al brought from KidVenture and went to work. After a brief tutorial on the finer points of setting solid rivets, Chris got hands on experience with the squeezer, setting AN470AD3-3 rivets like a pro. He picked up on the requirement that the tool must be perpendicular to the material throughout the process, among other points. Good job Chris!
Thanks to all who came out last evening and pitched in. The work goes quick and easy, before we know it, it's time to go home!
What a Spring like day it was today, gives one hope that 'ol man Winter is on the ropes and again will not survive our Planet's march around the Sun. Yay!
Last evening, we were greeted with a crew of Youth Participants, John Thro, Autumn Wolters, Chris Schiles, and Milt Huhta. Along to help guide these young minds were Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Bill and me.
We set about getting the fuselage ready to be moved to the paint shop. John and Chris helped me to replace the right-side Fuselage Wrap Around Support, which had mostly gone missing. In fact, if you recall from a previous post, we nearly missed it altogether had it not been for the sharp eyes of our inspection crew. Anyway, Mike had formed up some .025 4130 sheets into the angle we needed. John cut it to length and prepared it to fit into place, then Chris and I welded it onto the fuselage. The part requires holes in it to attach the Wrap Around, so we cleaned up and set the part onto the fuselage, clamped it into place, and discovered one possible reason our Support was mostly missing. The line of holes in the Wrap Around was not straight, in fact some nearly ran off the support to the point that they would compromise the strength of the little part. So, we decided to hold off drilling holes until we make a new Wrap Around, which after 69 years of service is showing a good bit a wear. We then gave the fuselage another inspection and called it "good to go"!
Meanwhile, Autumn and Mike continued work on the Lower Rudder Control Cover, kind of like a center console between the rudder cables. Mike had previously reproduced the aft end of it which was pretty bent up. Autumn got a very nice lesson in riveting, both with a squeezer and the gun with bucking bar. Some practice proceeded riveting the actual part, demonstrating what not to do and what works! Under Mike's guidance Autumn is picking up the skill nicely.
Everyone else were "floaters" throughout the evening, helping out where needed, helping make the whole Session a success.
Next time we will begin the process of preparing a steamer for bending the stringers, exciting stuff!
Boy I love the longer days this time of year, I think the winter days are numbered again for this season!
Last evening, we had a nice turnout. Three smiling faces that we haven't seen in a while, Samantha and Brett LaGraves, and Tyler Breitkreutz were able to join us. It's always good to have them aboard. To round off our Youth Participant crew was Christopher Schlies, our new member last week. Chapter mentors here to guide our young minds were Frank, Mike, Aaron, Tom, Bill I, and me.
To start off with Frank and Tyler focused on the rubber bumpers for the tail wheel upper and lower limit stops, both in the tail wheel auxiliary assembly and in the fuselage. This involved sanding off the inside corners of our bumper material made from a hockey puck. Next was to drill a hole in the bumper as a keeper. Talk about some rubber with a high durometer, nice and stiff! Rubber is also a difficult material to drill, kind of gummy, but they did a great job. Some might say "perfect"!
Samantha and Chris joined Tom in a class of Hand Tool 101. Tom explains the function and safe use of the hand tools we use in our program, giving the Youth a foundation of safety and proper use of basic hand tools. "A screw driver is not necessarily a pry bar!" ;-), and more!
Brett and Mike inspected the tail feathers; rudder, horizontal stabilizers and elevators, for fit and general condition prior to re priming them. Aside from needing a little cleanup in the hinge areas, (we can clean those areas up easily after priming), they are deemed good to go.
Chris and Aaron began by giving the fuselage a thorough going over, looking for incomplete or cracked welds, missing and bent parts (tabs and such), or anything else we want to complete before we move it to the paint shop. Well, they found several places that needed attention. Aaron's sharp eye picked up on several items, instructing Chris and later Samantha and Brett on what to look for, marking the places with blue tape along the way. I got busy welding on a few missing nut tabs and clips, some needing straightening before re-welding, and small cracked welds. One significant part was found completely missing! In the book they call it a Fuselage Wrap Around Support. It's a small angle shaped piece that's about 16" long with bolt holes in it, up front in the boot cowl area on the right side. We will be making a new support, and weld it on before the big move.
Thanks to everyone who made it out last evening. It's a learning experience for all of us, and surprising what comes to light in these Work Sessions!
What a beautiful day it was yesterday. Warm and sunny, just makes you want to get out and do stuff! And we did, a whole bunch of us, at the Chapter Hangar. Tim Friendsuhu was there to see what we were up to, moved his RV8A out and it didn't even cool the place off a bit, opening that giant door. Can't wait till spring!
We met a fine young fellow last night. 13 yr old Christopher Schlies along with his Mentor Barry Beyer. Chris and Barry met through Mentor Duluth. Chris is interested in anything aviation. He has joined the Duluth CAP and wants to get his pilots license as soon as he can! After the work session Chris said he definitely wants to come back and get some more of what we have going on here. Good deal, welcome Chris!
Along with Chris, we were delighted with the arrival of Autumn Wolters, John Thro, Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta, eager to work and learn something new. There to help with that were Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.
Autumn and Mike finished up the picture frames for the Sedan Apparel Cabinet, installing a couple of dandy shots of Youth in Action to be displayed on the cabinet in the Airport Terminal. After that they, along with Dave, got busy with the new brake calipers, installing brake pads, installing new hardware and transferring serviceable parts from the old calipers. The brakes are now ready to be installed on the airplane when we're ready. With that out of the way, they decided to tackle riveting practice on some aluminum materials, .025" aluminum, punched with matching 3/32" holes. Some of the pieces were bent 90 degrees to form an angle , so when riveted together, 3 pieces would make a channel shape, or a mini spar if you can imagine. Good riveting skills are mandatory for nearly any airplane construction.
All the while that was going on Chris, along with his Mentor Barry and Frank set about to clean up the bores of the new hinges welded to the rudder and fuselage rudder post. The hinge parts shrink due to welding and need to be resized. This crew expertly took care of the task and then set the rudder in place to check fit. A little attention was needed to provide clearance around the new parts, with a file that Chris handled with precision! Another file helped remove any sharp weld edges on the rudder so that the covering will go on nice and smooth. Tom looked on, offering suggestions about the work to be done and helping to straighten some interior bows and channels. With his first experience working on an actual airplane, Chris showed great interest and attention to detail. I think we may have a budding Aircraft Mechanic on our hands!
John and Milt joined me with the last welding (I think) on the fuselage. Last evening's work was to replace two damaged stringer clips on the bottom along with replacing a missing tinnerman nut plate tab. We then set to remove any welding scabs left over from the major repair work that was done mostly on the aft portion. Next Wednesday will be "Fuselage Inspection Wednesday" where we will go over it with a thorough inspection, looking for anything missed, in preparation for the move to the paint shop.
As usual, Bill was our roving photographer and log book recorder. Thanks Bill, and everyone else who turned out last evening. It's always good to see activity and progress!
Last evening was a quiet one, with Milt Huhta our lone Youth Participant. :-) That didn't stop us (Mike G., Tom B., Frank K., Bill I., and me) from working with Milt on the tail wheel assembly.
Last week John Thro worked on, among other things, cutting out a pair of shims to take up the slack between the tail wheel saddle and tail wheel assembly. At first we thought the material was too thin to bridge the gap, but I later thought that to wedge the shims out against the saddle and weld them in place was the correct procedure. That's just what we did. As the walls of the saddle are somewhat sloped, the shims fit perfectly and we ended up with a very snug fit. Good work John!
Since welding was the task last evening, and the bottle of argon ran out just as we finished the tail wheel, we decided to call it quits around 8:15. I'll refill it and get on with finishing up the remaining welding on the fuselage and getting it to the paint shop. Once repainted, we can move on to more exciting tasks in the rebuild. I can't wait!
Just a reminder, next week is our night for the Committee meeting so the Work Session will not be held. Set your sights on Wednesday, Feb 14 for the first Work Session in February. I realize that it's Valentines Day so I understand if you want to be with your Love instead, or, you can celebrate you're love for each other by working on a classic old airplane! (haha, just a thought!)
With Ground Hogs Day tomorrow and the sun moving higher in the sky, I can almost see spring on the distant horizon, almost. Enjoy winter while it lasts, it will warm up eventually!
Last evening was a pleasant one even though a bit breezy, the hangar was warm enough to work in for a change! Youth Participants attending were John Thro and Milt Huhta. Mentors there were Frank, Tom, Bill I and me.
We concentrated on the rudder mostly. We finished fitting and tack welding the lower hinge group to the rudder, and fit the outer bow to the bottom of the rudder post. After that we were able to remove the rudder and tail wheel assembly from the fuselage to the bench to weld out.
Bill was our roving photographer, recording the event. Just who is that old man in the fancy hat!?!
Now, everything on the fuselage is replaced that needed replacing, fit that needed to be fit, I think, save a couple of stringer clips that will be replaced next time we have the fuselage up-side down. I can just see it, with all the new work in fresh primer, ready to receive everything that will make it an airplane again. That will be a big day!
Thanks to all who turned out last evening, we're making progress, one step at a time.
Last evening felt like a nice October evening, mid 30's and light winds. Not like today after the cold front got here, snow and wind and falling temps. Good 'ol January is back!
Autumn Wolters, Dave Gramstrup, and Milt Huhta were in attendance, ready to work and learn. Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill I., Al and I were here to help.
Autumn and Mike set to work on making up some picture frames. These frames will be used to display pictures of "Youth at Work" on the Sedan, and placed on the apparel cabinet we have in the main terminal of the airport. Mike has them configured so we can easily change the picture, to keep up with the progress of our project and to better tell our story, encouraging sales of our shirts and hats.
Dave, Milt and I continued our work on the fuselage, tack welding in the parts fabricated last time including the braces and bumper mount for the tail wheel lower limit stop, and replacing the lower hinge group on the rudder post. Proper care must be taken to control all the grinding sparks, we don't want to start any fires or damage any equipment! The fuselage continues taking shape, inching ever closer to the next phase of restoration. Stay tuned for further developments!
Thanks to all who came out last evening. It has been a couple of weeks since our last Work Session, but we all fell into the groove without missing a beat, build on!
Last evening was preceded by a snowy, slippery day but we carried on. Brave souls who turned out to enjoy the Christmas Party were John Thro and his Mom Catherine, Bret LaGraves and his Dad Chris, and Milt Huhta. Mentor members also on board were Al White, Frank Kolo, with three huge pizzas under his arm, Tom Betts, and me.
The first thing we did was to dig into the pizza and pop and start telling Christmas stories. The conversation rolled around to a picture of the Duluth Airport, taken back in 1987, with the Concord airliner on the runway, and another pic of it taking off. What an awesome aircraft it was. It was here for an airshow put on by the Chapter and our own Tom Betts went for a ride. Just a short hop to Green Bay by way of Oshkosh and back. He'll never forget it! There was more conversation about Christmas, and then the big drawing for the model airplane, Franks Vought FU4 Corsair. Brett and John were in the hat, and John came out the lucky one! My great regret is that in all the excitement, I neglected to get a picture of the lad and his new airplane! :-( Sorry folks, you'll just have to imagine John's grin from ear to ear in your mind's eye!
Things were winding down, everybody was full of pizza, so John, Milt and I decided to work on the Sedan for the rest of the evening. They were able to finish fitting the brace tubes they were working on last time, so all the parts for the tail wheel lower limit stop are ready to weld. Good job guys, we just might finish this thing yet!
I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We won't meet again until January 10, so I hope the Holidays are all you hope them to be, full of love and blessings and friends, and Thanks for the Pizza Frank, it was delicious!!
Last evening started out to be a quiet one as I met Al White at the Chapter Hangar, just in from deer hunting on the airport. He had just bagged one, but was waiting to see if I was going to be joined by others before he went back to skin his quarry. Then Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta showed up. Followed by Mike Gardonio and Aaron Breitkreutz who rounded out our crew and we were in business.
We decided to combine our efforts and focus on the rudder. Specifically, the lower hinge knuckle which needs to be welded on. So, we hung the rudder on the fuselage and discovered a misalignment. We examined the rudder and fuselage and Al suggested we heat the rudder post to bring it into alignment, so without a torch we turned our attention to the tail wheel lower limit stop.
By the time our session ended, we had all the parts roughed in and nearly ready to weld. This part went well, so we'll have to look at it again next time to see what we might have done wrong and fix it before it's too late!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope your past year has been bountiful and full of joy, all good things to be thankful for, and a hope that the coming year is even better!
Last evening, we were greeted by Autumn Wolters, John Thro, Brett Lagraves and Milt Huhta, ready to dig in. There to assist were Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.
Autumn and John, along with Frank and Tom went after the rudder, fitting the lower channel rib, tack welding it into place, and making an extension to the outer bow as it attaches to the lower rudder post at the tail wheel steering fork (can you picture it?). All this is in preparation for hanging the rudder in place on the fuselage to 1. Locate the lower hinge knuckle and 2. Check for the tail wheel travel so we know where to put the added tail wheel lower limit stop.
Brett and Mike were busy cleaning brake parts, getting ready for matching up serviceable old parts with new replacement ones. A little solvent cleaning (with protective apparel of course!), a little buffing, a little drilling out rivets on old brake lining, and a little elbow grease is all it takes!
Meanwhile, Milt and I were busy welding up the lower aft bow assembly, the one that holds the forward end of the belly stringers in place. Once that was done, we removed the rotation stand on the aft end of the fuselage and set the fuselage on a temporary stand, getting ready to hang the rudder in preparation for work mentioned earlier.
All this time, Bill was circulating, documenting the event with camera and log book.
Thanks, as always, to all who turned out last evening. It's fun to add things to the fuselage (if only temporary), makes it look like and airplane!
For those wondering about the Work Session next week, the day before Thanksgiving, we will be there, at least I'll be there, for whoever is able to come to work.
Man, it was loud in the hangar last evening. We had the air compressor going along with die grinder, angle grinder, belt sander and bench grinder Whew! But we got some work done!
Present to join the fun were John Thro, Autumn Wolters, Eva Hobbs, Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta. Also present to drive the activity were Tom, Mike G, Frank, Bill I, and me.
Eva and Mike went right to work sawing some tubing for the rudder hinge, but then shifted gears over to the main brakes. They concentrated on removing hardware from the old worn out calipers to be cleaned and made ready for the new parts. They will continue their efforts next time.
Frank and John went to work on the rudder, removing the lower rib (with an odd repair we don't like) to be replaced with a new one that Mike G made for us some weeks ago. They got everything all cleaned up and the rib trimmed to fit just right.
Autumn trimmed the lower aft stringer bow that Eva and Jim formed up last time to fit the fuselage. Meanwhile, Milt went at the old bow with a hack saw then an angle grinder to remove all traces of it from the fuselage. Once the stringer sockets that the bow holds were cut free, Autumn cleaned them up by trimming close with a hack saw and then the bench grinder with the assistance of Tom, so we can put them back in place on the new bow. Follow that? With the parts all prepared, Milt and I tack welded the new bow in place. Then the fun began. With an old stringer that Mike found upstairs, Autumn, Dave G, Mike and I located the stringer sockets onto the new bow and tack welded them in place. It was kind of a juggling act, but we got them positioned in line with the other stringer brackets.
Dave G got busy with the control column, disassembling it for temporary storage and evaluating the fasteners again to determine which bolts need to be replaced and which ones are fit to be used again. Only four fit the latter category, so we'll put the rest on our Hardware Want List.
Through the din of activity was Bill, taking pictures and recording the event in the log. Thanks Bill!
As I mentioned earlier, it was a fun but noisy couple of hours, but we are moving the project along with great participation from students and mentors alike. Many thanks to all attending, including the parents of our youth attending, occasionally stepping in to see just what their kids are up to. See you next week!
With October winding down, we got in one more work session before the meeting in November. Eva Hobbs, Brett LaGraves, and Dave Gramstrup were our Youth Participants, with Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Bill Irving and me acting as Mentors.
We got right to work with Brett and Mike assembling the last of the Elevator Trim Control, including the handle!
Dave and Tom went after the control column, aligning and drilling out the last of the bolt holes in the new universal joints, taking care to keep the control yokes parallel. The control column should now be about ready to fit back into the fuselage when the time comes.
Eva and I concentrated on bending some 3/8" 4130 tubing to replace the damaged lower aft fuselage bow assembly. This bow holds fittings for the forward end of the wooden stringers that give the bottom of the fuselage shape. We had a template to follow that Mike made up some weeks ago, and a tubing bender that was made available to us by Mark Marino. Thanks Mark, your bender worked just fine. Eva and I were able to follow the contour of the template quite well and produced a nice replacement bow.
Bill again was our PR guy, photographing key elements of the operation, as well as recording the activity in our Restoration Log.
Thanks to all participating last evening, we're gaining on 'er!
Remember, next Wednesday is our meeting time, so no Work Session. Our next one will be November 8th, see you then.
I encourage all to check out our Sedan Web Page at sedanproject.com for updates to our page. On it we have a link to "Spirit of Katrina" apparel which we have on sale to help support our project, and much more. Check it out! Thanks!!
Last evening we met, we worked, we learned! John Thro was here with his brother Thomas, and Milt Huhta. Mentors were Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and myself. Al White was here for a bit but then had to leave.
The Thro crew along with Tom and Frank attended to the rudder, checking alignment in preparation for welding. All measurements were taken and adjusted, all looks good. I then put the TIG torch to work and welded up the splice and rosette joints. Thomas was very curious about this welding business, so he watched the process. Success! All seems straight and aligned, so on to the next bit, replacing the damaged rib and reconnecting the aft perimeter tube to the post.
Meanwhile, Milt and I fit the cabin door top hinge that we welded up last time. With a little adjustment it fits just fine, so on to the lower hinge, rebuilding the area around the worn pivot point.
Bill was our official recorder, taking pictures of the action and logging the session in the book. A critical function!
Thanks to all who came out on a lovely fall evening, it's a pleasure to see smiling faces working and learning!
Yesterday was a quiet evening with Eva Hobbs, the lone Youth attending, along with her parents, of course! Also present for the session were Bill I., Tom, Mike, Frank, and me.
Eva continues to show interest and enthusiasm for the work, and began with getting an introduction on the rudder repair. It soon became apparent that this was not the task for her, so Mike got her working on the elevator trim control that they were working on last time. Much better! Cleaning and painting and lubricating, all critical aspects of aircraft restoration. Eva has a sharp mind, is attentive with focus, and a very welcome Youth Participant!
Meanwhile, Tom and Frank took to further the fit-up of the rudder parts, they're nearly ready to weld together.
I took the opportunity to tack weld the upper door hinge together and get the door to swing open. Moving parts! I will finish welding up the hinge, then we can concentrate on the lower one. That one involves drilling and riveting.
Bill, as it turns out is becoming our Work Session Recorder, recording the evenings events in the Log Book, a very necessary part of our rebuild. Thanks Bill! Bill also prepared a cash box for the sales our "Spirit of Katrina" Sedan apparel over in the Main Terminal. If you get a chance, get over to the terminal and check out our display, it fits in very nice there.
Thanks again to everyone who turned out last evening, we're making progress!
The rain finally stopped and the sky became partly cloudy for our work session last evening. We were greeted by yet another Youth Participant, Eva Hobbs. No, she isn't an heir to the "Hobbs" meter legacy, but she is an energetic and eager girl curious about airplanes. Welcome Eva! Also, present and eager to learn about airplanes was Dave Kostuch, Dave Grambush, John Thro, Isabella Easterday and Milt Huhta. Mentors on board were Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Aaron Breitkreutz, myself and Mike Philips. Mike is new to our Chapter. He hails from St. Cloud, Mn and EAA Chapter 551. Mike has moved to Superior and has joined our Chapter. Mike holds an Airframe and Powerplant Certification, working on his Inspection Authority, and is excited to join our Aeronca Sedan group. Welcome Mike!
Work continued on the Control Column assembly, with Dave G., Milt, Al, Frank, Mark, and Aaron combining their wisdom around installing the new universal joints. Holes need to be drilled in the u joints to match ones in the assembly. The Control Yokes also need to be clocked the same using their existing bolt holes, so much discussion was had around achieving that result. They decided to use the existing holes as drill guides and move on. So far, so good.
John Thro and Dave K. worked with Tom on the rudder, continuing to fit up the scarf joint and locate rosette welds required to reinforce the joint.
Eva and Isabella were on team Mike with their focus on the new parts we received a couple of weeks ago. They distributed them to the bins of parts they are going to replace. We are trying to stay organized as possible, we don't want to lose anything! Next, they turned their attention to the elevator trim control. They continued to fabricate a new bracket for the trim indicator.
Dave K. and Milt came over to help me with fitting the cabin door. With the door clamped in place, using shims to hold it as central as we could get it, we continued to fit the modified upper hinge, getting ready to weld it up. We're getting close!
Thanks to everyone who turned out last evening. I can't say it often enough what a great group we have, all pulling in the same direction. t's a wonderful thing and I am proud to be a part of it!
Next week is our meeting Wednesday, so the next Work Session will be in October, the 11th.
We were greeted last evening by beautiful, clear and warm weather (it's all about the weather, isn't it?), and a hangar full of activity. New to our group was Dave Gramstrup's Dad, Dave Gramstrup. It took us a while to get over the name confusion and come to the realization that our Dave is a Jr. We can be so dense sometimes! Also new to the project is Isabella Easterday, an energetic youngster eager to learn about airplanes. She is a little young for our program, but her Dad Don stayed for the session, and she remained engaged and attentive throughout the evening, under the guidance of Mike Gardonio. She is a budding aeronautical engineer if I ever saw one! The remainder of our participants were Brett LaGraves, Milt Huhta, and Jared Harger. Dave Jr. and Jared are in the same class at LSC A&P school. Adult Mentors on the scene were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Bill Irving, Dave Gramstrup Sr., Don Easterday and me.
Dave and Dave, Jared and myself focused on the control column. Frank Kolo with a previous commitment couldn’t be here, so after a brief study of the assembly to understand what need to be done we got to work. The aileron control sprockets seemed to be out of time with each other, so the chain was adjusted. The remaining pulleys were mounted and old hardware evaluated. Dave Jr. discovered that the bolts holding the lower pulleys are bent, so we'll order new ones. Nice catch Dave! We discussed the procedure for installing the new universal joints which needed the bolt holes drilled. We determined that the new holes should be drilled 90 degrees to the existing ones to maintain perfect alignment of match drilled holes, and discussed the procedure to accomplish the task, keeping in mind the the holes in the control yoke shaft must be aligned to keep the yokes in the correct position with the ailerons neutral. Whew, all this thinking can make your head spin! We'll drill and ream holes next time.
Tom and Mike, along with Isabella, Brett and Milt worked on setting up the rudder for welding on the replacement lower section. They built a fixture to hold everything in alignment. Later, Mike took Brett and Isabella aside and paid some attention to the elevator trim control, cleaning parts and preparing material to make a new bracket for the assembly.
With yet another successful work session under our belts, I want to thank everyone who came out, especially our new comers. You make it all worthwhile!
Last evening ended up unseasonably warm and pleasant, so we left the big door open. Boy, did the mosquitoes come out, or in. They sure kept us hopping!
We had a good turnout. For students we had Tyler Brietkreutz, Brett and Samantha LaGraves with Brett's friend Delten. Also, along were John Thro and, new to our group, Jared and his Dad Jim Harger, and Milt Huhta. Mentors included Frank Kolo, MIke Gardonio, Tom Betts, Aaron Breitkreutz and me.
Mike and Brett went to work on the elevator control mechanism along with Deegan Hoffbauer and Tyler looking on. They were able to complete the placard that goes under the crank. Deegan is an enthusiastic young fella, much like his pal Brett. It was also good to see Tyler again, he hasn't been here in a while.
Autumn and Tom along with Milt went after the rudder, researching the particulars of the scarf joint and rosette welds, and how to best fixture the assembly to keep everything square, straight and the right length. Some classroom work was done using the AC 43.13-1B manual of Acceptable Methods and Practices to determine how the joint should be configured. They could come up with a list of materials to construct the fixture for next time.
Frank had a big crew to work with around the Control Column. At one time he had Tom and Milt and Jared and Jim and Aaron looking on, but mostly Jim and Jared. We finally got our hands on a pair of universal joints we were waiting for so work on this part can proceed. The first order of business was figuring out where we left off! Once accomplished, work progressed. installing the aileron chain assembly and new cable pulleys, and assessing hardware.
John and I were back on the fuselage, but in the forward end this time. We straightened the lower forward fairing bow assembly, then moved to the fitting of the cabin door. The upper hinge needs some rework, so that was studied and a possible remodel was determined. We'll have materials for next time.
All in all it was a busy, productive time last night with stuff going on in every corner. Thanks to all who came out yesterday, it's good to see new faces, and the old familiar ones too, our group just keeps getting bigger and better!
School is starting soon, as evidenced by the absence of most of our Youth Participants. Orientation, kids growing up, moving to new schools. Autumn was able to come however, along with Milt, so we had work to do. Along to balance out the other side were Frank and me with Bill I. and Al looking in.
First of all, Autumn and I inventoried a shipment of parts received from Aircraft Spruce and Specialtiy Co. In the box were parts for the control column, control cables, brake parts and pulleys. We have work to do now! Everything was shipped as expected, beautiful parts. Now we can make up control cables for the rudder, elevator and trim tab, and aileron cables within the fuselage (there are still a set of cables in the wings to address). We can complete the control column and brakes too, lots to do!
Once complete Autumn, Milt and I focused on the rudder. At the last work sesion the scarf joint for the splice was laid out on the rudder and replacement section. We double checked both parts to see how they compared. Identical. We also check with the guide book, AC 3.13-1B Acceptable Methods and Practices, to determine the length and size of the reinforcement sleeve. We cut a piece of 7/8" x .035 wall 4130 tube 5" long, Frank cleaned up some minor surface corrosion, making it ready for welding. Next, we set up to make the cuts with a hand held 5" angle grinder. Once made we de-burred and inspected the joint. The alignment is very nice, just a little refinement, some plug weld holes to drill and it should be ready to weld.
It was a quiet evening (mostly, except for the grinder!) with only one task at hand but progress no less. Thanks to everyone who turned out. Next work session will be in September, where did the summer go?
Last night we were greeted by Autumn Wolters who we haven't seen in a while. She has been busy with other activities this summer, most importantly, having fun! Also, along for the ride were our old friends Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta. Present to lead the Session were Tom Betts, Al White, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.
Autumn and Dave jumped right in with Tom on the rudder. Their task was to mark the scarf joint on the rudder and the new section to replace the damage. Their set-up was somewhat elaborate in order to repeat the cut line in the same place on both pieces, but I think they got it right on. Next time we'll double check the marks and make the cuts.
Milt and I finished up welding of the sleeves at the aft end of the fuselage (I thought it would never get there!). Next, we welded on a stringer stand-off to replace a bent up one that was removed previously. Our man Mike Gardonio had made up the new one some time ago, I'm glad we didn't lose it in the interim! Next, we'll focus on the lower aft fuselage fairing bow. This and the forward one have been subject to rough handling in a previous life and need some attention.
Al and Bill and Frank did some remodeling on the tall coffee maker table so that we can park our new welding machine under it, out of harm’s way. All they had to do was to notch the front rail a little to provide clearance for the argon cylinder and flow meter. Short work, nice job. The machine is now parked safely away under the bench. Thanks guys!
It's always surprising how early the days end this time of year. We had the big door open for the session, it was a very nice evening, we really noticed when the sun went down, Dark! Thanks to everyone who came out last evening, we're making progress!
We met again last evening, with John Thro back from his baseball tournament in Indiana where they won one of four, very well by all accounts! Also attending for enlightenment was Milt Huhta. Mentors on board were Tom B., Al, Bill I.,Mike G., and me
We got busy without delay, John and Tom focusing on the rudder, fitting the control horn to the replacement tube. That involved laying out and cutting the relief for the lower hinge bushing and locating it aligned with the steering fork. We tacked it in place, ready to cut the splice joint on the rudder.
Mike and Al made a cardboard template to replicate a bow assembly on the bottom of the fuselage that got bent up pretty bad at some point along the line. We have some 3/8" x .035 tube to bend for its replacement. The template will help us make a form to aid in the bending.
Milt and I continued our work on welding up the fuselage. The sleeves fit on those two aft tubs are nearly all welded. Some tight places there, where the tubes come together on the rudder post, but we got it! Inching ever closer to completion!
Thanks to everyone who turned out last night, what a great bunch!
Last evening was our first Work Session in 3 weeks, what with AirVenture and meetings, it seemed like forever! We fell back into the swing of it though like we never missed a day, Sweeet! Youth attending were Samantha and Brett LaGraves along with Milt Huhta. Mentors present to teach and learn were Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo and me.
Brett and Mike went after the elevator trim control to clean and to measure the turnbuckles so that we can replace them with the correct ones.
Samantha and Tom were back on the rudder, fitting a new control horn that Mike made back in his own hangar. Thanks Mike! There was some confusion and discussion regarding locations and procedures. It seems that time does funny things with memory, that's why we always try to write dimensions down and don't dismantle the old part before the new one is ready to replace it. We're all set now though, so next time it's full steam ahead!
Milt and I continued fitting and welding the reinforcement sleeves at the aft end of the fuselage with our new Lincoln welding machine we just brought home from EAA Sport Air Workshops. Nice machine, it will serve the Chapter well. Thanks to EAA and Charlie Becker for making the donation possible and our life easier and more enriched!
Frank and Bill finished up the "Spirit of Katrina" apparel cabinet, applying the signage to the front. Pretty spiffy guys! It's now ready to load with shirts and hats and move to the Superior Airport Terminal, officially putting our stuff on sale. So, if you can, check it out and buy a hat or shirt!
Thanks to everyone for coming out last evening, everyone pulling in the same direction is just a joy!
Last evening was a very pleasant one with just a breeze off the big lake to cool things off from the day's heat (we're not used to heat up here). We had a good turnout with Dave Kostuch and Dave Gramstrup, and Milt Huhta filling out the group of students. Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo, Todd Gremmels and myself were there to help out.
First, Bill took Dave K. and his mom Krista up for a ride in his C172 to look around. It was Krista's first ride ever in a small airplane and she was a little nervous. No worries, she and Dave came back with smiles on their faces, and Krisa with a new faith and perspective in the ability of small aircraft.
Dave G. joined Tom and Todd working on a Quickie which has appeared in our hangar since last time. This aircraft has been a weather vane perched on a rotating column in front of our hangar for a few years and was taken down last Saturday for repairs. The poor old bird has experienced some weathering damage and trauma from kids climbing on it. Todd, who has fiberglass experience, has agreed to lead the repair for a speedy return to it's post in good condition (for a weather vane!). When Dave and Krista returned from their ride, Dave joined the crew, learning about yet another type of airplane.
Frank was then joined by Bill, lining the display shelf of the apparel cabinet. One step closer!
Milt and I went over the control cables that Mike and crew measured last time. We wanted some confirming information on the size of the turnbuckles and number of other parts that make up the cables that live in the fuselage. Everything checks out. We then continued fitting the sleeves on the fuselage aft tubing. Almost ready for welding, one more section to go.
Thanks everyone for coming out on such a beautiful (rare) evening to work on our birds. As you may have heard, our meeting next Wednesday is cancelled due to most every one of our mentor's attendance at Airventure next week. With our board meetings the following week, we'll see you all on August 9th.
Last evening was a cool wind right off the big lake, foggy and damp. That did not deter us though, we had a full evening of activity, inside!
The LaGraves crew was here, Brett, Samantha and Emily, and John Thro. John was recently back from Air Academy where he was immersed in hands on activities like sheet metal work, composites, chart reading and navigation to mention a few subjects. John said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but was disappointed when they were unable to climb the rock wall outside because recent rain making it too slippery! Overall, he loved it!
Adults here to assist were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving, Al White, Milt Huhta and me.
Brett and Mike finished assembling the tail wheel, fitting the tire, assembling the wheel halves and a final lube. Tail wheel ready to install. Whew, that was a long hard pull!
Tom showed Emily and Samantha all about testing the Emergency Locator Transmitter on his Glasair. Tom had a recent lightening activating event with his ELT so he wanted to test it and thought the young Ladies might be interested in learning all about it, they were. One more aspect of aviation to add to the list.
Afterward, the LaGraves crew helped Mike gather control cables, measure their length, and record how the ends were built. It's time we replaced them, so we need to know what they are.
John and Milt and I worked on the tubing sleeves at the aft of the fuselage, tacking them in place to reinforce the corroded areas. Tight spot but we'er getting it!
Frank and Bill continued work on the apparel cabinet, touching up the paint job and checking out the signage stencil that Mark Marino made up for us. Thanks Mark! The Cabinet will be looking pretty slick by the time we get done with it.
Thanks to all who came out to participate. This session, as always, we learned a few things as we inch further along on our Sedan project.
Well, last evening was a little unusual in that we had no youth attending. My guess is the gloomy weather, raining cats and dogs all day and cool temps. Also, John Thro and Dave Kostuch are at Air Academy in Oshkosh so they were predisposed. No worries, we will resume in July on Wednesday the 12th right in stride.
We did have a contingent of Adults/Mentors though, with Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Frank Kolo an myself ready for action. We get a few minor things done in the hangar, and helped member Tim Friendshuh modify the front seat back in his RV8A. Riveting is new to Tim so we were able to help him out a little and move his project along.
Thanks again to all who came out on a gloomy, wet evening. Even though we had no youth this evening, it's all good. We'll pick it up next time.
Last Wednesday evening was witness to yet another successful session of work on our Sedan. John Thro and Dave Gramstrup were on board to assist and learn. There to pitch in were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Milt Huhta, Bill Irving and me.
Dave and Tom and Milt went to work fitting the cabin door into the fuselage opening in order to finish the lower hinge arm. It was determined that when the door is properly centered in the opening, upper hinge does not match the hinge tabs. It was determined that the hinge must be moved, therefore the three began the surgical removal of the rivets holding the hinge in place. This is an exacting process to remove the rivets, preserving the holes, so that the corrected hinge can be reinstalled. Once the steel hinge is removed, the door can again be fit into place, the lower hinge arm located and the upper hinge remodeled to fit.
John and I went about to fit the sleeves that were made to reinforce the two tubes that meet the rudder post. As it turns out, my suggestion to use 5/8 dia x .035 wall tube split down the center was a poor one as the gap left between the sections is too great. On to plan "B". Al suggested we fashion a doubler from flat sheet, forming it to fit the tubes. Al demonstrated the process by getting some thin sheet to use as a pattern and began to trim and fit. In the mean time John and I made final preparations to the horizontal stabilizer brace wire tabs and tacked them into the lower longerons at the 20 degree angle that the original ones were set at.
Bill and Mike busied themselves putting a first coat of green paint on the apparel display case.
Just about the time we were all finishing up for the evening, the clouds opened, the thunder boomed and the rain came down. In buckets! Wow, we are going to get soaked on our way to the cars, I was thinking. Just about the time we were going to make our move, the rain quit, with nothing more than a nice clean smell in the air! No worries!
Thanks everyone who came out to help. It never ceases to give me a thrill to see such activity toward a common goal, engaging youth and adults alike, everybody learning something new, and making our lives richer for it. Keep up the good work!
Last Wednesday evening was witness to yet another successful session of work on our Sedan. John Thro and Dave Gramstrup were on board to assist and learn. There to pitch in were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Milt Huhta, Bill Irving and me.
Dave and Tom and Milt went to work fitting the cabin door into the fuselage opening in order to finish the lower hinge arm. It was determined that when the door is properly centered in the opening, upper hinge does not match the hinge tabs. It was determined that the hinge must be moved, therefore the three began the surgical removal of the rivets holding the hinge in place. This is an exacting process to remove the rivets, preserving the holes, so that the corrected hinge can be reinstalled. Once the steel hinge is removed, the door can again be fit into place, the lower hinge arm located and the upper hinge remodeled to fit.
John and I went about to fit the sleeves that were made to reinforce the two tubes that meet the rudder post. As it turns out, my suggestion to use 5/8 dia x .035 wall tube split down the center was a poor one as the gap left between the sections is too great. On to plan "B". Al suggested we fashion a doubler from flat sheet, forming it to fit the tubes. Al demonstrated the process by getting some thin sheet to use as a pattern and began to trim and fit. In the mean time John and I made final preparations to the horizontal stabilizer brace wire tabs and tacked them into the lower longerons at the 20 degree angle that the original ones were set at.
Bill and Mike busied themselves putting a first coat of green paint on the apparel display case.
Just about the time we were all finishing up for the evening, the clouds opened up, the thunder boomed and the rain came down. In buckets! Wow, we are going to get soaked on our way to the cars, I was thinking. Just about the time we were going to make our move, the rain quit, with nothing more than a nice clean smell in the air! No worries!
Thanks everyone who came out to help. It never ceases to give me a thrill to see such activity toward a common goal, engaging youth and adults alike, everybody learning something new, and making our lives richer for it. Keep up the good work!
Students: Dave Granstrup, Brett and Samantha LaGrave, David Kostuch
Adults: Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Mike Gardonio, Milt Huhta, Tim Friendshuh
Tom, Dave Granstrup, Frank and Milt continued the effort to remove the insert from the Rudder, without much luck though. The combination of weld, rust and tight fit are making it impossible to move the insert without destroying the outer tube.
Mike Dave Kostuch, and Brett LaGrave enlarged the slots in the lower fuselage tubing to accept the Horizontal Stabilizer flying wire tabs. After the tabs were fit, the tabs were dressed a little bit and set aside for welding. They then finished cutting out the lower rear longeron patches that were started last week.
Mike and Samantha LaGrave removed the bearing cones from the tail wheel. They will be replaced with a different type of bearing that will better fit the tail gear axel. Tim Freindshuh came in to go for a ride in his RV-8 and was gracious enough to give Dave Kostuch and Brett and Samantha LaGrave all a ride around town too. Thanks Jim!
It was a wet one last evening, but that didn't dampen our spirits or turn-out for another round of work on the "Spirit of Katrina". Dave Gramstrup and John Thro came eager to help and learn. Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Al White, Aaron Breitkreutz and I were along for the ride!
Tom and Dave went after the rudder, assisted by Mike, repairing the section below the rudder horn. They ran into a snag however as the reinforcing tube was also fused to the rudder main tube right at the horn. This was due to another previous repair to the horn, as the weld penetrated thru the rudder tube into the reinforcing inner tube. We may have to carry the repair higher up and replace the horn too. We'll see...
John and I continued our work on the fuselage. John worked to further the repair sleeve preparation for the corroded tube section at the base of the rudder post. John is getting to be quite the metal worker, showing a good understanding of what needs to be done. In the meantime I made slots in the longerons to accept the horizontal stabilizer brace wire anchor tabs.
Thanks to all who pitched in last night. Team work is what makes this project the joy that it is!
Youth Participats in attendance were Dave Kostuch, Samantha LaGraves, Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta, our most senior Participant (and still eager to learn!). Mentors aboard were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.
Here we are in May with our first work session of the month in the log book. It was a lovely evening, warm, with scattered sprinkles now and then, and rainbows! Not too many sprinkles though for Bill to steal away Dave K and Samantha for a ride around the harbor in is trusty C172. The kids came back with grins on their faces!
Dave G. and Tom went to work on the rudder, actually removing the damage on the lower hinge post that holds the tail wheel steering arm. Cutting the tubing at a 30 degree miter so close to the rudder control arm with our primitive equipment is proving to be a challenge, but not one they cannot meet. The cut has to be close to the arm as there is an old butt joint (from a previous repair) within 2 inches that needs to be removed. Just a little more work and they'll have it. Oh for a vertical metal cutting band saw!
Samantha and Mike got out the landing gear structure and inspected it for any potential problems (interrupted briefly by an airplane ride). They performed a visual inspection followed by spot sand blasting to better expose suspect areas. They found a few that need attention. They mostly look like weld defects from manufacturing which shouldn't develop into any problems, but we have the technology to correct them!
Dave and Milt worked with me on the fuselage. Milt worked to prepare sleeves to reinforce two tubes at the base of the ruder post that have some corrosion. Dave K. (again, when he got back from his airplane ride) helped to position the ground handling handles and tack them into place. Next we located and marked the tabs that hold the wires for the horizontal stabilizer.
Thanks to everyone who turned out to work on our bird. I just love to work with the big door open to enjoy the warm breezes!
Chilly! We had a couple of eager fellows none the less, ready to work and learn. Dave Kostuch and John Thro, who incidentally, will be attending Air Academy at Oshkosh this summer for the first time. Congratulations guys! Ready to guide were Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz, Bill Irving and me. We had a couple of guests, formally from Oshkosh, Jim Kersting and his friend Jody. Jim, as you may recall, was instrumental in our acquiring the Sedan in the beginning! Thanks for coming by Jim!
Dave and Mike began the evening packing grease in the bearings for the tail wheel before reassembling. I was discovered the job couldn't be completed due to lack of bearing seals and the axle being too short. It turns out that we have the correct axle but we need seals so the job was put aside. Dave then moved to work with Aaron on the Cabin Door, lower hinge. They were repairing the hinge pivot area to renew and reinforce a worn bolt hole.
John and I were back on the fuselage, John got to studying the AC43.13-1B manual of Acceptable Methods and Techniques and Practices, to design a tube sleeve that will reinforce a pair of corroded tubes that join the rudder post, while I welded up tubing joints. We conferred, and John went ahead and prepared some parts for the task. Afterward with just a few minutes remaining, John took a file to clean off weld tacks from the lower longerons left from the truss we used to stabilize the fuselage during longeron replacement.
Thanks to everyone who came out on a chilly and blustery spring evening, the work continues!
Well here we are in the middle of April. I know it's spring now because the frogs have started croaking. What a beautiful sound after months of cold and snow!
Last evening was another beautiful mild one, perfect for a few Young Eagle rides. Three of our four students went up for a tour of the Twin Ports and came back ready to work. They were Autumn Wolter, Samantha LaGraves, John Thro, and Dave Gramstrup didn't get ride, just came to work. Mentors and pilots were Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Al White, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland and me.
John and I got started back on the fuselage, completing the welding of joints in the new tubing untill he went for his ride with Al. When he got back we continued with Samantha looking on occasionally.
Dave and Frank pressed the bearings out of the elevator control bell crank so they could clean it up for painting and service the bearings. Autumn used the sand blast cabinet, guided by Frank to do the actual cleaning.
Dave and Mike mounted the tail wheel tire and finished building the tail wheel with grease and safety wiring the appropriate fasteners. Samantha joined in later to see what it was all about.
Autumn and Tom worked on the rudder, deciding how to make the cut to section in the new material.
Dave and Mike, along with Al, brought out the main gear legs for inspection. Basically they are in good repair except for some pin holes in existing welds which will be repaired. The main pivot bushings will also receive further analysis before making a go-no go decision on their airworthiness.
All in all it was a bustling evening with activity going on in all corners of the hangar. Try to make available next Wednesday to join in the experience that is the "Spirit of Katrina" Sedan Work Session!
Last evening greeted us with more typical March weather, low ceilings and a brisk wind off of Gitche Gumee. That didn't stop us from working though (although it did prevent any airplane rides). Folks showed up and we got to work. In attendance were the LaGraves, Brett and Samantha, and visiting for the first time was Emily, their sister who lives in Madison, Wi. She will likely be back this summer. Welcome Emily! Also here to learn about fuselage repair was Milt Huhta. Supervisors along were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkuetz, Al White, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland, Bill Irving and me.
Samantha and Emily joined up with Aaron to work on the cabin door, specifically the lower hinge. The pivot pin area had broken and been repaired, but not to our standards. Aaron coached the ladies on a better repair which included removing the previous reinforcement to replace it with one more robust. They were able to disassemble it and are designing a new reinforcement.
Brett and Mike went to work on a new addition to our hangar. New style chair racks, built by Mike and Tom and Jim last weekend, and powder coated by our friend Chris Penny at Precision Powder Coating in Superior. Thanks Chris! Brett and Mike drove plastic plugs into the ends of the tubing and bolted on the casters. Just about everybody pitched in to transfer the chairs from the old racks to the new ones. Tom and Mike tried them out pushing them through the door into our furnace room, perfect fit! Next will be a new cart for folding tables so that all can be stored in the furnace room, making more room in the hangar proper. Good job fellas! Once that big job was completed, Brett and Mike drilled a hole in a tail wheel bumper bracket they made for the new tail wheel stop. Brett is a hole driller, and a good one too!
Milt and I continued work on the fuselage, tacking in the last of the cross members we replaced and welding some of the joints. We next started the planning of a tail wheel stop to prevent it contacting the rudder in the event of a bunge and safety cable failure. This is a modification adapted after our Sedan was manufactured.
Thanks to all who participated last evening, our last for March. Next week is our scheduled committee and board meetings so there will be no work session. April 12 is the next one, I hope to see you all then. Happy Spring!
Yesterday provided us with another bright sunny evening. It was just right for a couple of airplane rides, provided by Tom for Autumn and Tyler. I am told that Autumn even made the position calls upon back taxi to the ramp. Do we have a future pilot in our crew?
In addition to Autumn and Tyler, Dave Kostuch and John Thro rounded out the Youth Participant contingent, with Milt Huhta along to observe the fuselage repair. Member Mentors were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkruetz, Frank Kolo and me.
Tyler and Aaron continued the work on the cabin door. I brought a piece of .032" thick 2024 aluminum alloy formed at 90 deg. to reinforce the door latch and handle. Tyler and Aaron proceeded to fit it, assisted by Autumn after her ride with Tom. They got a good start on the task!
Dave and Mike got to work finishing up the tail wheel assembly including final lubrication, ready for the tire and wheel. They then turned their attention to the rudder to continue the work from last week, removing an array of rosette welds holding an inner sleeve from a previous repair. This will allow us to replace the damaged lower section.
After Tyler got back from his ride, he helped Frank fit some spacers to the lower control column. This is where the control column pivots back and forth in the fuselage with the Control Yokes. Our spacers were stuck, so Al pressed them out last weekend. Mike Hoag sent us a set he had (Thanks Mike) which are in better condition than ours, so that's what Tyler and Frank were fitting. Almost done!
John and Milt helped me fit the last diagonal brace just ahead of where the tail wheel mounts. We made a pattern piece, then John and Milt fabricated the replacement tube. We got to fit, ready to tack into place. We also removed the reinforcing truss that was temporarily welded to the longeron while the fuselage was repaired. We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this task!
Thank you to all who attended last evening. Little by little we're all getting smarter, as the "Spirit of Katrina" inches closer to overcoming gravity!
Yesterday felt like spring. With daylight savings time it might be darker in the morning, but the afternoon daylight sure is nice. So nice that Tom took the opportunity to give the first youth participant to arrive a Young Eagle ride. Dave Kostuch was the lucky one, so up they went! Also on board to work and learn was Dave Gramstrup, Brett and Samantha Lagraves, and Milt Huhta who is one of our own Chapter members, here to pick up some tips on fuselage repair and TIG welding. Welcome Milt! To round out the other side of the equation were Tom Betts, Aaron Breitkreutz, Al White, Bill Irving and me.
Dave G. and Milt worked with me on the fuselage, fitting the last couple of cross and diagonal members just ahead of the tail wheel mount. Dave got a taste of cutting and fitting the pattern piece of the diagonal, discovering some fitting considerations along the way. A great teaching moment!
Aaron and Samantha worked on the cabin door latch area, straightening out the latch mount and with Al's help, plan a reinforcement for a little crack in the door skin there to give the latch more support. They then went on to remove the lower hinge and plan a repair for it. The hinge pin hole had been broken off and a hasty repair made. We want to refine it and perhaps make it stronger to boot.
Brett and Bill went to work on the control column. Seems that the main pivot bushings are stuck and won't rotate. To help press them out of the control arm, they had to fasten a vice to a work bench. Brett loves to drill holes! They got the vice fastened down just fine, but no joy was found removing the bushings. More investigation is required.
When Tom and Dave K. returned from their flight, (and once Dave was able to keep his feet firmly on the ground) they turned their focus on the rudder.
Specifically where the tail wheel steering arm attaches. The arm was corroded into the steel tube of the rudder, the attach holes are too big, so the lower section must be replaced. Along with Al and I we determined a course of action and Dave and Tom went to work removing an array of rosette welds holding an inner sleeve from a previous repair.
It's so nice to be on this side of winter with the promise of spring in the air, not to mention Young Eagles! Thanks to all who participated last evening, I believe we're making progress!
Last evening it was nice to finally walk around outside without having to chase your hat across the yard! Boy this wind has been something! Never the less, we had a good turnout for the Work Session, with Autumn Wolters and John Thro eager to get to work. To help with their desire was Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me. We even had two Chapter visitors, Dave Kauppi and Milt Huhta. Milt was especially interested in the fuselage repair and the welding process it involved.
Autumn and Mike went to work preparing a section of tubing to replace the lower section of the rudder where the tail wheel steering fork attaches. Our rudder is compromised in this area so we will replace it. Autumn and Mike drilled holes in the tube to match the steering arm, not a small task to do it precisely, and make it ready to section into the rudder. They also drilled out the steering arm where the steering cables attach. This area had previously been welded closed to repair the original holes which showed excessive ware. These holes will be fitted with AN42 eye bolts to receive the spring as suggested by our friend Burl Rodgers in Alaska.
John and Milt were paying very close attention while we continued to fit and replace corroded tubing in the aft end of the fuselage. I think we are getting closer to the end of this process, just a few more sessions!
Thanks to everyone who came out last night in spite of the Gales of March, another in a long string of successful work sessions!
Despite the rain and then snow, we had a god turnout for the work session. In fact, we had a new fellow come to see what we're up to. Matthew Ierino, at the invitation of long time friend of John Thro. Matt says he hasn't built any airplanes yet, but is eager to learn how! He is interested in Industrial Arts and showed good aptitude last night. Welcome to the Project Matt! Also eager to work were Samantha and Brett Lagraves. Helping to direct our crew were Frank Kolo, Aaron Breitkreutz and me.
The evening started with Samantha and Aaron inspecting the rear window task. They cleaned up any drips in the varnish, put the woodwork away for the time-being and cleaned up the work station. They then moved over to the display cabinet and hung the doors which were painted last time. That complete, they shifted their focus to the Sedan door. The latch area needs a little attention. With a little clamping fixture that I had made up last week they pulled a little dent out on the inside skin and studied how to correct some minor deformation around the latch mount area. We will tool up for that job for next time.
Brett and Frank were back on the control column, cleaning the aileron control chain assembly and the rod ends in the elevator push-pull tube assembly. Once we get our replacement parts, this control column will be good as new!
John and Matt were in there with me on the fuselage. We fabricated another jack post to hold the longeron spacing and made up a couple of cross members just ahead of the tail wheel frame assembly pivot.
Thanks to all who turned out last night, a new Youth Participant and good work done, progress indeed!
Last evening we had a little smaller group than usual, but it was fun and educational as ever! Dave Gramstrup, Brett and Samantha LaGraves were here ready to dig in. Here it assist and advise were Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz, Bill Irving and me.
I worked on the fuselage along with Samantha and Brett at times, Samantha worked with Bill too, putting the last finishing touches on the rear window frames (which I really think are done now!)
Mike got Dave going on preparing a piece of tubing ready to replace the lower section of the rudder post where the tail wheel steering fork bolts on. Once this piece is prepared we will weld it onto the rudder.
Mike and Brett drilled some holes in a piece of 4130 steel sheet to shear into Tinnerman nut tabs to weld onto the fuselage where necessary, and then they reassembled and lubricated the old Maul tail wheel gear.
Aaron, Brett and Samantha worked on the display case, painting and installing trim. This thing is looking pretty nice! Soon we will be able to display our "Spirit of Katrina" apparel in the Superior Airport Terminal to help raise funds and spread the word for our Project.
Last night was a chilly one. Here to work and learn was Dave Gramstrup. Present to guide were Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Al White, Bill Irving, Mike Gardonio and me.
Mike showed up last evening with a spread sheet list he put together with all the fasteners, bushings and clamps identified in the Parts Catalog. This will be used to determine what new hardware is needed for the complete rebuild. I counted 159 individual part numbers all together. Good job Mike, thanks!
Dave and I got right to work fitting and tacking in the last section of longeron, just forward of the tail wheel pivot on the left side. Dave did all the cutting and fitting of the piece and I tacked it in. Good job Dave!
Frank continued cleaning some bearings on the Control Column while Mike and Al pressed the bearing cups into the tail wheel hubs. The rest of the crew did some cleaning and sorting out of stuff in the hangar.
Thanks to everyone who came out last night, in spite of the cold. I mean, winter can't last forever, can it?
Last evening was another typical Sedan work session, solid activity for two hours. Youth attending eager to pitch in were Dave Gramstrup. Samantha and Brett LaGraves, John Thro and Dave Kostuch. Rounding out the grown-up side of this were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Al White, Aaron Breitkrutz, our friend from EAA Chapter 1221 John Welna, and me.
Dave K. and Frank worked on the control column, cleaning and packing bearings and reassembling. The column was powder coated last week by our friend Chris Penny at Precision Powder Coating, a local Superior, WI business. Thank you, Chris!
Samantha and Tom put another coat of varnish on the rear window woodwork. Once finished with that, Sam moved over and helped Aaron paint the display case. That display case is really shaping up, casters and everything!
Brett and Mike shifted to work on the tail wheel. Al had earlier pressed our new king pin bushing into the housing that we got from Jon Meserer last week. As it turns out, the tail wheel arm king pin from Jon fits the bushing just fine, so our search for tail wheel parts is over for now. Brett and Mike drilled and tapped a grease fitting hole in the bushing and reassembled the tail wheel locking mechanism. More progress!
Dave G. and I continued our work on the fuselage. We cleaned up the cluster where our new longeron passes through and adjusted the trial piece. We tack welded the bushing that holds the left side of the tail wheel in place and then made a pattern from our trial piece and transferred it to a new piece of material. Time ran out before we could cut the new piece out, so we left it until next time.
Meanwhile, Al floated around, giving advise where needed. He even signed off some paperwork Mike submitted on the main wheel rebuild. Permanent records, I love it!
John Thro and John Welna trial fit the cabin door to see how we might repair the lower hinge leaf. They also wanted to find out what sort of reinforcement we could fit onto the door latch area to repair a little bitty crack in the area. There is room, and They made a pattern for a reinforcement. We'll concentrate on that area next time.
Boy! I like this weather way better than below zero. January thaws are my favorite!
Dave Gramstrup, Tyler Breitkreutz, Samantha and Brett LaGraves were here, eager to work. Tom, Mike, Al, Bill I., Aaron and I provided guidance and direction.
Tyler and Aaron were busy preparing the new "Spirit of Katrina" apparel display case for paint, sanding and scraping away. I wonder what color they will paint it? My guess is whatever color we have the most of on hand. Anyone have a fabulous color paint lying around?
Samantha and Tom put another coat of varnish on the rear window frames after checking, "which edge is it now that gets glued?" They are going to be beautiful!
Brett and Mike and Al adjusted the air pressure in the main tires for storage and went after the tail wheel. Last week we received a used tail wheel assembly from Jon Messerer, of Jonathan Aero. As it turns out, the arm on that one, along with our new king pin bushing, will be just fine. Thanks Jon! The outer bearing races will be pressed into the tail wheel next time and then should be complete. Progress!!
Dave and I continued our pursuit of an airworthy fuselage frame. We removed the last corroded longeron section and stabilized the structure in preparation for fitting the new tubing. The work is coming along well and should progress quickly once this piece is in place. Just a few more cross and diagonal members to deal with; fabricating a revision, an additional tail wheel assembly stop (this is to prevent the rudder hitting the ground in the event of a bungee and restraining cable failure), a few miscellaneous repairs and ta da!
Mark Marino helped us out with some stenciling for the header on our "Spirit of Katrina" youth participant board. This is a place where we put the names of all the youth who have helped with the project. So far we have 22 names on that board with plenty of room for more! If you know of a eager young mind looking to develop an interest in aviation, steer them over here and we'll show them a way!
Thanks to everyone who came out last night, it feels so good to see the activity and progress in our Chapter hangar. Build on!
Last evening, we met again, for the first time this year. The air was chilly, and the roads were slick, but Dave Gramstrup and John Thro came to work. There to assist were Al White, Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Berglund and me.
Dave and crew, Mike and Al, set to assembling the main gear with brakes and tubes and tires. The project is complete except for setting a storage tire air pressure next time.
John and I continued work on the fuselage, fitting the truss removed from the left side to the right side. With a little grinding and checking, we got it close enough to weld in place. John discovered the welding observation hoods wouldn't turn on, so while I welded the truss in place, he went to work with Frank and Bill examining and cleaning the control column parts. When I was finished welding, John came back and we rotated the fuselage 180 degrees to set the stage for replacement of the last of the corroded tubes. We discussed what we needed to do next, and measured the angle of the lifting handle to be 30 degrees up from horizontal, as it too must be replaced.
I regret to say that through the focused work and excitement, I failed to get any pictures of the activity last evening. Sorry, but you all know what we look like, and I'll get a picture of the beautiful mounted tires next time!
Last night was still a little icy but a few brave souls made it over to the work session anyway. Ready, willing and able were Dave Gramstrup, Samantha and Brett LaGraves along with their grandparents, Dawn and Bob DeSoto, in from N Dakota. I was the only one representing our chapter, but with Grandma and Grandpa on board it was full steam ahead.
After a short tour of the project for Grandma and Grandpa, Samantha and Brett went right to work on the window frames that they worked on with Sam taking the lead. I was pleasantly surprised with her presence and knowledge from previous work sessions. "Shouldn't we sand the work from last time before we varnish?" she asked. Yes, we should, both the previous coat (we'll be needing two) and the run over on the bare side. She and Brett got busy with sand paper with Grandpa Bob pitching in too.
In the meantime, Dave and I got to work on the fuselage. The first order of business was to remove the truss we had welded onto the left side to hold the fuselage in shape while we worked on the lower longeron on the right side. After a little coaching, Dave got busy with the grinder and removed the truss, beautiful. I looked in on the sanding job. Those guys really know what they're doing! After the work session, the Grandparents were taking Sam and Brett to their Great Grandma's house several miles south of town, so they had to cut their evening with us short. The window pieces were left, all sanded, ready for the next coat of varnish next time. Thanks Dawn and Bob for the visit, I hope you can come back for another visit real soon.
Dave had removed the temporary tail wheel frame assembly pivot bolt, cleaned it up and reversed it in the assembly. We then punched a pair of witness points and strung a string to check alignment. So far, so good! With the work session coming to a close, we began to fit the truss on the right side for operation on the remaining corroded longeron.
Thanks to all for another successful work session. I am always surprised how all thoughts of the rest of the world step aside while in the work session, and how fast the time goes. You know what they say about time and fun!
Remember, for more information about our project, go to sedanproject.com for our web page.
The Sedan work party again went off very well with a turn out and some projects to do. The adults on hand were; Aaron, Mike, Frank, Bill Berglund, Al, and Tom. Jim was away for the holidays. The students were; Brett LaGraves, Samantha LaGraves, John Thro and Autumn Walter.
Tom, Autumn and Samantha worked rear window frame parts, first removing them from the fuselage and setting them up for varnishing. They learned that set-up and prep of the parts for varnishing is more involved than the actual varnishing of the parts. Part way into the project Brett joined the varnishing team and we made short work of it.
Mike, Brett and John greased the bearings for the main wheel halves and temporarily assembled the halves. We need new nuts and another type of felt seal for back halves.
Aaron and John cleaned up the display cabinet and a real in the appearance.
Everyone wound up the work at about 8:10, we cleaned up and headed home. It was fun and productive evening for all.
The turkey has settled and we were filled with energy, enough to build an airplane. Well, at least enough for a couple of hours work! Eager to get to it were Dave Gramstrup, Brett LaGraves and his sister Samantha. Samantha is a 5th grader who "knows a little bit about airplanes but hasn't built one yet", so we're going to try to fix that last one. Welcome to the crew Samantha!
Big kids present to guide their young minds were Tom, Mike, Al, Frank, Aaron, Bill Bergland, and me.
Brett and Mike dove into their landing gear project with some new parts generously donated by Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. Thank you, Desiree, Chenelle and Janette! Wheel bearings on the main wheels were first on their minds. Mike brought some dry ice to freeze and shrink the outer races and placed the wheels in the kitchen oven to warm up and expand. The races dropped in place like magic, the temperatures equalized and the races are there for keeps. Brett got a good lesson in what happens to things with temperature, they move quite a bit, don't they? They next focused on the tail wheel kingpin bushing, removing the worn out one to make ready for pressing in the new one.
Samantha and her crew of Aaron, Frank, Al and Bill continued work on the door. Removal of the extra skin was first. The only thing holding it on after work from last time was the door lock, which took some delicate fingers to remove, that Samantha provided. With the lock removed, the spot welds and a few remaining rivets holding the original door parts together were in their sights. Rivets were drilled out and spot weld removed with a carbide burr on a die grinder. The outer door skin must be replaced once the rest of the door is repaired. We are still on the fence about replacing the entire door if we can find one in serviceable condition at the right price or repairing this one. Anyone know of one available?
Dave and I concentrated on the fuselage longeron that was fit and tacked into place last time. I brought Dave up to date on the task and explained why we were doing what we were doing. We checked that the fuselage was still straight and true as we could with a string line and our witness marks. We welded, rolled the fuselage, welded, checked alignment, welded, rolled the fuselage, welded and checked again. We did this pretty much all evening and went as far as we could. Next is removing the truss and the last section of longeron.
Thanks again to all who participated last night, slow but steady, progress marches on.
Last night was our last work session before Thanksgiving, and progress was made. Dave Gramstrup Brett LaGraves, Autumn Wolter and John Thro came to make sure of that! Here to assist were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz, Al White and me. New to our group of mentors last night was John Welna. John is an Aeronca flyer and builder who hails from EAA Chapter 1221 that operates from KCOQ, Cloquet, MN. John came to see what we were up to and if he could lend a hand. Thanks John!
Autumn and Tom continued their work on the rear window frames, positioning the frames and drilling mounting holes. The frames are about ready for varnish and Lexan. Progress indeed.
Brett and Mike continued cleaning wheels in preparation for new parts that are on their way. When they took that task as far as they could they moved to the tail wheel steering fork mount on the rudder. The steering fork was frozen into the rudder and when removed and corrosion cleaned up, the rudder tube wall is too thin. We will replace the lower section of the ruder where the steering fork mounts. Brett and Mike began preparing a section of tubing by drilling the bolt holes that secure the steering arm. Once they are satisfied the bolt holes are correct we will cut the tube to length and replace the damaged section with it.
Dave Gramstrup was assisted by quite a crew as consensus was achieved on the direction to go with the door. As mention before, the door has a fair amount of damage so further disassembly is in order. With the outside door skin riveted in place, rivet removal was the task. After the lower section of door skin was removed, it was discovered that at some point, the door had been repaired with an additional sheet of aluminum on top of the original. Hmmm! In the beginning, John Welna said that his Champ door had been spot welded together where ours was riveted. Now we know why because beneath the riveted skin, the original was still there, spot welded. We will continue to disassemble the door, and at the same time search for a replacement possibility. John thinks the Champ door may be the same.
John Thro and I continued with the fuselage repair. The longeron section was prepared and trial fitted last time so we carried on. First, alignment of the fuselage was checked with a string line down the center, our witness punch marks were measured and the tail wheel assembly fit verified. All seems good. The replacement tube fit was refined and tack welded into place. Next time we'll weld it in a little more before moving to the other side.
With this unusually warm weather, it's hard to believe it's November! At least it gets dark early so we don't have to feel bad about working inside on the Sedan. That's exactly what we did last evening. Dave Kostuch, Dave Granstrup, Brett Lagraves and Autumn Wolter pitched in along with Brett's Dad Chris. Chapter members there to help shine the light were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Bill Irving and me.
Autumn and Tom got busy on the rear window frames, Tom showing a method for plugging holes drilled in the wrong place, with a dowel epoxied into place, then fitting them into the fuselage. Tabs on the fuselage will be used to locate the new holes in the correct position.
Brett, and his Dad, helped Mike examine the brake calipers and hydraulic lines that feed brake fluid to the calipers. They were disappointed to find massive corrosion on inside of the calipers. There is a good chance that they are damaged beyond salvage but we'll look closer before we make that determination.
Dave G. and Bill focused on the cabin door. There were a couple of patches in the upper hinge area, pull riveted in place that covered some damage. Rivets were drilled out and patches removed. This did not reveal much. Further study is needed to make a proper repair. Their attention turned to the door latch. The handle is loose and the latch sticky. There is a plastic bushing for the door handle all worn out that will have to be replaced. They were able to remove the latch box, take it apart and found it full of dirt and corrosion. They think it can be cleaned up and put back into service. We'll know more next time.
Dave K. and I worked on producing a replacement tube section for the longeron removed earlier. Dave got a chance to read about accepted methods of repair to steel tubing in aircraft in the FAA Circular "AC 41.13-1B, Acceptable Methods, Techniques and Principles" This is the recognized authority that describes all sorts of repair and construction procedures in all aircraft. We then made a paper pattern from our trial tube and transferred it to a new piece of tubing, to cut, grind and fit it into place. Once that was done Dave cut another piece of tube to act as an internal reinforcement for our scarf joint of the appropriate diameter and length determined from what he learned from studying in the AC 41.13-1B. Next we will refine our fit, check the fuselage for alignment and tack our new pieces in place.
On a dark and gloomy Halloween like evening we were met by three eager fellows, Brett LaGraves, John Thro and Dave Granstrup. Present to assist were Mike G, Aaron B, Bill I, Frank K, and me. We had them outnumbered!
First of all, Aaron and Bill went upstairs and found the left side, pilot's window and the door. Dave worked with them to inspect and assess their condition. The left side sliding panels simply need to be replaced salvaging the steel frames. The rivets holding them on were drilled out on the drill press and removed. The window was then used as a pattern to trace out the shape on our new lexan sheet provided by Aircraft Spruce. The door will be more of an issue as it was damaged around the upper hinge area, and the handle needs to be re-bushed.
Brett and Mike paid attention to the main wheel halves, removing the bearing outer races. The wheels were one at a time placed in the chapter's kitchen oven at 215 degrees for 20 minutes, and the races were then tapped out using a block of hard wood as a drift. Out they came, clean as a whistle! The wheels were then scuffed up for repainting.
John and I continued our work on the fuselage, successfully removing the corroded longeron section we have been working on and then fitting a pattern to make the replacement tube. This section involves the boss for the tail wheel pivot on one end and a splice joint on the other. Next time we'll prepare the new tube and splice, hoping to have them tacked together.
All together it was another successful session, even though the hangar was cold! Someone didn't turn up the heat, I think we were thinking it's still summertime. With our floor heat there is quite a lag in raising the temperature out there. Next time we'll try to be more on the ball, I don't think it's going to be warmer out any time soon!
They came, they worked, they learned, they grinned! Dave Kostuch, John Thro, Autumn Wolter and Brett LaGraves were at it again bringing the Spirit of Katrina ever closer to her former glory. Present to assist were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Bill Irving, Al White and me.
Autumn and Dave teamed up with Tom to further the instillation of the right rear window. This task is proving itself way more challenging than it appeared at first. However, steady progress is being made. Next week they should be able to bolt it into place. The left one will be a piece of cake, with all the questions and issues solved by the right one. Go Team!
Brett and Mike got after cleaning and inspecting the wheels of the landing gear. The tail wheel needs some machine work as the king pin on the arm is bent. The rims of the wheels need new bearings too, that's next time.
John and I focused on the fuselage. We extended the truss we built earlier to the next cross member, much stronger, and placed a screw jack under it to "add suspenders to the belt" to help keep everything in place. Our string line shows we are on the right track, as well as the two witness points we established before the surgery began. John continued, removing the corroded tubes in this section. Next week we'll remove everything that isn't the lower longeron in this section and hopefully begin to fit the new tube.
Al floated around making suggestions and helped us make sure the work being done is in accordance with approved practices.
Last evening's work session was a bustle of activity. Eager to help and learn were Dave Granstrup, Autumn Wolter, John Thro and Dave Kosutch. Chapter members ready to lend a hand and show the way were Tom, Mike G., Frank, Bill I., Al and Jim.
Work started with arranging the furniture in the hangar, making room for some benches and a dandy media blast cabinet donated to the Chapter by Gene Amorde. Thanks, Gene! Next we divided to conquer, Autumn and Tom teamed up to fit the right rear window to the fuselage with help from Frank and Bill and Al. I think they got it figured out. Dave K. and Mike got together to disassemble the tail wheel post assembly for inspection and evaluation, and Dave G. and John threw in with Jim on the fuselage. We strung a string line down the center of the fuselage to gauge symmetry, which showed the fuselage pretty straight. We then made the bevel cut on the lower right longeron in the third bay forward of the rudder post. This point is the end of corrosion damage needing attention in the lower right longeron. We noticed the truss we built was shorter than it should be as the fuselage sagged a little once the tube was cut. No worries, we put a jack post under the forward end of the truss to bring everything back into alignment and started making parts to extend the truss to the next cross member.
Bill presented the crew with a work sheet to help us be better organized in our documentation of work accomplished. The two-sided form allows room to specify the date, the task, people involved, steps taken, note conditions and on the back, room to identify specific parts required to complete the task. Good job Bill. This form will become a permanent part of the restoration record, stored in a dedicated binder.
These work sessions are kind of exciting in that we don't know exactly who is going to show up and thus what we are going to do for any given evening. However once the crew is all together, we coalesce into a finely tuned machine dedicated to restoring this classic aircraft. It is a joy to pause and take it all in. You folks are amazing!
We had a good turnout last evening. Eager to work and learn were Autumn Wolter, John Thro, Brett LaGraves and Tyler Breitkreutz. Rounding out the grown-up side of things were Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo, Aaron Breitkreutz, Brett's Dad, and me.
Right off the bat, Bill had his C-172 on hand for a young eagle flight, a young fellow independent of our group. As soon as Bill got back, all the kids except John disappeared. They were off flying with Bill! I understand that Autumn executed an excellent take-off and flew most of the flight, you go girl!!
John and I got back into building a truss to hold the fuselage in place while we remove and replace a corroded section of the lower right longeron. We have it nearly finished, just a couple of small welds left to make, then the surgery begins. John is showing himself as a darn good metal man!
Autumn and Tom continued work on the rear window arm rests and frames. Autumn showed us her skill with wood work, doing a great job on her assignment.
Tyler and Brett followed Frank and Aaron up into the upper parts storage and came down with the control column assembly to inspect and disassemble. First apparent were the dried and cracked u-joint boots. The rest of the parts seem serviceable with only cleaning and repainting required. We'll know for sure when the inspection is complete.
Thanks to all who participated last evening. The time flies by, but we get work done. Fun!
I was a dark and stormy night, lightning flashed, thunder boomed and the rain was pouring down (I always wanted to open with a line like that!) but we had a great turnout just the same. Young people ready to work were Dave Kostuch, Dave Granstrup, John Thro, Brett LaGraves, Tyler Breitkreutz, and our newest, Autumn Wolter, our first young lady to grace our crew. We are excited to have you on board Autumn, a fine addition to our crew! Present to guide and assist were Bill I, Mike G., Tom B., Aaron B., Frank K., and myself.
Dave, Dave and Mike continued their disassembly and inspection of the main wheels and found corroded bearings which will be replaced, but the wheels were otherwise in good condition.
Tom took Brett and Autumn aside for shop safety and hand tool instruction as is protocol for new participants. Brett missed his opportunity last time, so he got his chance last evening.
Tyler and Aaron were busy inspecting and assessing the condition of the seat frames and cushions. They found the rear seat in very good shape, nothing wrong that a little cleaning won't fix, but the front ones are a little more worn and will need repair. The front seat frames appear to be serviceable but a little closer assessment is in order.
John and I focused on the fuselage and longeron repair. Earlier in the week I had a conversation with a friend of the Chapter, Roger Sundin. Roger is very experienced in all kinds of aircraft repair so I leaned on him for some advice before we moved to the next phase of our repair. His suggestion was to build a structure, more or less a fixture onto the fuselage to hold it in shape while corroded members are removed and replaced. This makes total sense; I would have done the very thing back in my welding shop on any other complex framework that needed surgery. Thanks Roger! Well, John and I set out to do just that. I brought in some square tubing I had at home so we designed and began to build our truss. John was the man behind the saw guided by Bill, and I assembled the pieces. Dave and Dave stopped over to help take critical measurements of pieces to be removed, and to observe the process. We still have a little more fabricating to do before we cut out the corroded section, but we're well on our way.
Thanks to all who came out in the foul weather last evening. A very dedicated crew I am proud to be associated with!
Last night was anything but normal for our work session. First of all we were met by a photo journalist from KQDS FOX 21 TV News to do a story on our little project! You will find a link below to their piece, only about a minute long, that pretty well captures what were up to, including a link to our Sedan web site at the end of the text. Check it out!
Now, back to the work session. We had a full house last evening with Dave Granstrup, Jon Thro, Dave Kostuch, Tyler Brietkreutz and a new fellow, Brett Lagraves, here to learn. Chapter members were Mike, Bill I, Frank, Aaron and me. Tom was home sick with pneumonia, get well fast Tom, we missed you!
First of all it was my distinct pleasure to present to the crew our first shipment of parts donated from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. We received main and tail wheel tires and tubes, shock rings for suspension and enough acrylic sheets to make all the side windows. Thanks you so much Desiree Czaplinski, Marketing Manager for ACS for such wonderful support! You are an inspiration to us all!
After the bright lights of the media were gone we settled down to work. Dave and Dave along with Mike got into disassembling, cleaning and inspecting the tail and main wheels. They discovered the bearings on the tail wheel were rough, with the verdict still out on the main wheel bearings and tail wheel arm oilite bushing and locking mechanism. Tyler, Brett and Frank continued work on the rear window frame and arm rest. Jon and Bill brought down and started inspection of the front seat frames, finding no glaring discrepancies. Further inspection will be required. Jon and I moved to the fuselage, preparing to remove the next section of longeron from the tail wheel assembly pivot forward. This will be a rather complex procedure as there are multiple clusters involved. No worries though, it's all good!
It was great to be a part of all the activity last evening. Thanks to all who participated. If you haven't been to a work session, I encourage you come out and experience for yourself what we have going on. It's a lot of fun too!
There was a gathering at the hangar last evening. In attendance was our old friend Dave Granstrup. You remember Dave, he used our Sedan as his Senior Project last winter. Dave graduated from Superior Senior High last spring and is now attending Lake Superior College in their Aircraft Maintenance course. He said that his experience with us gives him a leg up with his studies at LSU. Way to go Dave! Also in attendance was Jon Thro, and Brandon Cegelske's two sons, Owen and Mason. Chapter members helping out to show these young fellows the way were Brandon, Tom B, Mike G, Frank K, Bill I, Al W, and me.
Dave and Mike set out to press some new oilite bushings into the tail wheel assembly. Jon helped out until my wife came by with some welding equipment I forgot to bring with in the first place. Thanks Cathy, you saved the day! As soon as my equipment arrived, Jon and I resumed our job of welding the replacement tubes in the fuselage. Dave also stopped over to observe and pick up some pointers on TIG welding. Owen and Mason, with Tom and Brandon, started to make a replacement arm rest for the right side rear window. It was in there someplace that Tom gave Mason, a young fella just starting the 4th grade, a lesson in hand tool safety. Mason passed the quiz at the end with 100% correct. Congratulations Mason! When Dave and Mike finished with the tail wheel assembly they gathered up the tail and main wheels and prepared for their disassembly and inspection. Frank continued working on name tags and Al, our A&P/IA floated around observing and telling us what we were doing right, and wrong! For example, I had asked Cragin Machine to make an axle for the tail wheel assembly which required cutting threads on a grade 8 bolt. Turns out that this is not allowed in aircraft construction. The threads must be rolled to minimize stress risers and grade 8 is too brittle, AN bolts (closer to a grade 5) must be used. Thanks for your help anyway Bob. We'll be in touch with any machine work we run across. So the search begins for an extra-long AN bolt. Stay tuned!
Thanks to everyone who participated last night. Progress, that's what they call it!
Yesterday turned out to be a very nice evening, a little breezy but no rain! Two fellows eventually came to join in the project, 13 year old Dave Kostuch, new to our group came with his Mom Krista. It was just the three of us for a while as all other comers from Duluth were stuck in traffic. Road construction! We three started going over some basic tool orientation when the crew started to arrive. Among them was our old friend, Jon Thro and his Mom Catherine. We decided to move into the hangar and get to work.
Present to assist Dave and John were Tom, Aaron, Frank, Mike, Bill I., Al and me. Mike Busch, president of EAA 1128 stopped by to be a familiar face for Dave and Krista. He referred them to us after they visited him in Two Harbors a couple of weeks ago. John and I got back on the fuselage, fitting the tube we removed last time while Al arranged a Young Eagle ride for Dave. After Al and Dave returned, with the usual Young Eagle grin on his face. Dave set in to join Frank and Tom cutting out name tag blanks from the old fabric. These name tags will have the names of all our participants written and then posted on a cork board hung on the wall. That way we can see at a glance all the youth we have introduced to our project!
The evening came to a close way too quickly, and we all went our separate ways. It was great to see a new face at the hangar. Dave, we look forward to seeing you again, thanks Krista for bringing him by, there is much more work to be done!
Thanks to all who participated, it's good to be back in the swing of things.
It was cool in town last evening, the lake breeze felt good for a change. Jon Thro and Tyler Breitkrentz came to work and Tom, Mike, Aaron, Bill Irving and I were there to assist.
Repairing the fuselage was the task at hand. First of all, we fabricated a jack post, to be used along with a bar clamp, to hold the structure in place while welding. Tyler and Aaron were busy cutting some 5/8 threaded rod while Jon prepared the tubing. We put the fixture in place before tack welding the tube we fit last time. Next we rolled the fuselage over and removed the opposite tube. We were all ready to cut and fit the new one when it was time to go. Time flies when you’re having fun! We're making progress, one tube at a time.
Meanwhile Bill was flying a Young Eagle and her Mom, a gal that had contacted him thru our Chapter web site. They all came back from the flight with the usual ear to ear grin. Tom was busy going thru his pre-flight inspection with Tyler and they too went for a Young Eagle flight. Tyler came back with the usual grin that lasted the rest of the evening. He showed me the selfie Tom took while he was flying. There was one happy guy!
Thanks to everyone who showed up to work, you make it all possible!
Due to member participation at Airventure in Oshkosh next week, there will be no work session on Wednesday the 27th. Then, with the Chapter meetings on August 3rd, the next session will be on August 10th. Wow, that seems like a long time from now, but enjoy the summer, August 10th will be here before you know it!
Yesterday, a day that earlier promised good flying weather did not deliver, so much. Even so, there was a window thru which Tom was able to give a Young Eagle ride to Jon Thro and get back just in time for a downpour! Both were thrilled to get an up close and personal look at local rain clouds and yet stay dry. Good job Tom, Thanks!
Otherwise, it was Jon, Andrew Wcklund and Owen Cegelske that came to build an airplane. Chapter members on board to help guide the boys were Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill Irving and me. The order for the day was to begin replacement of corroded tubing from the aft end of the fuselage. Thanks to Mark Marino we now have all the tubing we need to accomplish this task. Thank you Mark! I started with the aft most tube on the right side. It was removed and then a new piece of 5/8 dia. X .035 wall tube was cut and fit into place. Time ran out before it could be tacked in place, but that will be first thing to do next time. Meanwhile Mike and Tom helped Jon and Andrew glue the rear window frames together getting them ready to fit into the fuselage.
Thanks to everyone who came and helped out yesterday, it's a joy to work with you all!
Last evening found us again at the chapter hangar with four eager lads wanting to build an airplane. Jon Thro, Owen Cegelski, Chris Young and and a new fellow, Hans and his dad. I am sorry, in the excitement of the session, I forgot their last names. Hans, please come next time and straighten me out! Chapter members were Brandon Cegelski, Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Rob Cotter, Bill Bergland, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo, Al White and me.
Order for the day was to continue work on the rear window frames, headed up by Tom and Mike with help from Bill I., Chris and Hans. Mike brought his router table to cut the rabbit for the rear window and to fit the vertical bar to complete the frame. The frames are shaping up nicely with more work to be done such as fastening the fore mention pieces together and fitting the arm rest. Next the frames can be fitted to the fuselage and varnished like the rest of the wood work.
Meanwhile, Jon and Owen were busy itemizing the tubing needing replacement in the tail wheel area with help from Rob and me. We now have a list of tubing sizes and lengths required. I then demonstrated the process of inspecting the interior of some of the tubes by cutting a hole with a burr on a die grinder and looking inside the tubes. To our surprise and delight, the interior of the tubes were very clean and free of corrosion. This means that there is likely no corrosion from the inside out, only the outside in, which makes repair pretty straight forward. Next thing, we studied the drawing for installing a left side "Seaplane" door provided to us by Mike Hoag, (thanks again Mike!) to figure out what materials we will need to make that change.
Next session we will continue on with the rear window frames and begin to replace tubing in the tail wheel area of the fuselage.
In a quiet moment, Hans's Dad gave some basic flight theory to Hans and Chris in the chapter meeting room.
The weather last night was so beautiful we found ourselves asking, why aren't we flying these kids on a day like today? Well, the short answer is that we failed to provide them with Young Eagle release forms to make it all legal and insured! This has since been corrected. From now on, and I admit to falling behind the curve on this one, our intention is to have the crew flight ready in the event that weather permits for Young Eagle Flights. To that end, I would like to extent an open invitation to any and all Pilots wishing to give Young Eagle rides to show up on all but the first Wed. of the month around 6:30 pm to share the joy of flight to these deserving youngsters.
Thanks to all who helped last night, your excitement and contribution gives this project life!
On a rainy Wednesday evening, varnishing was the name of the game. On board to work were Jon Thro, Andrew Wicklund, Chris Young and new to our group, Ryan Miller from Superior Senior along with his mentor Linda Harper. Welcome Ryan and Linda! It's exciting to see new faces come to our project. Chapter members were Tom, Mike G., Frank, Bill I, Al, and me.
First order of business was to mix up some varnish and get previously varnished pieces ready for the second coat and a place to work on the floor boards. While Jon and Chris and Andrew were scuffing previously varnished bulkheads, Ryan helped set up an additional table for the floor boards. When all was said and done, we got a second coat on one side of all the bulkheads and formers, and a coat on both sides of the floorboards. Man that bare wood soaks up the varnish! Sometimes it's hard to see where you've been it soaks it up so much. Nothing was done to the fuselage last night, I was afraid of getting iron and grinding dust in the wet varnish, we'll get to that next time.
In the meantime, off site, Tom has been making ready pieces for the rear window frames from Douglas fir donated by Ken Peters. Tom has them beautifully milled and spent some time last night shaping the inside of the frames. I suspect that we'll be gluing them up soon and making ready to receive the Plexiglas.
Thanks to all who threw in last night. It's amazing what can be accomplished in just a couple of hours. Again, welcome Ryan and Linda, you are a great addition to our crew!
Yesterday started out with warm sunny skies so we opened the hangar door to let some fresh air in. After a while it got a little chilly so we closed the door. Go figure, I love Superior! We were also greeted by Andrew Wicklund, accompanied by his Dad Joe, and a new fellow, Chris Young. Chris is a 6th grader from Cooper Elementary School and a hard worker. Our mentors who came to help were Tom, Mike G, Frank, Rob, Al and me.
Our task last night was varnishing the other side of the wooden bulkheads and formers. We scuffed up the varnish which found itself on the back side from last time and proceeded to varnish. We covered all of the pieces we did last time plus the forward most section of the floorboards. Meanwhile, we organized the work space by putting away the old bulkheads and stringers to the attic along with the new stringers awaiting their time to be installed. Once the way was cleared we turned the fuselage over and began to inspect the corroded tubing for candidates for replacement. We found some obvious ones and some not so obvious ones. A more detailed exam will have to be performed to determine the scope of the task.
Last evening was a rainy but productive round of work on the Sedan. We were greeted by our 'ol buddies Jon Thro and Tyler Breitkruetz, and a new comer Andrew Wicklund, an 8th grader from Superior Middle School. Andrew was accompanied by his Mom Jenna and his Mentor, Jean Walsh. Jean and Andrew have been together for 6 years thru Mentor Superior. Welcome to the project! Our project mentors included Aaron Breitkreutz, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland, Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts and me.
The order for the evening was to begin varnishing the woodwork. Several of the fuselage fairing bulkheads had been removed for the gluing on of stiffener strips, so they were ready to go. The rest of them were removed from the fuselage except for the upper fwd cabin bow which Tyler, Aaron and Frank were still working on. The pieces were laid out on a plastic sheet covered table and the varnish mixed. Jon and Mike discovered a missing access hole in one of the bulkheads so they cut that prior to varnishing. With safety glasses and nitrile gloves on the varnishing began. Jon and Andrew learned how much the thinned varnish soaks into fresh clean wood and darkens it, showing all the places we missed! We did one side of the pieces, leaving the other side for next time when the first coat is dry. Meanwhile, Tyler was doing double duty helping Tom shape the rear window frames.
More varnishing is on tap for next time as we begin to shift gears to working on the fuselage, replacing corroded tubing, fabricating a left side door and possibly a separate door for the baggage compartment.
Thanks to all who turned out on rainy evening, this project gets funner every time!!
Jim Nelson here, back on the job. I have found that the project has progressed quite well in my absence. Reinforcements were added to the wooden bulkheads, notches we're cut to receive the stringers, cabin formers at the wing root were made and installed, and the forward floorboards had shims glued on in the appropriate places. Tom and Frank have been experimenting with steaming the stringers so that they would more easily bend into shape. More experimenting is on tap for that.
Last night Jon Thro was on board to work. He was joined by Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Al White, Tom Bets, Bill Irving and me. Needless to say Jon had plenty of mentoring going on! First of all he tried the front floor boards back in place for fit. It was decided all's good. We then checked the aft floorboards and found one place on each that could use a shim. Floorboards were marked and shims glued into place. While the glue was drying, it was noted that the forward most floorboard was missing so we proceeded to produce it. A template was first made from cardboard, and when that fit properly, Jon traced it onto a piece of 1/4" plywood and cut it out with the band saw and jig saw. After a little minor adjustments, the piece fits just fine.
We had a little time left so we checked out the rear window frames and came up with a couple of questions to answer before next time.
After the work was done last night, Jon was awarded a hot off the press "Aeronca Sedan Project" tee shirt for his continuous dedication and perseverance with our project. It will look good on him!
Last night there was another in a long string of successful work sessions on the Sedan. Jon Thro and Tyler Breitkreutz were on board with enthusiasm! There to lend a helping hand were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland, Al White, Aaron Breitkreutz and me.
Our task was to finish fitting the floor boards and sort out the remaining formers above the cabin. We were able to get the floorboards to fit real nice thanks to the skill demonstrated by Jon and Tyler. Thanks guys, you make this all possible!
I invite you to come by the Chapter hangar anytime and check out our progress, this bird is starting to take shape!
Last night we had yet another successful round of work on the Sedan. Despite the nasty March wintry mix, two experienced and eager young fellows came back for more, Owen Cegelski and John Thro. The crew of advisers was also strong, with Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Rob Cotter, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Brandon Cegelske, Bill Irving and me.
Sawdust flew again with the sawing and saanding of the remaining wooden bulk heads and formers, and the rear window frames. Floorboards were further fitted and trimmed, with installation considerations discussed. Communication was strained at times over the noise of the belt sander, but fun, as that is the sound of progress!
I was able to present to the crew our latest acquisition, beautifully milled stringers and former strips, generously produced and donated by Ken Peters. Ken is a new friend of the Sedan Project and mine, he lives in Cloquet and makes his living working with wood and timber framing. Thank you so much Ken for your generosity and interest in our project. Your efforts will be put to good use! We inventoried and inspected the wood, which we found beautiful and plentiful.
Another contribution to the project was presented, a kit of Poly Fiber Epoxy Varnish from our own Mark Marino, thanks Mark! The kit is enough to varnish all the wood in the plane. The Sedan is going to be so pretty it will almost be a shame to cover it all with fabric!
With our Sedan Project Leader, Father Jim Nelson out of town, I went out to the join our crew of adults and students in our first effort at installing our new wood formers. The formers and stringers to follow, will give the fabric its shape. We also set the floor boards in place and confirmed that they will need to be cut a little closer. I had purchased a box of quarter inch bolts and nuts to temporarily attach the parts and test the fit as Jim had suggested. We still have to fit the stringers and then remove all those wood parts for varnishing. With the temporary fasteners, they’ll come off quickly.
The folks involved were; Dave Granstrup, Josh Canfield,
John Thro, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland,
Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz and Tom Betts.
These two hour evenings seem to go by very fast. It’s pretty light, we’re having fun with it!
Last night at the Chapter Hanger we had another round of working on the Sedan. We were graced with a couple of new faces, brothers Ryan and Kyle Granquist of Northwestern Middle School. They rode with Brandon Cegelski who also brought his son Owen. To round off our crew, we had Tyler Breitkreutz and John Thro. Chapter members advising last night were Tom Betts, Aaron Breitkruetz, Mike Gardonio and Jim Nelson.
To start off the evening the young men were given a brief tour of the project and then Tom set up a little classroom instruction session to orient the lads in the safe use of some hand tools from pliers and hammers and drills to wrenches and screw drivers. The instruction ended with a quiz in which everyone got a perfect score. Good job boys, and Tom! The lesson materials were provided to us by Bret Steffen from EAA Headquarters. Thanks Bret! We plan on expanding the lesson part of the Sedan experience to include many more tools and Safe Practices for Shop Work.
The evening continued with a demonstration conducted by Mike and Jim in the proper use of epoxy resin as an adhesive. We set up to join laminates of the rear window frames. The parts cut were made from 1/4" plywood which we had been using for all the bulkheads, the finished parts are 1/2" thick so we just put two together for each of two windows, follow? As we worked we talked about various aspects of working with epoxy resin, safety and properties, and some places where this material is used and its role in aviation.
At the end of the evening, we turned the fuselage right side up in anticipation of our next session, where we will be fitting wooden bulkheads and floorboards.
Thanks to everyone who attended, we look forward to the next session.
Some sawdust flew but mostly we were tracing out the last of the patterns, floor boards today. Devon and Tyler dove in on transferring the patterns and did a fine job. We were able to nest the parts in the remaining plywood on hand, and then they were made into smaller pieces, ready for the band saw. Tyler had an opportunity to try his hand with a jigsaw for the first time, separating the patterns from the sheet. He did very well, listens to instructions, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself. We hope he comes back for more!
Meanwhile, Al and Austyn, assisted by various members operated on the right side horizontal stabilizer which had a hangar rash type dent in the forward tube (the one which holds the hinge bushings). The dent was about 6" from the outboard end of the tube. Al had turned an 8" length of steel to a diameter to just fit inside, to drive into the tube and force the dent out from inside. Once the drift was in place, a little coaxing with a hammer on the outside of the tube removed the dent. There was a slight learning curve to the process when it came to removing the drift, but Austyn got a firsthand look at what "figuring it out as you go" in the arena of aviation is like, a valuable lesson!
Last night we had another round of making sawdust in the Chapter hangar, cutting out bulkheads and window frames for the Sedan.
Dave Gramstrup, John Thro were busy, with a new fellow, 6th grader Owen Cegelske along with his Dad, our own Brandon Cegelske, who came to check us out and to help. Owen is an eager worker and seemed to enjoy himself. We look forward to the next time he joins us. Dave and John dove right in, working practically unsupervised making great progress. Guiding the young minds were Tom, Frank, Al and Jim
We are finished roughing out the bulkheads and window frames so it won't be long and we'll be fitting them to the fuselage. This is a fun part where we see our work taking shape!
Yesterday we had another work session at the Chapter hangar, with a couple of Boy Scouts from Troop 16 this time, brothers Austyn and Devon Smelley, and Aaron Breitkreutz's son Tyler. Members of our crew were Al White, Frank Kolo, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitlreutz, and Jim Nelson. Tom Betts was there, in and out, flying a Young Eagle on a beautiful winter's day.
Last night we had another productive work session on the Sedan. John Thro was our man, demonstrating his skill on the band saw, cutting out parts for the rear window frames and the upper forward cabin bow. His assistants were Frank Kolo, Aaron Breikreutz, Mike Gardonio, Robt Edelstein, and Jim Nelson.
Our next scheduled session is next Wednesday the 27th at 6:30, come if you can and join the fun. We will be cutting out the interior of the window frames and gluing the 1/4" plywood together to make 1/2" thick frames. Depending on the crew, we'll continue producing wooden parts from the tissue patterns.