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Thread: Building preference - complete things as much as possible, or temporary clamp it all?

  1. #1
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    Building preference - complete things as much as possible, or temporary clamp it all?

    Question with respect to a building preference - do you prefer to complete an assembly as much as possible, or to temporarily clamp as much as possible together? I can see reasons either way, I guess, but I'm to a point where I have a couple of fuselage frames in "temporary" fasteners. I can either spend time to finish these off and "make permanent" the fasteners, then proceed to tie the frames together with the longeron-like parts, or I can leave the frames as-is, do the axial tying-together with the longeron parts, and have more stuff to debur / clean up before gonig back for final fasteners.

    Maybe this question is too dependent on the context - what is an assembly? What "unit level" do you consider worthy of completing out before proceeding? When I was building a riveted sheet metal design, the answer was easy - when the clecoes run out, it's time to rivet. And I had ~300 clecoes in the main rivet size. But with this tube-and-gusset construction, it seems like there's a bunch of build it up to see that it all fits; drill what I can to final size; take all that back down for debur and clean-off; build back up with final fasteners...etc. Though even this is somewhat self-limiting when you get to a point where clecoes get in the way of being able to bolt more stuff on...

    Curious to hear others' thoughts on how much to build before things have to go "final".

    Oh, and this is a plans-built, no kit, so I've already spent over a year making items that are not fastened to anything else at all...yet.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  2. #2
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Mine will be welded & yours sounds like it is riveted tube, but I plan to tack weld everything, then figure out how to fit all the small parts & accessories, then when I am sure everything fits properly I will take off all the removable parts & do the final welding.

  3. #3
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    Thanks - in the short term, I realized I could take "middle ground" sort of position - I riveted a few things that I am pretty sure I should not have to change (to get the clecoes and other temp fasteners out of the way), and left a couple of other things clecoed until I get further parts drilled into position.

    Still, if any tube-and-gusset/riveted-tube builders or wood builders have any insights, I would like to hear how things have worked for you. There's still a good bit of wood in this project that I haven't even started yet.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  4. #4
    bigdog's Avatar
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    When I first started building the advice I got was never finish any assembly until you have to. It was good advice and applies to any construction method - rivet, glue, glass, etc. The definition of "assembly" and "have to" will vary but the concept is sound. And yes, running out of clecos became a "have to" for me too.
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    Greg Young
    1950 Navion N5221K
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  5. #5
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    The other side of this "not until you have to" line of thought, though, is I can see it digressing into endless procrastination - "I might need to...get back into this or that or whatever", which leads to an entire aiframe clecoed & temporarily bolted together. I agree with you that the "have to" needs to be tempered with some semblance of "just get on with it already", else the project languishes forever in an endless series of not-quite-completed tasks.

    I guess I fall more along the lines of "just get on with it already", because if it's not temporarily bolted and/or clecoed, it's that much closer to ready to fly. And when I've got nothing left but ready-to-fly configured sub-projects, it's WAY, WAY farther along than those who have chosen to keep everything as temporary as possible for as long as possible.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

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