I figured I'd mirror the build thread for my 7/8th scale WWI replica Nieuport 11 over here, as it's good to have a lot of eyes on what I'm doing to point out my errors.
Backing up to 2 August 2011, when I went up to Airdrome Aeroplanes' headquarters in Holden, MO for three and a half days of builder's assist...
For those wondering about the House of Pain's builder's assist, here's my experience. In some places, it can be a soft way of doing a lot of work for a customer and stage some photos for the FAA man. Not so at the Airdrome; in fact, it is referred to as the House of Pain by those who have signed up for it.
They truly just assist, and the amount of work done on the aircraft is really dependant on how hard the dude that showed up is willing to get on it. It's more a School of Aircraft Design and Construction, hands on and get dirty.
The plane is aluminum tube and gusset; it's very light and very strong with almost no welded parts. It'll be fabric covered. The kit has all the gussets pre-cut (but not pre-drilled) and the tubes are all slightly oversized and have to be trimmed and shaped.
So this is what one starts with:
This is Jim, the full time employee of AA. He's 74 years old and knows EVERYTHING construction and mechanics. He also works like a maniac and does NOT stop to pose for pictures. He's sorting thru some of the fuselage parts here. In the back is Robert Baslee, designer, builder, owner and operator...
Typical Frank drawing of the template. Note little "GOOD" notations where I finally got it right. The plans are on the little sheet and are drawn up full size.
Once the longerons are bent and put down (the bottom of the Nieuport has that curve), it's a matter of cutting a semicircle on the ends of the spar join-y bits, putting them in place, drilling holes in the gussets, and popping rivets in. One starts from the front of the aircraft:
Here's a closeup of gussets. Note the lack of fancy tools. Those blue things are air powered rivet guns. The rest is battery drills, a drill press in the other room, a bending brake, and a belt sander to deburr tubes. Holes are typically not de-burred as it's not necessary and just slows things down. Every tube and gusset plane in the WWI community has built in turn and bank rattle gauges installed. They also prevent corrosion inside the tubes ( )
Lower down little circles are used: