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Thread: Building a Nieuport 11...

  1. #11

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    17 August:
    Bought the beech plywood for the bottom of the plane/fuselage - real thin stuff that will do fine and look pretty good when sanded and sealed.

    I was returning from the Aviation Section of Lowe's when I spotted the big box from Walmart had been delivered - a huge carport canopy that will be a godsend in the project. I'm working in the back yard and without shade. I don't mind the heat, but the tools were getting so hot that a stupid box end wrench actually burned my hand!

    So I spent yesterday afternoon putting it up, tying it down, and hanging tarp sides. It's placed where it won't be in the wind, but that didn't stop me from securing it against hurricanes.

    22 August:

    Based on feedback from the rain yesterday, I put in a longer tarp on the side facing the yard that goes the length of the canopy and rigged up a rain gutter on the house side of it using another tarp today. Now no water will get on the patio or close to my plane (hopefully). I haven't been drinking enough water and had to give it up at that point - the sweat was running down me to where even my pants were soaked!

    Went out just before dark and painted the support struts for the horizontal stabilizer in what looks close enough to Horizon Blue for my likes. I left off the part where I had labeled which goes where; I'll remark and paint that bit tomorrow. I probably could tell by length but I'm a bit paranoid to not give myself a way to know for sure.

    I found a pulled rivet and replaced it as well as bent back the gussets on the fuselage so they won't show when covered.

    I'm going to have to buy a crimping tool for cables, some safety wire, and a safety wire tool. In order to paint the gear I'll have to remove the bungees and axel. Then it's back to the fuselage floor and carry throughs....

    25 August:

    Rough cut and bent the plywood for the fuselage bottom - waiting for it to dry and hold the curve before sanding and final fit (and then sealing).

    In the interest of weight I've decided not to put a floor in on the inside. The floor pans and carry throughs will be enough for my feet, and I want to avoid the problems of putting too much weight on the plane by means of small amounts.

    Re-did the horizontal stabilizer struts where the paint "crinkled."

    Going to have to wait until I remove the floor to finish painting the fuselage tubing.....

    When I say I'm building this in my backyard, I ain't kidding!



    Wet the whole mess down until it was soaked and fit to the fuselage:



    And clamped.



    Originally I thought of a bothersome sort of mold for the fuselage bend, but then better sense took hold. I'll secure it to the fuselage with some conduit bends, washers, and good aviation nuts and bolts.

    Note my take on Horizon Blue, which turns out matches "Periwinkle" out of a Krylon can. :p The blue tarps make it look darker than it really is.

    And wow, there ain't much paint in a can - ran out, as one can see. Went back over some of it and it looks loads better, and without any signs of runs or crappy areas.

    That's the inside of the Wonder Canopy. The tarp to the right that looks all wadded up and crappy is actually a rain gutter that works amazingly well. Two box fans keep the air circulating. The other side of the tarps on the left are silvered - it's actually no hotter inside than outside of the tent.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  2. #12

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    25 August:

    Flooring looked pretty good when I checked on it this evening. Tomorrow I'll pull it off and start sanding for prep on sealing. The only concern is what happens when I spill fuel over the tank - I'm going to prep a square from the extra on the board and see what mogas does to it.

    In case you're wondering, I'll cover up to the side plating and then put the wood over it. I'm going to sand a bevel at the edges of the wood so it will blend into the covering and the sides. I also made the front cutouts for the gear large enough so that I can inspect the bolts from the outside.

    I also figured out how I'm going to get the carry-throughs right. Once I get the measurements from the top longeron I'm going to cut some styrofoam blocks to fit underneath them and put a clamp above them so they won't move.

    I'm ordering some safety wire and a tool tonight. The bungees have to come off of the gear so I can remove it for painting the gear legs, and when they go back on they've got to be wired back.

    30 August:

    Sanded the flooring for eurathane sealing tomorrow - amazing what a little work can do to really improve the appearance of a thing!

    Fabricated my first solo gusset - the S bent one for the rear of the turtle deck. Fortunately the piece given to make it from was more than twice as long. My HF bending brake wound up breaking rather than bending the first one!

    I figured out that I need to bend to 45 degrees and then move the piece an eighth of an inch and bend again on thin stuff. The bend looks crisp that way and doesn't break it.

    My el cheapo HF belt sander (fifty bucks!) worked like a champ. I rounded the corners in no time flat and got rid of burring on the cut lines I had in a flash.

    I need to write my questions down when I call Robert, as I can't remember any list longer than three items!

    I was in the aircraft section of Lowe's and picked up the conduit fasteners for the fuselage floor. They're steel and my Spidey Sense started tingling....steel on aluminum. Dissimilar metals.

    I haven't sat in an inorganic chemistry class in a very long time, and I can't remember if iron and aluminum share electons, so to be on the safe side I got a can of that spray on rubber stuff. I figure two coats of it on the steel will insulate them from each other.

    I found an 18" swaging tool at Lowes for fifty bucks! It's adjustable and fit my budget just fine.

    2 September:
    So I whupped the dissimilar metals (probably overstated) problem for the flooring issue.

    First, I finished up painting the cockpit area of the fuselage and started down the gear legs:







    I'm going to remove the gear and bungees for painting the bottom of the gear legs, now that my safety wire kit has arrived.
    So that's the first layer - regular ol' Krylon. Thank goodness they make it in Horizon Blue. :p

    The second layer is spray on adhesive rubber:



    I'll paint the tops in the Krylon Horizon Blue to match the cockpit tubing.

    Here's the flooring ready for the polyurathane:



    The instructions say it should be below 80 degrees when applied, and it was well over 90, so I deferred working on the wood.
    It might seem like a lot of window dressing when the plane needs built, but there's a method to my madness. Once I put the lower wing carry throughs, control column, rudder pedals and seat it will be nearly impossible to paint those areas. Ironically, I can only do the front third and the very rear flooring attachments as I don't know what will be inaccessable for removal.

    The back quarter of the wood will actually be over fabric covering. I'll do it this way as it is actually easier to wrap the fuselage than to have a bunch of cut out panels.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #13

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    4 September:

    My resident Polyurathane Technical Advisor held court inside the Grand Canopy, overseeing my efforts on the wooden flooring.
    My wife may be completely disinterested with the metal parts of the plane, but she was keen to ensure the wooden part was done right.

    Maybe I should have built an Albatross!

    I did the upper part (inside the fuselage) first, as it won't be seen by anyone but myself and any goof ups won't be noticed. I thought it would be simplicity itself - just brush the stuff on and then let it dry. Oh no, it's not done like that. With extreme patience she guided me in the correct amount to put on the brush, how to go with the grain, feathering each stroke with the previous, and that it's a gentle brush to, down, and up from the wood, letting it draw the stuff off of the brush rather than painting it on. And don't go over what you've already done with anything less than a completely wet brush.

    As I always do when I am clearly completely ignorant of a task and the person teaching knows how to do it well, I simply followed the instructions without question.

    Eventually she explained that A) If one doesn't go with the grain it won't apply evenly and one will get streaks along the grain, B) it will look like crap and the brush marks will show if you go the other way, C) one will have to sand so much to get it smooth that one might as well just do it all over again if it's not done the way she said.

    Oh, and throw away any brush used with polyurathane. No matter how much one tries to clean it at some point the next time it will start mucking up, forcing one to throw it down with disgust and get a fresh one anyway.

    So says Her Voice of Experience.

    Anyhow, it might seem like a non-event, but it was kind of fun to have the wife hanging out with me in the unseasonably cool weather.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  4. #14

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    7 September

    Okay, first off, here's a pic of the floor bottom:



    It really doesn't do it justice - darned thing looks like a bowling alley! The waves come right out when it's pulled into the bow fully, too!

    And here is where I learn an invaluable lesson about shortcuts!

    Got to work on the lower wing carry throughs and ran into a HUGE problem. The front right vertical spars were too close together. Don't know how we missed it, but the carry through wouldn't fit in it, and it also has to have a tang in there as well for the flying wires!

    Completely my fault - the vertical spar wasn't full flush with the bottom longeron, which is why it didn't match the other side.

    All I need is a quarter inch more. The issue is that one does NOT put holes into the longerons unless it is ABSOLUTELY required. So pulling the gusset out, moving it, and drilling more holes is not an option. Likewise, one can't just drill a bunch of holes in the vertical tube.
    I came up with a rather elegant solution, if I must say so. My inclination was to make a new gusset and drill holes using the old as a template, but then I had a lightbulb moment.

    First I used an Aircraft Gusset Trimming Machine (known to some as a hack saw) to trim down the gusset to the rear, filing off the rough edges with a hand file. Then I drilled out the rivets to the vertical spar:



    Now, then, how to know exactly where to drill the new holes into the gusset? Because the top is firmly in place by two other spars, the top longeron, and a beefy gusset, it's a bend on a radius. Just moving over to the right is going to miss!

    Wait a second, it's a tube, and there's a back side. What if I drilled all the way through....



    ...used a board to hold the tube in the right spot and be uniform with its twin on the other side....





    ...and drilled through the two holes through the gusset?

    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #15

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    Rivets through all the holes to keep strength on the back side....



    ...and of course the ones on the front.



    Trim the gusset, file, and....



    Tada!

    I have just placed myself in mortal danger! Hurray! This is a MAJOR spot of stress on the airframe - not only is it where the lower wing carry through is mounted, it also hosts the point where the flying wires run to the upper wing. The good folks at the Aerodrome forums were quick to jump on me for this, to which I am eternally grateful.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  6. #16

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    9 September:
    El crapo gusset removed and put down as a template on a spare:



    Drilled, trimmed, deburred and installed:



    On to something I didn't screw up:

    First, my handy dandy double bent and shaped gusset for the back of the turtle deck:



    Installed without breaking anything:



    And yes, it's straight....
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  7. #17

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    14 September:

    I felt well enough today to put in the front securing bolts to the flooring - it worked out much better than anticipated, to be honest. I'm on the back side of this killer cold, but know better than over exend myself.

    Heck, I'll have to look closely at myself first thing in the morning and decide whether or not to scrub the scheduled hour in the Champ; I'll be playing the hydration game this evening to regain full composure.

    Anyhow, I had initially thought to go through the big gussets on the front sides, but then imagined a string of "oh noes, you've drilled your doom!" responses.

    Turns out it's not necessary - the flooring is more than secure without needing to.

    The washers on the bottom are going to have to be painted in a different color - it matched okay before the spar stuff was put on it, but now is too light and stands out more than I want it to. I won't worry about the lock nuts on the top, as nobody will see them.


    From underneath:



    I'm going to find a better color match for the washers and bolts underneath. Put the side panels on to see how it will look and it blends in with them pretty darned good, which is a relief. It would suck to go through all the trouble and find it sticks out unmentionably over them.

    I'm pretty much decided to go with the V twin engine for a couple of reasons, and so the extra weight of the flooring is actually a good thing. It's only a couple of pounds spread from the firewall through to the CG, but I'll need it to keep from being tail heavy (the V twin is lighter than a VW).

    On to the turtle deck! The front bit behind the fuselage starts out as a square piece of aluminum - and in this case was a tad too long. Time to do some measuring and drawing!



    First a rough cut with the tin snips, then fine tune with the sander - here's the right side done and the left ready to get back to work. When bringing the metal down I had to go pretty slow, pausing repeatedly to keep the aluminum from heating too much; I don't know if it would get hot enough to temper it, but didn't want to take the chance.



    Here's it done and reversed, as my ugly Sharpie marks make it look un-curvy in the pics.

    [/
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  8. #18

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    The bottom of the piece gets a 90 degree bend to rivet to the fuselage. Now I could have back ordered the 40 inch bending brake a few months ago and had it handy, but I didn't. There is, however, a different technique.

    First lock the piece down to the handy-dandy super cluttered work table I made using the metal ruler and some C clamps.

    Second take a rubber mallet and gently whack away at it until the bend takes hold, moving the clamp inwards.



    Pretty close!



    Now rotate the piece, locking it down with the flange-y bit skyward and gingerly whack on it until the 90 degrees is made.



    Check with straight edge - closer enough.



    Here's how it looks on the fuselage.





    Tomorrow I'll make the "frill" that goes around the top for the tubes that attach from front to back to rivet to. That ought to be quite the adventure.

    Oh, and since this piece has a twin that goes on the front of the fuselage, I traced out the arc and will put that one together tomorrow as well.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  9. #19

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    22 September:
    All fixed!



    and cleaned up the gusset and replaced the rear tube as well:



    It went as well as I could have hoped, and Mr. Drillpress was so very happy to be taken out of the back of the shed and given an opporutunity to be Really Reliable for the fishmouthing hole to mirror the fit.

    A couple of double checks:

    1) rivet distance from edge on FG8 gusset within tolerance of other gussets in similar places; I'm not worried about it. The line of stress is straight and not crossed by the curve shown.

    2) Miraculously, the carry through is not only square to the longeron, but equal distance from the nose of the plane - station zero - when against the rear of of the space as shown.

    I'll cut the sheet of aluminum I got today for the flanges for the turtledeck tomorrow...
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  10. #20

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    23 September:
    My down and dirty one hour turtle deck.

    First, I used the crimping pliers.



    Incredibly, it fit like a glove! Put on the big aluminum piece, trimmed, and mounted to the fuselage:



    Then start from the center rear:



    then the front:



    Now, then, there are five stringers: one in the center, one on each edge, and then one between those. One could use a measuring tape and math, but that hurts my head - fractions are not my long suit.

    This is where having a messy work area comes in handy. My technique is to take some scrap paper or thin cardboard, mark both ends, fold it in half, mark the fold, and carry on.

    Here I'm measuring where to put stringers two and three on the inside:



    And measuring how long the tubes should be is by the Sharpie Method:

    Last edited by Frank Giger; 10-21-2011 at 02:08 AM. Reason: tag!
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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