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Thread: Building Zenith CH-650

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    98

    Building Zenith CH-650

    After almost a year of doing the "spin-the-wheel-to-decide-on-a-kit" game (complete with two "missions" to Oshkosh to make up my mind), I ordered the plans, toolkit and rudder kit for a Zenith CH-650. The plans came yesterday, I'm expecting the tools and rudder kit today.

    The journey begins...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    369
    Congratulations on getting started. Provide lots of details as I am about to do the same thing. I had been bouncing back and forth between buying a certified a/c and a kit and decided to go with the 650 as well
    Rick

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    1,687
    Hurray!

    Please, please show us your work as it goes!

    Not only will it be an invaluable service to the building community, but it will help you by showing your work for comment. I saved myself a lot of trouble by having people tell me what I was doing wrong (and better ways of doing things).
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    123
    If you do not have aircraft building experience to know right from wrong, I would strongly suggest taking an EAA weekend workshop on metal aircraft structural assembly to gain sufficient knowledge to do the work correctly. i recently purchased a partially completed Zenith 701 project and spent several months correcting mistakes of the previous builder who did not have aircraft experience and made many minor errors like not deburring enough and leavng sharp cornered cutouts with rough edges and riveting e/d errors.

  5. #5
    CarlOrton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    DFW Area
    Posts
    482
    I see you identify as living in the city. That covers 5 boroughs, so are you in an apartment or in a house with a garage, or building at an airport? Just curious because proximity to your kit has a big effect on your ability to stay "connected" to your project and progress.

    Carl Orton
    Sonex #1170 / Zenith 750 Cruzer
    http://mykitlog.com/corton

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    98
    Yes, I live in New York City. My wife and I share a studio apartment that is smaller than the average garage. But we have a house in Northeast Pennsylvania to which we escape on weekends and, that Is where my project is located.

    I have a lot of experience building things, albeit not from sheet metal. I did several renovations on our house including the kitchen where I built the entire set of cabinets from scratch. I was also a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. I realize that this is, in many ways, different from working with sheet metal, but the experience taught me a lot about patience, analysis and attention to detail.

    I did take the sheet metal workshop at Oshkosh last summer, so I did get my feet wet.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    98
    Construction of the rudder began yesterday. I ordered the complete tool kit from Zenith which includes an air drill. This necessitated the purchase of a more robust compressor as my little pancake unit just wasn't up to the task. So, on Saturday, it was off to Harbor Freight to get a more substantial unit. The nearest HF is about 50 miles from my house, and my wife and I had a "shopping day". She loves HF as she is an artist who is moving from traditional painting to more adventurous sculptures in interesting media. On Sunday, I finally had the time to get started. In four hours, I completed the assembly of the rib structure. I made only one mistake, positioning one of the ribs in the wrong location, but it was quickly rectified. The tool kit came with a pneumatic rivet puller and I could not be happier with its operation. It seats the rivets quickly and consistently.

    I also downloaded KitLog Pro to document the build. At some point, I want to create a blog to share my progress.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    98
    Well, I had a bad moment. I'm currently building in the family room of our weekend house which is where we also have our laundry. My wife discovered some foreign, airplane-related debris in her clean laundry and read me the riot act: No more use of that space for my various construction hobbies. So, the aircraft is on hold while I embark on a project to build a workshop/garage. I'm going to try very hard to get this done before winter sets in.

    Also, I created a blog for my build: www.mykitlog.com/bunkie

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    4
    Expect to start a 650 in the next few months after checking some things out in DeLand. Glad to hear others are starting 650's!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    4
    I've been looking at the 650 as well as the Sonex. Did you have the same thoughts? What made you go in this direction?

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