|Stringers & Torque Tube|
|Templating on right, finished aluminum result on left [hole for torque tube now cut]...|
When bolting on the torque tube for testing, I noticed that the front tube/collar was not sitting right plus lots of binding was going on. I decided to unbolt the rear collar and tighten the front collar to see exactly where the rear of the tube would naturally locate itself in relation to the rear collar. As one can see by the picture, ugh :0|. To fix this, I cut through the welds on the bolt bushings at the front, added some heat to the collar joint area, while clamping the rear of the tube into place.
Stringers & Partitions
I started to use screen door framing as stringers, only to find that I had a few notches to cut into the stringers to miss a few fuselage tubes, the notches compromised the integrity of the aluminium box shaped stringers, so I trashed that idea and went over to spruce 7/8 x 5/16 for the sides. For the underside, I used some tight grained pine from the local home depot, since the 9ft+ spruce lengths would be a killer on freight charges from Aircraft Spruce'. Once dry fitted, the stringers were coated twice with ClearCoat. I wanted to block off the pilot compartment where the stringers terminated at the seat back, so I made up some sheet .025 aluminium to fit the underside, and two more partitions were made for the sides adjacent to the seat back. The steel tabs to fasten these partitions have been welded on, everything clecoe'd.
I have been on the hunt for stuff to weld on the fuselage - trying to complete the welding before powder coating, since it will be a PIA afterwards with a gas torch. I think everything is done except the support brackets for the canopy rails. This I will be tackling next.
I had decided to move the rear-inserted flop tube to the front of the tank for safety reasons. So, a new boss was welded in place. Moving it I thought, might have opened a can o worms with a conflict between the tube and a fuel sender probe and also a potential clash with the flop tube and an inverted stand pipe, it turned out that after having a good look with my econo-boroscope [a webcam] in the tank while rotating the fuselage, all was OK by a good margin.
Visit to Oshkosh
I had a good trip - short (2 days), but good. I spent a bunch of time at the gas welding workshops to see if I could brush up and fine tune the welding skills I had taught myself over the past year. I actually had never seen anyone gas weld close up, before, so it was great to see the methodology of more experienced guys, and I picked up some tips that I will be trying soon.
I also attended an aluminium gas welding class - the first they had done in 15 years or so. Naturally the teacher made things look real easy :0|, and naturally, it wasn't. Still, I may play with that at some point...'just so one day I can say 'I can'.
The biplane forum get-together went well on Tuesday evening at the beer tent. I am guessing we had around 30-40 show up, with 10-20 at any one time - it was a surprisingly good turnout with a good cross section of builders - one minute I was chatting to a model 12 builder from Australia, the next minute I was talking to a Pitts, Toot, Acrosport or Skybolt guy, etc. Most people introduced themselves with a hearty 'thanks for providing the forum', I probably heard that 20 times that evening, thanks for the kudos guys.
I noticed the Acrosport guys have a little section in a tent by the homebuilders hangar area...maybe one year we need to do something similar - push all these bipes, etc.....
Torque tube bracket was way-off...
Side & bottom stringers complete...