Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Parts 2 and 3 of making flap construction.
Part 2 is devoted to figuring out some problems with the test sections.
Part 3 covers making the rib forms.
Coming soon will be part 4 which will be bending the full size flaps.…
Added by Damon Brantley on November 9, 2019 at 2:00pm — No Comments
I recently purchased a Bosch GSC 12V-13 Cordless Sheet Metal Shear. After having a chance to use it a little bit, I decided to post a demonstration of its use online.
My short assessment is that the shear will have its uses, but because of the stretching caused by the shearing action it would not be suitable for cutting parts that need to remain as flat as possible.…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on September 22, 2019 at 11:46am — No Comments
Scratch construction of the ailerons and flaps has been started. I decided to try to document as much of the construction of these as possible as this should be my last major set of parts to bend. There will be two or three parts to this. In the first part, I document the construction of test sections to verify my CAD drawings are correct.…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on September 9, 2019 at 7:18am — No Comments
Drilling of the left wing skin is completed. Video shows final holes being drilled and description of jig to secure the ribs to improve alignment and prevent shifting.
Added by Damon Brantley on August 11, 2019 at 7:47pm — No Comments
After two or three months of weekends of checking and adjusting, I am finally ready to start drilling the top wingskin to the ribs.
A couple of concerns I have is holes not appearing where I expect to them and also the ribs shifting while drilling. To help catch any problems early, I have setup a video camera that I can place under the skin to watch the rib and hole.
A short video below demontrates the video setup and the drilling of my first hole into the left wing…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on July 28, 2019 at 12:00am — No Comments
One thing that has often been a problem is trying to keep parts from getting lost as they wait to be added to larger assemblies. While I am scatchbuilding, the problem is no doubt worse for someone building from a kit because they get all their parts at once.
Something that has recently been quite useful for me is to use mini-stretch wrap.…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on May 11, 2019 at 9:00pm — No Comments
A panel hacksaw is a special type of saw for making long cuts in pieces of sheet metal. By using a piece of spring steel sheet to support the blade allows the saw to make unrestricted cuts.
A demonstration is made of trimming down a wing skin.
From what I have seen, moving a wing skin tends to be a two person operation. The video
below is a demonstration of a vacuum lifting frame I constructed to allow one person to
easily moving a wing skin between a worktable and the wing skeleton.
Several months back I had posted that I was experimenting with using a project management software package called Jira to help manage tasks in my scratch build. After about 6 months of use I think I can say it has been very helpful for tracking what I have done, what I am currently doing and what still remains.
While I am building my aircraft from plans, I think Jira would also be helpful for kit builders as well.
The video below is a demonstration of how Jira…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on February 13, 2019 at 10:01pm — No Comments
A few weeks ago in a prior blog post I had posted a picture of using a modified camera friction arm as a flexible workholder. I have added a youtube video showing some examples of its use.
Added by Damon Brantley on January 23, 2019 at 10:43am — No Comments
It was back in June that I finally finished the wing spar. However there were numerous little details I found myself having to work through before I was able to finally start laying out the wing skins. While I wanted to have both wings setup together, even with the size of shop I have there just was not quite enough space to have both wings plus an additional table to work on the skins. The first wing I will work on is the left side.
One issue I had to figure out was how was I going…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on December 21, 2018 at 2:32pm — No Comments
One of the problems I have run into in the course of this project is being able get an idea of how much
is left for me to do on my plane and what needs to be done next.I have various notes and spreadsheets scattered around, but nothing has ever seemed to really pull everything together for me into a coherent whole.
In my day job as a programmer I use a project management software package called Jira. I have found Jira to be a pretty flexible software package, so I…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on August 23, 2018 at 1:00pm — No Comments
I finally drill out the holes to final size for attaching the main and center spars together.
The video below describes the process I went through. Hopefully other scratch builders
will find a few useful tidbits of information when they get to a similar point.
On to assembling some airplane sized parts!
Added by Damon Brantley on June 25, 2018 at 6:17am — No Comments
Below is a link to a video of a small drill guide I constructed to help ensure I drill the wing bolt holes perpendicular.
The joining of the main spar to the center spar is something that I have thought often about over the time that I have been working on this project.I am finally to that point. There is also very little information describing how others have tackled this important step.
In the video below I describe some of the preparations and setup I am doing for maximizing the chances of getting this important step correct. Hopefully the information presented will be useful
Added by Damon Brantley on April 1, 2018 at 9:23am — No Comments
While making the bends for the front and rear center spar uprights, I had a problem trying to take measurements with any of the numerous protractors I had. The angles I was trying too measure were to acute for any of my protractors to fit. So I decided to make a set of simple angle gages.
The gages were made using .025 aluminum scraps that I had laying around. The key to setting up the angle is to use a machinist tool called a sine bar. Referring to the picture below, the sine…Continue
Fabricating the front and rear uprights for the center spar posed an interesting challenge. Each is about 18 inches long. One has a thickness of .063 inches. Which if that were all I had to deal with, I could bend it in my regular leaf brake and be done one with. However the other pair is 1/8" thick and I think would be a little too much to bend for the leaf brake.
Fortunately I have a hydraulic press and also a 26" press brake to go along with it.The problem with the press…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on October 29, 2017 at 2:00pm — No Comments
While working on the center spar I had needed to attach the doublers. The problem is that the body of the centerspar had 1/4 inch holes already drilled into them, but the doublers only had 3/32 starter holes. It is no problem drilling out the first hole to 1/4", but how do I make sure that I am centered as closely as possible over the other other 1/4" hole.…Continue
While setting the rivets for my spar jig I decided to take some infrared video of the rivet setting process to see
how the rivet heats up as it is compressed. Hopefully others find the results somewhat interesting.
The video can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5s0YRXXiuw…Continue
Added by Damon Brantley on August 19, 2017 at 4:52pm — No Comments
Just a note to be clear. This jig is only needed if you are scratchbuilding. The 650 kits are predrilled and the spacing will already be set.
The wing jig is needed to ensure that there is correct spacing between the center spar and the rear channel attachment to the fuselage. This would seem to be a rather important item to have around when scratch building a 650.
For some reason the wing spar jig drawing is not included in the current 650B plans.There are a…Continue