I bought my aluminium and steel from Performance Metals (NSW) around a year ago, March 2009. Very impressed with the service from Performance Metals - they delivered quickly, the sheets were very well packed, and the Chupa Chups hidden in the package were a pleasant surprise!

After picking up the package from the Hobart docks, I built a set of 5 racks topped with a worktop. The logistics of building racks to hold 12' x 4' sheets, and being able to access them, was challenging... I finally worked out that the best way to do it was to build the racks from the floor up with the aluminium placed on them as I went. Access is to the short ends of the sheet, via low doors in the outside wall of the shed. To get a sheet to the workbench, I just open the doors, pull out the sheet and loop it back over on to the top of the workbench. I'm even considering building a simple roller out of an old hot water cylinder surround to make it easier to move the floppy 16 thou sheets.

Anyway, life gets in the way a bit - dozens of projects around the house meant I haven't had a chance to do anything except drool over the plans. However, coming into winter I plan to start building, probably with the rudder. Using CAD I've drawn up the rudder ribs and printed them off at 1:1 scale. I figure it's probably easiest to glue them to MDF and cut out the forms with a scroll saw.

Had a bit of luck the other day - met a bloke nearby with a sheetmetal fabrication business - with a nice big guillotine and bending press. Might be the way to go with all those angles...

If there's any 701 builders in southern Tas who can offer advice, hints & tips, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks, Marty

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