View Full Version : How many hours to Cover a cub fuselage or How much
08-29-2003, 03:57 PM
Thanks for your input on Rebuilding on our clubs tow plane. I am now getting bids on just covering the fuselage. The bid would be to disasseble, sandblast, check for damage, damage repair extra as with any weld on stc's. I do not know what to expect and what it should look like after the work. I know good fabric job, tubing primed and painted, should it include rewiring the fuselage [it needs it] or is it extra. The bids I had for the entire covering is 20k to 24k but fixes were extra. I estimate covering and materials would run $5k for the job so I extrapalate that they must be charging $15K labor to do a entire plane. Would doing the fuselage be around $10K of that and would it or should it include fitting a new cowling, replace engine cables and hoses? I felt a few of the club members could do the wings with A and I input. We need an engine but they are now considering doing it when it gets worse as they just hung a new cyl last week. What labor or time does it take to cover a fuselage, not counting tubing repair. I know that would run extra.
I bet we could get at least $35K for it as it with the 180/ restricted due to field approval on 1967 PA18 std. I could get a Pawnee for near that. roll: :roll: You have been great...what are your thoughts.
Ps plus I completed the survey.. Mike :roll:
08-30-2003, 01:21 AM
I just finished recovering the wings and tail feathers on my Pa-11 but did not recover the fuselage. Materials and consumable shop supplies totaled $4200. 630 man hours were involved which included "rejuvinating" and painting the fuselage and cowlings. I traded services with an A.I. so I did not have any out of pocket labor expenses. My part of the deal was erecting a 50 x 50 airplane hangar which would have cost the A.I. around $13,000 (labor only) had he paid for that out of pocket.
This does not answer your question directly but give some ideas of what things will cost.
08-30-2003, 08:48 AM
I was estimating about 500 or so for the wings to recover and paint. The fuselage would be the greater of the labor I figure. The shops bid about 20k to 24k to recover both, which included rewiring and rehabbing some parts. I guess they want about $20 to $25 a hour labor. I guess a fuselage would take 800 to 1000 hours depending on problems found.
They think they can do the fuselage for 20 or so and do the wings next year. I would rather sell the project and buy a pawnee. I am only one vote of 5. We will see how it goes today. Wish I was armed with more facts and labor hours. Thanks for your response. Anyone else have labor hours logged on a average recover job.? :drinking:
08-30-2003, 02:29 PM
08-30-2003, 02:30 PM
Fabric is just going onto my PA-12, looking at only time spent on disassembling the fuselage, jigging it and replacing bent door posts, blasting and powdercoating, building new floorboards and covering so far, we've spent the better part of three months at 40 hrs per week for the mechanic plus I'm there about 100 hrs per month assisting. So something in the 700-1000 hour range for finishing up seems likely for the fuselage. This is for an airframe with a lot of modifications.
The fabric process itself is going pretty fast. The pro we hired to do that started on the fuselage three days ago and is ready to put the silver on. He went from this point on the wings to completed in two and half long days, so I'd say there's about 40 hours of time on the actual recover and paint of the fuselage.
Steve's Aircraft (Steve)
08-30-2003, 05:50 PM
Time to cover 2 wings is installation up through polybrush 8-10 hrs. rib stitch 10 hrs. installation of surface tapes 10 hrs. iron tapes and any sanding 6 hrs. shooting silver 6 coats 6 hrs. shooting color 4 coats 4 hrs.
Time to cover fuslage is 9 hrs. installation, 10 hrs to tape, same time as wings to shoot silver and color.
Takes about the same amount of time to do all the controls as the wings.
The actual fabric work is predictable, what isn't is all the prep work getting it ready to cover.
08-31-2003, 07:51 AM
Thanks for the input. It appears the covering is not as time intensive as I thought. The extra time would be to put it together, replace the glass, cables, boot cowling and fix, rebush controls and on and on. For just a straight recover not including a rebuilding of accessorie items 20K sounds like a lot of money. I know nothing goes completely according to plan and there are other problems that arise. It seems that on a $20K recover the labor would be $15K of the cost with labor times running about 180 hours to recover and paint, and 120 hours to disassemble, inspect, reassemble and rig. Is that about right? That would be about $50.00 per hours. That would justify the charges. At first glance it would appear that labor was very high, but a job is only as good as the prep. This soaring club is poor and only 5 of us are carring the expense of fixing this plane. I don't know which is the best way to go. I still think selling it as a project and buy a pawnee as som of you suggested on one of my earlier post.
08-31-2003, 08:00 AM
I appreaciate your answering my questions. I have taken all of your advise and been researching the mods, other persons projects and overall info on the site. I have spent near enough time on line researching as it will take cover the wings. Time well spent thought. I spent time as OSh this year rib stitching and attending a covering clinic. It would be easy to get caught up in mods and not limit your project to what is needed. If the club decides to replace the plane I will try and buy it as a project. I fear a 40K restore will be upcoming. Tks Mike
09-04-2003, 03:50 PM
Am nearing the end of restoration on my PA-12, incl adding PA-18 flaps, tail feathers and O-320. Right now the labor only on the recover & mods is about 600hrs, into it for about $10,000 for materials and flap kit (not counting O-320 cost)
09-05-2003, 12:00 AM
From the above I'm figuring that to just recover the entire airplane would be on the 150 - 200 hr time frame? Not including silver and paint at this point, but just to cover, stitch and tape. That's for someone (me) inexperienced in doing this work. Does this sound about right?
I recovered my cub 8 years ago. I found the most time consuming task was cleaning and preping parts, this aspect often goes unmentioned when the recovering topic is discussed. Disassembly, cataloging and reassembly, if done correctly, takes a bunch of time. I divided the recovering into 3 basic divisions 1) wings 2) fuse and 3) control surfaces, door etc. My experience is the control surfaces group took longer than either the wings or fuse. I wish I had totalled the hours but I failed to do so.
For the first timer I would suggest 1) take a recovering seminar, if you can. You will receive hands on experience as well as a lot of info about the different systems. 2) do the control surfaces first. This will get you up to speed and these surfaces are easy to remove should you want to redo them, in the future. After doing all of the control surfaces, the wings and fuse will be easy. Bobnall, with all due respect, I think your 150-200hr estimate is low by quite a lot.pak
09-06-2003, 12:55 PM
I agree with pak. A first-timer, doing it right, including new electrical, new cables. A thousand hours would not be an unreasonable figure.
09-06-2003, 01:35 PM
The 1000 hour number sounds right. That is about what it took me for a complete "sand blast the airframe and start from ZERO" rebuild. That included all new sheet metal, all new hadrware & glass, rusty tube replacements, new panel, radio, floorboards.
I had a fabric expert and a welder in the neighborhood so they did that part and I did all the rest. Probably 400 hours for my work alone.
That fabric was still punching green but it was 18 years old and it looked like that is about all they did to it then.
09-06-2003, 01:39 PM
The bottom line is it is not hard work it is just messy, time consuming and stinky! (some of us ol 60's guys probably still like the smell??) The new materials are much easier to work with! It is my suggestion to find an "ol timer" guy or gal that is good with fabric and see if you can't get them to help you (pay them or trade them out for something you are talent at??
The reward for doing it yourself is great, and if you have the time (for most of us that means having something else to fly) the go for it, Don't count the cost of labor and do it for the love of it!
TJ??? are we still friends?? Have you been to moose camp yet??
09-06-2003, 06:45 PM
All of the above is good information. Since I'm doing a total frame out restoration, my curiosity about time is just for recover time only, not new electrical, cables, pulleys, fuel lines, etc, just the time it takes to do fabric only.
I also don't expect my time to equal that of someone who has lots of experience, altho I do intend to take a course, and I do have an experienced IA helping me. I'm just trying to get a fix on how long it might take me to complete the project, and fabric is only a part of the job. Anyways, I still have a way to go before cover time.
Tim.....there's a splashdown tomorrow at St Helens. Tom Murphy's going to put me in the front seat of his SC on floats. Guess more work won't be done on my project tomorrow.
Thanks all for the info, guys.
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