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Thread: Therapy Project

  1. #1
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Therapy Project

    Therapy time for me. I’m a sole-practitioner public defender and this has been an extraordinarily hard year. I just finished up a very hard trial and have another in 4 days. As I mentioned in the “Cry for Help” thread, I’m working to scaling back all of this in the coming year. I intend to divert some of that energy into building an airplane.

    So, after agonizing, reading, ordering, and reviewing plans, (including shortwing disks and Northland Supercub drawings, etc.), I followed the suggestion of jimboflying and others--I ordered some materials from Wicks and started building tail feathers.

    I’m pretty much settled on a Wag Aero 2+2. Many thoughtful people encouraged me toward a Super Cub, but my wife is fully on board with a side-by-side project. The other fleeting option would be a Wagabond with flaps, somewhat extended fuselage, and an O-233 or even an O-290.

    But, I see floats in the future, and the 2+2 obviously is comfortable with those.

    I spent 4 hours messing about in the shop and got a start:

    rudder 1.jpg

    IMGP3520.jpg


    I freehand bent the tube around my shop stump:

    stump.jpg

    I already see things I need to change. For one thing, I will be looking for a better torch. My gas welding has come back after 25 years, but the consumer-grade regulators and clunky “all-purpose” torch handle are geared more toward cutting angle iron.

    I’ll also improve jig arrangement and probably add some upper-level storage.

    But it’s a beginning. Maybe, after next week’s trial, I’ll put together some elevators. And then, wait for more material and do whatever seems good to do next. It’s pleasant in my heated shop, too cold to fish anyway. If I rejigger my world for the coming year, I might even have some 20 hours a week to put into the project.
    Last edited by RVBottomly; 12-02-2017 at 08:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    brown bear's Avatar
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    RV
    Looks like a great start ! I got along fine with "consumer-grade regulators " but found this torch a "must have" when building my plane .
    Doug
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...clickkey=44051
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  3. #3
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brown bear View Post
    found this torch a "must have" when building my plane .
    Doug
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...clickkey=44051
    Yes, I've been looking at that for a while. I've never actually handled one, but have heard good things.

    Vic
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  4. #4
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Suggestion - visit your local welding supply house and ask what model the pros mostly buy.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)

  5. #5
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    If you want a first class torch for aircraft ox/acet welding check out the Meco Midget sold by Tin Man tech.
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  6. #6
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    Vic,
    Congratulations on your decision and start. Building a plane is only one part at a time. Celebrate each part and then each page completed of the drawings. Eventually there are no more parts to build and no more pages. I too am building a 2+2 which is a PA14 replica. I had an original PA14 and found it to be a great plane. You might consider building a really flat and sturdy workbench to work on. I used floor joists and 2 layers of thick flooring material screwed to the top with 4X4 legs. Mine is 16’ long so you can build the fuselage straight and true. I also second the Meco torch but you might consider Tig as well. The money you save by building your own will justify lots of new tools. Good luck and keep us posted.
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  7. #7
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Here is something similar to what jimboflying is describing. Mine is 18 ft long. I use 3/4 particle board and change the top occasionally. Particle board is flat and cheap.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  8. #8
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    buy a Tig, with a finger controller.....

  9. #9
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimboflying View Post
    Vic,
    Congratulations on your decision and start. Building a plane is only one part at a time. Celebrate each part and then each page completed of the drawings. Eventually there are no more parts to build and no more pages. I too am building a 2+2 which is a PA14 replica. I had an original PA14 and found it to be a great plane. You might consider building a really flat and sturdy workbench to work on. I used floor joists and 2 layers of thick flooring material screwed to the top with 4X4 legs. Mine is 16’ long so you can build the fuselage straight and true. I also second the Meco torch but you might consider Tig as well. The money you save by building your own will justify lots of new tools. Good luck and keep us posted.
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm working on a flat and sturdy platform with locking casters to move it around. I built a "strongback" on my boat project 2 years ago, and I still have material from that. I still need to organize space a little.

    I see all sorts of people endorsing the Meco torch, from you and Cub Junkie and Christian Sturm. I'm leaning that way, even without trying one out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Here is something similar to what jimboflying is describing. Mine is 18 ft long. I use 3/4 particle board and change the top occasionally. Particle board is flat and cheap.
    I like how you've clamped things down. Looks very tidy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    buy a Tig, with a finger controller.....
    Right. I should get with the late 20th century. But I'm curmudgeonly smitten by the therapeutic value of the gas-torch-weld-puddle-dance. It's sort of like an old guy trying the hula hoop. At least until my hands go too numb and my back gets too stiff.

    Vic

  10. #10
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Right. I should get with the late 20th century. But I'm curmudgeonly smitten by the therapeutic value of the gas-torch-weld-puddle-dance. It's sort of like an old guy trying the hula hoop. At least until my hands go too numb and my back gets too stiff.

    Vic[/QUOTE]

    Tig uses the same puddle dance. Instead of having flammable gas, you have one intert gas- plus the torch tip is quicker to clean if you have a belt sander.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  11. #11
    JP's Avatar
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    Therapy is good. J'approve.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bft-int.com/aviation.html

  12. #12
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post


    Tig uses the same puddle dance. Instead of having flammable gas, you have one intert gas- plus the torch tip is quicker to clean if you have a belt sander.

    Well, yeah. You and Mike and many others speak truth on advantages, but I have to look at my own nature. If I get one of these TIG gadgets, next thing happening is I'll want to do a bunch of pretty welds, which will lead to starting on custom intake manifolds for some hot-rod I don't own, which means a bigger shop, which means the airplane won't get done....


    Etc....


    Quote Originally Posted by JP View Post
    Therapy is good. J'approve.

    Merci! Et je suis d'accord.

    Vic

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    Welcome aboard!
    I have a Meco with a variety of tips and I use the light weight hose that really cuts down on arm/hand fatigue. You certainly need a TIG for steel and aluminum and I find I use my Lincoln 180 MIG a lot too. Sometimes just to make a quick jig or whatever and I don't feel like fooling with gas or the TIG. MIG be quick and only takes one hand. You need foot and finger control for the TIG. Also, go into the kitchen and steal the old cookie sheets to put between the tube and the wood when your welding on top of the wood. Also, paint your table top flat white...makes things easier.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.
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  14. #14
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Thanks for the welcome, Lowrider. I've enjoyed reading about your project.

    But I'm supposed to get a MIG, too? It took me 30 years of Lincoln AC buzzbox welding before I could finally convince myself to get a used Miller AC/DC stick welder. I'd been wanting one of those since high school and finally got one a few years ago. For me that's a quantum leap!

    As for the cookie sheets, it would be a major challenge to pry those from my wife's grip. But leftovers of 22 gauge steel from making ribs seems to work pretty well.

  15. #15

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    No Sir...you don't need a MIG...you can do it all with the torch or the TIG... Buzz box...not so much.
    Ref cookie sheets...I convinced my wife the old ones were possibly leaching alum molecules into the cookies and stainless steel would be much healthier and probably make the cookies taste better...worked well...feel free to use it if it fits.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  16. #16
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Got through another week. Did some house chores, and got one elevator formed. I was hoping for two, but I remind myself I'm not on a clock for the project. Line by line, here a little, there a little...etc.

    Layout elevator.jpg

    tacking.jpg

    rudder and elev.jpg

    I still need to weld up collars and form horn assemblies. I'm waiting on another material order to proceed on that.

    And I still haven't ordered a different torch. The Victor-styled medium duty torch works alright for now. All week I was pretty heavily occupied until this morning.

    So far I'm learning quite a bit about metal working. The 3/8 tubing bends OK free handed, if you are very careful. The elevator shape could use a bit more fairing--then again, I've seen some pretty odd looking tail feathers at the airport.
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  17. #17
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Looking good!

    Each welder has it's own place- a small Tig like MIller's Diversion 180 will give you a whole lot of options. I bought the finger control after watching gyrations of guys welding inside aircraft with foot controls. Duck taping the controller to your foot just seemed silly when I could be laying down and just flex my finger.

    Keep up the great work there, and posting pictures. Should be a fantastic project, once finished fun to fly.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    For torches, the Meco or the AW1 are both good alternatives. Try wheat works in your hand. I use a couple 1940 vintage Smith #2 torches, one was my grandfathers, the other I got on eBay recently with a bunch of “V” tips - soft flame for welding aluminum. The #2 is the predecessor of the AW1, but the tips aren’t interchangeable. The super flex hoses make a big difference in hand fatigue. Check out “the tinman” web site.

    I’ve also got an Everlast 210EXT welder for TIG. Some stuff is more natural with the torch, others with the tig. The welding hood is harder to maneuver around in the fuselage than just a set of goggles. Either way, you can do quality welds that will keep your airplane together.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brown bear View Post
    RV
    Looks like a great start ! I got along fine with "consumer-grade regulators " but found this torch a "must have" when building my plane .
    Doug
    I've had my Smith torch since the mid 80's and love it!! I got my powerplant rating at Watertown, SD where they're made. One of my classmates' wife was a demo-welder for Smith back then... she could really weld with a torch!! We all ribbed Randy about not being as good as her.
    At any rate, you'll love the Smith! Small, handy and still big enough to do what ever you need done!
    John

  20. #20
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Thanks dga and John. I found out one of our local weld supply shops carries Smith in stock. I'll take a look at one when I get a chance.

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    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Duck taping the controller to your foot just seemed silly when I could be laying down and just flex my finger.
    I studied up on TIGs a bit to see what you were talking about. I'll have to agree!

  22. #22
    Southern Aero's Avatar
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    RV

    FWIW, You have to decide how much you want to spend both money and time learning to weld........... Oxy-Acet is the lest expensive to get into and isn't too hard to learn. Getting "pretty" welds takes some practice. If I use MIG its only to tack up a project for convenience and use a small Lincoln, .023 wire and teflon liner with small torch. MIG is structurally OK but tends to leave welds unsealed even it the best hands. ....... Your Tube Seal will point this out quick. Gas welding is what I use most and don't see any drawback other than having to clean up more with the sand blasting. Things "move around" a lot more with gas but once you learn it, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent distortion. ....... Plus it's "traditional". TIG is the first choice for a lot of guys but I use it mostly for sub assemblies. For me its too cumbersome for getting around in a fuselage but it sure makes a clean weld. ......... The AW1 "Airline" torch as mentioned before is my preference with 3/16" light weight/flexible hoses. High dollar 2 stage regulators are nice but not necessary. I have tried the real short light weight Victor and a pistol grip Henrob and never use either one of them. So, I guess I would say I prefer gas over the electrics for most airframe work. Maybe its because I pissed on an electric fence when I was a kid and never got over it?? Plus you can weld when the power is off!
    ......... it doesn't cost any more to go first class! you just can't stay as long.
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    I've had my Smith torch since the mid 80's and love it!!
    John
    smith is what I have too... but the last time i used them to weld was in 2004(still on that same set of bottles..), and that was just so I could remember how to Oxy weld, after becoming spoiled by TIG.... night and day...

  24. #24
    RVBottomly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Aero View Post
    RV

    FWIW, You have to decide how much you want to spend both money and time learning to weld........... Oxy-Acet is the lest expensive to get into and isn't too hard to learn. Getting "pretty" welds takes some practice. If I use MIG its only to tack up a project for convenience and use a small Lincoln, .023 wire and teflon liner with small torch. MIG is structurally OK but tends to leave welds unsealed even it the best hands. ....... Your Tube Seal will point this out quick. Gas welding is what I use most and don't see any drawback other than having to clean up more with the sand blasting. Things "move around" a lot more with gas but once you learn it, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent distortion. ....... Plus it's "traditional". TIG is the first choice for a lot of guys but I use it mostly for sub assemblies. For me its too cumbersome for getting around in a fuselage but it sure makes a clean weld. ......... The AW1 "Airline" torch as mentioned before is my preference with 3/16" light weight/flexible hoses. High dollar 2 stage regulators are nice but not necessary. I have tried the real short light weight Victor and a pistol grip Henrob and never use either one of them. So, I guess I would say I prefer gas over the electrics for most airframe work. Maybe its because I pissed on an electric fence when I was a kid and never got over it?? Plus you can weld when the power is off!
    I'm committed to gas welding. I learned the basics in the 70s in high school shop and kept it up through the 80s on things from thin sheet metal to plow repairs in the field. The only other welding I'd ever done was stick arc welding, though I played with an electric carbon arc a little bit. I'm happy "relearning" an old skill. I like the review on the Meco, but I'll probably choose the Smith because of nostalgia, if nothing else.

    BTW, I was kidding about a MIG. I don't really think I need one. I'm working on reducing clutter in the shop and not inclined to add more equipment I don't need.

    But guys like George and Mike keep encouraging me down the road toward TIG. They'll probably eventually succeed, but probably not until I've welded up most of a fuselage. I'm sort of happy reliving my second childhood...at least for now.

    As for the electric fence--I've had the exact same experience.

    Vic
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