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Thread: Floor boards

  1. #1

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    Floor boards

    Has anyone used 1/8” aluminum tread plate for a floor board in a Super Cub? Any idea of what the difference in weight would be between aluminum floor board and Plywood Floor Board?

  2. #2
    Speedo's Avatar
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    I suspect 0.125 diamond plate will be too flexible to use as floorboard. You may want to mock up something that approximates where the floorboards are supported and then check the deflection on a test piece.
    Speedo

  3. #3
    StewartB
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    I remember planning for 050 floor boards and switching in the eleventh hour to 063. It seems to be working fine. I sure wouldn't characterize it as flimsy.

    SB

  4. #4
    Speedo's Avatar
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    Firsthand experience always trumps best guesses! If 0.063 works then 0.125 should be plenty stiff!
    Speedo

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    spinner2's Avatar
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    Mine are .050" aluminum and plenty stiff. With all of the tubes and fasteners holding it down the rigidity comes from those elements and not the actual thickness of the aluminum, for the most part. Mine also have a 90º up-turned lip on the outside edge that helps stiffen them. The interior side panels are on the pilot side of that lip which keeps dirt from falling into the belly too.

    As I remember now the weight was close to 1 pound less than plywood.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp

  7. #7
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Someone in AK makes them. When I was in Fairbanks Vicki had a set in her store.
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers

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  9. #9

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    Firsthand experience always trumps best guesses! If 0.063 works then 0.125 should be plenty stiff!
    3/8 plate steel should work too since your not concerned with weight.

    Dan's Aircraft has .063 front and rear with the angles, powder coated ready to go. # is 907 278-9516

  10. #10
    Torch's Avatar
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    That diamond plate stuff reminds me of the time when a fellow pilot friend went to have running boards put on his Suburban and asked for that. The professional installer told him, you don't want that trucker shiz on your Suburban. So, if I can find anything else I will when it comes to putting in a floor of the Cub. Not something I want unless there isn't anything else better. Bottom line, get what YOU want. The new Corvettes have a balsa wood floor. They laminate both sides of the balsa wood with some type of epoxy and it is very light and very strong. Find some of that stuff. Don't know if it is legal on a plane but it would be a great floor if you are worried about weight. I know a Corvette designer that is a light aircraft fan. He flies a Cessna I believe. I will ask him when I see him this summer.

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    Mark
    They make a 1/16" aluminum skid plate also. I just bought some to use for heel plates over plywood floorboard.

    Jim Miller

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indabush
    Thank you
    This is just what I had in mind.

  13. #13
    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    I'm in the process of recovering my Cub, and will be using plywood for the floor. Not long ago, there was a thread on floors, and several members wrote what they used to finish the plywood. I've searched for that thread, but no luck finding it.

    Those with wood floors,...what did you finish the wood with, and are you happy with what you used?

    Regarding metal floors,...I fly with Bunny boots in the winter, and with a little bit of snow on the floor, my feet are sliding all over the place.

    jim

  14. #14
    bearsnack
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    Poly fiber epoxy varnish P/N EV-400

  15. #15
    bearsnack
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    Poly fiber epoxy varnish P/N EV-400

  16. #16

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    That Poly Fiber Varnish is good stuff. I would most definataly use that again on any wood structure.

  17. #17
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I would think that the metal floor would add to the noise level where as a plywood floor would act as a noise absorbing damper ?

    Glenn

  18. #18

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    Floor Boards

    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2
    I would think that the metal floor would add to the noise level where as a plywood floor would act as a noise absorbing damper ?

    Glenn
    Noise dampening is a consideration, and wood would be easier to cut out.

  19. #19
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    We purchased precut floorboards from Earl Edgar back when he was running Northland Aviation. They are 12 ply Birch, 6mm (1/4 inch) thick from Finland. Earl told us the name of his supplier so we could buy more for the baggage areas. Th supplier is: http://www.bd-international.com/
    We sprayed the floorboards with Polyfiber Epoxy Varnish and sanded multiple times then sprayed a final coating to get the shine. Yes, I know some folks don't care for the smooth possibly slippery finish but so far this has not been a problem for us.
    Darrel


  20. #20

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    You can't tell what my floor boards are made of. Marine 5 Ply coated twice with marine epoxy wet sanding and DAing between coats then epoxy primed and wet sanding once or twice then flattened imron finish. They're tough and look very different almost like laquer furniture. A little work but they will last longer than I will need them. The key to the wood finishing is sanding dry or wet between coats. I didn't wet sand until I was sure I had the wood sealed up tight.

  21. #21
    Bushwhacker Air's Avatar
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    I still have the Nortland Aircraft router templates Earl used to cut the floorboards. He built them to last!

    Thos floorboards are gorgeous, Darrel.

  22. #22
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    Thank Chris, I was just starting to rebuild our Super Cub when I got in touch with Earl. He helped me out several times and I was very sorry to hear of his passing.
    He said he was tooling up to make brake pedals so I asked the price. He hadn't quite worked the price out yet so I asked if he could beat Lee Bodie's price. Sure, so we settled on a price and he made some. Later he said he lost his butt on those pedals, a lot more tooling than he had expected. So he called Lee to ask how he could make them for Lee's advertised price. Lee said he had them advertised but hadn't yet made any -- OH! Anyway Earl always treated me very well.
    Darrel
    Likes kiwi 180 liked this post

  23. #23
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I will nip in here, as I am getting ready to build no floor boards also:

    I am looking to go LIGHT, but safe.

    Gander has stated that carbon fibre inside the plane is a bad idea due to crash issues, (a different thread).

    So if I want it light, but expect to fly floats also, what would you all suggest as the correct material?

    Diamond plat looks heavy, no matter how you stack it, but tell me your thoughts!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  24. #24
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I'm gonna order the plywood from the link Darrel posted. Hard to find good quality thin plywood anymore. Light and strong so it should serve my purpose. Bill Tracy made new floor boards while he was here. He and Cathy stained them real dark and then put Polyfiber Epoxy Varnish over them. Looks good and should be very durable. I am wndering about some sort of black paint and varnish to seal.
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers

  25. #25
    StewartB
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    063 aluminum with a lightly textured powder coating is light, durable, easy to clean, and isn't slippery. It looks good the day the plane's rolled out and you can expect it to look just as good 5 years later. Any notion that metal is noisier than wood forgets that we fly in cocoons of steel tubing covered by dacron and plexiglas. The floor material isn't very important. I wouldn't go so far as to criticize anyone for choosing wood, but I'm completely satisfied that metal is the better choice for me.

    Here's a picture of mine on an average day. Dirt wipes up easily with some windex and a paper towel when I get around to doing it. I didn't turn my floor into a labor of love because I classify it much like my garage floor. Necessary equipment, ready to take abuse. I don't mind that it looks good but I won't spend any time to maintain it. My template was home made.

    [/list]

  26. #26
    this would be a title NimpoCub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58
    I am getting ready to build no floor boards also:
    That would be the absolute lightest way to go.
    Why didn't I think of that??
    Nimpo Lake Logan... boonie SuperCubber
    200mi (300km) from nearest stoplight... just right! - "Que hesitatus fornicatus est"

  27. #27

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    The bare diamond plate was too bright for me, so I had them epoxy coated with a satin finish.




  28. #28

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    I could see some concern with carbon fiber for the interior panels around the pilot and passenger, but not the floor boards. If you stacked hard enough for the carbon fiber floor boards to injure you; I don’t think your heart would still be attached.
    Wood would be fine in dry climates. When we rebuilt the Trooper Cubs they required the wood floor boards to be layered with fiberglass. Still the old ones we replaced were waterlogged even with the fiberglass layers on them. I had a guide tell me once he stacked into some trees and a branch shot through the rear wood floor board and glanced off the passengers leg. This would not stop me from using wood if that’s what I wanted to go with.
    I have installed a ton of .063 boards. They last forever. The weight is less than 9lbs. Now it's time for me to install floor boards in my rebuild and I'm thinking about trying something different. I found some .060 phonlic sheet and it is half the weight of the .063 aluminum. I am debating on adding a layer of carbon fiber over the top to stiffen it up a bit and for aesthetics.

  29. #29
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Thank you for the info Don.

    I got a big sheet here, baring haveing to make them two or three times, I should have extra.

    The only draw back is it is black. I don't like wood because my bird is wet all of the time... floats, hose for cleaning out blood, on and on!

    I like the idea of cleaning with a rag and 409. I will think more about the Carbon
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  30. #30
    supercub's Avatar
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    Anyone use Verathayne (spelling?) from the local hardware store?

  31. #31
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    floor boards

    I have checked with a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics about the danger of Carbon Fiber floorboards. He specializes in compostie structures and especially carbon fiber structures. He says the fracture issue is not a problem or concern for this application. He has a lot of data on layup designs if anyone is interested.

  32. #32
    Bushwhacker Air's Avatar
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    My CF manufacturer said it wouldn't concern him with all of that structure behind it.

    We have available a Carbon Fiber/Kevlar weave fabric with a thin foam core - It's extremely light and stiff. Still debating on using it for the floor - it is what we will use for a dash. One slight advantage of the Kevlar mix is that you can get those pretty colored weaves, so cosmetically it doesn't need any paint. I'll try to get some weights.

  33. #33

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    I was told by the guy that I bought mine from that for one layer of fabric laid up you double the fabric weight, and thickness. So if you have a 8oz fabric, laid up it will be about 16oz per yard, divide that by 27 and that’s what it will weigh a square foot. Add in the foam and it should get you close for estimating .

  34. #34

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    Floor Boards

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Starr
    We purchased precut floorboards from Earl Edgar back when he was running Northland Aviation. They are 12 ply Birch, 6mm (1/4 inch) thick from Finland. Earl told us the name of his supplier so we could buy more for the baggage areas. Th supplier is: http://www.bd-international.com/
    We sprayed the floorboards with Polyfiber Epoxy Varnish and sanded multiple times then sprayed a final coating to get the shine. Yes, I know some folks don't care for the smooth possibly slippery finish but so far this has not been a problem for us.
    Darrel

    Darrel “Nice job”
    Look so good a person would not want to put their feet on them.

  35. #35
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Talked to some guys in the know, (Faa), and they reported back to me that Carbon Fiber + Saltwater + steel or aluminum = lots of corrosion!

    I will use a different option on my plane.

    I have carbon fiber for sale if anyone wants it.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  36. #36

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    Yeah the corrosion/galvanic action is apparently bad with carbon/ aluminum. But if the last layer is kevlar it is not as bad. And as stated above kevlar is pretty. I am not an expert, just a web searcher for this kind of info.

  37. #37

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    It is the contact of the carbon fiber and aluminum that makes a battery at that location. A layer of separation would need to be addessed.

  38. #38
    gpepperd's Avatar
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    What am I missing here? Where is the carbon/aluminum contact? It seems the carbon fiber sheet would be attached to the steel structure of the frame. Are we talking about aluminum side panes? Thanks in advance. Greg
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

    "Anyone who would give up liberty for safety deserves neither" Ben Franklin

  39. #39
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    A very simple way to solve this issue is to laminate a layer of 4 oz. fiberglass as the outside layer to insulate the carbon fiber from the structure.

    Of course, any through-fastenings would have to have an insulating bushing, which would also be necessary to eliminate crushing of the foam at the fastener.

    "Bushing" can mean lots of things. A simple way is to drill the fastener holes at each location, then chuck up a bent nail in a drill and 'hog' out the foam inside the hole. Fill this hole with high strength putty and re-drill after cure.

  40. #40
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comment Mark-B. So far after 85 hrs, the floorboards don't seem to have suffered at all. That epoxy varnish is great tough stuff.
    Darrel

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