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Thread: Cal's Supercub Build

  1. #1
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Cal's Supercub Build

    At least a year or more I've put off putting this on the SCUB.org

    All the usual reasons.... Not enough Snap-on, No production looking facility, No Bridgeports involved, I'd rather go for a root canal than upload Scub photos and post....etc. But, many of my friends have expressed a desire to see progress, photos, proof of work on project. I always say I'd rather work on project than computer post mine. So, on a sleepless night with a few pics to post - here goes.

    First, a note on how it started. It's a fair share of Supercub.orgs and Christian Sturm's fault. I'm not sure which I'm more mad at, but it looked so easy. And cheap, and doable. Actually, they are all my heros, all who've done, and added to, and advised, and lent a hand. Good people here. Really.

    If I had it to do over again. I'd buy an old cub with a dented wheel fairing. That way, I'd be able to work and fix on the fairing, while having something to fly in the mean time! Eventually, I'd give up on it cause it didn't fix right and who'd want a cub fairing anyway....? Get's in the way of Bushies. And it don't look right.

    Honestly, this is the long, long, long road to build a cub. But, what an experience, and what a time of learning. I like to say, I love some shortcuts, but I've learned to weld. Learned to identify most any part in a cub and how they go together. Learned (still learning) faa 43.13. Learned reading blueprints, autocad, making parts with a grinder/drill press/lathe and milling machine.

    It's a great experience. Have I mentioned that I want it done.....? I'm so ready to fly!

    Now some pics and narration....

    Disclaimer: A few pics can make this look so easy - almost effortless. Lots of time staring, wondering, placing, thinking, re-looking up prints, ordering parts, looking for parts, calling friends, hoping for perfection, ending up a redo.

  2. #2
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    It all started with looking for a Spraker, asking on SCUB.org if anyone knew how to get one? I ended up a tacked fuse that had been gas welded on the clusters, partly disassembled, no fixtures, no tower, no wing/gear fittings. I was worried that I wouldn't get enough welding. HAHAHA. I was wrong.

    I rented a vehicle to drive this a good part across the country back home. Day 1



    I'm gonna try and post the first pic. Here goes.

  3. #3
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    That was Oct. 08 Very shortly after my first visit to Jarenson's fall colors tour.

    I got the frame home and made a rotary. I took a welding class. Was too scared to get near the frame. Made a table, welding stand, practice pieces. Got bored with my fine welding and tried an interior standoff. Not too bad. Let's try another. All downhill from there.



    Got some really old wings. Thought I'd use them. Same deal, use the rental vehicle to ride em home. I used everything metal off them.



    Blasted and powdercoated the fittings. Ended up with new ribs, new spars that I drilled/reamed myself. And built wings. First one with a lot of help at Pierce's seminar. But, I get ahead of myself. That was the second seminar.
    Pierce's first seminar - and by the way- what an Ace! Pierces and the rest of the supercub.org clan are first rate! What a great bunch, and lot's of hospitality. I can't wait to go back and enjoy and not be nosed into my project 14 hours a day.

    The first seminar I attended, I brought the cub down to put in Steve's jig. It needed some work. My good friend DW welded quite a bit on my frame to get it near standards. We had a little work exchange arrangement. The whole topdeck had some twist and just didn't fit right. Neither did the tail, but I did that myself later.



    Welding is cool - cause you can right a lot of wrongs.


  4. #4
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Studying prints, looking at every pic of every frame from supercubproject.com's links, I made up the frame and accessories. Used some of Christians prints, and started making my own on autocad.



    Making parts can be fun....and cost effective. Have you seen what some companies get for these parts??!! Made float fittings, cabane, tail, standoffs, floor supports, stops etc.



    Finished and mounted cabane.



    Rudder going together.



    Verticals almost finished.


  5. #5
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Pulling into Northern TEXAS for a wing build at Pierces! Correct me, but wasn't it 80 and shirt-sleaves this time last year? Old set of wings for parts on the trailer.



    On the wing build, Christian says you can't believe all the drilling and reaming. I was almost to the point of dreaming about drilling.... It's insane. It's all holes these days...



    Had lots of help on the first wing build. Thanks, Jess, Jason G, Steve P etc. I needed that, it went so much faster than just figuring it out.



    Second one went much faster except for the darn light. Lot's of tedious stuff there. I actually considered a day only, no lights plane for a while. Hey it's a cub. And, who flies much at night anyway? But, lights are nice to get out of bind if you need them.



    Lot's of parts to make.....



    Learned to cover too! Love that Stewarts! Thanks Jason for the help and guidance. Tail is covered up to eco fil.


  6. #6
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Disassembling my old flaps and ailerons. This one was nice, most were snotty and rusting/corroding onto the aluminum.



    I'll have to post some pics of the new ones coming along together quite nicely. Almost done with extended flaps and starting ailerons.

    I welded my aluminum door and window. Should be a final fit this week.



    Fit my firewall/flange and cowl mounts up.



    Started running all these flying wires as twine to check clearance, pulleys, angles, etc. Made some adjustments.


  7. #7
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Found the right engine core on barnstormers. Sent everything off. Yellow tagged. Gonna push it a little hard. Should be a good performer 0-320.

    Spent a year and a half one week taping up cases/sump/accessories/cylinders to ready for paint.



    Happy with my color and my painting. That gun worked Jason. Thanks for the advice.



    Multi-colored brand new cylinders..



    I'm happy with the build and happy with the classic look. Should have gloss black rocker covers and intakes tomorrow. Yep.


  8. #8
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Really starting to take shape.

    I put the wings and tail and gear on the fuse last week. No rigging, just making sure the big pieces fit. I'm ready to fly.....but the plane ain't. Sure felt good though.



    Fuel system is done, ready to reassemble. Instruments are all together, now to place into the panel and start wiring. Here is a pic of my lexan panel layout getting cut.



    Guess you'll just have to wait and see what goes in 'em.

    Picture posting sure is getting easier again. I always have to relearn everytime. I think this time I'll remember.

    Thats it for now. Back to work.

  9. #9
    tcraft128's Avatar
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    Looking great! how long have you been at it?

  10. #10

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    Great story, you’ve inspired me to post more pictures of my project. Nice to see just how far along you are. I hear lots of stories from DW, its great to see the pictures. Are you going to JC this year?

  11. #11
    Grant's Avatar
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    Great Work! It looks nice sitting there all assembled.

  12. #12
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Cal-

    Looking good.

    As soon as you get your cub done you will find you need a 180.

    Best way I have found to do pictures is to use Picasa!

    Tim

  13. #13
    SJ's Avatar
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    Great stuff, Cal!

    Thanks for sharing!

    sj

    P.S. BTW, how was the root canal?
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  14. #14
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Yep, will be at Johnson Creek. I've been back and forth on that one. I sold my taildragger last fall. The cub was supposed to be done by now, but isn't. I will drive up from Boise and camp out. I'm bringing my fly-fishing stuff and hiking equipment.

    It bothers me that I don't have a plane to fly out there and I wasn't going to go, but my good non-supercubbing friend reminded me that we fly all the time. You go to these events to hang out with your good friends.

    That's what I'm going to do, sans airplane. JC is beyond great.

  15. #15
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    SJ,

    Root canals are bad! But, don't be offended. I always try to appreciate where my comments will end up. I hate uploading pics to facebook too. Don't like to email them..... All this resizing, special folders, hunt, place, post. Just takes time. My feelings go way back to long before scub.org and the first digital cameras and uploading to emails when it was a really neat trick.

    I just like it when OTHERS upload so I can see their pics.

    Peace.

    Cal

  16. #16
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iflylower
    SJ,

    Root canals are bad! But, don't be offended.
    HA! Cal, remember I started this website ten years ago. You are going to have to work a lot harder if you want to offend me.

    The next version of the forums will have the ability to add pictures directly to a post, and hopefully it will be much easier for everyone!

    and finally to everyone, myself - and lots and lots of others - greatly appreciate the time it takes when ANYONE shares this kind of stuff. Whether in a private message, email, or post, let people know when you like what they are laying down.

    We need a "like" button like facebook... or maybe not...

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  17. #17
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Wow! Way to go Cal! Let me tell you it will pay off and keep going! It is funny how distant that all seems to me now that I have over 60 hours on my bird. It was very tough at times but you WILL be glad and proud you have a brand new Cub in your hangar and not a dusty ol' dented one!

    I plan to fly down to Johnson Creek Friday afternoon and stay till Sunday morning. Bringing my 11 year old with me. Hope to meet many of you there!

  18. #18
    DW's Avatar
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    Finally some pics---Looks SUPER Cal, Glad to hear your going to JC see ya there.
    DW

  19. #19
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Great to see the pictures and progress. I always love to see when guys show this stuff. Good on ya. DAVE

  20. #20
    Bob Breeden's Avatar
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    Looks like some good progress. Where'd you take the welding class at, I'd like to take one my self?

  22. #22
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Eaa Weekend at Griffin, GA about an hour drive south of ATL.

    You'll do steel and aluminum TIG welding.

    Some classwork. They discuss all types, including 4130, 1025, weldable aluminum, inconel and stainless. They talk about machines, filler, materials etc.

    You spend some classroom, then demo, the try yourself at your own workstation. Rinse, repeat. With more and more time hands on.

    Best would be to take a few friends. I did it a bit last minute and had none of the locals could make it - but they all wanted to go. The people I met there were great and fellow aircraft builder/enthusiasts. One gentleman was an aluminum boat builder.

    Sponsored by EAA. Lincoln welders. Lincoln also has a week long class at Headquarters near Cleveland. I don't know anymore, but they would.

    Costs about $280 and I unreservedly endorse it!

  23. #23
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Awesome Cal. You rock. Can't wait to see it.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  24. #24

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    Oustanding my man! Love watching the progress.

    Andrew

  25. #25
    Gunny's Avatar
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    Cal - you are a multi talented guy! Great looking project keep chugging along. Good to see you at JC and had fun wettin a line. Have to do that again.
    "You are the Gray Rider who would not make peace with the Blue Coats, you may go in Peace." - Ten Bears

    Gunny

  26. #26
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Been a long time since I updated, but I've worked mostly steadily on the project. I'm on the road with some free time away from the project. Big year, new job at work, with a couple months of training last summer. Had a beautiful little girl on October 1st. Work has kept me very, very busy with a little relief the last two months. It's been a great year! I've been saying three months to finish for the last 12 months. I want so desperately to make JC, but safety and quality first. Getting closer though.

    Worked on the boot cowl and finished with a top half and bottom half for easy access underneath the rudder pedals. Here is beginning stages of fabrication.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Started flirting with windshield fit and making sure all would go together. I also have to doors fit, welded, a hinge attach figured out and a locking system to plan.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  27. #27
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Did some early instrument panel work noted above. Worked hard on layout, fit, usefulness in the cockpit. I added a dynon "wing leveler" in case I need it. I did need an encoder and the Dynon has an internal one, so i justified the cost of the helpful, yet light instrument. I'll still a steam gauge guy, cause there is no interpretation of numbers. A needle in the right spot on your peripheral vision, is much faster than reading a screen and interpreting a number. Sorry, but it's true. I listened to Greg Miller say he wants his GPS high, just under his field of vision with big numbers for hydroplane speed. I figured important as high center with outward and downward cascading importance for the layout.

    Three notes:
    In the pic, I accidentally switched my plan of com on the left side (free hand). Since been corrected...
    I worked hard to make the GPS permanent, yet easily removable to use in another aircraft, and am happy with the install.
    Iff your gonna fly light with that last hour of fuel, it's helpful to have a fuel counter to ensure safety. Had it in my last plane, and never want to go without again.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a pic of the Cad cut out, after the clear plastic confirmed the layout. And, the GPS mount.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Iflylower; 03-21-2011 at 03:49 AM. Reason: Spelling as usual

  28. #28
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    It was truly a great day to finish the Ailerons and flaps, attach them to the wing, and rivet in those hangers to place. Incidently, I saw Mark Erickson (at Pierce's seminar) have a truly more elegant way to line up the bottom than I did. Where are all these hints on the front end??!! I want a tips/tricks thread! Will expand that later.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Started assembling all the toys together and starting to look like a real plane coming together. Another problem with coming together is finding parts that done quite jive. I found a rubbing flap cable that made me sick. Undo, fix.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here my windshield is secured. More work than I thought. Making those bottom strips fit is finicky.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  29. #29
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Finally got the right fit on a Gas shock and welded in a flange on my window and door. Now, the gas shock holds them open and holds them closed...just have to work on my lock system....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Boy this image software is so much easier. Now, the hardest part is resizing my photos on my computer before upload!

  30. #30
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    This was a big day...if only for a day. I tried to start adding accessories while it hung on the plane, got frustrated at the fit and pulled it off. Got a pic, and had a GREAT feeling all day. Gotta finish this sucker!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've since added the mags, alternator, starter, baffling, oil cooler, and oil filter, but too busy now covering to finish this part. Soon.......
    Last edited by Iflylower; 03-21-2011 at 03:21 AM. Reason: more explanation

  31. #31
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Last post for now...

    Zipped down to Pierces' Seminar at the end of Feb. Had a great time as always. Great to see the regulars and a few new faces. I want to keep going to the seminars, but to work with others helping them on theres. I threatened that last year, but here I'm showing up with my flaps and ailerons to cover. And, I did. Really fun to work on a project, take a break, look at other's work. Have a question? Just go ask someone. Faster answer than even on SC.ORG! Good times, good food and a fun way to learn. Can't wait to fly the Brasos with the guys. My first covering work since the tail a year earlier. Good review, got me in shape for the wings and fuse. I got all the controls into first brush Ecofil.




    Spent a few days at home getting ready for Jason Gerard to come help cover the fuse. Although I was pleased as punch to have help covering the fuselage, my real alterior motive was to have HIS eyes cover my work before the evidence got covered up. We spent a whole day making notes, comparing what piper did vs me. We redid some of my fuel lines cause they had a "low spot" that might collect water. We ran through my rigging and confirmed it was good. I have to remake my aileron cables because my turnbarrels weren't down to three threads. I saw that coming, I really expected them to move more to take up slack. They moved very little in fact.

    Here we are covering fuse.



    Jason's quite a quick and accurate worker and does a nice job. I told Jason, I was taking credit for anything that didn't look up to pro standards.



    Jason's an important guy with lot's of demands on him. Also, it's difficult to get our schedules to mesh. But, I was greatful for the three days of hard work we got done. I continue to learn alot.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I finished up the inspection panels and ecofilled the bird. Back together on gear. Engine back on temp, and put in the back of the hanger while I work on the covering wings and painting metal parts and flight controls. I'll be back on the fuse shortly. I just finished my first wing, primed all my metal parts. Waiting on some paint to arrive from Stewarts. Desperately trying to figure a good paint scheme. And, trying to keep work, family, schedule, safety, Johnson Creek, friends that don't remember me....etc. balanced.

    God Bless my ever patient and beautiful wife!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  32. #32
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Awesome Cal. We are getting excited for you. Thanks for the update.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  33. #33
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Yeah, excellent Cal! Definately getting excited for you! Keep goin'!

  34. #34
    Tadpole's Avatar
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    Looking great Cal!

  35. #35
    myskyjeep's Avatar
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    Nice! Did you get your prop? I can't wait to get mine.
    Dave

  36. #36

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    Looks Great. Keep up the good work!

    Kevin

  37. #37
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Hi Dave, DW told me craig's getting close, maybe this week. I ordered a long time ago, but told him no hurry. I'm gonna do my cowl line up n mount next week, along with all the painting on the docket.

    Hope you're flying hard out west. Thanks for the comments and the advice all. I could go on like the Oscars about the list of people n friends who've been a big help.

    Time to go fly, see ya. ZSPD-VHHH

  38. #38
    Brenda K's Avatar
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    Wow, you've come a long way since Day 1, Cal! Thanks for posting the pics/story. Looking forward to seeing you in Minnie this summer.

    (Nice shout out to your wife...she deserves it!)

  39. #39
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    Hey Cal.
    Too Cool.
    John
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a well preserved body but rather to slide in sideways, well used up proclaiming "WOW What a Ride"

  40. #40
    gdrean's Avatar
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    Hey Cal,

    Wasn't quite sure what you were building when I saw you at Steve Pierce's last year.(a bunch of metal and a wild eyed look) Great progress and congrats on doing so much yourself. I figure if I ever build a cub, I will need to build an apartment for Jason and Steve Pierce. That way I might complete it in my lifetime.

    Hope to see you with your new ride at JC.
    Gary
    GDrean

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