Prepping the Shop!

Shop Prep Begins!

13 March 2011 — Once I finished my fuselage mockup, and had checked & ensured that whatever specialized parts there were that I wouldn’t be able build or make would be available to buy, I started prepping the shop for the build.  The first order of business was a decent work bench along the wall.  I made this one collapsible just in case I needed more space.

Sidewall Work Bench

Sidewall (collapsible) workbench

Once I got the workbench in place, I started in on the flip-down glass cutting table.  The glass cutting table also serves as the glass roll storage cabinet.  I think it was the Cozy Girrrls who showed this on their site, along with the thermostat used to turn a light bulb on at a certain temp to keep moisture out of the glass cabinet.  I put the flip down portion of the glass table so that it would come down right next to and be even with the sidewall workbench I had just built.

Glass cutting table/Glass storage

Glass Cutting Table

Glass cutting table (fold up)

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I needed a hotbox to store the epoxy and hardener in when not in use.  The warmer the epoxy and hardener is, just about like every other liquid, the runnier it gets and the easier & faster it wets out the fiberglass strands in a layup.  BTW, most of the components that I made on this page were made out of scrap lumber I had laying around.

Epoxy & Hardener Hotbox

Epoxy & Hardener Hotbox

Besides the wall-mounted workbench, I wanted one that was portable and could roll around.  So I made this guy below.  It had a large enough table top to be used extensively for glassing small to medium sized pieces, and it had storage underneath.  Also, I made the top flip up and it was the perfect size for storing the plan’s A-pages (the big drawings) inside the compartment just below the flip up top.

Roll-around work bench

Roll-around - Plans storage

Besides the main 13′ long work bench (spelled out in Chapter 3), this was all there was for building the shop’s major working surfaces.

Recent Posts

Project Update

Hi Folks,

Well, Rough River 2017 is in the history books.  A great Rough River all the way around!  Marco’s new GRT Mini & GNRS480 avionics install went off without a hitch, providing an awesome proof of concept for my upcoming panel.  In addition, the myriad of builder tips that I got from Buly, Rick Hall, James Redmon, Terry Schubert, Mike Beasley, Bruce Sinclair, Bill James and countless others were gold in the bank for so many upcoming component decisions and configurations I need to make.

As I mentioned before, I’ve had to adjust my schedule a bit over the past 6 weeks, which of course impacts my goals.  Yes, I will continue to fight in my hope that this will be the final push to get the main assembly of the aircraft completed.   I do plan on having the main structure of the aircraft finished by year’s end.  An aggressive timeline to be sure, but I think it’s very doable.

I’m still working out the finer details of making everything fit inside the cockpit.  Since the vast majority of what I’m doing are all mods, these usually require a lot of in-house R&D, and then trial & error when finally at the install phase.  However, the curve is exponential in that as each component is designed and installed, it accelerates the build because besides just being in the “done” column, it is one less thing to design and build.  Moreover, it’s a variable that has been changed into a constant.

All this is just to say that even though things seem to be going slowly, there really is a momentum building for this project.  These pesky mini-tasks burn time, but as they are finished and systems are integrated, then when the final airframe components builds are finished, this plane will seriously be close to being done. Again, these mini-tasks are definitely time-consuming and a lot more slow going then planned.  But finishing them now allows me to work all this stuff while I can stand right next to the fuselage without having to deal with strakes, or nose, being in the way!  

I have to say that it’s much easier and more fun to build the big stuff that makes this project look like a plane, and I often feel my discipline waining to go build something “cool”.  So, although obviously not as sexy as seeing major aircraft components (i.e. nose, strakes, canopy) being completed, these mini-tasks are oh so necessary for quality of flying later on!  Moreover, these immediate tasks, in turn, will allow me to finalize the configuration of the nose components. At which point I will focus on the building the nose and the canopy.  . . while concurrently finalizing the wheel pants install (nope, haven’t forgot about those!).

Cheers!

 

  1. Chapter 22/24 – ELT bracket installed Leave a reply
  2. Chapter 22/24 – ELT mounting base Leave a reply
  3. Chapter 22/24 – If it pleases the panel Leave a reply
  4. Chapter 22/24 – Prepping ELT install Leave a reply
  5. Chapter 22/24 – Ribs are done! Leave a reply
  6. Chapter 22/24 – Pile the weight on! Leave a reply
  7. Chapter 22/24 – Heat & Seat Leave a reply
  8. Chapter 24 – I’m back! :) Leave a reply
  9. Rough River 2017 – Bits ‘n Pieces! Leave a reply