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Spirit of SAM "Jabberwock" Construction Project Session #2

By Tommy Gray
AMA 17063


I started the build by framing up the fuselage.  I had decided to try to use 3/32" sticks instead of the 1/8 recommended on the plans, in an effort to try and save weight.  About that time, Mike McIntyre sent me an email and in it he stated "try to use 3/32"!  This was my confirmation.  I went to an area hobby shop as my usual hardware store had let their balsa assortment get down a little and though I bought all the sticks they had 6 months earlier, the had not restocked.  There are three shops within 100 miles of where I am but none closer than 70 miles so getting supplies sometimes is a hassle and the Internet is my usual source of materials. To save time on this as it is short I drove down to one of the shops and for some wood.

I took the plans, and pinned them down to my building board, and started the framing.

Here, I have started the layout, using the outside line of the stick locations as a guide to keep the outside dimensions of the fuselage stock.  I first had placed some waxed paper over the plans to keep the glue from sticking the wood to the plans.  SAM Rules allow you to lighten and strengthen the structure but the outlines, etc., must be maintained.  Since I used 3/32" sticks I used the outside line as a location for pinning down the wood.

I want to mention here that when I say "Pin" down the wood I do NOT mean to pin through the wood.  I NEVER put a pin through the wood on these small sticks as it will lead to them breaking later one.  What I do is to cross pins on both sides of the stick in the fashion I show below.  it holds the wood to the plans and will not damage the wood.

In this shot you can see that I am well along with the framing, and it is starting to look like a fuselage side!  I have inserted the precut window piece that came with the kit to the rear of the side window opening.  This adds a little strength to the structure, and I can tell you it needs everything it can get!  I am worried about the 3/32" sticks holding this large plane together!!

Here is a closer view of the side windows.

Well, I have one side completed and it is time to build side two.  I removed all the pins from side one (the right side) and placed a sheet of waxed paper over it.  I will build side two directly on top of side one so that I can build two identical sides.

Another shot of the waxed paper over the side one.

Here, framing of side two is under way, being careful to keep them exactly the same size in every detail.

I pinned through the top sheet of waxed paper, all the way through the bottom one, and into the building board to hold down the pieces, again being careful not to pin through any wood.

Working on the front of the fuselage.

Here side two is done and the glue is drying.  I will remove it tomorrow and start putting the fuselage together.

More to come!  Tommy!

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