By Tommy Gray
Well, Christmas has passed and it is New Year's Day. There is an old saying that "What you do on New Years Day, you will do all year long". Well, I certainly hope so! I am modeling. Could it be any better!!
In the last session, I mentioned that the first thing I had to do was build some new landing gear for my old "Buc". That has been done, and all I like on it is to clean up the solder joints a little. The old gear worked well, so I built the new gear just like the old ones. In the first picture you see the old gear. It was rough and very old as it was installed in the late 40's.
In the next picture you can see the new gear already installed and ready to be covered up with the fuselage planking.
On the old plane, I had taken off the original wheels and put on a set of Trexler balloon wheels. The first set I put on the old girl had rotted and in the mid 90's, I put on a fresh set of Trexler's. These served well until now. I decided that on this rebuild, I was going to go a little more retro, and put the old solid rubber, streamlined wheels the bird had on it when I got it. They are a little dirty and in need of some TLC but that is no problem. They have a lot less drag than the Trexlers. Since I will probably fly the plane in SAM competition for either Texaco, or Antique, the older wheels will not only look neat but will be more competitive.
I will clean them up and paint the wooden rims once everything is done. Here is a picture of one of them. I already have them installed on the new landing gear. The gear wire is 1/8" and the holes in the wheels were very worn, so I drilled them out to 5/32 and installed a brass tubing spacer in them, so they now fit the new gear nicely.
After finishing up the gear yesterday, I started building the new engine mount. When I originally removed the old Super Cyclone .60 back in the early 50's, it was mounted on a maple mount that resembled a ladder. It worked so well, that I decided to build another one for the Anderson Spitfire .65.
I first drilled the mount for the Anderson. I then installed some 6/32 bolts and blind nuts to securely fasten the engine to the two side rails. The Anderson mounting rails have 3 holes per side, but I decided to put only two. I may have to change this later, if for some reason I find out that three are recommended and necessary, but for now two it is. After it was secured, I cut off three cross pieces of maple mount stock, and glued them to the side beams. Once the glue was dry, I drilled the ends so that I could pin them with some 1/8" dowel stock. I epoxied the dowels into the holes and let them dry overnight with some slow drying epoxy glue.
Here is a picture of the roughed out mounts. First the bottom where the engine mounts:
As you can see I tacked the blind nuts to the mounts after having seated them, with some glue to keep them in place. Next here is a picture of the cross pieces and dowels, assembled and waiting for the glue to dry.
I left the longer dowel pieces in place until the glue had dried, then I trimmed them off with my Zona saw, and took the whole assembly to the sander. Using my belt sander, I smoothed them down flush with the sides of the rails. Here is the mount with the excess trimmed off the rails, and the dowels sanded flush ready to mount into the airframe.
In the next session, I will mount the engine mount assembly and ignition gear, in preparation for closing up the fuselage by adding the planking. It is easier to do all the wiring, and mounting with the fuselage open so I will resist the temptation to close everything up for now.
More to come.....Tommy!
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