|This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
February 17 2018 2.0hrs -3415.5 total. Sealed last area on rudder that needed a
2nd coat. Once this dries, it will be ready to cover - except for the tail light
connection still needs a little work. Made up some pieces of thick cardboard
covered with duck tape to act as clamping plates to glue in elevator skin extensions.
Glued in skin extension pieces. Stapled cardboard backing plates in place to hold
them. Used extra thickened epoxy to seal up lots of staple holes in different
sections of elevator horn skin from previous glue jobs.
February 18 2018 3.5hrs - 3419.0 total. Cleaned up a lot of left over glue from
when I glued in the skin backing plates in each of the hinge openings quite a while
back. Prepped all the hinge openings for a coat of sealer. Removed staples and
|Gluing in the elevator skin
cleaned up glue joints from yesterday's glue job. Applied sealer to inside of all hinge points and about 1" all round the outside. Glued in
reinforcement strips behind new skin extensions that were installed yesterday. Used extra thickened epoxy to fill in and fillet the areas
under to previously installed strips.
February 19 2018 2.0hrs - 3421.0 total. Also another couple of hours picking up new plywood that I didn't count. I queried Aircraft
Spruce about the expected date for "partial stock" to arrive at their warehouse, getting pushed back again, and they indicated that several
more weeks were expected before they knew what stock they would get. Called a place that rebuilds Stearman's and talked to the
owner about where he gets his wood. He was very kind and willing to talk with me about my project and reiterated what the tech
counselor at EAA National told me - the Baltic/Finnish Birch is fine. If you need it longer, either cut it diagonally, or scarf it. So I
cancelled the order with Aircraft Spruce, went up to the local hardwood shop and bought some 3/8" and 1/4" Baltic Birch. Now that it's
here I'm very anxious to get started on the ribs, but I've got the elevator to finish up first. I'll probably allow myself a little of both, just
for variety. Removed the clamps from yesterday's glue job and sanded down the glue joints. Also hand sanded all the areas where I
had sealed up the old staple holes, etc.
February 21 2018 3.0hrs - 3424.0 total. Started transferring more of the wing rib patterns onto 1/4" ply. Finished transferring ribs 17
and 16 (2 ea)
February 22 2018 1.5hrs - 3425.5 total. Transferred rib 15 (2 ea) onto plywood.
February 24 2018 3.0hrs - 3428.5 total. Rough cut ribs 15, 16 and 17 (2ea) with jigsaw, then trimmed up with bandsaw. Sanded all
outside edges down to final shape. Still need to cut lightening holes in them.
February 26 2018 3.0hrs - 3431.5 total. Laid out ribs 14 (2ea) and one of the rib 13 on 1/4' ply. Will need to scarf about 3" onto the
end for the two rib 14s and about 5 inched for rib 13. Further reading has reassured me that scarf joints - properly done - are generally
stronger than the material they are joining. My only concern now is that I'm altering the stiffness of the material at the location of the
scarf. For this reason I'm hoping to locate the scarfs in positions on the rib that won't be affected by changes in stiffness, such as in
the aileron or at the point of contact with the spars. As there will be cap strips as well as the skin itself forming the top and bottom of a
"I-Beam" structure on each rib, the plywood is acting as the web, and compression forces will be applied in sheer - so I don't think
small areas of difference in stiffness on the web portion will have any affect.
February 27 2018 5.5hrs - 3437.0 total. Rough cut out the ribs I transferred yesterday with jigsaw- ribs 14 (2ea) and one rib 13.
Trimmed them down a little more with the bandsaw. Need to scarf on the needed extensions before they are sanded to final shape.
Transferred the 2nd rib 13 and both rib 12s onto 1/4" ply. Sat down to make up the small skin extension on each end of the elevator
between the last hinge cutout and the elevator horn. After pondering for a bit, decided to just fill it in with "fairing compound" - or
thickened epoxy with lots of micro. Prepped and sanded the last hinge cutouts then applied a thick coat of sealer. Then mixed up
micro to the consistency of thick frosting and filled in the area between the nose rib and the horn. Overfilled so that I'll be able to sand
it down to final shape.
February 28 2018 3.5hrs - 3440.5 total. Rough cut both ribs 12 and one remaining rib 13 with jigsaw, then trimmed with bandsaw.
Made up extension pieces for the six ribs that are cut out so far that need them. Scarfed the extensions and the ribs. Ready to be glued.
|Gluing in the elevator skin
extension backing strips.
|One of the other hinge points, cleaned up
and fillets in place under backing strips
|One of the newly finished elevator
skin extensions and backing strips.
|Some of the wood sheets
already loaded into the garage.
5'X5' wouldn't fit inside the car,
had to strap them to the roof!
A balmy +29F - didn't even
|Baltic Birch plywood - ready to get
serious about making the wing ribs!
|Transferring wing rib
patterns onto 1/4" ply.
|Ribs 15, 16 and 17 (2ea)
sanded to final shape.
|End hinge cutout sealed and remaining
area filled with "fairing compound."
|Ribs 14 (2ea) and one rib 13 rough cut
to shape. Still need extension scarfed on.
|Making up extension pieces
that will be scarfed on.
|Extension pieces with
scarf edge made up.
|Six ribs and extension pieces, scarfed,
marked, and ready to be glued.
March 1 2018 1.0hrs - 3441.5 total. Transferred both rib 11s pattern onto 1/4in ply.
March 3 2018 3.0hrs - 3444.5 total. Final prepped and glued scarfed extensions onto ribs 12, 13 and 14 (2 ea). Sanded down fairing
material on leading edge of elevator. Used leftover epoxy from scarf joints to apply a thick coat of epoxy to each shaped fairing. Spent
a couple of hours reading up on fuel tanks and fuel systems, and looking at the plans for the fuel tank in the fuselage and the wings.
Have a welder who will make up the main tank. Wanted to be sure it will work the way its designed, and it looks like it will.
March 4 2018 6.5hrs - 3451.0 total. Removed clamps from scarf glue job. Trimmed down scarf joints and rib extension pieces with
bandsaw, then sanded them to final shape (ribs 12, 13 &14). Started cutting lightening holes - there's a lot of them, and they're getting
pretty large. Fly cutter in the drill press is starting to struggle.
March 5 2018 2.5hrs - 3453.5 total. Continued cutting lightening holes in ribs 12, 13 and 14.
March 14 2018 2.0hrs - 3455.5 total. Finished cutting circular lightening holes in ribs 12, 13 and 14. Just a few oval holes left to cut
out. Started hand sanding the ribs. Finished sanding one of the rib #12.
March 15 2018 3.0hrs - 3458.5 total. Hand sanded the other rib #12. Traced templates for both rib #10s onto plywood. Just a couple
more circles to trace out and they will be fully transferred and ready to cut out.
March 17 2018 7.5hrs - 3466.0 total. Long day! Got a lot done. Finished tracing rib #10s. Rough cut ribs 10 and 11 (2ea) with
jigsaw, fine trimmed with bandsaw - blade broke, had to go get another from the store. Finished trimming the ribs, then sanded down
to final shape. Made up extension pieces to be scarfed on. Scarfed ribs and extensions. Glued extensions in place on ribs 10 and 11
(2ea). Used left over thickened epoxy to touch up joints on previous rib scarf joints. Also touched up some areas where the plywood
external veneer had splintered slightly when the lightening holes were cut in ribs 12, 13 and 14.
March 18 2018 6.0hrs - 3472.0 total. Removed clamps from scarf glue joints. Traced rib profiles from templates onto extension
pieces. Trimmed with bandsaw and shaped to final shape with disk sander. Some of the final angles prevent using the disk sander, so
used detail sander to get to final shape. Sanded down and cleaned up scarf glue joints themselves as well as the areas I touched up with
glue yesterday. Cut out the large slot that exists in ribs 10 to 13. Used hole cutter to make 2" holes at either end of slot, then cut out
remaining material with bench mounted jigsaw. Lots of sanding yet to do.
March 19 2018 2.0hrs - 3474.0 total. Got out the thimble sander and sanded all the 2" notches to correct shape. Used Dremel tool with
small sanding drum to sand all the lightening holes on a couple of the ribs, then hand sanded them to final finish. All the 2 " notches are
sanded to final finish. Also both rib #12s and one rib #13 are completely final sanded. Still LOTS more sanding to do!
March 21 2018 2.0hrs - 3476.0 total. Using Dremel and hand sanding, it takes about an hour to sand down one rib. Sanded down the
2nd rib #13. Dug out some of the ribs I'd done earlier and realized I haven't cut most of their lighting holes yet. Started cutting holes
in ribs # 17.
March 24 2018 2.5hrs - 3478.5 total. Continued cutting lightening holes in ribs 15, 16 and 17 (2ea). There's a LOT of these holes!
|Fairing sanded down to shape
and a coat of sealer applied.
|Cross section of one of the rib
scarf joints, 8 to 1 ratio - not bad!
|Starting to cut the lightening
holes in ribs 12, 13 and 14
|Ribs 12, 13 and 14, with scarfed extensions,
trimmed and sanded to final shape
|Stack of some of the material
removed from ribs 12, 13 and 14
|For the large slots - first cut out
2" holes at each end...
|then cut remaining material from
between with jigsaw
|Some of the material removed
from ribs 15, 16 and 17
|From farthest to nearest, ribs 10, 11, 15,
16, 17 (2ea). 10 and 11 aren't done yet.
March 25 2018 7.5hrs - 3486.0 total. Long day standing in front of the drill press! Finished cutting lightening holes in ribs 15, 16 and
17 (2ea). Started on 10 and 11 (2ea). Was having trouble with the wood splintering around the edge of the holes, especially where
there was very little distance between holes, or from the hole to the edge of the rib. Started cutting part way through, then flipping
material over and finishing from the other side. Works MUCH better. Twice as much work to cut, but should be much less to clean
up without all the splintered edges to fill. Also bought a new large fly cutter that is very sharp and also tightened the belt on the drill.
Makes a considerable difference in being able to cut the larger holes.
March 26 2018 3.0hrs - 3489.0 total. Finished cutting all the lightening holes in ribs 10 and 11 (2ea). Sanded one of the rib #17s. It
took an hour to sand that one small rib. All of the ribs I've cut out so far have all the lightening holes done. They just need to be
sanded. Will probably trace out a few more next.
March 27 2018 1.0hrs - 3490.0 total. Sanded 2nd rib #13.
March 30 2018 1.0hrs - 3491.0 Started tracing ribs #9 onto 1/4" ply.
March 31 2018 6.0hrs - 3497.0 total. Another long day! Finished tracing both ribs 9, 8 and 7 (2ea). Rough cut them with saber saw.
Fine trimmed with band saw. Sanded to final exterior profile with 8" disc sander. Need to make the extensions for these ribs and scarf
April 1 2018 2.5hrs - 3499.5 total. Sanded down the 2nd rib #17. Started laying out the extensions on ribs 7, 8, and 9 (2ea). Finished
laying out both #9 extensions.
April 2 2018 1.0hrs - 3500.5 total. Made up extension pieces for ribs 7 and 8 (2 ea). Now need to sand in the scarf and glue them on.
April 4 2018 1.5hrs - 3502.0 total. Sanded scarf angle on ribs 7, 8 and 9 (2ea). Still need to sand angle onto extension pieces.
April 7 2018 7.5hrs - 3509.5 total. Sanded scarf angle into extension pieces. Glued extensions onto ribs 7, 8 and 9 (2 ea). Had to take
the elevator off the bench and hang it back up out of the way to make room to glue all six of the ribs. Used left over thickened epoxy to
touch up the previous scarf joints on the completed ribs. Got out another sheet of 1/4" ply and started laying out ribs 5 and 6. There
are 2ea of rib 6, but starting with rib 5 and counting down they are different from port to SB.
April 8 2018 6.0hrs - 3515.5 total. Removed clamps from yesterday's glue job. Transferred rib pattern onto extension pieces.
Trimmed them down with bandsaw then sanded to final shape with disc sander. Started cutting lightening holes - these are ribs 7, 8
and 9 (2ea).
April 9 2018 1.5hrs - 3517.0 total. Continued cutting lightening holes in ribs 7, 8 and 9.
April 10 2018 2.5hrs - 3519.5 total. Continued cutting lightening holes in ribs 7, 8 and 9. About 1/2 way done with the holes in these
April 15 2018 6.5hrs - 3526.0 total. Finished cutting lightening holes in ribs 7,8 and 9 (2ea) Still need to cut out elongated slots
between holes in several of the ribs. Transferred 2nd rib 5 pattern onto ply I'd started earlier with both 6 ribs. Also transferred one of
the rib #3. Skipped #4s for now as they are 3/8" rather than 1/4" like these others. Rough cut both ribs 6, 5 and one #3 with saber saw.
April 16 2018 2.0hrs - 3528.0 total. Trimmed both ribs 6, 5 and one 3 with band saw and sanded to final shape. Now need to make
extensions and scarf them on.
April 18 2018 2.0hrs - 3530.0 total. Used jigsaw to cut out 2" rounded notches in ribs 7, 8 and 9 (2ea). Sanded down with thimble
sander to final shape. Still need to final sand these ribs, along with a lot more! Have made a deal to get a set of Navion main gear that I
hope to be able to adapt to use on this project.
April 20 2018 2.5hrs - 3532.5 total. Got out another sheet of 1/4" ply and started transferring more rib templates. Finished up the 2nd
#3 and one #1. Once I do the next #1 rib I think that might be all the 1/4" ribs. Now there are 4ea 3/8 ribs to trace out. I still have a
sheet and a half of 1/4" left over. I might redo a couple of the first ribs I made from the older 1/4" stock I had. That wood was a little
warped and the ribs haven't straightened out the way I hoped it would once they were cut out.
|About a dozen large pieces cut from ribs
10 and 11 (2ea). 1ft ruler for scale.
|Transferring patterns for ribs 9, 8
and 7 (2ea) onto 1/4" plywood.
|Trimming one of the ribs
with the band saw.
|Ribs 9,8 and 7 (2 ea) rough cut with
saber saw. Ready to be trimmed.
|Ribs 7, 8 and 9 (2 ea) from left to
right, sanded to final shape.
|Laying out extensions for one of
the rib #9 on scrap 1/4" ply.
|Transferring rib template onto
|Shop is starting to look
like a rib factory!
|Ribs 7, 8 and 9 with holes
about half done. Stack of disks
all came form these ribs.
|Ribs 7, 8 and 9 with holes done.
Sheet of 1/4" ply with more rib
templates transferred onto it.
April 21 2018 5.5hrs - 3538.0 total. Transferred 2nd rib #1
onto 1/4" ply. Verified that is the last of the 1/4" ribs. Spent
about an hour studying the plans of the wing layout. Got out a
piece of 3/8" ply and started transferring templates onto it.
Transferred rib #4 port. Only 2nd #4 and both #2 ribs to go!
They are all on 3/8" ply. Rough cut out the last 1/4" ribs - #1
(2ea) and 2nd rib #3. Still need to make up a bunch of rib
extensions and scarf them on. Sanded down all the areas
where I had touched up previous scarf glue joints. Also
sanded down glue joints on last scarf joints batch. Sanded one
of the ribs completely and transferred it to the finished stack.
Lots more sanding to do!
April 22 2018 4.0hrs - 3542.0 total. Finished tracing all of the
3/8" ribs onto the ply stock. That's all of the ribs now!
April 23 2018 2.5hrs - 3544.5 total. Sanded down three more
ribs by hand.
|Both ribs #1 and 2nd rib #3 rough
cut from 1/4" ply on the left.
|Stacks of finished ribs are getting larger!