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60% scale Bowers Fly Baby Desk

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Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
I remember a few years back I saw a desk made from a wing section of an airplane and thought it looked pretty cool. I figured that since I need a new desk anyways, and it could be great practice for when I start building my own plane, that I could build my own wing section desk. A bit of Internet searching turned up a full scale printable template for wing ribs for a Bowers Fly Baby. After printing off the full size templates, I realized even the wing of a small plane is too big for my house. Luckily, Adobe software made scaling it down to 60% an easy process.

Since this project is more about looks than aerodynamics, I'm using hardware store lumber. I picked up some ten foot rolls of aluminium flashing in both 12 and 16 inch widths to skin the bottom (would be the top surface if actually going on an aircraft) of the ribs with and will use a glass top from the front spar to the trailing edge. The leading edge will be wrapped in an aluminium skin. I am using Rustoleum hand hammered copper paint for all the wood surfaces, and will polish the aluminium surfaces on the outside and engine turn the aluminium surfaces on the inside from the front spar to the trailing edge.

I'll upload both progress pics and the desk I'm basing my design on when my wife's done with my laptop.
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
I got a little bit of good weather today, was able to try this out:

20150426_133214.jpg

unfortunately, my jigsaw does damage to the wood when cutting the smaller pieces out. I'm going to change tactics and cut the center out of the mid ribs and use small 1/2"x1/2" and 1/8"x3/4" pieces of wood to make the truss style webbing.
 

Peterson

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Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
I chose to go a different direction with the mid ribs, which follows the rest of the design better.
20150503_120956.jpg
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
And now the super exciting process of letting glue dry. I only have enough clamps to do one mid rib at a time.
20150503_183507.jpg20150503_183451.jpg
 

Peterson

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Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
First Solo Today!

Got the day off, so I went and did my first solo flight this morning (so much fun!) and finished gluing in the mid ribs in the afternoon. If the weather stays nice for the weekend, I'll start attaching the legs.

Pic of what I have so far:
IMG_0614.jpg
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
I started building the legs today. The weather wasn't as cooperative as I wanted (I didn't get to fly today) but I got the back set cut out, routed clean, and currently being glued up. I plan to use some threaded inserts and allen bolts so that the legs can be removed for ease of moving the desk around once finished. Parts-Express has a 50 pack of 1/4"-20 T-nuts (part number 081-1075) for $3.45, about the price for 4 at most hardware stores.

Pics:
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^This is the mock-up, and the glue-up process:
20150510_160521.jpg
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
Did a test fit of the front legs and took some measurements to help design the rear legs. I think this desk is going to look pretty awesome, although there's still a lot of work to go. Finally have enough done to where it's starting to look like a desk. My cat photo bombed the test fit.
IMG_0618.jpg
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IMG_0616.jpg
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
I got the rear legs cut and shaped today. After this, I will sand everything smooth, use wood filler where necessary, paint the wooden structure, then start working on the aluminum skin. Inspected and approved by the wife and the cat!
IMG_0625.jpg
IMG_0623.jpg
 

Peterson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
160
Location
St.Rober, MO
More progress. Started with the aluminum skin for layout purposes. Wood is filled and sanded, although I accidentally broke off a nose rib. Once all skin panels are drilled, I will paint the wooden frame (the legs already have their first coat). I plan on polishing the outside to a high shine and engine turning the portion which will be seen through the glass top.
IMG_0943.jpg IMG_0944.jpg IMG_0945.jpg
 
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