Jig discussion?

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akwrencher

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I did a little bit of digging and I can't find much in the threads about fuselage jigs, other than some people have made them. Someday, hopefully in the not too distant future, I want to start a plans built rag and tube. I have a lot of tools and some welding experience, but I just can't picture how a jig would look. Anyone feel like weighing in with there experiences with building steel tube planes and what they used to keep the thing straight enough to not fly in a circle?:roll:

Any info would be appreciated. No big rush though, have to finish the house, and the shop addition, ...etc. you know the drill.
 

Pops

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Pictures of the fuselage jig I built to build 4 Bearhawks. Engine mount jig bolts onto the front of the fuseage jig. Also make jigs for most everything, LG, Stick assembly, rudder pedals, etc. All of the top cross steel unbolts to allow the fuselage to be pulled out of the jig. If you make your jig so the joints are open as possible, most of it can be welded while in the jig. About 95% of the welding could be completed in this fuselage jig.
Dan
 

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TFF

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I will say that is some fancy jigging. Most are flat wooden tables with blocks of wood to hold metal in place while it is tacked. Yahoo Tailwind forum has lots of pictures of normal jigs.
 

oriol

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...building steel tube planes and what they used to keep the thing straight enough...

In an aircraft shop I worked they had an aircraft jig from the factory. They used it to repair crashed aircrafts, to make sure the aircraft recovered the original shape. The jig was very simple only a beam with a pylon on both ends. Both pylons had a few holes in wich you could bolt the tail and the engine mount. It reminded a custom Harley jig (last picture below) wich are usually made with one or two beams as bedplate.


Although the below pictures are of auto jigs they can give you an idea of what a fuselage jig might look like. You can find jig pictures like that on the net.


Oriol


p1090178.jpgp1090224.jpgjig-complete-large.jpgIMG_0508.JPGIMG_5598 (480x640).jpgframe___jig_exploded_1_top.jpgframe_in_jig_2.jpgbc153ASB.jpg10052010087.jpg3984849879_69f15cd9a0_o.jpg106266.jpg
 

N804RV

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You don't need an expensive, complex jig for a homebuilt design. Those huge steel box-frame jigs are for mass-production and are built to very close tolerances in order to reduce variation from one airframe to the next. If you're building an EAB in your garage, you can do a very good job with basic jig laid out on a purpose built worktable made from plywood and 2X4s. The jigs are laid out by tracing outlines from full-size drawings. Many plans built tube and fabric designs have detailed instructions on how to build the jigs.

Check out this Sonerai project I found on BlogSpot. He has some good pics about half way down the page:

Sonerai 1 formula vee racer: May 2011
 

Pops

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Pops looks like he's ready to start production! Some nice looking work there.
Thanks. The jigs were sold to a group that brings in foreign missionaries and with help builts a Bearhawk and takes the Bearhawk back to their home country. They have the first Bearhawk out of the jig and flying in Haiti.

Four of us on our field bought plans to build the Bearhawks. You have to build the BH fuselage a little different than most steel tube fuselages. Because of the bent tubing in the fuselage sides, you build the bottom and top first and suspend the top of the fuselage over the bottom and put in the side tubing. So instead of all 4 of us building a wooden frame to do this, I decided to build a steel jig that we all could use. We finalized the measurements on the first Bearhawk and whipped out the tubing on the other 3 BH fuselages in a 3 weeks each. While I was making the fuselage jig my building buddy started making all of the other jigs except for the LG jig, I also make that jig. The fuselage jig weighed about 1500 lbs. Also had other sub jigs that bolted on it, wing attachment fittings, stab attachment fittings, etc. The landing gear jig was made and you bolt the gear to the jig and lower the jig over the inverted fuselage to weld the LG fitting to the lower longerons. Everything is lined up. All part of these 4 Bearhawks are interchangeable.
AviPro was considering buying the jigs for a while but we are a long ways from the factory in Mexico.

Dan

Added-- If a LG , etc, needs replaced. The missionary can order a new part built from the jigs and have it shipped to him knowing that it will fit.
 
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akwrencher

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Good stuff, thanks guys. Joe, that you tube link won't work for me :(
Doesn't look too difficult. I've got most of the tools I need, just a little short on shop space. Hard to make a living with a plane in the middle of it :) Soon though, very soon.......
 
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