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Little Scrapper

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Tonight at the shop it’s just me and some Glenfiddich 14 and some raw 4130.

Landing gear. The Baby Ace take Cub landing gear of which I have but I want to make my own just because fabrication is the fun. Tonight I cleaned up one end of some a Cub gear just to examine it and see if I can’t mentally deconstruct it. As you can see by the photos the factory gear is made slightly different than the Wag-Aero replica gear.

Looks like Piper factory cut the end differently and I’m sure because of mass production they had a unique process that was fast and efficient for the time period. I’m following the Wag-Aero plans.

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Little Scrapper

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Turned out excellent. RG45 filler 1/16” @ 87 amps was the magic spot on this little project.

Unfortunately this one is scrap because somehow the bushing moved out of square. I never checked it before welding on the reinforcing strap. 100% my fault. I’ll make a new one tomorrow.

If anyone reading this struggles welding a tube where you need to rotate it such as this I found that a old woodworking bench vise just thrown on a table works excellent.

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Little Scrapper

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With axles both welded up and fit I then cut my channel up so they would bed properly in place. With the front gear legs fully welded but extra long I set them in the gear fuselage fittings.

The next step is to SLOWLY nibble away with a beat up flap disk in my portable grinder and cope that saddle joint until it drops right in to place. Basically......

Mark it, take it off and grind it, rinse, wash, repeat until that leg drops down right where I need it.

What’s critical? All I care about is that fit on that saddle joint. The axle is pretty thick and that means lots of amps so if there’s gaps in that joint it will be a constant battle all the way. So I choose my battles wisely. I’d much rather have the slow battle of fitting that joint tight than the battle of welding gaps 2” off the floor. Know what I mean?

Here’s a video and some photos if you’re not into the time commitment of videos.


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Little Scrapper

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Building the rear landing gear leg (Piper plans) brackets today. I fell off my stool unfortunately and landed on my right shoulder. Lots of pain and may actually go to the emergency room if this pain doesn’t go away in the next couple hours. This could put a damper on things temporarily.

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Little Scrapper

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Both front landing gear legs done except for brake bracket. Tail wheel and spring ordered......back ordered. Starting on j3 bungee style shocks for the front gear. If the tail wheel and spring don’t arrive in time I’ll start on the rear empennage.
 

Little Scrapper

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Raw material cut. Just gotta make this look like the pictures. 😂

Gonna make a cool looking jig to cut the slot by hand and a jig to weld those little arms on. Gotta say, this is gonna be a fun project because I do this all on a bench and that just makes out for a relaxing little project.

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Little Scrapper

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It took me a couple hours of sketching and a couple beers but I think I have a plan on cutting those slots by hand.

The trick is to use the scrap mild steel from my scrap bin to make it because I don’t want to buy anything for a cheap jig. I’ll update with the final jig but here is one of my sketches.

Going to build a jig that fits tight and square. The a slot will be cut with a standard angle grinder and I’ll just wax the blade side and plunge as I ride the straight edge from the jig. Cheap and hopefully accurate. We’ll see. Success will be determined by the process order. Drill, mount, etc.

If i can make these slots the rest is a slam dunk.

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Little Scrapper

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Video update. Cutting the slots by hand with the jig idea was a total bust. Going to rethink my strategy on these over the next couple days.

In the mean time I’m putting that on hold and will be going over the plans to figure out the tail feathers. Need to make a material list and come up with a game plan on that whole situation. Pretty excited about building that because it will really start looking like a airplane.

 
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Little Scrapper

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Managed to skip ahead and build my rudder today. I’m waiting on 3 shipments of material. Everyone is out and backordered. I’m told homebuilts have really picked up which is good.

The plans call for bent up channel. I used 5/16” tube from the Cassutt leftover stock because that’s what I had on hand.

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Little Scrapper

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I received my springs from Aircraft Spruce, that’s it. Literally everything else is back ordered. I wasn’t expecting this. I’m waiting on lots of material including my entire tail wheel assembly and spring, Heim joints, tubing, pulleys, bolts etc.

So, where does that leave me? I was really trucking along and making great progress.

Wood perhaps? I need to remake my turtle deck because of a small mistake I made. I could make those stringers too. Fuel tank perhaps? Seat?

I’m happy home building has really picked up during this Covid experiment but man that sure put the brakes on for February. Keep trucking, maybe go to Wag Aero and get some material for the horizontal stab and cancel some back orders from Aircraft Spruce. We’ll see what I come up with.

Shop needs cleaning too.

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Little Scrapper

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Early this morning I managed to find time and mount the tail post (half welded).

Then this evening some material finally showed up from Aircraft Spruce so I jumped on the landing gear Vee.

Photos show how I’m doing this. After the Vee is welded I’ll mount the bracket using a level on the bolts. Gonna work as late as it takes to get this done tonight.
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Little Scrapper

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Lots of progress this afternoon.

I called in strips to be cut my my local supplier. They had them ready by 3:00 so I picked them up.

My son came home from school and met me at the shop and we pounded out all the ribs. It’s easy because like I said in the YouTube video all the details were worked out on the little practice pieces. The process documented on a index card so all that’s left was to follow through.

Slam dunk.

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