# Ragwing RW19 wood and fabric Stork (Storch)

Discussion in 'Member Project Logs' started by John wadman, Jul 26, 2019.

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1. Jul 26, 2019

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Well, this is my third wood and fabric aircraft. . . kind of. My first was a Light Miniature Aircraft LM something or other. . . it was a two seat Taylorcraft replica which I thought was 87% scale but when I wikipedia it I think it claims it was a 75% replica. Whatever. It was cool, had a Revmaster 65 hp 4 stroke and weighed in at just under 500 lbs.

I started building a new plane. . . something inexpensive that will get me back into the air and having fun once again. Being that I am a woodworker by trade and have all of the shop equipment, I stuck with wood and fabric. I chose the Ragwing RW6 sport parasol. I'm a 6 foot 160 lb pilot with long legs so I chose the stretch version and added a wing bay to each wing and an extra bay to the fuselage length. That plane is sitting in the garage waiting to do firewall forward. She has been assembled and rigged, wings removed, covered and painted and I have the 45 hp 1/2 VW on order from Scott Casler. Had no idea he had such a backlog or I would have ordered the motor a year ago. The plane was pretty much ready for firewall forward when I made the call 5 months ago. Hopefully by the end of next month Scott will have my motor ready.

My oldest son came to me and told be he's been watching STOL competitions and STOL flying Vlogs and sent me a link to a video. He said he wanted to build a STOL so I started researching them. I ran across a really short youtube of a homebuilt RW19 by Roger Mann from 1997 or something like that. That plane got off the ground in literally 30 feet. . . I was immediately interested. I bought the plans for $25. . . yep, that's right, just$25. Here's the deal, Ragwing plans are . . . mmmmmmincomplete. They aren't what I would recommend for the first time builder. But, you can build a plane from them. . . if you practice common sense homebuilt technique and know people who have built aircraft such as LMAs, Fishers, Teams, etc. Building the Ragwinds is doable. Everybody says, "Get the videos from Ragwing too!" I'm ordering the videos.

I'm not much for procrastinating so since we can't finish the parasol for at least a couple of months and can't even really work on it right now, we started on the wing ribs for the Stork. Here's day two of partime work. Started by picking out three bards of sweet looking clear vertical grained Bald Cypress. Check the specs out on Bald Cypress and compare them to Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir, both proven aircraft woods. We ripped the boards on the table saw into 5/16" x 3/4" strips and then, using a feathering bard to hold the strips tightly to the fence, we ripped those strips into two 5/16" strips for making the stick built ribs. We then cut enough pieces of each stick in the rib to fabricate 30 complete ribs using the chopsaw and a stop block clamped to the fence at the various lengths.

Next I found a scrap piece of 3/4" shop ply to use as a mold for the ribs. I set it up for building two ribs at a a time. (see photo) I recommend you make two patterns in a mirror image of each other so you can have right wing and left wing ribs. (I didn't do this because my scrap piece of ply was too small) Remember, the ribs at each end of ailerons and flaps require a hinge strap so they have to be built right side and left side. By laying out the double rib pattern in a butterfly or mirror image it's easier.

Next I transferred the paper patterns for rib trailing edge filler blocks and gussets, leading edge ribs and slot leading edge ribs onto some scrap 3/4" melamine board and then cut them out with a jig saw and sanded them smooth on the disc sander. These now can be pinned with a pin nailer to pieces of the appropriate thicknesses of aircraft ply. I then used a trim router and a flush trim bit with a ball bearing guide to cut the ply pieces out. By using this method every single piece comes out exactly the same. I'll show some of the parts that I cut in the next installment.

2. Aug 5, 2019

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was having problems with my builders log but looks like it might be sorted out. Still building wing ribs daily 2 per day. Today I built the mold for laminating the slot leading edge. I had previously built the mold for the actual leading edges and posted it under the same heading as this build log. If I still have that photo I'll repost it here.

3. Aug 6, 2019

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Woo hoo, my log is fixed! I can continue now. Today I built the second mold for the slot plywood skins. This one is for the concave aft side. It is exactly 41 11/16” long as that is the length of each piece that fits between the extended leading edge ribs to that hold the slot leading edge in place.

4. Aug 7, 2019

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Got two more wing ribs built tonight. Nine down, 15 left to build. I'm going back to the wood supply tomorrow as they just got in a new shipment of clear 1 x 6 boards in 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16' lengths. Feeling lucky!

5. Aug 7, 2019

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Today I whipped out the trailing edge gussets for the remaining 15 ribs with the router. I found a partial sheet of 1/8” aircraft ply left over from the RW 6 build in the plywood rack at the shop. My partner told me I had a sheet of aircraft ply left over in the rack and asked me if I wanted it. What kind of a question is THAT? I mean, seriously, who asks, “Hey, do you want that sheet of aircraft ply that’s in the rack?” Anyway, I got lucky and was able to cut out all of the rib pieces. Trick: If you shoot the first piece of 1/8” ply to the pattern with 1/2” pins in the pin gun, put about 7 pins around the perimeter of the pattern, and router it, then you can “peel” the 1/8” part off of the pattern and leave the little pins protruding. NOW you can position the pattern on your 1/8” blanks and press straight down firmly and stick the pattern to the next 1/8” blank. No fuss, no muss! I pushed the pattern on, turned it over and drilled a hole in the lightening hole area with a spade bit just big enough to fit the router but bearing into and routed the lightening hole first. Then I just ran the router around the perimeter and, bingo! Done. Just peel the piece off and repeat. In the photos you can see the pattern, the rib trailing edge gussets and look closely at the pattern edge photo closeup and you'll see the pins sticking up. I’m finished with this pattern now but I’ll save it in case I build another RW or I have a ground loop etc and have to repair or rebuild a wing. BUT, I will now go to the belt sander and sand these pins flush so I don’t get poked! Those little things will rip you! Put nice little 1/8”deep gashes in your body! No fun! Be safe in the shop!

6. Aug 7, 2019

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I also added a stapler strip to the aft edge of the slot mold. This will allow me to really keep the ply veneers together. I’m going to try to mold one without a vacuum
bag and see if I can get good adhesion and surface pressure with just the curve of the veneers touching each other. In a flat panel I wouldn’t even bother trying this but in a curved panel it just might work.

7. Aug 9, 2019

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WOO HOO, the UPS guy delivered the 10 pound barbell weights to the door this evening. I'll be doing those wood destruction tests this weekend. The poor guy lugged three boxes stacked on top of each other from the van and I met him at the door.
He said, " that seems like a lot more then 10 pounds in each box".

I asked, "Is that it or do you have 7 more boxes? ( I ordered ten 10 pound weights)"

"nope, that's it but maybe they got separated at the warehouse and will come tomorrow."
As he headed down the driveway I peeled open the top box to find three weights in that box. Two boxes had three weights and one box had four in them. He lugged the full 100 pounds up in one load thinking that the packing slip said 10 pound weight. He must not have seen the quantity.

I yelled after him." Hey, the boxes had more than one weight. You just lugged 100 pounds of weights. You can skip the upper body workout at the gym tonight!"

8. Aug 9, 2019

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The nice thing about these ten pound weights is their physical size. They stack
Nicely in a 5-gallon bucket and leave plenty of room for more sand weight to fill in around them. I should be able to get 135 lbs of weight in the bucket. Hope the handle doesn’t break before the wood samples!

9. Aug 10, 2019

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"Well, we have a problem Houston!" I only received 9 of my 10 ten-pound weights, so I gently put those 90 pounds in the bucket and started adding sand. Got to 138 pounds and no room to continue. As you can see, we were getting close, but no failure. The wood was deflecting and starting to creak but no breaky-breaky. So I'm trying to track down my tenth weight but thinking that still isn't going to be enough to break wood. This was the solid 3/4 x 3/4 piece too. The other five samples are all laminated and should be stronger still. I'm going to order 6 more weights. I'm going to break wood if I have to buy enough weights to start a gymnasium!

10. Aug 10, 2019

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Missing weights, failure to break wood aren’t my only problems. Having IT problems too. Had to go to my I phone to post the photo. It’s been a technologically bad day!

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11. Aug 10, 2019

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Missing weights, failure to break wood aren’t my only problems. Having IT problems too. Had to go to my I phone to post the ohoti

12. Aug 12, 2019

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Building wing ribs is the most tedious part of building a plane. But watching the stack grow taller feels like an accomplishment! Two more on the jig.I normally use a pin gun with short monel pins and leave the pins in. I loaned my compressor and guns to a friend to trim
His house so am back to staples. . . Extra work to remove staples and leaves bigger holes. Also much more apt to split the wood!

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13. Aug 16, 2019

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Two more ribs on the jig. I got my pin gun back! A strong word of advice: invest in a small compressor and a pin nailer (23 gauge)! Staples is the common acceptable method but once you nail your gussets on with a pin nailer you’ll never use staples again. They are a pain in the you-know-where to remove and damage the “sticks” and leave hikes in the gussets. The few ribs I did with the staples will be fine but the pins are so much better! Quicker too! And easier to control gussets from sliding as you’re pressing down to pin. The gussets want to slide all over in the glue when you try to apply pressure with the stapler!

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14. Aug 16, 2019

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I also milled some nice pieces of wood for the empennage today. I cut nice vertical grained 1/8” strips for the rudder and elevators and the 3/4” x 1” for the fin/stabilizer. I’m toying with the idea of building them With foil shapes just like the real Storch. Google Fleiseler Storch giant scale plans. There is a guy in Europe that builds georgeous 1/3 scale Storchs. I’m going to build my wing roots like his models and probably the tail surfaces too. Check it out!

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15. Aug 16, 2019

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I’ve got all eight end ribs done (almost) for the ailerons/flaps. Just laid these two up which , when I remove them and add gussets to the other side, will bring me to 15 ribs completed. Only 11 to go! So nice to have my pin gun back. These are 5/16 x 5/16 sticks and I’m using both 1/16” and 1/8” gussets. I shoot the gussets on with 1/2” 23 gauge pins which I believe are the shortest available from Porter Cable. If they exist, 3/8” pins would actually be better! Look at photo one with pins. Now look at that mess in photo two with staples! Alright! Screw it! It printed photo one and photo two out of order. But you can see the difference!

16. Aug 16, 2019

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Some of you are probably looking at the grain in that piece of “scrap wood” I used to make the straight edge fence and saying, “ Holy Crap! I can’t believe he wasted such a nice piece of wood for a fence!” You should take the time to hand select EVERY PIECE OF WOOD that goes into your airframe and each piece should be good enough to make a longeron or a spar cap from! It’s doable! It’s like hunting or fishing. . . First, you have to go to places where there is going to be fish or game and then you have to be Observant AND patient! Some days you get nothing and other days the hunting or fishing is good and you bring home a nice board. Then there are those days that you bring home an ice chest full of nice boards. . . Uh, fish!

17. Aug 17, 2019 at 11:56 PM

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Ran out of 1/16” ply gussets. Got lucky and scored five sheets of 12” x 24” 1/32” ply at Michaels crafts. If you get coupons off the website on the internet you get a 40 percent discount on one item each purchase. Now I’m
Not suggesting that you make five trips from the work truck in the parking lot to the wood rack in Michaels and purchase them
One at a time with a new coupon off the internet each time but . . . I ended up paying about \$8 each for them. You guys do the math! I’ll vacuum bag two of them together and cut my gussets out of that. Next topic: wood failure testing! I stopped by Wallymart and bought eight more 10lb weights. Plus the missing weight from online order arrived. So I have 160 lbs of weights and can still add sand. When I tried the test before I got to 138lbs I believe and had deflection on the solid stick sample but no failure. However, it looked like the bucket handle was real close to failure. So I did some R&D on the bucket. Check it out! I feel confident that I’m going to be breaking some wood sticks tonight. Pretty excited to know that I’m going to get to destroy something . . . Even if it is just some sticks!

18. Aug 18, 2019 at 2:28 AM

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Okay, here are the results of the failure tests: I’m not confident that the first two pieces tested properly and will be retesting pieces cut from same board. Here’s why: I had already tried to fatigue to failure test those two and they both showed deflection which may have (probably) weakened them. But the other four samples are interesting and are giving honest readings. I’ll leave this here but I will retest those two ASAP and repost results. The two photos tell what each piece is and at how many lbs it broke. The one photo shows the end grain so you can better understand what properties the laminates had. Theoretically the first should have been the weakest BUT the second one should have been at least stronger than both scarfed pieces. I actually expected it to be the strongest! I’m going to do four more sticks. The first two will be the test base sticks 3/4” x 3/4” solid but one will be tested with the end grain horizontal and the other vertical. Then two pieces with horizontal grain, three layers of 1/4”. One of those will be tested with grain horizontal and one with grain vertical to load. I think if you click
On the photos you can see the end grain better.

19. Aug 18, 2019 at 2:36 AM

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Okay, here are the results of the failure tests: I’m not confident that the first two pieces tested properly and will be retesting pieces cut from same board. Here’s why: I had already tried to fatigue to failure test those two and they both showed deflection which may have (probably) weakened them. But the other four samples are interesting and are giving honest readings. I’ll leave this here but I will retest those two ASAP and repost results. The two photos tell what each piece is and at how many lbs it broke. The one photo shows the end grain so you can better understand what properties the laminates had.

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20. Aug 18, 2019 at 2:41 AM

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