Quantcast

Starduster Too: Required Builder Skills

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,685
Location
USA.
Everybody says that, but I have yet to find a community college that offers a course in gas welding. Everything is MIG and TIG nowadays.
Same in my area. Its all geared to industrial, get it done , poor quality Mig and a little stick. Take the money and turn them out the door with no real skills.
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
12,301
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
What really helps with welding is to learn what to look at, and what it should look like. Scrapper’s videos are recommended.

wrt the difficulty of building a Starduster, it will require a wider variety of skills than, for example, assembling an RV or even scratch building an all wood or all aluminum airplane, but none is insurmountable. If one does not have a steady hand, the welding can be a challenge.

But when you are through, you will have a good looking and performing airplane.


BJC
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,685
Location
USA.
With a little good instruction and practice most anyone can learn to weld good enough to build a steel tube airframe if they really want to. Good close vision and a study hand helps. Scrapper's videos are great.
I have been welding since I was a teenager and now at 80 years old the JMR will be my last steel tube fuselage because my hands tend to get shaky if I'm not in a perfect relaxed position and I don't have the better than 20/20 close vision I used to have. Its all about puddle control, and you can't control it if you can't see it. I think it called "Moving West".
 

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
661
It’s actually quite simple it’s just like baking a loaf of bread

In a 10 foot long pan while holding a torch in one hand and the Frozen batter in the other.....
 

Wind&Water

New Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2020
Messages
4
Location
97FL- Weirsdale, FL
An excellent book to get that will show you the overall process of this build is “Building The Goldduster” by James McKeehan. From start to finish he shows everything involved in such a project.

Chris
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
I've seen some great deals on welded up fuselages. I've seriously considered this because it would cut down on the build time but when it comes down to it, I just enjoy learning new skills and take pride in knowing I did it myself (for better or worse). What you said about the small parts is true, it's amazing to see the big components come together and then realize it's only halfway complete!

Watch eBay, Barnstormers, Craigslist, etc (even HBA). Many builders get as far as a welded fuselage before deciding they would rather fly than build. You will frequently find projects for sale that already have the fuselage cut and welded, and often have extras like spars or ribs.
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
Great resources thanks! I wonder what my anxiety level will be when I'm at the 50th length of tubing and I nearly burn through it.

There are some welding books too. Richard Finch had one. The EAA store should have more. Also check out the EAA videos. Tip size is important as is comfortable eye protection. Patience with yourself is the most important thing.
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
Thanks, what a great project to enjoy with your dad!

The prints do not call out for any specific area to start the build. As I recall we started with the fuselage tacked up and welded then moved to ribs and top wing center section. While I worked mainly on ribs dad was welding and making control surfaces and we teamed up on the center section then it all becomes a blur do to the many many parts that went into the aircraft We never finished the craft due to the fact a fellow crop duster took over the build. It has always been one of my favorite planes and I guess that's why I still have a set of prints
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
Thanks Chris, I'll look out for it. In browsing various sites through the years the name "Goldduster" sounds familiar.

An excellent book to get that will show you the overall process of this build is “Building The Goldduster” by James McKeehan. From start to finish he shows everything involved in such a project.

Chris
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
Sportair is something I'll look into. Yes, a biplane is a big project for sure and watching sites like Barnstormers, it's obvious so many projects of every kind don't get completed for whatever reason. I've crossed over the half-century mark and don't have much else to distract me, so I feel like I have to do it or just spend the rest of my life looking back over my shoulder. I have an airplane I can fly now, renting, so it's not just a question of being in the air, the little Cherokee does that just fine. As far as restoration goes, I really want the Repairman Certificate, and knowing how I am, I will always be staring at someone else's Starduster thinking about how I would have done this and that differently. My brain is weird.

Sportair workshops are out there for gas welding and fabric covering. These classes are well worth the travel, time, and money. The skills are able to be acquired by many. Learning them is doable. Training in woodworking is much more widely available and also able to be acquired. The issues are primarily motivation and being conscientious.

All that being said, you have picked a big project that many have started but not finished.

I will suggest you start looking for one that has had a bunch already done or needs restoration. This will have a much higher probability of flying.

Billski
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
Funny, before posting this topic, I thought TIG was the way everyone was doing it these days but I'm surprised that Oxyacetylene is so popular. That's good from a cost standpoint I think? TIG is something I would like to try but going with whatever is reliable and easier to master is probably best for me. I've already started looking around for places offering workshops or classes, maybe as things begin to normalize there'll be more options. I'm definitely going to build. I spend most of my time in my workroom now doing numerous small things, so with more space in the future, comes more potential to create something more complex.

I took one and I’m glad I did. Maybe don’t be so quick to dismiss TIG. The majority of builders seem to have switched. I have found no community colleges that offer any kind of welding but have found that the local welding gas supplier offers TIG classes and the local “Metals Superstore” offers TIG classes. Also Toolbuilder is spot on with regards to buying vs building. Unless you really want to spend 3000 ish hours building there are plenty of projects or flying examples at pretty good prices.
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
I know age is relative but honestly, congratulations on doing what you're doing, it's really inspirational!

With a little good instruction and practice most anyone can learn to weld good enough to build a steel tube airframe if they really want to. Good close vision and a study hand helps. Scrapper's videos are great.
I have been welding since I was a teenager and now at 80 years old the JMR will be my last steel tube fuselage because my hands tend to get shaky if I'm not in a perfect relaxed position and I don't have the better than 20/20 close vision I used to have. Its all about puddle control, and you can't control it if you can't see it. I think it called "Moving West".
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
12,301
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
TIG is popular; if I were to start a tube fuselage (I’m not) I would use TIG. But keep in mind that you will need an OA torch for shaping and aligning the fittings.


BJC
 

scramjetter

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
42
OK, that makes sense, I hadn't thought about it that way.

TIG is popular; if I were to start a tube fuselage (I’m not) I would use TIG. But keep in mind that you will need an OA torch for shaping and aligning the fittings.


BJC
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,685
Location
USA.
I like welding the 4130 tube fuselages with TIG the best, ( easier for the thinner tubing for me ). But, even if you do the welding with TIG, you will also need a OA torch as BJC says.

When you start making welds that you are proud of, you will enjoy the process.
 

GeeZee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
113
Location
Indianapolis, IN
If you are going OA check out TM Technologies: Tools, Sheet Metal Shaping Machines, & Gas Welding Supplies for Better Metalworking
they sell a (claimed) safer welding goggle as well as some nice torches, etc.
I’m at about the same stage as you. I have TIG machine and I’m trying to Teach myself to weld. I have a tiny OA set (the ones that come in the blow molded carrier). That would be used to heat and bend longerons, etc. After visiting tinmantech and watching the vids I thought for sure I wanted to gas weld a fuse. Virtually all the welders I know said to go TIG. I’m still torn. I can tell you one thing I’m darned tired of regrinding tungsten after dipping it in the puddle!
 

Toobuilder

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
5,011
Location
Mojave, Ca
Everybody says that, but I have yet to find a community college that offers a course in gas welding. Everything is MIG and TIG nowadays.
Fair enough, but YouTube will get you 90% of the way there, and used OA equipment is a small financial investment. Buy some used equipment, watch some "how to" videos, and burn some metal! It's not hard, but practice is the key. The sooner one starts, the sooner one can weld.
 

don january

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
2,978
Location
PO Box 302 Michigan N.D. 58259 Midwest
After feeding my family by welding for over 30 years I can tell you the few difference between Tig and O/A. One is you CAN control temperature by thumb or foot with the Tig second is you can do Alum and Stainless with Tig. But both types of welding is done by heat and feeding rod into the puddle so speed movement becomes a factor because of heat. The safest thing I found is with O/A you can do it with or without sunglasses but if tried with a Tig you best plan on having some sore eyes or worse yet no site at all. To add I'd make sure you have more then just a Hacksaw and welder on any aircraft build. Also remember both types of welding take the same method so comfort and position is the main deciding factor on the quality of your bead which in turn determines the quality of your weld
 
Top