T&F Fabrication Practice Jig

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BJC

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The Pitts-like one-piece upper wing will have better lift and less drag. It will be easier to build because of fewer parts, and the cabanes are a good reference for three point rolls. The only reason, IMO, to build a three piece, would be the lack on a workshop that will accommodate the one piece wing.


BJC
 

wwalton

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Oh interesting that makes sense. And I read that the one piece wing isn't one piece until the almost final step in building it. I'm blessed with a good sized shop so maybe I'll just build the one piece. Thanks for those thoughts.
 

Little Scrapper

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You are definitely killin it. For just starting your welds are way above average.

Are you having fun? That’s key. this week has been pretty tough for me. Lots of life things going on. Can’t wait to hit the airplane hard this weekend.

Any control stick parts? Tail parts? There’s gotta be someplace small to start making some small fittings. it maybe build a fuselage table? Start some layout in between welding practice?

Regardless, I love updates.
 

wwalton

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Oh yeah build a table...so I tried to order some LP smart siding from Lowes and they can't do it. I will have to go into the store and try again. But I have been stuck on the idea of using that smart siding and having a table on saw horses as opposed to what I have now which is a monster with old MDF on top. I built this one out of 4 bys and added a shelf which is full of crap now so the whole thing is just too bulky for my shop. I have to keep all the vehicles going so I can't devote the whole shop to the Skybolt. So a more portable option on saw horses would be great. I already have two Cassutt wings and Fuses hanging from the ceiling.

I will order the siding and get plywood for the top and bottom. What plywood did you use? Looked like 3/4"?

Parts wise I can only see the former and turtle deck tangs to build that are simple. I may start with those.

I hear ya on life things getting busy. I'm going back to work Sunday and in a way I'll be glad to get back on the road. Too much time at home can be as bad as not enough. Absence make the heart grow fonder. Familiarity breeds contempt.

I had a lot planned for this afternoon but my allergies kicked in and wrecked it. I tacked a jig with a respirator on trying to beat the pollen. We'll see how tomorrow goes with allergy medicine.

Forgot to say YES I'm having fun. Actually about as much fun as a old guy can have.
Thanks
 

Tench745

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Just wanted to chime in and say I'm watching this with great interest. As soon as I finish up my wings I'll need to practice my gas welding and start in on welding the tail of my Jr Ace. Made this up to help hold things in place for welding. Interesting welding practice and a useful tool. Mine is made from failed test bends in 3/4" .028 wall tube and an old nail.
IMG_1367[1].JPG
 

wwalton

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That looks like a very useful tool. I've been using all sorts of items to hold tubes while I tack them. I melted the tips of a spring clamp already.

I like how your tool pinches down to the nail diameter. I see that on a lot of plans, something to try. Heat and squeeze with a vise or hammer?

Thanks
 

Little Scrapper

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Just wanted to chime in and say I'm watching this with great interest. As soon as I finish up my wings I'll need to practice my gas welding and start in on welding the tail of my Jr Ace. Made this up to help hold things in place for welding. Interesting welding practice and a useful tool. Mine is made from failed test bends in 3/4" .028 wall tube and an old nail.
View attachment 97472
Nice! I like this!
 

Tench745

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That looks like a very useful tool. I've been using all sorts of items to hold tubes while I tack them. I melted the tips of a spring clamp already.

I like how your tool pinches down to the nail diameter. I see that on a lot of plans, something to try. Heat and squeeze with a vise or hammer?

Thanks
For the end I just crushed it in a vice, tacked the nail in, hammered the end to final size, and finish welded it. Welding a big chunk of steel to really thin tube seemed like a good test of my heat control. I've seen welding fingers/third hands made from all kinds of materials. Two examples included below.

 

TFF

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The big reason you don’t see a lot of three piece wings is the mod came late in the design. It was really attached to the radial version but was made an option to the regular. I would probably build the three piece. 24 ft wing is pretty big if you have to store it.

Building any biplane today is a calling. It use to be a staple but aluminum and composite took over, making monoplanes more viable with the performance.

Someday I’m going to get some of those finger rests.
 

wwalton

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That Tig Finger looks like a good idea. I'm learning to pile stuff up and find a way to rest my bottom two fingers on something to slide across. It's comical how much more time I spend getting the tubes locked in place and then building my hand rest than I do actually welding that 1/8 of the diameter. I did 4 tube welds today and that took easily an hour each, but I never claimed to be quick.

Oh and thanks for those thoughts on the 3 piece wing TFF. I just read a thread on The Biplane Forum and now I'm back on the fence. I think you commented there on the differences. Oh well I have time to worry about that.
20200605_151657.jpg20200605_142709.jpg20200605_142656.jpg
 

wwalton

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#5 just moments of decent looking welds but still working on it.
20200611_082717.jpg20200611_082722.jpg

Had to go back to work so it will be slower, but it's too much fun to stop. I spent the majority of my last trip mentally welding, funny they looked better in my head. It is nice when you feel like you've made some progress. But just don't ask about #2-4.
 

BJC

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Take some of those welded Tees, put the run piece in a big vice, and beat the vertical section with a big hammer. If the weld holds up when you completely smash the vertical tube, then you will know that you are at the stage of working on aesthetics.

Looks good to me, but I’m not the expert.


BJC
 

TFF

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It’s looking good. Make one, and slice it down the middle, and another, beat it apart. There are a lot worse out there flying right now. A lot worse. It’s quite good.
At some point you just have to move on to the real thing. Once it’s safe and solid, the rest is just day to day. Good days, bad days. The real secret is you can recognize it, stop and take a break, and come back later.
You could weld 4000 times until you step over to the real deal, but that’s crazy. You have learned to ride the bike, the choice is to ride down the street or stay in the driveway.
Building in 3 D is the next test. And there are plenty more after that. Looks like you can do it to me.
 

wwalton

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Thanks BJC and TFF for those comments and encouragement. I'm seeing some improvements for sure.

Okay so I made a test piece 5/8" .035 welded in a 90 degree T to 3/4" .035. Tried to beat it apart but just managed to bend up the part that was in the vise. I did get a few really good hits on it with the ball peen then switched to a small sledge. I will have to come up with a better way to hold the piece and hit it. I decided to cut it apart afterwards.

I'm very impressed with the strength of this 4130. Not sure of my welds but nothing moved.





testp1.jpgtestp1a.jpgtestp1d.jpg20200611_152659.jpg
20200611_153926.jpg20200611_153904.jpg
 

wwalton

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Another test piece and I figured out how to mount it in the vise to hit the coped tube, did this one quick fit and welding was not my best effort....
20200611_183614.jpg20200611_183619.jpg20200611_184016.jpg20200611_184142.jpg20200611_184153.jpg20200611_184231.jpg
20200611_184254.jpg

It finally broke with the sledge hammer. Even using the weaker looking weld side it broke in the HAZ. I suppose that's normal. It took 6 or more direct hits with the large (24oz) ball peen and only flattened the tube. Crazy strong stuff.
 
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wwalton

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When you criticize yourself remember it’s not personal, you are criticizing because you have a goal you want to achieve. Too many people in this world are hard on themselves and instead of saying “ok I need to solve my heat issue, here’s how this breaks down” they something to themselves like “I’m just not meant for this, I’m not a welder”. That’s not good. Treat yourself like your someone you care about. Hold a photo up of a airplane and say “I will get this, I just need to make enough mistakes to figure it out” Be a self advocate, the EAA is literally set up so people can be self advocates and learn.

When I feel defeated I hold a photo and stare at it, that’s why my shop has photos in it. Understand your mission before putting that hood on. Look at photos and remind yourself you’re just like all of us trying to do the best we can. Mistakes are important, it’s a tool for learning.
Okay so now I'm going to start trying to grade these. Obviously I've been doing some grading along the way but I haven't applied the standard that Scrapper laid out up till now.

#7 My idea is to just have a little piece of paper with the criteria on it for each assembly. 5 points per criteria with deductions for errors. The problem is I'm comparing to an imaginary perfect job which I'm not capable of yet? Oh well I can see room for improvement and in the long run my grading may be harsh or easy but will get better with time. Another issue is I can judge my position also from my memory of doing the weld. I know on this one I pushed my position at least twice on the sides because I didn't want to stop and switch hands. Fair game but since all of it is a bit ugly it's hard to see.
20200612_155704.jpg
Of course deciphering my writing is a whole other matter.
T/T is tube to tube T/P is tube to plate.
This one was much better for distance, I used one tungsten for the whole assy and kept it tight enough on the T/P to not involve the edge at all.
20200612_145936.jpg20200612_145915.jpg20200612_145904.jpg

So I ended up with -8 Pts or 17 out of 25. I know I'm no expert so it's like a blind man judging a bikini contest but it's a start.
Feel free to give me your score. Be nice I'm new.
 

Little Scrapper

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You’re doing extremely well. Keep at it.

Any issues you’re having are positioning issues and lack of practice. You’re very very close! I’m not gonna critique or offer opinions becauseall you need is a little more practice. Very impressed!

The greatest ball striker in the history of Golf is Moe Norman. 800 balls a day 7 days a week. YouTube him. You’ll be glad you did. He found his unique swing and practiced it. That’s all.
 

wwalton

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Scrapper I appreciate it. Honestly I can't remember when I've had so much fun. Granted I would like to see more progress but I know it will come along. I already can sit and weld comfortably knowing I won't burn through and probably make a safe weld. Hugh difference from even a week ago. So now it's getting all the moving parts to come together and bring it up to a higher quality level.

Thanks again.
 

Little Scrapper

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Scrapper I appreciate it. Honestly I can't remember when I've had so much fun. Granted I would like to see more progress but I know it will come along. I already can sit and weld comfortably knowing I won't burn through and probably make a safe weld. Hugh difference from even a week ago. So now it's getting all the moving parts to come together and bring it up to a higher quality level.

Thanks again.
You started this thread May 29th. Think about that! That’s it, look what you’re capable of in such a short time! Imagine what lays ahead for you, it’s limitless. You’re limitless. For centuries people have tried to figure out human potential and they can’t, it can’t be calculated because it’s literally endless.

Imagine what your welds would look like if you welded 1 pure straight and honest hour of actual welding each day for just the next 7 days? Can you imagine, this is all that’s holding people back from building. A couple weeks of fun. Wake up at 5:00’and get r done!

Keep at it Walt. Can’t wait to see what your welds look like by next Friday. It’s gonna be awesome!
 
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