- Aug 14, 2019
- South Dakota
Found this tube notching browser app that can do up to nine tubes and you then print out the template for the cut.
The problem I found generating my own patterns from CAD was the frame sitting in front of you is rarely as perfect as the CAD drawing is. Which is exactly the thrill of hand building a plane. Your plane is very unique no matter how hard you try.
That is where the piece of paper wrapped around the tube and cut to fit comes in. If you have tons of money to blow OR you intend to build more than one, Pipemaster.
I personally like PipeMaster and a set of Wiss aviation snips. All you need after that is a pipe cutter and a nice air powered drill with a few bits. If you are still in the mood to buy after that you can't go wrong with a V-Drill portable guide.
How did you use the pipemaster? Can't use it while the tubes are laying in the jig with the plastic band. Did you use it like the videos I saw using two small scrap pieces on each end, raise the fuselage, get the profile and go from there?
My jigs are elevated considerably to what would be normally called for in Sonerai construction. In hard to reach places I use wood dowels and approximate the angle, give a little extra so I can work the tube into place. I never use a grinder, just the snips.
I think the one thing that has changed for me is desire for "perfect fit." The "perfect fit" disappears in a flash of light the moment you turn on the heat. Its like grinding the tube to fit and having these razor sharp edges that burn off the second you turn on the heat. How long did it take you to get that fit? All that work is gone now. Then the tube starts moving as it heats! Argh!
I spent some time watching mass production shops and how they work. The old Piper and actually most shops back in the day had templates. The template was a thicker tube that fit over the tube you wanted to cope. Then you used a large floor mounted nibbler with a rounded die. What was produced was straight edged and "close enough."
The new piper does still, I work there in Vero Beach Florida in the machine shop.In my shop we still use fixtures from the 60s for the Cherokee.Weld shop is the same