Friday, May 29, 2009

Headway and setbacks

May 29, 2009

After duty this morning, I got to working on the project. Unfortunately, a snafu with my paycheck is going to possibly delay the purchase of the hardware kit, sheet metal kit, and the spinner/decals kits. I'm going to press on regardless and see what I can finish.

Today, I finished cutting out all of the plywood parts, started the 3/4" pine parts, and did some sanding. I started off with the palm sander with 60 grit paper on the empennage. This did a wonderful (remarkable!) job on smoothing out the plywood, but not without issues. The filler that I applied yesterday came out well on most of the parts, but some of them became obvious that it would not work for aesthetics. The rudder, for example, needs to be redone. This is good because it will allow me to contrast and compare the two different rudders. Also, the filler on the fuse made it clear that it was not going to work as well, but I was out of wood. I'm also questioning if I will redo the wings, but I think I can get the bad side on the bottom to hide the knots, filler, and blemishes.

One thing that I have not read anywhere on the plans, instructions, or on Allister's P-51's website; is that you can in fact use one sheet of ply for all the parts. If you are careful in both the selection of the wood, and cutting out the parts and making best use of the wood, it can be done. So off to Home Depot again to get another sheet of plywood.

My highly illegal way of getting that full sheet of plywood back to my house. So with a camera at the ready, I got another sheet!

Yes, I really drove home like this! I passed 4 cops even, maybe it's not illegal? Either way, not one of my smartest plans. I could not safely secure it to my roof.

I also picked up a 3/4" sheet of pine for some of those parts, and some dowels as prescribed on the plans. Since I decided to buy the spinner kit, that cuts back on the size of sheet I needed. $18 more can be added to the total of the project. I actually got help this time by a very patient young man with a European accent. I wanted to ask him if he was from New Jersey, but I went about my business instead.

I got crafty and brought a clock radio along with a power strip out to my shed. The previous owner was in the process of wiring the shed, but never finished. I planned on getting around to it until I discovered the the shed leaks when it rains. That tin roof is crap! So I run a 100' long extension cord from my utility room to the shed, and to that is a 3 outlet strip. Unfortunately, all I could get was 94.9 The Point on it, and they were playing fruity music. I'm sure that had my neighbors scratching their heads!

My sauna (aka "shed") made it difficult to trace the patterns on the wood as my sweat was soaking the plans. You can see how bad I'm sweating in the pictures. As stated yesterday, I did not want to cut up the plans, but I found that a broad-tipped Sharpie marker would seep through the plans and onto the wood. After that, I could remove the plans and use a straight edge and a pencil/marker and go back over the lines.

After about 4 hours of tracing, cutting, routing, and some sanding, I called it a day. Weather is moving in and I was drenched with sweat. I plan on sanding for the next few days, so I most likely will not post an update for a few days.

One last note, Norm Abrams would be proud that I'm wearing safety glasses when I cut/route/sand!

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