Sunday, May 31, 2009


May 31, 2009

Today I had a very productive day sanding. Using both the belt sander and the palm sander and 80 grit/60 grit sandpaper (respectively), I knocked out just about all the major sanding of the components. There is still a few parts left to sand, but the bulk of it is complete. I also discovered that I missed cutting out a part that supports the propeller shaft, but it's a hidden piece that doesn't need much sanding.

I glued the nose bowl pieces together using Gorilla glue, and I'll start sanding that into shape tomorrow.

I was able to get some of the more complex curves and sanding completed too, which eliminates the need to go to base to use the wood shop's equipment. There are a few tricky bevels left to sand, but I have been successfully using the belt sander on it's side as a table sander. The windshield supports, the landing gear doors, and the fuselage doublers/supports all have bevels or complex curves, and I was able to use the sander quite easily on these.

I've got an idea to use a aluminum model airplane spinner for a giant scale P-51 instead of trying to shape one, paint it, etc. This will save quite a bit of time with sanding; however, the trade-off is that it's a little more expensive, but way more durable. Since this is essentially a larger scale model airplane, I think it will work very well. I can have them special cut the spinner to fit the PVC blades too. I'll still have some wood inside of the spinner, but this way it will be flawless in appearance and therefore adding to the visual appeal. Check out the spinner here (

Tomorrow the plan is to go back over everything with filler (where applicable) and hit it with the 120 grit sand paper, and to also route out the fuselage "Dado" cuts using the Dremel with a router bit. Immediately after this, I will start the fuselage bending process. This involves a iron with a steam function, buckets of water, and lots of wet rags. This is one of the longer processes in this build (aside from the spinner) so once that is done, it should be all down hill from there.

Tomorrow I also conclude the Tail choice. so far I have only had one suggestion, which is the stubby tail.

Lastly, once I get my paycheck situation squared away, the sheetmetal, pedal, and decal kits will be ordered (with a rush) and hopefully they will be in sooner than later.

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