Monday, June 1, 2009

More Progress

June 1, 2009

Ideally less than 30 days left (July 1st may be my move day!) to get the picture taken. I now suspect I will be short the metal kits, but I'll do my very best to get everything as close as I can to finishing.

Well, since only one person (Jason) answered my call for advice, and I get 51% of the vote, I decided to split the difference between the two tails. I sanded the taller tail down some so it was a compromise between the two. I just don't like the "stubbiness" of the "D" tail in this kit, but on the real deal, I like the "D" over the Cavalier's. Interesting.

This morning I put the dado cuts in the parts that needed them. I used a scrap piece of ply and two bar clamps to hold it in place while I used my Dremel routing bit and guard. I don't remember the depth but it was basically 3/16" deep.

Cutting the "Dado's" with the Dremel

That went well, so I decided to move on to the steaming of the fuse to get the bends in it. This was just like bending balsa wood to make model airplanes, and that was fairly straight forward. using an ordinary iron that you use for cloths on the highest setting (with steam) I ran the iron over the wood and slowly the weighted ends started dropping. I used some brute force after a while but it all went well to get the shape. I used some of the remaining floor tile, floor sealer bucket, and a bucket of water to keep the weight on to hold the bend.

Steaming the fuselage

I was a little impatient with this process, after about 4 hours, I took it off the mold and let one side dry on the porch while I did the other side. After another 3 hours, and extra steam from the iron, I removed the other side and let it dry on the front porch too.

While those were both drying, I sanded the "flight" surfaces and rounded the edges as described in the plans. I noticed some blemishes that were missed in sanding, and I'm opting to not fill them in right now, as before I apply the sanding sealer and primer, I plan on scraping some Bondo on everything as suggested by my uncle Jason, and as seen on that plane the other day. It's a toy, and it will get beat up, but I'd like it to look good for a few days!

Using Gorilla Glue, I carefully glued the tail together. I forgot that the glue expands as it cures, but luckily I had rags close by.

Gotta Love Gorilla Glue, if not just for the name!

No word from Zinger Propellers on the spinner, but I will still go with that over turning one. This will save me A LOT of time and aggravation, and will look great too!

Before calling it a day, I assembled the P-51 for "shiggles" without glue or screws.

I still have to cut out the air scoop under the fuse and drill a bunch of holes for dowels and screws, and sand down other things, but I can see it all coming together finally!


  1. Any reason why you aren't just using regular wood glue?

  2. Actually, there is a good reason for not using regular wood glue, even though the plans state that is works fine.

    I like Gorilla glue, it's stronger, last longer, and also acts as a filler. It is a wood glue, just a stronger wood glue. Gorilla glue expands 4-5 times the size of the bead you put down, and it acts as a filler as well as well. This way, I'm killing two birds with one stone for some parts, but making a mess on others (it sands well though). Those three reason (for me) justify using Gorilla glue, but to each their own!

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