Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Starting the fuselage

The fuselage on this beast is beautiful, and intimidating at the same time.  I was now far enough on the wings that I needed to create something new, so the fuselage was up next.

There are a number of ways that I could have built the fuselage, but I chose the crutch method mainly because I've always wanted to build a fuselage like this, and what better time than now.  Besides, there are no instructions to tell me that I'm doing it right or wrong, so the crutch method it was.

The first thing I did was lay the plan out on my drywall board and mark the former locations with a finishing nail.  By nailing down through the plan and numbering the marks, I could remove the plan and lay it out for reference without covering it up.  In this case, I taped it to the door of my workshop.

After getting the formers marked on the board, I needed to build the crutch system.  First, I taped a straight edge to the door that connected the main wheel to the bottom of the fin which creates a perfectly level and even edge at the bottom of the fuselage.  Then I measured from the line to the bottom of the former on the plan, and recorded that on a notepad.

After that, I cut some risers and base pieces for the crutch system.  I had some scrap hardwood and composite board that had nice straight edges.  I cut them up according to my measurements, glued and screwed them together, then mounted them to the board according to my nail marks.  In order to ensure a nice straight fuselage, I also setup my laser line and marked each crutch center line as I screwed them down to the board.

Next, the formers......

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