The Dragonfly

Last Update-03/13/2010 01:41 AM

1/15/2007 ( From the STAB page)

Here are the all the form blocks cut out for the stabilizer and elevator.






Utilizing my newly made 51 mm flanging tool, I got the elevator spar holes cut and flanged.






Here is a shot of the flanging process.  After I get done with the press, I lay the whole affair on the concrete floor and  give each hole a whack with a 3 lb dead blow hammer to the tool.  This makes the flange "pop" and gives a nice sharp appearance.                                                          









The tip rib will attach to this angle.





Now that wasn't too bad.  It only took a few hours to actually assemble the skeleton for the elevator.  Now the fun part, the skin!





Tonight I completed the elevator hinges and stab mounts out of .063 6061-T6.  Man I love my stomp shear.  If you don't have one, buy one NOW!  Sell a toy,  you and your spouses wedding rings or something to get yourself a shear!  I'm sure he or she would understand.




Looks like its about time to get the skin ready.  Today, I another sheet of .016 6061-T6 4' x 12'.

On the right is the metal cut into size for the elevator skin.





I discovered a neat trick while cutting the skin for the elevator.  I decided to just use the old hand snippers to cut the piece out.  I remembered reading about people using a knife to cut the thin sheet metal used on the skins so I tried it.  Well, the box knife I tried doing this with made a nice score but would not penetrate the sheet so I went back to the 'ol Popeye arm producing snips.  As I was cutting along the scored line, I realized the snips were acting more like a shear  tearing/shearing right at the score producing a beautiful line with hardly no snip marks.  You barely had to guide the snip, they just seemed to glide along the score line. I'll cut all the rest of my long pieces using this method.


On the left, the score mark created with the box knife.  On the right is a close up of the cut using the snips along the score line. NICE!  Try this, you'll love it!.





Now that the sheet is cut for the elevator skin I need to bend on and 18 degree flange 18mm wide along the top, trailing edge of the sheet.  Time to pull out the, awesome,  bad to the bone 8 foot homemade brake.  Since I cant clamp down the sheet from the back with the long portion to the rear, I needed to add some front extension arms to support the sheet while clamping and bending.  I just decided to add some cedar fence slats to the leaf in order to support the sheet.


Here is a bottom view looking up at the added support leafs with the sheet lying on top.







After about a 30 minute fight climbing onto my bench in order to get to the back to clamp down the radius bar, I got the flange bent.  This brake works great.






The skin and the skeleton finally come together after a good pressing using the method called out in the plans.  The plans method for bending the nose radius works great, but you need to have help to avoid kinking the skin.  PLEASE DO NOT TRY AND BEND THE NOSE RADIUS BY YOURSELF!  My wife braved the 50 foot , 19 degree outside temp weather to come into the  cold shop (57 degrees) to help me handle the sheet.  Thanks Honey!





Since today was Valentines day, I decided to stay in the house with the wife an extra 30 minutes after dinner.  I know, I know, the generosity on my part is amazing.  Well, truthfully , she wanted to watch her shows anyway and we weren't about to fight the restaurant crowds.

I disassembled the skeleton, cleaned and then primed the contact surfaces (and a little extra).  After that a few rivets joined the skeleton together for the final time.