Left: Aluminum strait edge ruler screwed firmly down to the bench.
Right: New work bench. 1 of 2 hopefully.
June 30, 2014
Time Spent 4+ hours
Total Time: 45 hours
Finished up the first work bench this week! Julie and I spent a lot of time reorganizing the barn. The hardest part was pushing the very large cast iron wood stove back into place by its chimney pipe wall penetration. Once I get the chimney pipes reconnected we’ll have heat. I look forward to burning wood scraps in the stove. Next winter I’ll be able to epoxy all winter long! You can see we have an entire quarter of the barn cleared out now for the project, now that is progress!
Picked up two yellow aluminum rulers that were 48” long (shown in photo). They were only $8.00 apiece. Asa and I carefully wet drilled nice neat holes in them about every 8 or 9 inches. I used our longest aluminum strait edge to make sure they were lined up perfectly before screwing them down.
Dad gifted 11 prebuilt wing ribs to me from TEAM and a Teleflex cable.
Thank you Dad!
I had worried that differences between TEAM’s jigs and mine would cause minute differences between the wing ribs and my concerns were somewhat justified. They are a little different a 1/16th off here and a 1/8th off there. I think the prudent course is to use my ribs for one wing and TEAMs ribs for the other wing. Aerodynamically I don’t think it will matter. The outer dimensions are very close.
The new stuff arrived undamaged. Overall very pleased with TEAM, glad I picked the Minimax for my first plane. David Cooper has been ever available when I needed help or advise.
I hung the new ribs up in the barn separately from my ribs. I really like the laser cut gussets. Shame team doesn’t just sell gussets.
One thing I can say with pride is that my home made wing ribs are cleaner and nicer looking than TEAM’s. When you make things for your own plane you take the time to get it as perfect as possible. Of course they have more experience than me and I suspect that my level of precision simply isn’t needed for wing ribs. The TEAM ribs are perfectly sound and strong, nothing wrong with them at all.
I also bought some used cheap used galvanized metal conduit and some phosphoric acid. I’ll use the acid to dissolve the zinc coating and thus rendering the metal safe to weld. This I’ll use to practice welding this summer.
I plan to upgrade my Lincoln with a gas kit so I can MIG (Metal Inert Gas). It can arc weld right now with a spool of fluxed wire but I think the MIG welds are stronger and look better. I’ll get a cylinder of CO2/AR mix for welding steel and a cylinder of AR alone for welding aluminum. The Minimax as designed does not have a lot of welding if any required but I think I’ll weld my own motor mount. Plus I might shape my cowling out of aluminum instead of carbon fiber.
Just for fun I lofted the vertical stabilizer this morning. I LOVE my workbench. Having a metal ruler screwed down in combination with a carpenter square is the bee’s knees! It’s like having a giant drafting board. I’ll get back to wing building soon I just wanted to make something new for awhile. After 45 hours of wing ribs, I’ve earned it.
I still have to put the blocking into the specialized ribs for the aileron brackets and so forth. Today I’ll go to the hobby lobby and see what their plywood looks like; I’ve heard its aircraft grade. I’ll do a boil test with a few plywood coupons and compare it with the stuff I’ve been getting from aircraft spruce.Next week I’ll get the materials to build the next bench. This one will only be five feet long instead of eight feet. I plan to bolt the two benches firmly together perfectly flush. I can do this because I’ve put carriage bolts in all the feet of the tables so they can be raised or lowered tiny fractions of an inch with a ¼” box wrench.