epoxyearl's blog View Details
Posted by epoxyearl | Apr 01, 2015 @ 01:53 AM | 23,068 Views
I had a short dissertation on strip planking, and shaping blocks ,last blog...This time it's building a balsa cowl the old fashioned way.

When I first started, I was intent on making a mold for a fiberglass cowl for the Snow White.-but friends ? suggested I build the actual cowl from Balsa, the way they did it 'back then'.

It's been a wonderful journey, with frustration and rewards, just as it should be.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 25, 2015 @ 11:34 AM | 19,210 Views
It seems that all my life, I've seen those beautifully rounded , strip planked fuselages by someone, and thought how wonderful it must be to be able to do that.

The nearest I ever came, was to use 3" wide sheets on the large Connie of many years ago.
This year, I bit the bullet, and started a "Snow White" the 1937 model without a single straight line on it. I enlarged the plans from 96" to 120", and began cutting formers and ordering balsa trees. In this case, I bought many sheets of light 3/16" balsa, 4" X 48"... I have the Master Airscrew Balsa stripper, and I sliced several sheets into 3/8" wide strips.
It is not as difficult as you might imagine.Glue one on arrow straight at the top, bottom, and at 3 and 9 o'clock, in reference to the fuselage. Use full width strips, and do one on each side.I use Titebond 11 for edge gluing, and Medium C/A to glue it to the formers. A very light pass on one edge will be enough angle for a strip to meet it's new partner. Only two strips will require fancy fitting, on each side. I didn't taper a full length strip, rather just the ends of several where they meet at front and rear.

Harder than planking, is gluing blocks in place, and shaping them as a smooth flowing fairing, in all directions.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 04, 2015 @ 03:30 PM | 19,702 Views
Last year, about this time, my computer went south, and it took about a week to get it repaired and back in my hands.

Saturday, I sold a landing gear to a Corpus Christi native, and told him I'd ship it Monday.....Well, the computer took another dive Sunday, and when I got back from the Post Office, the darned thing wouldn't light up. I desperately tried everything I knew to fix it, and finally hauled it to my computer nerd. He said he'd call with an estimate, and I said if it's less than a bill and a half, proceed with the repair.

In the meantime, I'm sweating bullets, worrying about getting a tracking number to the buyer. I traipsed off to my Daughter's house to use her computer to email the number.After getting back home, I realized I had sent the WRONG number !....by now, my neighbor was home from work, so she obligingly sent Dean the CORRECT one.

Today with my still sick computer in my possession, I sent my apologies and the true tracking, just for safety's sake.. Well Dean's okay with it, and I've learned to record everything by hand, just in case.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 21, 2015 @ 06:06 AM | 17,571 Views
I was just thinking that as I get older (73), I'm finishing some of the dream projects I've had for many years.
That Sterling Chris Craft Corvette, that I'd wanted to build for 50 years, and finally got running...Not done yet, but nearly done.
Now, I'm building a "Snow White" which is a nightmare to build, but I consider myself capable at this point in time..I had wanted to build one for the same length of time as the boat, but never got around to it.
And the Full Scale Rascal, which is labor intensive, but you reach a point where it settles into a slow moving effort, and once in a while you look at it and think it MAY get done one day.

I'm all for 'bucket lists', but I wonder what it'll feel like, having an empty bucket ?
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 09, 2015 @ 08:08 PM | 17,193 Views
I visit the Trader Talk column fairly often, to learn from the mistakes others make, and try to avoid them.

I have a lot of experience with buying and selling here, and I've learned that not everything moves quickly.

I just sold a $100 item here, and I didn't know the guy, and he doesn't use Paypal...

I walked out on a limb, and said " you send me a picture of a USPS money order with my name and address on it, and I'll ship the item.." He did, and I did, and the item arrived on time....but not the money order.On the day the money order should have arrived at MY house, it arrived back at his, marked "insufficient postage"(no stamp).
Well, that was not so encouraging, but he added two stamps, and mailed her out again, and PM'd me an apology with the explanation.
A week goes by, and I'm getting nervous, and He's getting worried, because there isn't any indication of where the money is.
Wednesday, he asks "There yet?"" no"...I said," let's give it a couple of more days."
Today, (Friday) there it was, acting all unconcerned about the fuss it caused.

We just proved to each other that we can be trusted, but sometimes an outside force can make you think we aren't trustworthy.

We stayed cool, and didn't rag on each other in a forum where 12 hours aren't enough for some guys.
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 30, 2014 @ 07:06 PM | 17,106 Views
There's been a lot said in the Trader thread, about the scammers and cheaters coming out during the holidays.

But I had an intriguing PM the other day...I had an engine for sale, with a Pitts muffler, and this guy wanted to buy just the muffler. Since it wasn't mine, but an Estate engine, I had to ask the widow what to do.
She thought that one muffler is as good as another, and suggested if the man had a muffler to trade, to just swap them out.
He did, and we did..
Here are three people who haven't met each other, making a satisfactory deal for all concerned. He paid shipping for his, I paid shipping for hers,and the mufflers were exchanged. Now it looks like it cost her money to complete the deal, but we agreed we'd make it back on other items...(She's a little "Christmasy" right now)....At 92 years old, she knows where it's at......
No matter- there's some 'good' left in the world, and I'm happy to be part of it.
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 30, 2014 @ 05:23 AM | 15,570 Views
The 'building season' has arrived in Maryland...Time to get back onto the Lil' Rascal, and the Monocoupe, and the Fairchild, and the Decathlon, Holy Crap- I have a lot of projects !

-No matter....I'm retired,73, and afflicted with Attention Deficit Disorder....everything's interesting for a short time.-oh look ! a ROCK !

But I keep building......Models I started building years ago, eventually get finished, and flown. I'm happy that new projects attract my attention, and grateful that I'm aware of my surroundings.

I try to build one thing at a time, but another 'rock' always seems to appear.
Posted by epoxyearl | Oct 20, 2014 @ 05:02 AM | 14,403 Views
At the Old Farts' Breakfast, we were lamenting the passing of yet another member.

Going through his estate, we were all struck at the amount of airplanes, engines, and equipment he had accumulated, most not flyable, ALL too good to destroy...

Someone questioned why he had so many unflyable airplanes, and continued to get more new ones, instead of repairing those...
I believe each model has a specific memory to us, good or bad, and we don't want to let go of them.
I have half a dozen models in various states of construction, and I know that at my point in life, they probably won't get finished.-still I have a gleam in my eye for the next ! creation..
It's all good.
Posted by epoxyearl | Sep 01, 2014 @ 04:48 AM | 14,286 Views
Labor Day 2014..I've been selling off some stuff for an old friend, and I just got a note from a buyer...
There had been a box of old engines that I sold for 'parts', and he had repaired most of them, distributing them amongst those who could make the best use of them.
That was heart-warming...Bob's collection of junk is circulating the flyer's neighborhood,doing some good.
I'm going through MY stuff now, to see if I have anything I can live without, that may help someone else. I am a classic hoarder, but I also like to see things used for their original purpose.

As some of you know, I build Hot Rod engines...One of my customers stopped by yesterday, with a magazine. His car,(and my engine) are featured in it...Since the early fifties, I've read all the magazines, never thinking that one day, I'd be in one.-kinda cool..

As fall closes in, I'll get back to the 'Not a lil' Rascal' project, which I'm looking forward to.
Posted by epoxyearl | Aug 10, 2014 @ 04:17 AM | 14,597 Views
Back in 1958, I went into Dorsman's Hobby Shop in Newark Delaware..Mr. Dorsman was putting a Sterling Boat kit on display, and I WANTED it.

But a 17 year old didn't have that kind of money, so all I could do was dream...I bought a several-times owned kit in 2000, but was inundated with offers to buy it, and let it go.

Last Sunday, Henry Bohe offered a partially built one for sale, and with clenched jaw, I determined it would be mine to build. Now, he let it go for a minor amount, because he knew I was ready to finish one .

What had been finished was well done, but the plywood parts can seldom duplicate solid mahogany...I had some old boat boards I had scavenged, so I cut and stripped them into replacement parts.

She's coming along, and is a welcome change from the model airplanes.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jun 07, 2014 @ 08:53 AM | 14,899 Views
I read with interest, an article in Sport Aviation, about a support bearing for the V-dub prop hub.
With a life expectancy of 3800 hours, at 3600 rpms,I got all excited...But it ain't a THRUST bearing, just a support for a 3" extension, to clear the forward exhausts.

Pooh ! I'm looking into adding a second snap ring, and making a new hub, to facilitate the thrust , also.
Posted by epoxyearl | Feb 23, 2014 @ 10:14 AM | 15,669 Views
I've been researching V-dub engines to use in an Ultralight Aircraft.
A lot of guys are cutting them in half, and adding larger cylinders, to get around 37 hp, at 87 pounds. Since the four banger gets 36 hp out of 1200 cc's, the twin is a great improvement....same hp, about 50 lbs lighter.

According to what mine weighs,I may use a 53 hp engine, since weight won't be such a consideration, if I'm overweight, anyway.

We'll see.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 29, 2014 @ 10:17 AM | 12,922 Views
Well, we done moved the discussion to the "Builder's Workshop" to better be a part of the system RCG provides.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 25, 2014 @ 08:33 AM | 12,416 Views
The wing rib fixture is reaching it's final stages..Using the Fisher layout, it's a simple matter to assemble the ribs.
The problem with the Rascal wing, is that it only has 10 ribs that are similar.Then each rib is different,since they taper, due to the elliptical wing shape.

We 'fattened' Piper Cub J-3 airfoil, (can';t go wrong with that) and increased the undercamber a bit. The USA-35-B shape already has undercamber, and we want to insure a 26 mph stall speed.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 24, 2014 @ 10:48 AM | 13,012 Views
In 1986, I built a Fisher "Koala' ultralite.WE used all aircraft spruce, and a 1/2 Volkswagen engine.

All this time later, the Rascal now 'haunts' me as a design worth building.
-So we're off and running.Many hours on line, and at RCG has given me the information I needed to build one from scratch..

We had the plans enlarged 350% and built a work table 6' wide x 18" long of 3/4" plywood. Level, square and plumb.(and straight)

It'll be a couple of years in the making, so check in once in a while, if you like..Add your comments too.
Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 16, 2014 @ 09:19 AM | 11,364 Views
I still don't have my camera back,but that's not important at the moment.
What IS important is that wood is heavier than it used to be,...A perfunctory stab at estimating the weight of my proposed ultralite indicates it may be difficult to meet the weight limitation of 254 lbs., dry.

There's an option of getting to around 300 lbs, and registering it as a light sport, tho'.

I'm getting encouragement from several builders of ultralights, that it doesn't matter,to just go for it...and deal with the end result.

I've been ripping, stripping, notching, and cutting grooves in longerons..Wood working as a vocation and a hobby is certainly helpful, here..I'm well pleased with the scarf joints I'm making.....I used the FAA suggestion of an 8" scarf as a minimum, but went to a 12" one, so there's no question the joint is stronger than the wood.

If I meet 'weight' and don't need an inspection, I'll know it's safe, and if I need an inspection, The Inspector will know too.

Posted by epoxyearl | Jan 09, 2014 @ 08:18 AM | 10,861 Views
I've been known to do some off the wall things in my day. Swinging off a rope from a tree over an 80 foot cliff, drag racing at 150 miles per hour on the strip
,and racing boats at over 100 miles and hour at APBA races.

In the late '80's, I built a Fisher Ultralite "Koala" , a Piper Cub look-alike, with half a Volkswagen engine. That clinched it- there was no doubt left in their minds that I was the village idiot.

Some 33 years later, it's still flying,although sold, and I'm embarking on a newer adventure.-Another ultralite, this time a "Rascal" clone, the Sig Rascal 110, enlarged 350 %....I'll use the Fisher procedures, just adapted to my outlines.

I took the fin and rudder to the Old Fart's Breakfast yesterday, and you may have thought I was one of the Wright Brothers, saying I was going to FLY !

The modelers assume it's another crazy attempt to kill myself, and the PILOTS think it's a great idea..

100 years after the boys flew for the first time, and modelers still don't believe......With the information available currently, what can go wrong?

Stall speed-26 mph, top speed 62, cruise 55, 23 HP Briggs and Stratton v-twin,4 cycle, with a belt drive reduction.Total weight (dry) 254 lbs.

Later, Earl
Posted by epoxyearl | Dec 25, 2013 @ 03:48 PM | 11,210 Views
In the late 80's, I built a Fisher Ultralite, the Koala..as a contract build.

I bought one of the first generation Sig Rascals,then most of the different sizes they built
Last year,I got another NIB original, and have been flying it in endurance testing.

A couple of weeks ago,some Ultralite friends saw me flying it, and thought it would make a perfect FAR legal Full scale airplane.

We enlarged the Rascal Wing Outline to 29'10", and filled it in with structure...each wing panel will be slightly less than 14', and we chose 56" as the chord.

I have lots of wing spars from restorations, to get building materials for short pieces,and we'll use new spar material from Aircraft Spruce..

We're going to kick this around more, before we bite the bullet
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 30, 2013 @ 10:32 AM | 10,055 Views
The Holiday is over and I took the required afternoon nap.. MY team won the football game, and the dog is in my lap.

There are several models to be finished,but there's little energy or "want-to"..

I'm 73 years old, and in excellent health...nothing to complain about except that opening line, "over the hill"....
Your mind conjures up visions of going down the backside of a mountain, or the like, but what your body feels ain't "going downhill".
- More like climbing Everest...

I'm declaring this,2013, the year I got old...I'm not 'done' yet, but don't let me hold you back.
Posted by epoxyearl | Nov 24, 2013 @ 07:55 AM | 9,200 Views
26 degrees, and 20 knot winds...Ice and snow,soon..
At last !-I can't go flying anymore, so it's building season. I want to finish some projects that are a couple of years old, and recover a few that are older than that.

I'm doing a serious covering job on a 1/3 scale Hostetler Decathlon, replicating a friend's full scale one..really applying myself.....

I have a level of quality that I dream of , and then there's the one I'm capable of.

I keep trying, but there's always something I wish I'd done better, when a model is finally done.If I could go slower , I'd be fine..