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Feb 24, 2009, 10:35 PM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
Build Log

ASK-13 Build

I am starting construction of a 1/4 scale ASK 13 from Cliff Charlseworth plans.
I purchased the plans and the canopy from While waiting for the plans to arrive I started to research the possibilities of getting the parts laser cut. An online recommendation to talk to Tony Elliot of Laserflight was made and I emailed him about 9:00 pm est
(6:00 pm his time in CA) Within 20 Minutes he had contacted me back with a few questions and instructions on how to get the plans to him for a quote. Talk about service.
About a week and a half later the plans and canopy showed up and off I went to the local Copy store ( Staples). I gave them the plans ( 2 big sheets) and a disc, 20 minutes and $4.00 later I had the plans on disc and when home to e-mail them to Tony. This electronic stuff is pretty neat! Tony got the plans that evening and I had a quote sitting in my in-box the next morning. Along with his detailed quote was a list of options we could do to make the plane easier to build, better and stronger while not adding any weight to it. The plans were slightly skewed, after all, they're 29 yrs old. None of the formers were concentric, the ribs had no spar cut outs or any other detail on the pattern. For a small and what I consider a reasonable fee, Tony re-worked the plans, added the spar detail, changed the wing joiner, which was a metal blade type to a 5/8 carbon fiber tube/rod, reworked the wing ribs adding a building tab for ease of construction and setting the washout along with other detail which would have been difficult for me to duplicate. Quite frankly, some of the things he did I would not have thought of at all. The last and surely the best thing he did was to make a Jig for building the fuse. This is an absolute essential for anyone doing their first scratch build. ( I feel guilty calling it scratch build) The Jig was so accurately made that it was almost too easy to build this fuse. To top it all off, he took the time to write out 3 pages of hints on building the plane. along with a new wing layout to go with the new ribs. I would like to say that Tony Elliot and his Laserflight company have been an absolute pleasure to work with. He has answered all my questions, gone out of his way to help. and delivered a fantastic product.
The parts arrived at my house in CT about a week or so after giving him a go ahead, real nicely packed in foam peanuts and plastic bags. All the parts cut from sheets ( formers, ribs etc.) were wrapped together an taped. After taking off the tape they just fell out onto the bench. I'm still blown away at the quality of this stuff. If you are considering a project do yourself a favor, contact Tony, you wont regret it. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP TONY....

As for the build. I have enclosed some pictures and will try to describe things as I go. It will be a slow build for me, but I will post as I go along.

Last edited by Lbuff1; Feb 25, 2009 at 07:52 AM.
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Feb 25, 2009, 04:32 AM
Registered User
Big Nuts 181's Avatar
Nice work!
Feb 25, 2009, 07:51 AM
Horned one
zero-zero's Avatar
Nice work indeed, not to mention the shop!
Feb 25, 2009, 08:28 AM
ein flugel schplinterizer
seanpcola's Avatar
Absolutely fantstic Len.

Len is certainly an experiencd craftsman. Don't mean to throw this off topic Len but you should shows these guys a photo of your 1:1 scale project.
Feb 25, 2009, 08:52 AM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks Big Nuts and Zero-Zero. I appreciate the comments. I received a couple PM's about specific building techniques, I am happy to explain how I do it, however I am eager to here other ways too. Please also feel free to post the questions for everyone to see. I subscriber to the belief that there is no stupid question if you don't know the answer. If I post something that is not correct or a wrong way, PLEASE tell me.

One question was about how to get the stringers to bend and follow the shape of the fuse.
The way I did it here was to boil some water in the Microwave then add some vinegar, again you can use ammonia too. I found a plastic tube I had laying around, taped one end shut real good so it wouldn't leak, used a funnel and poured in the water/vinegar mix. slid in the 1/4 x 1/4 stringers and let them soak for a couple hours. When thy come out they are wet. ( just seeing if you're paying attention )
Put them in place and clamp them to the formers with NO glue yet. If you want to speed things up, you can use a heat iron set as hot as possible and iron over them (creating steam and helping to dry them in place) . Be careful if using ammonia here, the steam and ammonia mix will wake you up if you breath it. After letting them completely dry , you can glue them in. This will relieve the stress on the fuse and help keep it straight when building.. ( another recommendation from Mr. Elliot ) Anyone who does it differently I would love to here it.

As for the question about long wood. the fuse is pretty long and although I purchased 48" long balsa, its still not long enough. The answer is to scarf the joint for the best strength.. This is pretty easy to do, It can be done with a disc sander or by hand with a block sander or block plane. I used the disc sander. Place a block of wood on your sanding table at as steep angle as you can get. Clamp it on. Fire it up and slide in the sticks you need. Make another duplicate. Try to line up the grain and pick the same type of wood, (soft, hard, medium ) also, try to put the scarf joint in the middle of a straight run, that way you don't have to worry about it bending at the same rate as the non-glued area. After getting the angel clean the joint, blow on it hard to get any leftover dust out of the pores, this will make the best wood to wood glue surface. In the real world of woodworking and airplane construction, you would not be allowed to sand the joint as described here, the theory is that sanding a joint closes and clogs the pores and does not allow a great wood to wood glue joint, you have to machine cut or plane the joint, As for our models, this is fine. If you make up a scrap one and break it, it will not break at your joint. Anyway, after you get the parts made, use a straight edge and line them up and glue them, ( don't glue your straight edge to it) . Once glued you can tough up the area with a block sander and have a pretty nice joint.

I hope this answers your questions, here are a few shots from around the shop

Last edited by Lbuff1; Feb 26, 2009 at 07:46 AM.
Feb 25, 2009, 09:03 AM
I care about rising air !
MTT's Avatar
Very cool !
Looks like Tony did an outstanding job kitting that model !

That pic where you are wrapping the plywood over the back of the fuselage looks strangely familiar to me.... ==>, post #23 .....
You even use the same clamps as I do...
Feb 25, 2009, 09:12 AM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks for the nice words Sean. ( By the way, I love your ASK13. please post a few pictures here, the colors are great )

This is a Velocity XLRG built from a Kit. Its 300HP with retractable gear. Gives 4 people a ride at about 200 knots. ( 230 MPH ) Full glass cockpit with highway in the sky display for IFR weather. It has traffic avoidance and real time weather. ( not radar ) live upload. Few other bells and whistle I won't bore you with.
Last edited by Lbuff1; Feb 25, 2009 at 09:21 AM.
Feb 25, 2009, 09:17 AM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
I am following your build and you actually were the inspiration to do this. Thank you so much, I DID go out to HOME DEPOT and buy those clamps after seeing you do it.
I watch your build every day. Great inspiration and I hope mine comes out half as good as yours.

Feb 25, 2009, 09:20 AM
Registered User
Len, WOW! That's one cool flying machine. The K-13 is looking great too! Dennis
Feb 25, 2009, 09:40 AM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks Dennis, Can't wait to add the 213 to the WALL

Feb 25, 2009, 02:55 PM
I care about rising air !
MTT's Avatar
Thanks, Len !

I see that great minds work alike...
I use the same procedure as you do on the disc sander to make scarf joints of balsa or spruce sticks, works very well.

Was looking at the pic of your "glider wall".
Is that a Graupner Foka relegated to the bottom ?
My dad and I learned to thermal on one of those. It thermaled so well, that one day we got it too high, couldn't tell the attitude anymore, and we dived it to it's death....
Feb 25, 2009, 05:44 PM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
Yes MTT.
you are correct once again, that is a Graupner Fokka. Its on the bottom because I got tires of building cradles for them. I have a few more to go.
I recently re-did the shop and I'm still working on getting everything back where it belongs. After building the fiberglass full scale, everything needed an overhaul. This meant taking everything out and cleaning, painting, new benches and I put down a rubber floor to save my legs.
Thanks to all for the nice words.

Feb 26, 2009, 05:58 AM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
Nice work on the ASK 13 and a very impressive full scale airplane!

I bookmarked Laserflight just in case. I've been eyeing the plans for the Ka-7 for a few years now. My old club owned two. When the club disbanded George Moffatt and his wife bought one. She was a diamond badge pilot. Watching them helped me catch the last thermal of my five hour flight.

I probably don't have room for it, but I will dream on. In its day it was a very elegant feeling plane.

Mar 01, 2009, 01:05 AM
Registered User
Hi Len, great work. I'm interested in the bench that you built with your Dad. What are dimensions of the top and how is it made? Thanks.

Mar 01, 2009, 10:18 AM
Lbuff1's Avatar
Thread OP
Hi Mark.
I'm more than happy to answer any questions you have on the bench. I saw a picture on this site of a wooden bench and decided to design my own and build it. The top is about 4 foot x 8 foot. Little more with the 1x4 edge. I designed it to have full extension drawer slides so they will pull all the way out and i can get to the back of the drawers ( i have big hands) The three middle drawers in the recessed are 38 inched long and the others are about 20 or so. The long middle drawers are for 1) metal, 2) Balsa sheet and sticks 3) Blocks and whatever.
I recesses the middle drawers s when I sit there my legs dont hit the drawers. It was a bit more work to do that way, but worth it. In an effort to make things as complicated as I can, I chose to make all the outside corners out of 5/4 pine and router in some detail. Totally not needed for a shop cabinet, however, the old school way of doing things always creeps in, which is, if you are going to do it, do it the best you can or dont bother.
THe top of the bench is 1/2 MDF over another 1/2 plywood.. The MDF is painted with epoxy garage floor paint, then speckled. This is just to make a surface that will hold up. If i need to replace it, its just the top piece and the bench stays in tack.
On the back side are more drawers and a couple doors. The long thin doors are for plans and such. the middle doors dont open, its the back side of the long drawers from the other side.
I used a stain for color and the new wipe on poly finish from minwax
The whole thing is sitting up in 1/2 plywood blocks at all the bearing points so and held back from the edge so the rubber floor i have would slide under it a little and i would not spend a lifetime cutting the floor around it.
I'm not done, I plan to build an extension off both ends to replace the stupid looking tables I have there, but i need to get some built-ins done in the house first, "if you know what i mean"

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