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Jan 18, 2013, 04:35 PM
AMA16634...Just Me
Thread OP
Mini-HowTo

Fuselage Building Jig


Everyone knows the deleterious effects of building a crooked structure, be it a wing or a fuselage. Here is a very useful jig that helps in keeping your fuselage straight and true. I can't and don't take credit for thinking this one up as I remember reading about it and seeing it in an old modeling magazine. With age, my memory fails me at times but I believe it was in an issue of RCM. If not I will surely give credit to whoever had the original idea, if he/se makes themselves known. All I know is this thing works for me and is a great third hand.

Below you'll find a couple of pictures and descriptions of the materials I used on my version and also two PDF files that will give you a start on the grid work if you decide to build one for yourself. I stress that none of the materials used are critical, use what you have on hand.

The one pictured is relatively small because of a lack of space. I started with a scrap of 1/2” ply 24”x 8 1/2”. Glued the paper template (see the PDF files) to this using the 3M 77 and sprayed a couple of coats of the Krylon clear on that for protection. You can use as many of the templates below to fill your board if it’s longer or wider than the templates, just make sure the center line is straight. Drill the holes sized to the carriage bolts you use. I used 1/4 x 20 x 4 1/2” but 3/16” bolts would save a bit of money and work just as well. Some washers and nuts (again I used wing nuts for convenience sake but regular hex nuts would work just as well) and you’re ready to cut the stands.

The stands in the picture measure 3” x 3 1/4” but again, not really critically. I cut some strips of 1/4” ply (here any 1/4” thick wood strips will work) about 1/2” wide, some strips of 1/4” ply about 3 1/2” wide and glued up some sandwiches with them. These sandwiches should be a bit oversized to allow for trimming and squaring. Then cut this sandwich into the heights you desire making sure that the finished stands are square. I have stands of different heights for taller fuses (for these I use longer carriage bolts).

If you notice there are two holes on the center line of the board. I have (or make them as needed) stands with one upright edge beveled. These can be used to set a firewall with the necessary thrust alignment.

Hope this helps anyone that wants to build this useful jig…..ENJOY!
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Jan 18, 2013, 07:28 PM
Registered User
BatterysIncluded's Avatar
Thanks for posting this very useful jig. I have been looking for something like this for awhile.
Jan 18, 2013, 09:37 PM
Close enough
AtomicFlyer's Avatar
Excellent write-up. Thanks for making the effort.

Marc
Jan 18, 2013, 09:48 PM
AMA16634...Just Me
Thread OP
Glad you both liked it. If you choose to build one, I hope it serves you as well as mine has me....have a good day...

Don
Apr 30, 2013, 07:07 PM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Don, I built a jig similar to yours, just a little larger. I'm pleased with it, as I'm sure that you are with yours.
Apr 30, 2013, 07:25 PM
AMA16634...Just Me
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCrump
Don, I built a jig similar to yours, just a little larger. I'm pleased with it, as I'm sure that you are with yours.
Tom,

Thanks for dropping by. I've been following two of your build threads and must admit I admire your work. Although your builds are a bit bigger than the ones I manage to cobble up, there are some similarities in the way we go about things. I do my own plans so sometimes it's a bit hit and miss but always fun. And it's always good to watch a craftsman at work so keep your posts coming.

The jig shown above is my second one. The first one was a bigger version that I used mainly for glider fuses but it got lost in moving. This one, I made out scrap on hand and it does a great job on small to medium sized fuses.

Don
May 01, 2013, 06:26 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Thanks for the compliment !

I've always had trouble building straight fuselages. A few years ago, after building a 1/4 scale bannana, I decided that I had to find a method that would work for me.

Don Olsen found the plans online. We built two fuselage jigs, but enlarged the dimensions to suit our larger models.

By the way, I enjoy the humor that you add to my threads. I hope that you continue to contribute to them often.
Nov 02, 2013, 12:42 PM
Jim in the Desert
Thanks for this thread...I know it's old but have a question. I happened across an A-Just-O Jig online and got interested in jigs. These jigs seem similar to the RCM plan. What I don't understand is whether these in some say take care of the alignment, or just keep it in place once the builder has adjusted the jig. That is, alignment is still something the builder must accomplish in how they adjust the jig. It could be wrong. So I presume one uses either a plan, or measurements, to get the jig elements in alignment so the fuselage is straight and to plan.

Tom, you use that laser device. Do you mark the center of the bottom fuse sticks, and then make sure those marks fall on the line of the laser?

Jim
Nov 02, 2013, 01:39 PM
AMA16634...Just Me
Thread OP
Jim,

I'm not familiar with the A-Jus-O jig although I have read a little about them. Maybe Tom has some experience with them. But for this jig, the builder must get every aligned and the holders anchored in place (I would think the same applies for any jig). Gluing the grid to the base of the jig really helps with this chore. It has a c/l to follow for longitudinal alignment and a one inch grid pattern for latitudinal alignment of the formers.

I have the c/l of all formers marked for alignment purposes. If the fuse sides aren't tabbed or marked to receive the formers I just measure them in for longitudinal alignment. If the design has a keel that will establish the sweep of the bottom of the fuselage, if not, you can just block the formers up as required.

I also make special holders with angular faces for fuses with angled sides.

Thanks for dropping in...

Don
Nov 02, 2013, 03:05 PM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Ya, Jim. The center of the fuselage is marked. The center is placed on the center line of the jig. If you look closely, you can see it in the pic.

The laser just illustrates that the center lines all line up, although it could be used as you suggest.

You can see the fuselage jig used in my Cessna 195 thread. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1005782
Nov 02, 2013, 03:47 PM
Jim in the Desert
Thanks Don and Tom.
Jim


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