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Sep 02, 2017, 02:21 PM
ʇsol
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Build Log

Proctor Mini-Antic Build


Building a "Mini-Antic" Monoplane from an older San Diego-era Proctor kit. My last Proctor kit took a couple of years to get around to finishing. Hopefully this will be faster! This should be fun after a Nieuport 11 and full size Antic Biplane project.

First step was to come up with a jig for the rib cap strips. On the Nieuport 11 I used the pin/nail method shown in the instructions. For the Antic Bipe and Nieuport 28 I made wooden jigs to clamp the strips to the ribs. That worked a lot better but getting the shape "just right" wasn't real easy. I spent a couple of hours designing a jig using "blue foam". The shape of the foam was made from scanning the sample rib from the kit the CNCing the foam blanks. I made two sets of foam jigs, one for gluing one side of the cap strips, another set flipped over for the other side. The foam blanks are held in place with nylon screws. Seems to work pretty well.

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Lots of ribs to work on. First step: stain 'em

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All finished, along with the fuselage bamboo cross-bracing:
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Last edited by vulturetec; Sep 17, 2017 at 07:43 AM.
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Sep 06, 2017, 09:15 AM
ʇsol
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fuselage left side


Getting into the fuselage - I decided to try and duplicate what I did on my biplane. After some digging I found my original can of stain - which had turned to crud. New can in-hand, time to get started.

The plywood for the fuselage sides isn't as clean as what I had in the bipe kit, but they're not bad. Figured out which parts to use for each side and gave them a quick scrub with 400-grit paper:

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Then on to the staining. I taped the edges and holes on the back of the skins to minimize bleeding of the stain to the back face. It's important to keep the stain off the wood that will be glued up. I did something similar with the bipe and got away with it... an alternative would be to tape the exterior face to protect it then stain later.

The spruce stringers, visible parts, and balsa were stained with "light oak" lacquer.

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During the construction process Proctor calls for cutting the stringers to fit the project. I did that first. The top stringer is a straight part. The lower is curved so "fitting" it properly really couldn't be done until later. For now I cut the end that matches up with the tailpost-half. The sloped portion of the top of the upper stringer will be sanded after the gusset plate is glued on.

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To sand the ends I'm using a simple jig. I use a 1/2" plank of red oak with a hardwood block mounted with a bolt and wing-nut. The picture is self-explanatory I think. The plank is thick enough to keep a sanding block vertical (I use an extruded sanding "T"), and red oak is hard enough that it doesn't wear quickly when using light grade paper. Most of my sanding is with 150 to 400-grit paper.

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Laying out the forward fuselage parts - most are pre-cut (#3 had to be cut to fit). This is an early Mini-Antic from Proctor in San Diego, the modern kits are probably the same.

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Working in sections from front to back, generally following the order in the instructions. This is my third older Proctor Kit and all three have had perfect fitting parts that also fit the plans perfectly.

The bottom stringer was somewhat difficult to work with. The small size of the "mini" means a fairly tight curve along the forward portion of the bottom stringer. I couldn't make it work. I resorted to soaking the first 4-inches in boiling water for 10 minutes then clamped the part in a form to put a bend in it. Not as good as steaming, but it worked. With it dry I glued the stringer to the rest of the structure, clamping it in place.

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The top stringer was pinned against steel rulers to keep it all straight during construction.

In retrospect it might have been easier to glue the bottom stringer and the #7 part together ahead of time, sanding the front of the stringer flush with #7, then fitting the aft portion of the stringer to the tailpost later. I may do that when I get to the other side.

Working back to the verticals in the back of the fuselage. With the tailpost-half glued to the stringers and everything pinned in place, I started working from the D cross-section to the tail. That portion of the lower stringer has a constant slope so cutting the lower portions of the verticals is simplified:

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My technique was to first fine the angle of the lower cuts (easier to do that and use the same angle on a saw than to fiddle with each piece), then size the part using the top of the vertical member that has a simple 90 angle.

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Here's the technique used on one of the parts forward of the D cross-section:

(1) Cut the appropriate angle for the bottom of the part. A miniature table saw or disc sander would probably do a better job, but the band saw works fine. Doing a small sliver at a time with a fence the angle for a tight joint is easy to get.

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(2) Mark the approximate location for the top 90 cut. Not a critical step, just cut it slightly oversized

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(4) Obviously the part is too long. Instead of using the saw I just set my sanding jig to 90 with a small 90-triangle then started taking it down with a few passes with a sanding block.

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(5) Check the fit again - still too big so back to the sanding jig for a few more passes with the sanding block. It doesn't take much wood to get the fit right and this is a pretty quick process. Most of these joints are going to be somewhat visible so I want them to look decent:

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(6) It fits. Leave it and move on to the next part. Everything will be glued up later

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The diagonals were a little more complicated, but the procedure is the same. I guessed at the lower angle and tried it with the band saw, same as the verticals. The top cuts were all pretty close to the same angle, but not quite. I oversized them and finished sizing and adjusting the angles with my sanding jig:

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The secondary cut at the top was roughly the same angle as the primary cut at the top. I just flipped the part over and gave it a couple of passes in the sanding jig, checked it, adjusted, and repeated until it was right.


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Two diagonals done, one to go:

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Fuselage cross-bracing:

This older kit uses very thin bamboo cross-bracing. Some kits use aluminum wire instead (both my Antic Bipe and Nieuport 11 used bamboo but I have a newer Nieuport 11 with aluminum wire). The cross-bracing is functional and adds an amazing amount of stiffening to the structure.

Installing the bracing involves making a small hole or pocket at the junction of the stringers and vertical members of the fuselage. I used a very small drill bit in a pin-vice to drill a small pocket into the spruce just under where the spruce and balsa vertical members meet.

Cutting the bamboo proved to be a challenge. Everything I tried resulted in crushed bamboo - I don't recall the other kits being this difficult. After a couple of tries I came up with this method that worked:

First, press one end of the bracing in place then mark the location for the other end on a tiny piece of masking tape, oversizing it slightly.

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To cut it I rolled the bamboo along with a sharp #11 blade (rolling the bamboo and pushing the blade along with it). Working carefully without much pressure keeps the bamboo from crushing.

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The bamboo is surprisingly tough stuff, but the blade quickly cuts all the way through and results in a clean cut.

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Back to the fuselage to check the fit. The bamboo can be cut again, or sanded down. I used a fine permagrit block to reduce the length slightly until I was satisfied with it.

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For final installation the bamboo can be bent and gently pushed into place. It springs back and into the pocket/hole. When everything looks right I removed the bracing and filled the pockets with Duco cement and reinstalled the bracing. The braces don't have to have a lot of tension (springing back), just enough to keep them in place. According to Proctor, the Duco will shrink and pull the bamboo taught. In any case, this technique seemed to work ok on my previous projects and looks good here:

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With all the bracing installed I went back and added a little more Duco to the joints as well as where the braces cross.

As I looked things over before adding the plywood skin I kept looking at the transition between the plywood and fabric. There's no support there for the fabric and nothing to adhere it to. Went and took a look at my Antic Bipe and build photos from that project (one reason I keep track of this stuff, a few years down the road and I can't remember what I did and how I did it!).

Sure enough, there's an additional balsa stick in there that I'd added just before covering...

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...might as well add it here and now. Can't hurt.

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 06, 2017, 09:16 AM
ʇsol
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fuselage right side


Moving on to the fuselage right side, I did a couple of things differently; took a little longer to prepare the front of the lower spruce longeron for bending. Soaked it in boiling water for about 15 minutes then clamped in to set the bend, letting it dry overnight. Made gluing the longeron a lot easier than the other side was.

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Also didn't bother to trim the longerons to fit the firewall area (see the last picture). Pretty sure that's how I did my biplane. Nothing special here anyway - just glue it up then trim/sand the longerons to fit flush along where the firewall will go.

The two sides are done. What wasn't perfectly level was sanded flush on both sides. Found a small error on the left side though; I had two sets of spruce parts and had one part that was balsa (all marked/numbered) while materials list calls for Balsa. I made a second spruce vertical to double the balsa anyway.

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Getting ready to put the skins on. With the front of the sides clamped at the firewall I made an index mark where the back of the skins will go. The plan is to install the skins flush with the top longerons and use the index marks as a reference for the rear/top skin location.


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Masking the skins to keep glue off the outside faces

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Finally installing the skins... gluing with 30 minute with slow CA at a a couple of small .25" spots near the middle. I pressed the fuselage side(s) and skin(s) up against a piece of oak to align the top edge, keeping the upper-rear corner pegged on the index mark I made. With everything lined up the skin was carefully pressed into place and held down where the CA was. The CA kept the skins from floating around while set up some laminated boards and car batteries for weights to hold it all together while the epoxy set up.

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 06, 2017, 09:16 AM
ʇsol
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fuselage continued


On to the firewall... it's installed on the right side first, glued square with the rest of the structure. The skins overhang the front of the fuselage sides and act as a long gusset-plate for the firewall. The rest of the internal structure is built up behind the firewall. If everything is carefully aligned and kept square then the other fuselage side should just fall into place.

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So far so good. We'll see how it comes out!

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Moving to the aft fuselage sections, adding cross-bracing, etc. The front stabilizer mounting plate bothered me on the bipe project so I modified it a little - same here; the plate holds the leading edge of the stabilizer but is only glued along it's edges to the two upper longerons. I laminated a 1/32" plywood plate to the bottom of the stabilizer mounting plate. The 1/32" plywood hangs over the sides and glues to the bottom of the longerons giving more glue-area and a little more structural strength to the mounting plate. Maybe not necessary but it adds a minimal amount of weight.

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Adding the landing gear mounting blocks. Both are precut and fit perfectly. This is a dry-fit straight out of the box:

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Everything done and finished sanded in preparation for the bottom plywood skins

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Skins done!

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Now for some finish-sanding of the skin joints and restaining, then move on to whatever is next.
Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 06, 2017, 09:16 AM
ʇsol
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fuselage, cross-bracing and landing gear


Here's a close-up of the modified front-stabilizer plate:

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Adding the balsa cross-bracing to the fuselage. The forward three-bays of the box-structure gets cross-bracing internally. For some reason this was more of a puzzle for me than it probably should have been. Everything is inside the fuselage and not really easy to see, I guess. Got it done, whittling away at the sticks a little at a time until it was right. This area is going to be covered but I stained the sticks before installing them anyway.
a
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The top and bottom of the same bays got the same cross-bracing. These were a lot easier.

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Proctor's instructions jump right into putting the landing gear together. Might as well... this was tricky though. Nothing really lined up very well. The forward gear legs checked out to be perfectly flat and the "axle" portions aligned. The two blocks were - surprisingly - perfectly aligned too, with no apparent twist in the fuselage. Took about 30 minutes of tinkering, twisting, and bending to get it about right. Turns out one of the rear gear legs (from the fuselage to the first bend) is also slightly shorter than the other. Not a big deal, it'll work.

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 06, 2017, 09:17 AM
ʇsol
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landing gear legs


With the gear legs fitted it's time to install the hold-down straps. The gear wire was slightly proud of the plywood skins so the aluminum straps had to have a relief bent into them. I used an allen-key and a vice to create a slight valley in the middle of them. The plans call for the straps to be installed with #2 screws mounted directly into the longerons. There's some logic to that, but I was worried that would cause the longerons to split so I mounted them directly to the gear blocks.

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After double checking the bends for alignment I scrubbed them down with scotch-brite and mineral spirits, and reassembled them on the fuse to be soldered. I used copper desoldering braid. The braid lays flat and can be wrapped tightly. The braid materials usually have some kind of flux in it that will bubble out under heat and will need to be cleane (no-clean non-rosen flux type material is best). I also used a couple drops of silver-solder flux that tended to drip along the wire gear leg joint under the braid. Heating with a micro-torch worked but I found using a Weller SP80 with a broad-tip gave more controllable results while still providing enough heat for the actual gear wire.

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After cleaning everything up with a wire wheel, polishing with scotch-brite and scrubbing it down with mineral spirits I finished with a couple coats of black Hammerite. Not sure how that's going to look if the "hammered" effect every pops out. So far it's stayed a hard gloss.

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 06, 2017, 09:29 AM
Registered User
Thans for sharing!
I've always wanted to build a proctor... it is on my RC Bucket List.

You are doing a great job on it!
Sep 06, 2017, 12:24 PM
ʇsol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vapor Trails
Thans for sharing!
I've always wanted to build a proctor... it is on my RC Bucket List.

You are doing a great job on it!
Thanks! They're awesome kits.
Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 14, 2017, 06:34 PM
ʇsol
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The hatch - build continues after Irma


Starting the build again with the hatch. Doing a little as time allows.

Cutting the hatch side pieces of the hatch from spruce:
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Fairly tight fit. I used several folds of waxed paper along the rear part of the hatch so it wouldn't be too tight a fit when glued up:
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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 16, 2017, 09:15 PM
ʇsol
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Hatch continued... and instrument panel prep


More hatch work. Balsa filler blocks installed on top of the side runners.

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Proctor suggests finishing the "instrument panel" before installing it. I'm not going to bother putting instruments in it, but I wanted to finish it off somehow. I opted on a different color stain than the rest of the model - some really old "cherry" that was laying around. The lite-ply didn't take it really well, but it has color. Also added an art deco style "Antic" logo I made. The whole thing is sprayed with clear lacquer to seal it up.

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 18, 2017, 09:04 AM
ʇsol
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Hatch...continued


Started shaping the balsa blocks on the hatch...

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...then realized I really should put the bulkhead in first - then finished shaping the blocks

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 21, 2017, 06:51 PM
ʇsol
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Hatch, continued...


Gluing the front ply skin on the hatch structure. Centered the wood on the bulkheads and tightly strapped it with tape around the bulkheads and balsa blocks (used 30-minute epoxy).

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Sanded the edges flush with the fuselage and - poof. Hatch.

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Rear-view with the aft plywood sitting in place (not glued up yet)
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I had to finish the aft plywood before gluing it because it slides under the front plywood and wouldn't be as accessible. The wood takes on a sheen and a different color after finishing with clear polyurethane.

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Sep 24, 2017, 08:50 AM
ʇsol
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Finishing up the hatch


Time to start working on the upper "cabane". The flying-wire support is a steel rod held in place by a bulkhead and block under the front skin. The exterior is finished off by sandwiching the rod between two pieces of wood that are joined and sanded to a streamlined shape.

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Putting everything together prior to finishing the upper cabane and front ply deck

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After some shaping and sanding the part was stained with a "cherry" stain (the stain only brought the grain out a little) and given a couple coats of polyurethane. Prior to the last coat I gave it a black accent stripe on the bottom. The cap is painted with silver hammerite

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Putting it all together before gluing

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Oct 01, 2017, 05:25 PM
ʇsol
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Switch bracket


Got to the point where I needed to think about where to mount the switch. Decided to make a bracket to mount the switch down inside the fuselage where it would be away from everything. This little 90 bracket works pretty well:

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Latest blog entry: Sagitta 600 build 2018
Oct 01, 2017, 06:21 PM
Registered User
Glad to see you back at it and out the other side of the weather.

Where do you intend to make the maiden on this bird? I imagine you are just a few months away


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