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2nd week April - break from Aluminum parts
4/15/11 - 1.0 dia steel parts
1 hr - after buying a 14" cutoff saw from HF, my yahoo home page starts displaying an ad for a 6" cutoff saw from HF. Spooky that ads are now SO well targeted, but I added it up, and with the 20% off coupon, the smaller saw would be $20 less. I also rechecked the parts list, and the largest/thickest steel is 1.0 x .125 wall. I had thought there was a piece of 1.5 dia in there, and the 6" saw has a 1" capacity. I would prefer to work with the smaller saw, I think, especially on the smaller diameter stock, so I returned the 14" and got the 6". Tonight's hour, though, was to set up the saw, measure and mark the 1.0 x .049 stock and cut a few parts. It took a little doing to get the cutoff wheel on the shaft such that it wasn't tilted on the shaft, but the reviews warned that installing the cutoff wheel could be a little involved. Other than that, it seems to work really well. Should be fairly quick to get the steel cut.
First steel tube cuts - 1.0 x .049
Kind of puny looking in the collection of power tools, but big enough for the job.
Harbor Freight 41453. Remember this one doesn't come with the needed 6" cutoff wheels, so get those at the same time.
4/16 - 4/17/11 - .375 and .5 dia steel parts
1/2 hr - measured and cut nearly all of these. Haven't done a couple of the shortest .375's because I wanted to get a good feel for the saw and figure out how to "catch" the part being cut off. I just gripped the stock with a spring clamp so far, and that keeps them from flying off into the distance. Though with the shorter ones so far, they get hot enough that the rubber-coated grip of the spring clamp gets soft and sticky.
The start of 1/2 and 3/8 diameter steel parts. The little chop saw sure beats trying to do this with a free-handed cutoff wheel or a hack saw.
4/17/11 - .375 and 5/16 dia steel parts
1/4 hr - cut some more of these smaller diameter steel parts. 100 hours logged on the project to this point. Take out about 5 hours printing, and 20-25 hours of making parts and hardware spreadsheets (that future builders might use), it's only about 70 hours making parts to this point.
The next group of parts offset to the right. This leaves several in the two smaller diameters in the sub-1/2 inch length range to cut. I will probably have to just let those fly and retrieve them after the cut.
4/17/11 - .75 dia steel parts
1/4 hr - cut some of the .75 diameter parts. First 45 degree cuts. Trick is, the ones I haven't done yet really need a hole saw or the like because their ends mate up against the od of tubes.
4/18/11 - .75 dia steel parts
1/2 hr - finished cutting the .75 diameter parts. Deburred the ends on the bench grinder and filed the burr off the ID of the cut ends. Still need a hole saw or other method to cut the fishmouths.
That's all the .75 tube parts.
4/20/11 - .050 parts
1/2 hr - Finished sanding/scotchbriting all but one of the .050 parts. Had to cut two of the larger rectangles down to trapezoids. Note - make a paper pattern for this one and lay it out along one of the factory cut edges of the sheet. Need to get all the flat stock to be bent ready as a local Waiex builder is going to let me use his brake.
4/20/11 - small dia. steel parts
1/2 hr - Deburred maybe about half of the smaller diameter steel parts - that I have cut so far. I know there's maybe a dozen more in the quarter-inch or less length left to cut.
Noticed that they added some photos of the kit parts to the website. One thing about a non-sheetmetal airplane - it should make for a very small package of parts, because there aren't large pieces that have to be shipped flat. Some long tubes in a small bundle, and the largest parts appear to be the cowling, the cockpit surround, and the fuel tank.
4/21/11 - flat parts, all thickness
1 1/4 hr - marked all the larger / thicker flat parts that need bends. Arranged to meet a Waiex builder in the local EAA chapter at his hangar to borrow a heavier / larger brake. Plan is to bend these up all at once, so then it's (mostly) done. I still have the two .125 aileron bellcranks to bend, but I have a tool to try for those.