A Change of Direction

To be honest, I’ve been putting off this entry for quite a while since I know it’s going to disappoint a few people. So I’ll just come right out and say it: I sold the Cruzer project.

A lot of factors came into play here, not the least of which is I realized my smaller-than-normal garage wasn’t deep enough to contain the fuselage. Combine that with the lack of hangars in my area (5 year waiting lists!), and a waning enthusiasm for flying in general and I just decided it was time to make room for other hobbies in my life.

The project went with my tech counselor Rick, and I know he’ll have a good time tinkering with it.

So what’s next for me, and for this blog? On a whim, Liz and I bought a wood lathe and have been having a lot of fun making wood chips.

I also have a 1998 Mazda pickup (visible to the left above) that needs some TLC, so a “resto-mod” of it is underway. Expect to see a few posts here about those projects.

And who knows, I may go nuts and decide to build (or buy) a plane again at some point in the future. You just never can tell with me. 🙂

Tales of the Tail

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted here! Since my last entry, I’ve gotten my tailwheel endorsement and started skinning the horizontal stabilizer. I decided to bend the skin using the vacuum method. First, it was folded and taped. Liz was a big help here, there’s no way you can do this by yourself.

The next step is to put a pipe inside it for the leading edge to form around, and seal up the ends with plastic drop cloth. You can also see the smaller pipe with vacuum adapters on the end. This entire mess is clamped to the bench.

Let the sucking begin!

And how did it turn out? Not perfect, but good enough.

Now that the skin was formed, it was time to mark out the rivet rows and drill it for fitting to the skeleton.

The next step was to put the skeleton on the bench, shim up one spar (to clear the ribs) and level it. I used some popsicle sticks and screws to hold the spar down to the bench.

Finally, it was time to start drilling! The attach brackets are removed for the initial drilling.

The clecos are growing nicely, almost ready for harvest. 😉

Once drilled, the skin was removed and the slots for the attach brackets were cut. A nibbler worked well for this, with touch up from a file.

The final result. Not bad, a little close on the one side. Nothing a bit more filing won’t fix.

That’s all for this time! My next log entry may be a bit of a surprise to some people, but I won’t ruin it by saying anything more right now. 🙂