Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

The wing compression strut end fittings, per the plans, need to be machined on a lathe.  Either you can farm out the job to your local machinist, or you can take the insane route and decide to learn a completely new skill from scratch and then invest money in the required equipment to do the job.  That way you can be sure to invest several hundred dollars at least for a bunch of parts that should cost a buck or so each.  Needless to say, this approach was overwhelmingly compelling for me, and is, of course, what I did.

I did a lot of web-surfing to determine what bench-top lathe would be a decent compromise in quality, cost, and flexibility for Skyotë-related tasks as well as general utility.  I ended up purchasing a 7 x 14 lathe from Micro-Mark, although equally good versions are available from Grizzly or Little Machine Shop; all of these lathes are made in the same factory in China and are simply re-branded at varying levels of quality control by these distributors, as well as many others.

The photos below depict the process of chucking up the bar stock in the lathe, turning it down to the specified diameter and creating the shoulder for the flange, cutting the fitting free from the bar stock, facing the cut end smooth and to correct thickness, and then boring the center hole to dimension.

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Raw stock in collet chuck, prior to being turned down.

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Turning the fitting to diameter_1020537

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The fitting is then cut from the bar stock

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Resulting in this

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Once all the fittings are turned down, they get re-chucked to be faced, removing the saw marks and getting the flange to correct thickness.

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Then the center is bored out per the drawing.

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Leaving the finished compression strut end fittings.

 

 

 

 

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Drilling rear wing spars

Posted: October 17, 2009 in Tools, Wings
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All 4 rear wing spars have been drilled using spar drilling jigs.  Through the kind assistance of John Robert,his CNC data for the main and rear spars was used by Johnathon Pritchard to fabricate steel water-jet-cut drilling jigs for the spars that precisely place every rivet and attach bolt hole in the spar webs and spar caps.  The combination of the jigs and the separate spar components (along with some judicious use of clamps and spacers) in a kind of sandwich permits you to drill all of the holes in the assembly with a high degree of accuracy;  John Roberts reports an exact matching fit between his jig-drilled spars and his CNC-cut fittings.  Even though I plan to use hand-fabricated fittings, I still see the use of spar jigs as a time-saver and better guarantor of accuracy.  Once I am done drilling my spars, these drilling jigs will be available for other Midwest-area Skyotë builders to borrow and use; I will make them available at no cost to the borrower except for shipping and return.

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Matchdrilling tooling holes to spar web with drilling jigs

Using drilling jigs to mark spar taper at wingwip

Using drilling jigs to mark spar taper at wingwip

Spar web placed over lower drilling jig using pins thru tooling holes

Spar web placed over lower drilling jig using pins thru tooling holes

Spacers inserted at tooling pins (will space spar caps apart later)

Spacers inserted at tooling pins (will space spar caps apart later)

Closeup of spar cap spacer

Closeup of spar cap spacer

Upper drill jig plate (sandwiching spar caps) installed & fixed with clecoes

Upper drill jig plate (sandwiching spar caps) installed & fixed with clecoes

Clamps and spacers used to ensure correct spar height dimension

Clamps and spacers used to ensure correct spar height dimension

End view of spar "sandwich" and clamps

End view of spar "sandwich" and clamps

Clamping and drilling along the length of the spar

Clamping and drilling along the length of the spar

Top view showing correct spar height dimension

Top view showing correct spar height dimension

The Beginning

Posted: February 26, 2009 in Tools, Workshop
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All projects have a beginning, and this is it for Skyotë Serial #73.  In this case, I have started with the workbench.  Actually I have two identical workbenches that are intended to be joined to make one large table for wing assembly. By the way, those are flying wires in the tube, and one of the preformed ribs available from Pete Bartoe on the table.

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Half of the work tables

Preformed ribs from Skyote Aeromotive

Preformed ribs from Skyotë Aeromotive