Not much of an update, weather has been really nasty recently. I'm looking forward to making a little progress very soon. Meanwhile I'm adding a "Ragwing Cam" not sure how often it will get updated though but check in anyway
Going backwards.. Ah well, at least I'm man enough to
admit it.. I was looking at my compression struts and the diagonals on the
second wing +ed one out and
it was far harder than I thought it would have been. I'm still having
trouble though. I have it cut to the longest length that will fit and top
and bottom are flat to the plywood. Now I'm not sure where I should put in
the block supports. The plans are sketchy here as it shows no blocking on
the front spar, but in the blow up it does state there is a block.? I guess
I'll ask on the group.. I'll leave the answer here.
Well hey.. where did the time go to.?? I now have two
wings like the one below I'll spare you the pics as assembly is is
basically the same (just remember to do one left and one right) basically I
have been building wing kits.. and the fun part is putting them together and
actually seeing a plane part appear before your eyes.. of course even that's
part of a bigger kit.. and on it goes, but I don't like to get too far ahead
of myself.. it makes my head spin.. one part at a time. Winter here is
pretty nasty and its been below freezing for weeks now, snow is all around
and I have to really blast the heating and microwave my glue in order to get
anything done. I had to buy some new tools too.. (like THAT'S a chore) I got
a cordless trim saw on sale from Lowe's and a Ryobi table saw on sale at
Home Depot.. I seem to be outgrowing my workshop now!!
Spring is just around the corner and I plan to set about the lower wing ribs
so I'll have to order some more spruce, then I'll get them to the same
point my upper wings are and then add the nose ribs and wrap altogether then
start on the fuse.. or stab.. not sure yet. Anyway, keep
checking back I hope to start making the lower wing "kit" very shortly.
Please leave a comment in the guest book.. and thanks to everyone who has
written to me directly, sorry if I didn't reply to a couple of you as I have
had computer problems and I lost a load of email (hate that) please write
again if you didn't get a reply.
12 Months into the project and I have a wing and the tail
12 months of work.. one wing (90%) and one tail
But I did learn allot and hopefully the
next wing will go a little quicker. I am constantly thinking about the
lower wings and studying the plans when I have a spare moment.. they are a
little daunting for me but the more I read and study, the more everything
is falling into place.
Here are some shots of the trailing edge
manufacture and compression struts being fitted. Making sure everything
stays square and strait
Covered a rear spar with webbing today. I did the wing tips
per plans, I liked the way Carlos attached his as it looked really strong
that way, but I was too scared to cut the spars so did it per plans..
after the webbing went on I was convinced it would be plenty strong
Wow.. that was a break! Still not done that much lately but I
added a wing tip section to a forward spar and have cut a whole sheet of
3mm plywood for the webs. I got 8 for the rear spars.. (top and bottom)
and 5 for the front set.. I will have to attack another sheet to get
the other 3. So 28" went to the rear spars and about 30"
for the front ones that makes 58" out of the 61"x61" were
used, so not much waste there.. probably 1 1/2" in kerf waste
and I did cut them a little over sized. I slid on the wing ribs just to
see what it would look like and I was pretty pleased everything aligned
nicely, I also have an addition to my list of invaluable tools..
it's a 12volt car battery!! excellent for keeping things really flat
while the glue dries. As an afterthought, I think I may have cut too many
rear ones, as on the lower wings I will be able to cover with three (1.5
sheets per spar) rather than four as with the top wings.
Just a trial..
Shame on me.. not done as much as I should have done.! Wing
spars are completed and await the plywood surfacing, but I don't want to
add that until I decide what type of wing tip I want. After much debate
and soul searching I think I will be boring and stick to the plan design,
the more I read about Hoerner tips the more I feel I would be adding more
work and maybe risk doing something untested. This aerodynamics
site finally put me out of my misery. So I guess I move on.. keep
check out the guys building the Zenith tonight, it's really coming along.
No building was done as the talk was all about Oshkosh and how everyone is
going to build everything.. I got back late-ish so no building for
me too, I just thought I would size 12 new pics for the page and add them
below to go with the blurb.
I constructed a
makeshift extractor fan as the sawdust was getting allover the house, it
seemed to work pretty good. I made the wing attach and cable attach blocks
the nice rounded shape tonight, I used a whole cutting saw in a kind of
jig that did a pretty good job. The closest points are 3.5" per plans
and the rounded peaks are extra, a little more weight but adds
strength and safety. Dry fitted another dozen time.. no glue yet though.
The router was a bad Idea, but the hole
saw worked great, makeshift extractor works (sorta)
to be flying.. Today I bought another wheel (have two now) a plank
for the spar intercoastals, also a steel rod to line up the hinges (when I
install them) and some straight 2x1 to screw to the front of my bench. I
snapped a chalk line down it and held it tight.. Oh Ho.!! looks like
my bench isn't as flat as I thought it was! I packed the center legs but
the surface needed packing to get it exact. I unscrewed the 3/4 chipboard
and used Iced lolly sticks I had bought from the dollar store for mixing
the glue. Table is now dead on!! Onward... I cut all rear
spars to length and 24 x 5/16ths x 2" and clamped them up to see what
a dry fit would look like. I'll cut enough wood for the front spar
intercoastals then see what I have left for the attach blocks.. I
may have to do another wood trip.. I still have $8.00 on my Lowes card.
I discovered the table was a little
off ...ok now though Then dry fit
the wing spar, and everything came together quite nicely
27th July 2003
Went to Chicago to
swap out the old plywood and get it replaced, the people at Plywood
and Door were (once again) fantastic and everything went
smoothly. The wood was sat on the fork truck and they used a sheet of .8mm
ply to save it getting damaged on the forks, they said it was a scrap
piece and I asked if I could have it, they agreed, so I came away with a
big smile on my face, probably enough for the aileron nose wrap! Also my
Brother in Law gave me a gift certificate for Lowes which I will use to
get another wheel.. plus some wood for the spar intercoastals.
25th July 2003
have all the blocking in place and
fabric attach points glued in place. I have feathered the edges and am
quite happy with the smooth finish. I bought hinges from Lowes and next
thing is to install them. It seems a shame that some of my finest
woodworking is all going to be covered up!
I'm pleased with the way things are
while I wait for a good time to go
to Chicago to get the plywood swapped out I thought I would utilize the
good plank I found at Lowes.. I bought a piranha blade for my saw
and cut my plank into 1/8th strips (9) and decided to make the tail fin
out of it (rudder) this is not a task to be taken lightly and believe me I
sweated a bucket or two whilst putting this together.. I have to say
the new blade was really good and left a really good, smooth surface.
Firstly I drew in the critical dimensions and tested
one strip of 1/8th strip of NWP (Northern White Pine) I got the curve
I wanted and left it at that over night. Next evening I changed the
location of the fin on my workbench and made everything 'firmer' and more
distinct.. I reproduced the curve and drew in all the cross braces
and critical measurements, I don't have any actual pictures of the
lamination process because believe ME I needed every second to mix and
spread the glue, and I was a blur as I needed to mix more glue 3 times
during the procedure.. MAN this was nerve wracking.!! but eventually it
all came together and I just had to go and get beer to celebrate. WOO HOO..!!!
Here are the pics that I managed to take..
laminations were bolted together..
and dry fitted
No gluing pics available due to
total panic, and MAAAN did I use more glue than I thought possible..!!
but it was a blast.!!
glued, then flattened
laminations then I used one or
two clamps to keep it all together..!! :o)
I'm very pleased with the shape
I'm very happy with the shape of my rudder
after all the frenzied moments I had putting it together.. not
really looking forward to the elevator and tail surfaces as there are some
really MEAN bends to make.. ...fun all the way though.
Good news..!! the
nice people at Plywood
and Door have offered to exchange the wood for me, even though I
had it cut, I think that is a great gesture and they deserve a pat on the
I needed the 3mm ply for wing spars
bringing up from Illinois, a friend was to pick it up, saw it in half (to
fit in his car) and drive it 6 hours up for me.. they only gave him the
wrong stuff didn't they!! So I have some excellent GL ll spec
Aircraft grade 7ply 5mm plywood (6 sheets) that is 30" x 60"
(just over actually) if anyone needs some.. price is $20.00 a sheet and
believe me that is a bargain and it really is good stuff. But it also
means I am broke again as I expected to be completing my first wing whilst
saving for the next task I find myself just saving. I suppose I could
utilize that good plank I got from Lowes and set about the tail feathers?
wow.. that was quick!! enough
spruce for the top set of wing spars, leading edge and trailing edge. Also
3 sheets 1/16" plywood and 1 of 1/4" (2'x4')
I weighed each spar strip and separated them into two bundles of 4 strips
weighing equal amounts, then chose the lightest two from each set for the
rear spars. But I am NOT looking forward to cutting the trailing
edge.. I think some serious table saw jigging (of sorts) will be
required and a few practice runs on some old scraps.
more wood from Aircraft Spruce today, I can build wing spars when I get
the order. I'm still concerned about the aileron ribs yet. I had Ideas
about building them differently than shown in the plans but now I'm
resigned to doing it per plans. I was thinking lazy thoughts.. !!
completed, check out the work area/bench button on the left ..or click
ribs for the top wings.. and wood supplies need replenishing,
I estimate I have spent 30 hours constructing 18 wing ribs so far. I'm
impressed at how well the glue (T88) sticks as all test joints have failed
in the wood first. And what's more, I have only used a fraction of what I
expected too. I don't like the way a couple of ribs sit on my test spar so
they are candidates for the "destruct a rib" fest. Stay tuned
..pics to follow... I just need a PRIME rib break. :o)
18 ribs and the glue used.. not bad eh?
15 March 2003
7 down - 27 to go..
I seem to be making 1.5 ribs per day, I
thought I would be doing more and the only thing stopping me is the amount
of clamps I have. Funny really, I thought I had tons. Here is my
procedure. I will number the braces from 1 - 8. #1 being at the leading
edge. All uprights and diagonals are cut first.
Upright number 1 is cut 90 degrees to exact size.
Upright number 3 (skipping diagonal #2 for a moment) is cut at 1 degree
top and bottom to follow the aerofoil shape.
The other uprights (5,7 and 8) are cut at 4 degrees top and bottom. I did
a few at 5 degrees, although they came out good I thought it was too
steep. The diagonals are cut a little over size and I cut away the corners
as needed. I cut 8 small plywood
triangles all the same size and cut the corners off two (top of upright 3
and bottom of upright 5) Once glued and for the want of a better phrase
"plywooded" I staple everything together and remove from the
jig. I use a bar clamp on the upright 1 so it doesn't drift apart. Then I
flip it over and glue and add patches to the other side, clamp it all up..
I found the smaller clamps work best.. then wait for it to dry. ..wonder
if the wife would miss the clothes pegs??
13 March 2003
have given up on the knife to cut the plywood, it's just not worth the
trouble. I fired up the table saw tonight and ripped a few strips off WAYY
too easily.. I am now using a sharp pair of scissors to finish the
triangles off, works great.! 4 down 30 to go.. I better start building
that bench too
Ok, so progress
is slow, but at least it is progress.. The way things are going I expect I
will manage a rib an evening. I kinda have a production run going now so
maybe that will increase soon. I didn't really do anything on the weekend
as I had other commitments but there is no rush. BOY is it tedious cutting
all those little triangles out, I'm doing mine with a knife rather than a
saw because I can get more from my plywood that way. I have some pics in
the cam.. I will post them soon. I think I might re-arrange this page too,
I might try and break it into individual sections, a bit like Carlos has
Great News!! rib
stock arrived from Aircraft
Spruce today, I checked it over and although some pieces were not too
hot there were extra ones in there to make up for it so that was pretty
good. Plywood was good too and my T88 glue was.. well... it's T88
glue, what more can I say.!! apart from the fact I am really happy
that I feel I'm on my way AT LAST! When I think of all the things I
am going to need to finish this project it almost seems an impossible
task, but one step at a time and I keep looking around at everyone else
who was once in my situation but are now asking questions on covering
their planes, it is good inspiration. One day someone in my position right
now will be reading these scribes and I will hopefully be giving them the
inspiration they will need to strive for their dreams.
28 Feb 2003
Finally some good news!! Aircraft Spruce sent me an Email
stating my order had been cut/picked/packed and shipped, at last I can
start building my dream.!! I'm sad that it came to this but really
happy things can now begin.
16 Feb 2003
Eventually I manage
to get the post office to track down the details of my US Postal money
order and it seems no check has been cashed!! I try and contact Ted
again and explain my anguish, this time I get a reply. I cancel the order
but am now afraid to send money by this method and order from Aircraft
Spruce via credit card.
Sirius group has been dead for a few
weeks now until yesterday.. now an influx of mails are coming
through again. Don't know what the problem is or was but I will mail Ted
again tonight to see if he knows where he is up to with my wood and
glue... still straining at the leash here..!!
Still waiting for
wood.!! several mails to Sirius Aviation all resulting in no replies
(except a test mail that was replied to by telling me off for posting test
messages!) After all the communications we went through to set this order
up I am surprised at the apparent lack of interest being currently shown.
I am always inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt but my
patience is wearing a little thin. Lets hope I hear something soon.
25 Jan 2003
Still waiting for the
Two things happened
today, firstly I got a nice chunk of Fortal aluminum in the mail from "The
Mousebar Company" I think it was $20.00 and that included
shipping, great sale on at the moment.. anyway, this (after much work)
will be my tailspring. The other cool thing is I sent for enough wood to
build half the total amount of wing ribs (17) so that should get me
started while I save for the rest.. It should be here for the weekend..
Rib jig was
completed last night, I never thought it would be so much work. Hopefully
I will only have to do that once. I see some people made one for the top
and one for the lower set of wings to speed things along, but I'm in no
hurry. I completed the dummy rib to get all the piece sizes I need, I
will measure angles and lengths then multiply by 34 ..add a bit of cash
and will have 4 wings in no time.. pfft !!
Just getting a little OT for a moment though here..
I was out with some friends earlier in the week
and they showed me a Zenith Zodiac they were building and an old Pietenpol
Aircamper that was uncovered and having some work done on it. All in
all I had a great evening, they were a great bunch of guys and had a ton
of tales to tell. I hope to get to know them all better in the future.
New Years eve.!
and I just ripped a couple of strips 1/4" x 1/4" from a shelf in
the bedroom (don't tell the wife) and I transferred the rib pattern and
started setting up my jig I really don't expect to get much more done this
year so it looks like I will have to wait to try out my new miter saw as I
plan on being drunk for a while (oops there goes the budget) The
good news is I got some money for Christmas and gift token for Lowes which
is a great start! So Happy New Year to all builders and
would be builders, 2003 is going to be quite a year. :o)
15 Dec 2002
Woo Hooo let the clock
start now.!! er and promptly stop it again as Christmas
is going to sap my funds until 2003 I think.! Ah well, It will give me
plenty of time to look over the plans and get everything else in order. I have
been talked into building the experimental version so now I can build
wider and stronger for my 5'6" 190# modest (HA) frame. I can't wait.
Just want to say a quick thanks to Dennis
I will worry about the license
at a later date...
12 Dec 2002
All great journeys start
with one small step, and my Ragwing Special project is no exception. I
have just sent off for a set of plans from a builder who chose another
project (it was another Ragwing design) This way I get a good deal and am
assured of getting the plans relatively quickly (fingers crossed) He didn't
build anything from the plans so everything is legal as far as Roger is
Both check and plans should
cross in the post which is a very gentlemanly way of doing things.
Have also spoken with a few
of the guys on the builders list and am already picking up useful things
(like plans for one) I must say everyone is being very tolerant of me so
far, thanks folks.