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TOPIC: E J's Wooden DC-3

E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 11:10 #1

To start off, I have NEVER built an aircraft in plastic. 65 years ago, I used to build balsa and dope painted paper aircraft with little gasoline engines like the Fox 40. I'm a ship guy, with a little crossover to armor (if they float).

Saw this on the shelf in the LHS and couldn't resist. First, it's wood / paper. Second, when I joined the US Navy, after recruit training at Great Lakes and a 5 day leave to go home to Michigan, they flew me out of Grand Rapids on a DC-3 bound for Anacostia NAS. My first big adventure of my life, and the first time I had flown in an airplane.

I'll build this just as a stick frame without the paper, just cause I think it looks cool. I've been working on a 350 Missouri with all the aftermarket wood decks, PE, brass guns etc., and have to set it aside occasionally to keep from getting frustrated with a complicated, long term build.

I hope this will clear my head and re-invigorate my enthusiasm.

EJ
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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 11:32 #2

First, what's in the box.

This is a balsa wood kit. The package came from the store with much of the paperwork missing. I called Guillow's and they responded quickly, furnishing everything that was missing. The "flat pack" with the paperwork and stuff was apparently left out when packaged. I also have a Guillow's P-40 Warhawk that was part of an estate sale and missing parts and paperwork. They had replacement parts available for that too.

Anyway, on with it.

The box;


Paperwork, lots of instruction and guidence sheets. Full size layout and parts sheets.












Parts, wood, wire, paper, plastic; I had already started cutting out parts so I kinda reconstructed the die cut sheets I had cut parts from.








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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 12:03 #3

What a challenge. :popcorn
I told you photobucket sucks...



"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
Hank Williams Jr.
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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 12:10 #4

I started by getting some full size copies made of the building, parts and layout sheets. I wanted to save an original but also needed to cut up the plan sheet to make a building board. I cut the copy sheet into manageable pieces.





I used some softer wood scraps from the shop for the boards, placed the first cut part sheet (the fuselage) on a board with wax paper over to prevent sticking to the sheet.


The instructions said to cut out all the fuselage parts and gave the numbers, so -




The die cutting did not always go all the way through so some careful e-xato work was required. In addition, the little notches were not cut completely, the vertical cuts were not die cut. This required each piece to be laid over the paper template and the notches cut to the template and filed to fit the stringer pieces. The balsa was somewhat brittle and tended to split along the grain of the wood, so I had to stick the broken pieces back on. I used CA for that. All the parts need a bit of sanding before assembling them on the building board.

I haven't been able to find out what the bottom two parts are for yet. They are called fuselage formers on the sheet.

A comment on the balsa wood - This wood seems to be very soft and crushes even with a scalpel blade. Years back, these die cut kits were cleanly cut, the parts popped out readily and seemed more sturdy. It might have something to do with the quality of wood available - re old growth vs newer stuff? Seems the quality of various materials continues to decline. We had trouble purchasing quality balsa for the bridge and tower building competition for Science Olympiad at the school for the last couple of years too. But, I will make a silk purse out of this sow's ear.

The top, bottom and side keel parts on the building board ready to be glued and assembled. I need to get a new bottle of Titebond as mine is 3 years old and I don't trust it. The curved black thing at the bottom is my belly hanging into the picture.


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Last Edit: 14 Jul 2019 12:19 by MM2CVS9.
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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 16:48 #5

Got the top and bottom keel parts glued up, and both the side keels too.



Cleaned up the fuselage formers and trimmed off the tabs on the left side formers while the glue was setting.

Then started on setting formers. I need more pins. Can only do two or three at a time as I don't have square blocks small enough to fit between the formers. Oh well, I'll just have to slow down a bit.



More tomorrow.

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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 17:34 #6

This look's cool :popcorn

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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 20:57 #7

These can be so cool to build. They can take some time, but when done you will have passed the challenge.



My dad built 3 planes when I was growing up, a Waco biplane, a Beechcraft Staggerwing, and a P-26. All were completely scratchbuilt just using plans and sheet balsa with paper. They were fully painted and had little cockpits in them.

They were around for about 50 years. Sadly he decided to give them away to 2 young boys that lived down the street a few months before he ended up in a nursing home. He wasn't in his right mind anymore and I know that both my brother and I would have liked to had one of them each. I doubt that they lasted long as brittle and delicate as they were.

I do have the plans for them (someplace) so maybe I can talk myself into building one of them again someday.
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E J's Wooden DC-3 14 Jul 2019 21:57 #8

:popcorn
I told you photobucket sucks...



"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
Hank Williams Jr.
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E J's Wooden DC-3 15 Jul 2019 13:38 #9

Had to go out today, so stopped by Hobby L. Got a sheet of 3/32 balsa to remake a broken part. While there, I found some really nice pins in the sewing dept. Some shorter pins with a nice large round head, easy to push in, and some smaller, thinner T pins.

Swung by the model supplies and lo and behold, there was a bottle of my all time favorite wood glue. and it was on sale! Looks like they might be discontinuing it. This was what I used back in the day of gas motored balsa planes. Sands nice, somewhat gap filling, resistant to dope and fuel. Next best is the white stuff from Midway or Titebond.



Finished up placing all the formers.



While waiting for the glue to dry, I made some guide clamps for installing the other side formers.



After lunch, I test fitted the side keel and marked the former locations on it. Fit perfectly! glued it up and slid it in place. One fuselage side done except for the stringers. After supper, I'll take this side off the building board and start on the other side former install.



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Last Edit: 15 Jul 2019 13:39 by MM2CVS9.
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E J's Wooden DC-3 15 Jul 2019 13:58 #10

Wow, ambitious project :thumbsup

Cheers, Christian B)

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E J's Wooden DC-3 15 Jul 2019 15:15 #11

Wow, what scale is this?
Are you going to make this static or a flying model?
I told you photobucket sucks...



"If you don't like it why don't you just let it be"
Hank Williams Jr.
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E J's Wooden DC-3 15 Jul 2019 18:46 #12

This is 1/32 scale. The finished model will be 24 1/8" long by 35 1/2" wingspan.

The kit comes with paper for covering, but I don't think I'll do that. I'm just gonna sand it up real nice and put on a lacquer clear-cote (or two) before installing the plastic cowling and trim. I just kinda like the look of the framework. There is no provision for motorizing it. Not sure how that would work with a twin engine plane. I might take it to school for Science Olympiad show n tell, just to show how the joints and connections should look.

The P-40 kit (single engine) I have, has a plywood bulkhead for mounting a fuel motor with a control line setup for controlling the stabilizer, or instructions for an RC rudder and stabilizer, or it can be flown with the supplied rubber band motor and instructions for that. Many of the older, single engine kits were designed for all these methods.

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Last Edit: 15 Jul 2019 18:47 by MM2CVS9.
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