Any interest in a Rib kit for Starduster Too?

Discussion in 'Starduster' started by Lotahp1, Aug 24, 2016.

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  1. Aug 24, 2016 #1

    Lotahp1

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    Ok guys...i found out one of my co workers at the FAA owns a CNC router. He can do anything from signs to tile (amazing what can be done there!) to wood. That's where he got my interest. I asked him how he does it and if he could cut plywood ribs out easily if I supplied the plans. Sure enough he had a buddy scan in the full size drawings from the 6-1-1998 plans...Les Homan says on the sheet 1 "we have taken the original drawings and put them on autocad..." Dated 1-12-1999. I believe these to be the newest version of plans. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

    He has now scanned them in and will be doing a few samples soon.

    As to what wood to use...I've officially now seen it all. From 12 ply Finnish birch...to 5 ply Mahogany to 3 ply royal marine a-a fir. The plans I have call for 5ply aircraft mahogany for the ribs. Buttttt these plans were made about the same time our own NDTOO says he got a factory kit from Starduster Corp and he was supplied with 12ply Finnish birch and told that's what to use by the factory if I recall the other thread correctly (again correct me if I'm remembering things incorrectly). All that said my wings look to be 3 ply Royal marine and others I've seen (I have bought some extra stuff that included some wings etc that are partially built...they also are 3 ply Royal marine...unfortunately I don't believe they are any good because they weren't varnished and left in hangar for many years. But there is almost a complete set of wing hardware that is good...maybe I'll build another of I can get this one done!) so it's basically builders choice between those I guess. I think I will use the the mahogany 5ply unless someone has a reason for one of the others I should know????? Please, let's hear opinions on this and the whys.

    BTW HERE IS TODAYS AIRCRAFT SPRUCE COSTS ON THE PLYWOOD.

    4'x4' 12ply Finish Birch $112.75
    .95lbs per sq foot
    Quality Birch Aircraft grade plywood produced to AB/B grade on all thicknesses. Meets GL2

    4'x4' 5ply mahogany $121.97
    Says 4'x8' sheet of 1/4" weighs 25lbs so that's 12.5lbs for a 4'x4' and .78lbs for 1 sq foot.
    American-made structural aircraft-grade plywood is made of imported African Mahogony veneers laminated in a hot press to hardwood cores of Poplar or Bass wood with waterproof glue. Will meet all requirements of specification MIL-P-6070, which calls for shear testing after immersion in boiling water for 3 hours. Far superior to many plywoods in which all plies are 1/16 inch thick and laminated in a cold press to make up the total thickness. Tests should be made on cold press plywoods before use on aerobatic aircraft. Available in 45° and 90°


    4'x4' 3ply Royal marine $31.88
    (I've sent a message to ask the weight for a sq foot...will update when I find out)
    UPDATE ACS REPLIED AND IT IS .8125lbs per sq. ft.

    First quality marine plywood that meets or exceeds requirements of specifications PSI-74. All are Douglas Fir. Insist on A-A grade for your aircraft!

    Seems like any of these will be perfectly fine. I know my plane had several hundred hours with no wing issues because of wood type. And we know the factory was selling the 12 ply Finnish birch. But seems it was designed using mahogany. The weight seems like a fairly big deal here. .95lbs for the birch vs .78 for the mahogany and unknown yet on the Royal marine. Almost a 1/4" pound per sq foot of 1/4" plywood seems like maybe you could save 5-10lbs I'd think if you used the mahogany instead of birch?
    For the weight conscious crowd it seems a easy choice and if one is doing it from scratch this seems like a perfect place to turn a little extra money into a little less weight. The cost for birch vs mahogany is fair close. The Royal marine is down right cheap in comparison.

    So after that long winded question and comparison is there any interest from anyone wanting a set of ribs? Price would be dependent on wood choice obviously. My buddy says the actual cutting wouldn't be very much...he hasn't given a price yet until he does a few practice ribs to see how fast he can cut with no chips on edges. I'll keep you posted but I wanted to see if there was any interest at all before I order wood for myself. (It will save money to order all the wood at once vs me order mine then order more etc).

    I have checked my ribs from my right lower wing and they are close...but not exactly like the plans. I'm actually just going to trace mine and have him scan those drawings to produce my set. I figure my plane flew good how it was so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. AND I'm hoping my other wings will prove to be good when I inspect them...although I'm planning on them being exactly like this one minus the cracked rear spar...the glue joints were done at the same time sooooo they also probably need repair or replacement also. We could do this for anyone also if you don't want to use the ribs as they are drawn in the 1998-1999 plans...if you are reading this NDTOO, what plans were your ribs built from just to give us an idea how the plans wings will turn out.

    I'd be glad to work with anyone else that may have the metal parts scanned in for water jet so we could basically have a kit for builders.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  2. Aug 24, 2016 #2

    NDTOO

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    I'm not sure what plans my ribs came from. I got my wing materials the winter of 94-95 from Bill Clouse. The metal showed up first to start making all the fittings and then the rest arrived buy around February 95. All of the plywood supplied by Bill for my wings was the metric Finish birch. I'm not completely sure why he chose that plywood but I recall him talking about how stable it was and resistant to warping etc. and had no voids. I also got a set of auto-cad prints from Les H. probably about 1999. My wings were basically done by then so I never did directly compare the ribs to the prints.

    The ribs that I got were by no means a finished product. All of the spar openings were cut to the thickness of the blank spar only and I had to enlarge the openings on any of the ribs that landed where there were plywood plates on the spars or that had to slide on to the spars past the plywood plates.
     
  3. Aug 24, 2016 #3

    planebuilder

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    Lotahp1:
    Any chance you could email the scan of the rib? I have been working on the conversion of the "printed before cad" rib , and would like to compare. You will have to verify the spar c-c dimensions on your scan, even if printed accurately the paper can expand or shrink over time.
     
  4. Aug 24, 2016 #4

    planebuilder

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    Lotahp1:
    I tried to upload the DXF cad drawing of the rib I did, but the forum won't let me, unless I'm doing something wrong. If you pm me your email address I will send it to you so you, or your friend, can compare.
    I have been investigating plywood too. My son's race boat is built from Okume Mahogany. It takes one hell of a beating without problems, It has been up to 147 mph, commonly runs 110 - 120 in pounding waves! We had a chance to rebuild the bottom of one sponson, (hit a log at 110 mph) , the skin on the bottom is 7mm Okume. We spent time with the builder, a commercial operation, he built my son's boat 20 years ago, he swears by the toughness and strength to weight ratio of Okume. After the punishment I have watched it take over the last 2 summers, I doubt it will ever see that much stress in a wing.
     
  5. Aug 24, 2016 #5

    Lotahp1

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    That would be great. I'm not sure what kind of file he has etc as I just let him barrow my plans and he had them scanned etc. my email is Lotahp1@aol.com

    I'll keep you posted on what happens. Maybe between all of us we can get it together so people have a option besides doing it them selves everytime. With today's technology it's silly to do it by hand everytime.

    Have you checked to see how many 4'x4' pieces it will take to make a complete set of upper and lower ribs for wings, center section and ailerons?
     
  6. Aug 24, 2016 #6

    cwilliamrose

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    You can use a ZIP file to upload a compressed version of the file in the attachment manager. No vector file types are supported according to the list.
     
  7. Sep 21, 2016 #7

    Lotahp1

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    For anyone interested...so far only me and one other...I have my right lower wing completely disassembled and I have cleaned up and traced each rib precisely on thick paper...I used the thick paper in a roll you can get at hardware store for taping off when painting. I had to disassemble my wing completely because I noted my ribs are slightly different...very close but not close enough to just use the plans ribs...if I was building a complete new set of wings I'd build with the plans ribs but I'm hoping I don't have to do that! I am replacing ALL wood now in my right lower wing. Just reusing the metal stuff. The forward spar was good...until I messed it up taking one of the plywood doublers off it...one side doubler was fairly easy to get off. One side my thin putty knife dug into the soar somehow...I got in a hurry. Oh well. It will all be new now and a spar is only $92 for the forward spar blank. I will add my wing does not have the plans taper at the tip. The bottom is flatter and the top more angled at the outbd taper area that forms the tip. I debated doing it per plans etc but again...I hope to not build all new wings so I will duplicate the taper as is...it flew good for several hundred hours like it is, although I wonder why he flattened the taper on the bottom? More lift this way? Anyway, my buddy that had the CNC router has the factory prints and now my custom prints loaded and waiting on my Aircraft Spruce order of plywood to show up. Doing the exact CNC off my traced ribs I won't have to do much resizing of the spar holes etc. I have measurements along with tracings so it is all accounted for (some ribs lay over the plywood doublers etc). I'll post pics of my ribs once I receive them. He is using me as a basis to get a time etc for how much he can cut out future sets. My plan after this is to have basically a complete lower wing kit and upper wing kit and center section kit. Where you can call and order all the routed parts. I've heard others have done this but I have never seen anyone offer it after they did their own...lots of work just to make one set. Might as well share the work since ACS has zero interest in supporting this plane past selling plans.
     
  8. Feb 21, 2018 #8

    Avimex51

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    I'm down here in Victoria, Texas retired from the Dept of Defense restoring my Starduster Too I flew back in the late 70's. I am in need of a rib set for all four panels and center section. Needless to say, I am very interested. Let me know the completed set price. Thanks, RCJ.
     
  9. Feb 21, 2018 #9

    mceagle145

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    I would also be very interested in a complete set of wing ribs for my StarDuster
    Tom MCMeans
     
  10. Feb 21, 2018 #10

    DennisV

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    Among other things I got with this project was about two boxes of pre-made ribs. Not sure if I would need them, I put them in boxes and marked them "Spare Ribs." When I came back a few days later they were gone and there was BBQ sauce splattered all around the hangar and an empty keg in the corner. Hope I don't need them. ;)
     
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  11. Feb 22, 2018 #11

    planebuilder

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    Kris, Did your guy ever cut some ribs for you?
    Did he or you ever compare the rib drawings I sent you against the scans he made of your plans?
     
  12. Feb 22, 2018 #12

    DennisV

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    I just can't believe nobody had anything to say about "Spare Ribs." You guys are waaaaaay too serious. :D
     
  13. Feb 22, 2018 #13

    TFF1

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    You did not say what kind of sauce they have.
     
  14. Feb 22, 2018 #14

    race38

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    Ohhh, I groaned.
     
  15. Feb 22, 2018 #15

    DennisV

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    Sure I did. It was BBQ sauce. ;)
     
  16. Feb 22, 2018 #16

    planebuilder

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    I was very tired and had to read it 3 times to get it, I finally laughed, then went to bed.:)
     
  17. Feb 23, 2018 #17

    Lotahp1

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    No my guy flaked out. I ended up routing mine out by hand. Using the old ones as templates. Worked great. Still have a tiny bit of clean up to do and still need to do the nose ribs. Someone with CAD experience needs to make these! The only thing I can say is...the ribs should be done...then checked to see if any need adjusted. Before you sell a kit. As you know some go over spar plywood doublers some do not. So the spar openings are different on some. Width wise. I’d have to look but I know on my old ribs they were all the same then the builder had little pain in the butt shims in place for the ones that didn’t need the extra width. I am not doing my ribs that way. I’m making mine where they are the correct size. Maybe over kill since they get corner blocks. But regardless I like to not have to use the shims.
     
  18. Feb 23, 2018 #18

    planebuilder

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    I could do it, but..
    Just a real rough estimate, It would take about 3 sheets of 6mm Okoume, that's $300 from ACS, with no profit added to material cost, Could use other wood if requested.
    There will also be some shipping cost.
    Then maybe 600 for CNC machine time, setup, etc., not including drawing, nesting, programing..hopefully those programs would be reused again?
    In reality it's not as easy as throw the sheet on the table and walk away as it cuts. Unless a dedicated gasketed vac board is made $$$, it would be drill a few holes, stop and add screws, drill lots more holes and stop to add lots of screws, then cut, then remove lots of screws.... repeat.
    So roughly off the top of my head, $1,000-1,200 + packing & shipping, for a complete rib kit.
    Is that amount realistic for those considering building a Starduster?
    And just to get in deeper, if doing ribs, I would also make the dies and stretch aluminum trailing edges.
     
  19. Feb 23, 2018 #19

    Knight Twister

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    Maybe try to find out who was doing them for Les Homan. I bought a set of SD II ribs from him when he owned SD Corporation.
     
  20. Feb 23, 2018 #20

    Dave Baxter

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    Kevin we did them in house both times I worked there. Back in the old days we would screw two sheets of 1/4" 5 ply marine mahogany to a 3/4 or 1" 4' X 8' piece of finished plywood, then would screw alum rib templates and all of the small parts to the plywood, after which we would use a plunge router and route them out, it would take a couple of hrs and a lot of sawdust to get the entire rib set . After I left Starduster in 1999 Les was working on several ways to make them quicker and easier lazer cutting was one idea, and he made a special routing table, but I do not think they were ever outsourced? Dave

    DSC02777 1250 .jpg
     

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