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Toot Wing Ribs 101.1

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Active Member
Jan 10, 2009
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Hi everyone!

Its Sunday morning at the "Toot Ranch" where the temperature is a balmy 45 or so (T-shirt) weather. I head back to Michigan today around 12:00pm into the freezer box of 26 brisk degrees upon my return.

Saturday's highlights
1. Cutting more center sections and end sections.
2. Prepping the jig and materials for shipping back to Michigan.
3. Epoxy second wing tip.

We really did accomplish a lot this weekend with Tommy teaching me how to build the rib; what to look for; and all the other little details that are important but usually never make it into a builders manual.

Before I was awake on Saturday morning Tommy's work ethic was out in the shop putting 5 or 6 sheets of plywood together, drawing the center and end sections onto the wood, and getting ready to cut them apart on the band saw. This is Tommy's version of "getting after it". This is how you get a plane built (Multi-tasking and just doing it).

Jig Saw 101: After cutting the rest of the center sections and end sections Tommy let me loose to finish the parts by removing the wood in the center of the pattern on the jig saw. Needless to say my skills are a bit rusty with this tool, and following a pencil line around curves and trying to keep it straight is a challenge. Warning! If your in the same boat as me take it slow and learn how the tool works and feels. Having a good blade and watch what your doing will save you later down the road.

Remember when I said in my first post about being critical and knowing where some minor imperfections can be? This is one of them... my jig saw cuts were not as pretty as Tommy's nor will they be until I get 1000 or so hours working with this tool. Some sanding can make them look better, but I realized that nobody's going to see them once the fabric is on.

Now the realization is starting to kick in that I'm starting a project that is going to take all my free time and then some. We packed up the jig with some of the materials, and made a second box for the rest of the stuff.

Just when you thought you were done Tommy barks out another "we need to do this now" saying....what now you ask? I get another pair of laytex gloves on and start laying up and epoxying my second wing tip. We then set it in the jig and clamp it down. Now I have all my wing tips done in two days. I'll post more when we get back to these.

Are you tired yet? Well Tommy is! believe it or not we all need a rest and Tommy needed a good one at this point. Thanks goes out to Joe "Cloud Dancer" Flood for taking me down to the post office to mail my wing ribs back to Michigan at a screaming deal of $32, and the package will arrive on Thursday.

Being that we had a few hours to kill Joe took me around the Dallas area and showed me the local hobby/RC shops. As it turned out Joe is a "FreeFlight" junkie, and can do amazing things with computer generated RC aircraft. Me on the other hand needs a bit of practice, as crashing on landing is not much fun....I like the reset button a lot.

Well as you can see not much time was waisted in the last two days with all that had to be accomplished on this trip. Again I would like to send out a huge THANK YOU! to Tommy, Gary, Phil, Bob, Joe, & JoAnn for another extremely enjoyable, motivating, educational, visit...I'm leaving today but if everything goes to plan my time in Michigan is limited only to employment and dollars at this time.

Fly Safe! and we will post again in Michigan when I'm set up and ready to
rock-n-roll building ribs in really cold weather.



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