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Andy Werback's Skybolt Project : Making small parts

02 - 6 - 2015

After getting a truck load of stuff home, the next step was to sort through it. We donated a pile to Gavilan College's Aviation Department, leaving just enough space to work in the garage. Airplane work was frequently interrupted by work on the Lancair, but over the next few months were mainly spent in making small parts - aileron hinges, bell cranks, idler, and parts for the I-struts. A little Meco acetylene torch was ideal for the welding, and a Milwaukee PortaBand was the main cutting tool - it does a really fine job on 4130 steel. The bench vise and little brake were definitely not ideal for making bends, though.

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Using the PortaBand to cut along the dotted lines

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Bending parts with the vise and an 90deg angle tool... couple of blisters from tightening the vise

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And the little bench brake wasn't much better, but it got done

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Welding up the aileron pushrod idler arms - Meco torch is nice for small work

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Aileron bellcrank and mounting brackets ready for some primer

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Aileron hinge brackets fitted for welding (will be clamped on a steel plate)

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The 1" square tubing for the I-Struts is shaped to match a rib. Lots of hydraulic pressure was required (or lots of heat)

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Finished part labeled and matched up to the rib shape


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