Started building CH750 STOL rudder kit

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by TylerSC, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. TylerSC

    TylerSC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My wife got me the Zenith CH750 STOL rudder starter kit for Christmas. Last night I decided to get started on it. I haven’t built my work table yet - honestly, I’m not a woodworker (or even much of a handyman) and that is one of the more challenging aspects of starting this project!

    I did find some sawhorses at Lowe’s last night that seem like good supports to build a simple table made out of an old door. My house came with a couple old doors in the rafters of the garage. I can screw one to a pair of these sawhorses and I also have some plywood I can screw down to the door. That should make a useful work surface I think. Not big enough for wings, fuse, etc but should be sufficient for tail and flaperons. It’ll be a long time before I get one of the bigger component kits.

    https://m.lowes.com/pd/BURRO-BRAND-21-in-Wood-Saw-Horse-1000-lb/3347070

    So last night I opened up the crate and put some carboard on the dining room table. I only intended to make some centerline marks and maybe trim a few things, and I ended up drilling and clecoing the entire rudder skeleton in just a few hours. Then I disassembled and deburred. It was surprisingly easy. I have a little Li-ion drill and it did the holes like butter.

    The only hard part was learning to measure and mark the center lines on the flanges. The parts have a curve and I wasn’t sure exactly where to measure from. Also I was very concerned about getting it perfect. Finally I realized that microscopic perfection is probably not attainable and I picked a distance from the edge that looked most like the center to me (8mm). I got everything looking perfect except the nose rib, which I did not have a c-clamp to hold - it is crooked by about 1mm. I got it centered on the spar, but one edge is about 1mm high. That should be within tolerance, we’ll see how it goes together.

    I didn’t have the handi-clamps you see on all the videos - instead I picked up some of these Irwin clamps. They are very strong and were easy to use.

    https://m.lowes.com/pd/IRWIN-QUICK-GRIP-2-in-Clamp/50214657

    Tonight - build table, scuff and spray mating surfaces with self-etching primer, and figure out how to get this rivet gun going with my air compressor.

    So far this seems do-able, and it is really satisfying to make such quick progress. The hours really flew by.
     
  2. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    Rudder kits - the gateway drug of homebuilding. :p
     
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  3. TylerSC

    TylerSC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Finished riveting the skeleton together tonight after about 5-6 total hours of work. I chose to prime the mating surfaces with Duplo self-etching primer from the auto parts store. Setting up the air riveter took about 10 minutes and it is very easy to use. The riveting is the reward for the prep work. Very satisfying. All of the rivets came out looking good.

    Looking ahead, installing the skins may be more of a challenge.

    IMG_4012.JPG
     
  4. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes, it's surprising how much wood is required to build an aluminum airplane! I built a couple of workbenches and a jig for holding the horizontal stab for riveting. I was fortunate enough to get a wing stand on casters that I "paid forward" to the next builder when I was finished with it.

    So nice to finish the first piece of airplane, and show it to friends and family.
     
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  5. German guy

    German guy Line Up and Wait

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    Very cool! I am however surprised that the ribs did not come already drilled, like those in out CruZer kit.
     
  6. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Do yourself a favor and buy a FLAT, sturdy table. You want to build a quality aircraft and that requires a proper table. You will find this out by yourself after working a while and you'll be after the longest table you can manage. Good luck building that rudder kit!
     
  7. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    :yeahthat:

    Haven't built an airplane (yet), but the best table top I've seen is a friend who has restored 5 metal airplanes, and built an RV-9. Two 4x8 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood with double laminated 2 1/2 inch X 3/4 inch plywood ribs running lengthwise on 8 inch centers.
     
  8. TylerSC

    TylerSC Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So last night I bought a couple Burro Brand sawhorses, and two pieces of 1-inch edge glued pine board about 6 feet long. It is sturdy enough for the tail and probably slats/flaperons. It can be beefed up with some more work but was perfect for the tail, and only took 20m to build.

    Got rear skins installed and drilled. On one side there is about a 1mm gap where the skin is not flush with the top of the rudder. It's tough doing all that work and having it not be perfect, but it's very close. As long as the rudder is not warped or twisted it should just be cosmetic.
     
  9. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    I personally like to cover any workbench with 3/4" MDF screwed onto the bench top -- it's smooth, flat, and best of all sacrificial. If it gets damaged simply remove and replace without affecting the actual bench. Speaking of benches, the EAA Chaper 1000 benches are kind of a standard. Plans are here: http://www.eaa1000.av.org/technicl/worktabl/worktabl.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Only took 361 days to get to it?

    I prefer 3/4 particle board over plywood for work surfaces - smoother and flatter. Run 1x4 around the perimeter - be sure to have the top overhang an inch or two for clamping - you can thank me later for that. Legs are two 1x4 screwed into an L and screwed to the perimeter. A shelf built like the top but without the overhang stabilizes everything - put the perimeter boards on top for the backs and sides so things don't fall off, and underneath in the front so it's not in the way. You can add a single 1x4 in the middle (or 1/3, 2/3) if you are making an 8 foot long table. A couple cross pieces here and there are a good idea.
     
  11. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  12. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was going to recommend those too. I’ve only built 2 of them so far, but they go together easily and are very sturdy. I’ll probable build at least another 4 at some point for my ch-750 build.