Today I got to play with my new Dremel router attachment. This turns your Dremel tool into a basic plunge router, capable of cutting grooves, edges and various other neat things. While I could of course have just bought a basic router, this course appealed to me, and a small router will come in very handy when I’m making the panels later on. Read More
(On a brief aside – WordPress is normally a great blogging system, way better than Blogger where I started off, but every so often it goes a bit wrong and eats my copy. Thus what appears below has been re-typed, badly, from memory. WordPress admins, take note and sort it out!)
Today was a bits and pieces day on the project. I spent the morning cleaning up the build room a little, getting rid of offcuts and bits of wood and hoovering up all the sawdust. This takes a lot longer than you think because sawdust takes up a suprising volume and there was several weeks’ worth to clear. So a few empties of the dust hopper later, I was nice and tidy. Well, as tidy as the build room ever gets. Read More
This weekend I’ve been getting on with the interior skinning of the enclosure. This is an important part of the build not only because you obviously need an interior surface to keep out the light and enclose the cockpit, but also because it imparts a greater degree of stiffness to the whole structure by filling in the gaps between the framework.
The material of choice for the inner skin is 6mm plywood. This is not particularly strong (you could punch through it without much difficulty, I suspect) but it is light and flexible and the strength it does have is lateral – it would be much harder to pull a piece of plywood apart from the ends than to break it by going through the face. I bought a few sheets of this in my last wood drop, and now it’s going into use.
Just a quick one, this. I continued working on the shell this weekend, but the nice weather and the desire to be outside limited the amount of work I could get done. Read More
So, this weekend I finished off the window framing that had taken over my life, and finally came to a finish that I’m happy with. The window posts consist of two pieces of 18mm x 44mm pine strip, cut and angled such that they present what appears to be a concave-shaped single interior post. Working out the bevels to cut, given the multiple angles involved – front window and side window rakes being 20 degrees and 12 degrees respectively – was a nightmare that I don’t recommend to anyone. A thorough command of 3D trigonometry would come in handy here. Sadly it’s been 20 years since I did 3D trig at school, so I basically just measured and fudged until I had the right angles. Read More
I’m now into my sixth week of shell-building and I’m nowhere near as far along as I’d hoped to be. The last three weeks has been taken up with trying to sort out the window framing of the enclosure, and this has turned out to be the most difficult part of the build by far. Read More
Some progress this weekend – albeit, as ever, not as much as I’d hoped. After initial and crappy attempts to scratch-build a window frame in place, I applied some science this time and diagrammed the thing up in Visio to scale. This gave me precise measurements and angles which, with my new mitre saw, were a breeze to cut. Read More
Today I learned an important lesson that I suspect every cockpit builder needs to learn. It’s a simple lesson, but one that would have served me well to learn quite some time ago. It’s simply this: you need a mitre saw if you want to build a cockpit. Read More
No time for a full post at the moment. I’ve been short of time to work on The Project as a whole anyway.
Long story short, I fiddled and fuddled with the shell and basically ended up back where I’d left off last time, with a basic frame and that’s about all.
This weekend, if I get some time, I will attempt to create window frames and bolt these into place, allowing me to put the final structural members of the frame in the correct positions. Then the frame for the MIP and glareshield, then interior cladding, a door, and then starting on the pedestal etc. In theory, it should go quite quickly after this. In reality, I’m concerned that the pace has gotten so slack.
See you all at mycockpit.org!
So, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been building the basic frame of my new shell for the sim. This bears some brief description before I launch off into the actual build experience.
Sim shells (aka enclosures) are many and varied in type. They range from simple DIY efforts right up to faultless replicas of the nose section of the aircraft being simulated. Some adventurous builders with cash to spare even buy the cockpit from a real, scrapped aircraft and remodel this. While this is obviously the most accurate way to do it, it’s also costly and requires lots of space and metalworking skills; none of which I have. Furthermore, having thought about it, I wasn’t concerned about the way the shell looks from outside. It’s what it looks like inside that counts. So no need to create a near-perfect replica of an aircraft shell, skin and paint it etc. Read More