[79FT]: Building Things
... the answer is: solder!
|On:||Sep 07, 2019|
Doing the electrical rebuild on the Charger, I needed to terminate quite a few of heavy wires with large lug type Amp terminal rings.
I had a Harbor Freight hydraulic crimper lying around that I got to crimp a couple wires when I was installing CRG-30P on the Cheetah, and was planning on using it; though the type of crimps produced by it kinda bugged me.
After doing a few crimps, I decided to burn a few terminals and do a proper test.
Normally, crimpers for large size terminals are super expensive; but Harbor Freight, as usual, sells a hydraulic crimper with large dies for just about fifty bucks.
Here it is, in it's full glory.
Technically, the way it's designed is it's supposed to produce these nice hexagonal crimps. Or at least, I think that's what they were trying to do.
But those familiar with crimpers know that the key is in good dies; and that's were most of the money is. Damn, "regular" stripping dies for StripMaster are what, $10; while milspec dies are what, $150? Now; of course there's diminishing returns there - in the case of StripMaster, regular dies work just fine for most applications.
Here's the problem with HF Crimper dies. The holes in them are severely undersized, which makes them produce "flat", rather than hexagonal crimps. We can't know if this is by design. What I tried to do is to research what others are doing, and to run a few "is this a good crimp" tests.
I was crimping chunks of 8 AWG MIL-W-22759/16 wire into AMP Battery Terminals.
After crimping, the terminals were hacksawed in the middle of the crimp, and polished to see if there were any voids or visible wire strands. A good crimp must be "gas tight". In other words, all the metal has to be pushed together hard enough to become a single piece of metal for all intents and purposes.
For baseline, I used the HF die marked for 8 AWG.
8 AWG die / crimp
8 AWG die / crimp
As you can see, using the "nominal" die produces this weird, flattish-with-a-bulge crimp. What's worse is it adds this strange "jog" to the terminal lengthwise, and scrapes the metal inward where the crimp starts. That's lots of stress risers.
8 AWG die / cutaway
The crimp quality is good though. There are a few specks of shavings I didn't clean off - those are not defects.
I went next size up, to dies marked for 6 AWG. That produced the same crimp as for 8 AWG, but with "wings" being thinner - almost paper-thin. I also didn't like how it mangled the terminal even more.
Somebody online mentioned that they rotated the crimp 90 degrees and did it again to "push the wings in" and I tried that.
6 AWG die / crimp
6 AWG die / crimp
I think the resulting crimp, while tight, is too rough to be acceptable. It almost feels tortured.
6 AWG die / cutaway
Inside though, it's all nice and compressed.
Finally, I tried 4 AWG dies.
4 AWG die / crimp
This crimp almost looks good. The jog is almost not there, and it has nice hexagonal shape. "Wings" are almost not present.
However, the dies closed fully and it felt to me that the metal was not compressed enough (I recall the resistance I felt in the crimper doing the previous two tests, and the resistance I felt on this one was much less).
The cutaway confirmed that.
4 AWG die / cutaway
Those imperfections on the cutaway are voids left from not enough compression force applied.
Well, it's a sad one really. If you want to use the HF tool, then you probably should use dies that make those "winged" style crimps (like the one produced in my first test), and suck up the jog and other imperfections.
I have posted my findings on AeroElectric list, and the conclusions seems to be supported - the dies are horrible, and to make them real good one would need to rework them significantly.
Or, alternatively, just solder them (here's a nice howto by Mr. Nuckolls) , which is what I am seriously considering.
After trying and failing the soldering approach, I have devised a technique of using this crimper to achieve good results. Musings linked in the previous sentence, and here's the jist:
"The first officer says he's got you in sight."
"Roger, the first officer's cleared for a visual approach runway 27 Right...you continue on that 180 heading and descend to three thousand."
|On:||Sep 26, 2018|
So, the last entry was in July 2015. It's September 2018 now. No, previous entry doesn't count: I have written it 2 hours ago :).
What took me so long? Mostly, the damn house!
Yes, seems like I pulled the wrong set of plans... again, and instead of building an airplane, ended up building a house.
Damn. Need to sort thru my plans a bit better next time.
The Tile (each handmade by my kick-ass wife - ~3000 total)
So while we wait for the next project to solidify to the point of having something interesting to write about (it's gonna be The Dream Shop)..., well... I guess, we wait.
The Door Bell (which still works when power goes out)
It's best to keep the pointed end going forward as much as possible.
Russian autumn tradition
|On:||Oct 07, 2014|
No posts for 1 month and 5 days! Holy cow.
That's all been eaten up by a couple projects. One of them ended up being a complete redraw of all airfoil sections on the lower wings on the Skybolt; and nothing to write about (no pretty pictures, very routine work). Just lots and lots of cleanup.
Another one... was me following an old Russian tradition.
You see, during long winter months Russians' desire for fruit and vegetables (and mushrooms) is satisfied with pickled everything. Cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, grape leaves, dill (!), apples, garlic, fish (haha :) ), and other things which I don't know English words for.
My genes are calling. It's fall, and I had to pickle me something.
It was.. a disassembled Lycoming for the Skybolt!
Some weeks ago, a gentleman posted on the Forum about him selling an O-360-A4M, all overhauled, yellowtagged, and such, by Superior; with higher compression pistons from ECI, with everything needed to put it together minus the sump and accessories, for a very attractive price.
Best part was, it was disassembled, so I am to get all the fun putting it together without the disassembling and sending parts out for overhaul (and well, paying for that too :)).
In short, it was a great deal.
The problem? Well, I will not need it for quite a while. 10 years maybe, if I go with the speed I'm currently going at.
I figured, assembling and pickling it after would be a bad proposition. A much better one would be to pickle it part by part.
As usual, started with a thread on the Biplane Forum.
At the end of the day, I ended up using three things.
Phillips 20W-50 Anti-Rust Pickling Oil
Good' Ol' STP
Cortec CorrShield VpCI-368
This latter substance is amazing. It's mineral spirits soluble, moisture displacing spray-on stuff that can protect up to 2 years in outside (!!!) storage. I'm storing the engine parts inside my house, so I figured it will do very good for a much bigger number of years.
It sprays on, and then dries over a couple days to consistency of candlewax. A bit sticky, but very tough. They claim it's scratch resistant.
Just in case I missed something or ended up scratching it off; I decided to also put a thick layer of Aeroshell grease on everything that's covered with CorrShield. Just in case.
It showed up!
For smaller pieces, I first wanted to put them in sealed sandwich bags, with some STP / Oil 50-50 mix, and squeeze all the air out.
New connecting rod
Now in the baggie with STP/Oil Mix
Gears and bits
.. all bagged up
But after them sitting like that for a couple days, I didn't like how all the oil drained to the bottom of the baggies. So instead, I submerged everything in 2 oil/STP baths.
Piston pins, gears, rocker arms, misc accessory case things in oil/STP bath
Pushrods, piston rings, tappets, etc in oil/STP bath
At this point, I ran out of oil and STP... And I had too much of CorrShield and grease -- and, after playing for some time with CorrShield and seeing how tough it is, I decided to use it on everything that didn't get into oil baths; even on smaller parts.
One of the jugs
Jugs, right side up and tops CorrShielded and greased.
Some more small pieces stored "dry", covered in CorrShield and grease.
Thru studs and pushrod tubes
Bearings, oil pump housing and minor pieces
This project took a couple weeks worth of evenings; and now my inner Russian is completely satisfied with his stash of pickles!
I’d rather be lucky than good.
commonly used items
|On:||Aug 28, 2014|
|Tags:||tools, software, website, SWX|
Thanks to Bill Rose of the Biplane Forum fame, I have a lot of SolidWorks models of various hardware and other common airplane things.
I just recently have set up a page where you can grab all of them. Models are hosted on GitHub, so you will always get the most recent version.
The page is going to be linked in the Resources menu on the left. Click here to go straight to it.
Jet noise: The sound of freedom.
why's, and such...
|On:||Jul 14, 2014|
I decided not to post current progress on the aileron linkage.. Too much work into it, and too little to show. It was mostly cleanups, and modeling a few missing pushrods. Still need to put more things up until there's anything to talk about.
So instead, I present you...
Originally posted as a reply to a hundred (or so) year old question of "why" in yet-another-thread-on-the-topic on the Forum.
Me and Ben; both Grumman fans and AA5-B aficionados, are sitting in a $100 burger place called Props at Ben's home field, chatting hangar talk. A really slick taildragger pulls up to the pump. "Oh; that's an RV-8. It's a homebuilt" - says Ben.
One of RV-8s based in Watsonville
I've heard about that some crazyfolk build planes in their garages before, but, being a fresh-off-the-rolls pilot with ~3 months of ticket behind me, never given it thought. My very first instructor's primary words were 'follow the procedure, checklist, certification, standards' (sidenote: I am not against following procedures, Im against instruction-without-explanation-of-why). Glad I ditched that guy 1/2 into my training... But you get the gist.
So, back to RVs. What a beautiful machine! Looks almost like a Grumman.. but slicker, newer, cleaner... And it's easy to build! And .. and ... and.
That times, I didn't have much background building stuff. I built some simple furniture with hand tools (think circular saw and trim router). I did some stuff in my mom's house back in Russia, primarily designing and building electrics and plumbing, when I was a teenager. I built office networks (15 1-inch holes in 3ft thick brick walls, anyone? Russian buildings are BIIG). I never really truly fabricated anything... Building computers was another one, but that one didn't involve any fabrication either, just making sure you put a cable right side in (anyone remember AT-style motherboard power connectors? "Black-To-Black", I will never forget ).
My experience level...
But I was always into tinkering with stuff.
So anyway, the whole idea of building a plane didn't scare me, and I was excited, but I wanted something with lots'a support, good kit, and such - because the idea of fabricating stuff scared me, at least somewhat. I also wanted something fast. The plan was, we move out of state (I was in CA back then, and that's the whole other story), I sell my share in my Tiger, add money, and build an RV. I really wanted an 8; but ended up deciding on a 10, because I like having more than one victim in my plane every now and then.
My dream plane.. back then.
I just wanted a Grumman Tiger, Improved; costs wouldn't allow me to get and some other things repulsed me from Cirrus, Columbia, and a-likes.
I was on Van's forums, reading technical details, articles, and such.
I was studying intricacies of how to connect Dynons with a 430 and make it a certifiable IFR EFIS with GPS. I was almost about to start my IFR ticket training, BTW.
I was dead set.
And then, that same Ben got me a ride in a Stearman with his buddy Jerry. That guy never ever flew a nosewheel, BTW; that day I caught Ben convincing Jerry that he has to get in Ben's Tiger and learn nosewheel finally ("yeah.. it's the same as a Stearman.. just never wheel it!" - Ben was sagely saying to Jerry at Props), and then Ben went "Oh Fidot, that's great you're here - we gotta put you in a Stearman". And they did.
That day, in that first loop on the top side, my world was upside down, quite literally. I did IFR before; Drew, my second instructor, was a professional torturer (and great one at it; Im yet to see an instructor that comes even close to Drew). He made me do DME arks and shoot ILS approaches as a part of my VFR training, Because He Could (and we got that nasty marine layer in Oakland every now and then). I never did acro; not even spins though.
But That Loop... that was something completely out of a different world. The difference between never flying an airplane and flying a ratty Cessna 172 for the first time during the misleadingly cheap "demo flight" was probably less than the difference between having ~150 hours in nosepushers as a 'Private Pilot, ASEL', and doing a loop in a Stearman.
That caused a lot of thinking; a bunch of reading; and a ton of soul-searching.
As a result, my IFR money went into basic acro training (that I couldn't finish because I ended up moving out of state, after all, and there's no good acro schools around where I am right now).
As a result, RV-10 that flies dozens of pounds of electronics was ditched for a biplane. And open cockpit. And a 2 seater ('cause I like victims!!).
And most importantly, came a realization. You have to build an airplane to experience building an airplane. You can't build one 'cause you want one cheap, or you just Want One. Man, you can pick up an oldish Cub or a Citabria for about 30 grand; and a Yankee for about 25. Hell, you can pick up the homebuilt you want for less money than it's gonna cost you to build, if you're patient enough (and even if you have to wait for a year for one to pop up, you will still spend less time than putting together a kit (2-weeks-to-taxi et al excluded)).
Yeah.. Ill build THAT instead.
And 'cause I wanted to build to Build, I had to do it the right way. So, plans-built it was. I got the plans about a year and a half ago, and went thru mood swings between 'damm this is awesome' and 'damm Ill not fly for 10 years or will have to buy components or cut corners'.
There was, and is, a problem, and a hard one for me. Im addicted to flying. I did ~190 hours in the Tiger over a year and a half I owned that share in before moving out of state.
That Tiger; BTW...
But Im also addicted to building.
So I ended up deciding for myself that Im gonna do both. And I am. And I couldn't be happier. I don't need That Plane Im Building right now, I have something to fly. I decided not to rush, and just Take My Time; just make sure to not take multi-month breaks. 10 years, whatever. Im not in a rush.
Plus, my thinking is that works our real well with $$. You don't have to give tens of Ks of Presidents' Portraits to Vans or anyone else all at once. You pay as you go, and you build as you go. Got a bonus? Put it aside for an engine. Don't have one? Get some tubing and burn some holes in metal. Hey, I bet you can get cutoffs for dirt cheap or free at you local metal yard or whatever. Don't have any money? Do some reading, drawing, learning, and such. Hell, learn mechanical engineering. Aerodynamics. Structural analysis. 3D CAD (that's my current gig ). Hang out and help other folk in your chapter build things.
Bottom line, Build to Build, and To Learn, not to Fly, or to Have an Airplane For Cheap.
Rule one: No matter what else happens, fly the airplane.
... and how it turns into two weeks
|On:||Jun 07, 2014|
So, originally it was supposed to be the shop day. I was gonna clean and put together the compressor I picked up off a gentleman on Craigslist, and set up the air hoses, filters and such - and then, back to CAD. And then..
See, I was looking for a bandsaw. I wasn't in a rush, so I was gonna pick up a good used one; so I was watching Craigslist and such, waiting and waiting. After doing that for about 6 months and after I got tired of not having one; I finally said "screw it" and bid on one on Ebay.
I won it on Friday around 4pm; paid, and went home. Well; there, in my Gmail's Inbox, was a notification from CraigWatcher saying that yet another bandsaw ad was posted... I opened it up; and couldn't believe my eyes.
Someone was selling.. an 18 inch Grizzly saw for 250 bucks! I couldn't pass on it; and next morning was driving back with a 300 pound beast in the back of my car....
... and then, spent a week and a half cleaning it up. I polished the rust out of the table; changed some bearings, re-cut threads on the blade tensioning rod, added a 4 inch dust port (for whatever weird reason, Grizzly decided not to put a dust port on this particular model).
It also ran on the 220, so I had to add a 220 outlet to the shop... Decided to go all out; and added a 6 gauge run with 50 amp breaker, so that I can run a TIG welder off of it when I get one.
So now; I own two bandsaws :).
Here's the perpetrator:
Since we're talking shop....
Right now Im set up in the garage of the old house we bought about half a year ago. Dash (my beautiful wife) is working on designing a new house we're gonna build; and that one is going to have a good sized shop. We will build that house first and then demo the old house; so I could start setting up earlier than I thought I would be able to; which is certainly nice.
But; Im dealing with 40 year old electrical; and other fun stuff..
Here are some pictures of that garage, ordered historically, as I was setting up.
Just after washing everything with a pressure washer...
The beginnings of the storage spot
.. all that empty space :)
That's pretty much all my tools before I moved (the big red chest is new)
First batch of stuff - table saw, jointer, planer, drill press. Excited!
.. and set up!
Storage's getting a bit more crowded
Setting up lighting. All that wood is for the benches.
First bench - the frame is ready.
The benches are up - and this place is starting to look like a shop!
Next, some 2x4s put together into a material rack. Cleared a lot of space!
Air setup, router table, and The Bandsaw
Added some entertainment :) Also, the little Delta bandsaw on the bench
I like how this looks!
And here are a couple pictures of the tools...
Air setup is very simple, a compressor with a shutoff directly into an air filter, regulator, and 25 feet of hose on a reel. That reaches pretty much everywhere.
The Air Setup (very simple for now)
At some point; I measured the runout on the drill press -- got around 10 thousandths - no wonder why it was all vibrating when drilling deep holes!
Grizzly includes very cheap chucks and arbors with their presses... Gladly, the bearings have no play though. I ended up picking up a used Jacobs chuck on Ebay, and boy, what a world of difference! Used a SouthBend arbor picked up on Amazon.
The Jacobs Chuck
I wanted a router table; but didn't want to pay around a grand for the one I like (and cheap ones are just.. crap, honestly); so I built one.
Top is two sheets of 3/4 MDF, laminated together. White Formica is laminated on top, bottom, and sides. All done with DAP Weldwood contact cement.
I bought the insert plate (though in hindsight, I should've just bought a hunk of aluminum and made it myself).
It still ended up being a bit out-of-flat, so I built a leveling system into the base (two bolts on each side are pulling the top "down", screwing into holes in the top with threaded inserts; and there are two screws pushing up on the top in the center of each long frame side. All that allows me to work out any non-flatness out of the top.
Fence is 3/4 ply; and the router sits in the box under the table. The box has 4 inch dust fitting epoxied on it on the other side (and the fence dust collector feeds into that fitting too).
The Homebuilt Router Table.
Fly with the eagles, or scratch with the chickens.
© Copyright "79FT". All rights reserved. Feel free to cite, but link back to the pages cited.
This website only shows how I did things in my various projects. These pages are for information and personal entertainment only and not to be construed as the only way, or even the perceived correct way of doing things. You are responsible for your own safety and techniques.