Well thanks for that reply Kittyhawk. MOST interesting. And just FYI, I've never heard of that source of plans before, thanks.Thank you for your comments.
In reply to AES as to the 'how and why', I have an interest in aviation from a technical viewpoint and started building models by accident, wondering if it was possible to accurately replicate an aeroplane in wood. I sold this first model (spitfire) and word of mouth took over and my order book currently stands at 11 aeroplanes. My customers think I must have quite a collection of my own by now but in fact I do not have a single one. Once they are built and all the difficulties associated with their construction overcome I lose interest in them. Thankfully my clientele do not and keep ordering more which is great for me as I get to enjoy them for a couple of days after completion and then I courier them off to their new homes.
Concerning the plans, Iine drawings for pretty much anything that drives, floats or flies are available from The-blueprints.com. These are downloaded and converted into working drawings and adjusted for the scale I wish to build in - all my fighter aircraft are 40 :1 which for a Spitfire equates to a wingspan of from memory 32cm. I template all the components in 3mm MDF which I get free from our local window glass company. Glass comes wrapped in thin MDF sheets for protection. Currently I have full templates for around 30 aircraft. I essentially use recycled NZ Rimu and occasionally mahogany which I now also get for nothing. We live in a small village and people soon get to know what you're up to so I am given old bed heads, dressers etc. The beauty of modelling is that a beaten up old chest of drawers will still yield usable bits of timber but useless for bigger projects. I cut the components to the required thickness on my 70 year old 8" bench saw and then to shape on an el-cheapo scroll saw. Then it's a lot of shaping and constantly checking, mainly with a low angle block plane (my all time favorite tool) a few different spokeshaves and then up through the different grades of sandpaper finishing with 400 grit and 0000 steel wool between coats of Teak oil. I use epoxy glue in the assembly and all parts are also pinned together for strength using 1.6mm diameter stainless steel rods, also known as broken bicycle spokes which our local bike shop gives me.
One of the great pleasures is figuring out now to do stuff. Obviously I needed some sort of small lathe which were eye wateringly expensive so I built one using scrounged bits. I hope I'm not giving the impression that I'm a bit of a bludger. ... It's a bit rough and ready but I can turn to 0.1mm which is near enough for me.
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And I get a lot out of fun in building simple jigs for certain functions. Here's another roughie for drilling and spacing propellor blades into spinners
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So there is as much pleasure to be had in figuring things out as in creating something that interests me, but there are also disadvantages in not coming from a woodworking background. I have only recently discovered the wonders of the Dremel tool and its many attachments. Why didnt i know about this before?
You may be the chap to help me.I have an interest in aviation from a technical viewpoint
Hello AES, thank you for your reply, and well spotted, I do indeed have three Lockheed P38s on the go, sort of. The darned things are driving me insane over assembly issues so i'm putting them aside for a day or two while I go off and sulk.
I will be in the queue of people awaiting your pedal car MG replica with interest. It sounds a really neat project which I imagine will require a lot of lateral thinking. Also interesting your comments about your workshop with a few esoteric tools of your own making - it's always fun to solve problems that way. You sound like me - does your wife accept that if she comes home with some new appliance that you will pull it a little bit apart to see how it works?
Yes, I did read that the new Dremels weren't the best and although Proxxon is available here the suppliers are out of stock due to this global supply chain thing. So i did get the Dremel telling myself that I would be only a light duty user, and its guaranteed for two years. So hoping that I won't be disappointed. I live in Whangamata, a small seaside town of 3500 people on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula.
Thank you, your reply is a lot of help. I saw a video clip of a chap who whittled propellers/helicopters and it seemed as though he worked by eye. I sawed and filed but haven't been really precise, which I'm sure, as you say, is vital.I can't really help you there Martin. I used to make the balsa and tissue paper flying models as a boy. Mostly the activity didn't end well.
But if I might make a suggestion based on experience with boat propellers and shafts. Firstly make sure that the shaft is exactly central, i.e. the measurements from your shaft centre line to propeller tips are identical. Secondly lay the shaft on a table with the propeller over the edge and check for balance and remove a little material from the heavier blade if necessary. Alignment and balance are vital for prop efficiency. Good success and I hope this helps.
Ah! Whangamata, you've just caused me to dig out my 2002 NZ tour photo album. We made a point of visiting Wha.......a to see where my daughter had been working as a physio a couple of years earlier. She loved to start her day with a run along the beech. The Coromandel is beautiful. It wasn't on our original tour plan but the weather up on the Bay of Islands was awful so we headed south and spent a couple of nights there.I live in Whangamata, a small seaside town of 3500 people on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula.
I certainly don't mind anyone joining in especially someone who knows what their talking about!! I'm going to print out your directions and follow them as best I can.I hope you don't mind me joining in? As a retired aircraft engineer (but 99% fixed wing - "we" always laugh when helo blokes talk about "aerodynamics!), so I don't know much about helicopters - and as a long-time aero modeller (also fixed wing) I know even less about model helos!!! But to add to Kittyhawk's excellent advice you may find the following rough sketch and a few extra points of some help:
What a beautiful model. I took Father to a couple of air crew signings at Salisbury Hall, the De Havilland museum, where he explained the difference of his night fighter mosquito to the ones on show. As you included, the cowlings over the exhaust were important to hide the flames from the exhaust and also he had a very bulky radar set up in the nose. Not nearly as elegant as your model! The one in the picture was taken in India, where he was sent after hostilities in Europe ended. As you probably know the planes couldn't be used because of the risk of the plywood de laminating in the heat and humidity. I understand some of the mosies found their way to the New Zealand Airforce.I have built the night fighter version, characterised by the flame arresting exhaust boxes instead of the more usual ejectors.