P-47 Stab Construction

Construction of the TF P-47 officially got under way this weekend with the (where else) the stab. Before getting under-way, I paid a visit to the local Staples and had a full scale copy made of the plans. This gives me one set to post to the wall, and another to pin down to my building board. Also, as I plan to make some minor mods to add scale details, I wanted a set of plans I could mark up while still having the originals to refer to.

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Speaking of building boards I recently ordered a Great Planes balsa building board, but as it is on back order until mid-October, I have resorted to the tried and true method of using an upside down ceiling tile with my plans pinned to the surface. At this stage, I am following along exactly per the stock instructions. However, I have marked off the scale hinge locations on the plans and will be using Robart hinge points in place of the standard CA style hinges provided.

Before pinning down the ribs, I sanded a bevel on the front edge to match the leading edge sweep. I used this angle sanding jig which I put together earlier out of scraps from old wood-working projects (you can buy a commercial product for about $25). The jig lets you hold a thin wood strip at any angle relative to the sanding block and make smooth and precise bevels.

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The two large steel wedges are simple dead weights used to keep everything flat to the building board. Going forward, I have ordered a 25 lb bag of reclaimed lead shot from Rotometals and will use this to make up a set if weight bags. For now, the wedges will do.

I have completed the basic stab structure and am ready to move onto sheeting.

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So far so good, but this is the easy part!

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