Still Working on the Tail Feathers

Well it has been over a month since I last posted and unfortunately, I am still working on the tail feathers. Between work travel and holiday travel, I really have only had a few hours here and there to putter around in my workshop since then. No real surprise, as I knew this was going to be a long slow process!

My major accomplishment on the stabilizer has been to complete carving and shaping the tips. This went much easier than I feared. Below you can see the blocks carved into rough shape using a razor plane (the masking tape helps ensure that I don’t accidentally damage the existing sheeting) and the result of final sanding.

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My next step will be to cut the elevator free from the stab. Instead of the straight cut shown on the plans, I will cut them using a scale curve near the tip. I decided to hold off on this for tonight as freehand curve cuts have always been my woodworking “Achilles Heel”. You can see that I have added some lightweight balsa filler to touch up a few low spots, although a bit more final fussing will be needed before final finishing.

On the fin, the right skin has been glued down along with both left and right skins on the rudder. Note the reinforcing blocks added to the rudder to help secure the hinge points. The fin has been lifted from the board (not shown) and the left side prepped for its skin – but that’s as far as I got.

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I am back traveling again this week, but I will have some time off after that. Hopefully I will finally be able to get some quality time in my shop!

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