Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rivetting play!!

Problem with putting holes in things is plugging them up again..Work continues on rivetting up the cockpit section.Spend mornings in the office and after lunch sneak out to belt some rivets in..Like meditation :)Breathe deep,rivet..Brrrrrp....Touch Brp.....Next!!!
Aerial bracing is continuing with pieces being nailed together finally.There are a lot of small gussets holding it all together so a slow process.
Also work has started on making up internal fitting brackets for the various cockpit parts and controls.First is putting the IFF Remote contactor.This is the first version of IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) ever to come out in a fighter works as a clockwork mechanism in a waterproof box sends out a radio signal 15 seconds in every minute,warning home radar not to scramble on you..
Also is restoration work on our original bits and pieces with sandblasting and repainting..

Lots more to come!!Onto the pics..

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Busy bees..

Large crowd today with the most volunteers we have had..ever with 8 guys and gals all hammering away together..A huuuge thank you for turning up :)
With the month of May being "Displays month" we have thrown all efforts into finishing off the cockpit section.This requires a huge amount of rivetting and finishing off various components.We are going to give this Pit an ID so will keep this a secret of which one it will be.
Also the Tropical Box is 99% finished so will be given to the Museum as a display piece when finished.Just awaiting on some info on RAF Canteens.
Simon our Machining slave,errr awsome worker continues on punching out precision tooling and small Spitfire parts..
On the jig our frames are being removed for straightening and are to be sent off for heat treatment to bring them up to proper T3 hardness.
The Aerial brace assembly Mk21,876,356,345,353 is about ready to assemble with all parts being "correctly" made now.It,s the simple things in life.
Another area that is making leaps and bounds is our restoration arm with the sandblaster running hot removing decades of rust and dirt to reclaim a viable spitfire part.Thank you to Tracey for putting in the hard yards in writing up a program to keep accounts of all our parts and keep us organised.
Also many thanks to Robert and Lauren who are now our official First Aid and OH&S people..They will keep track of our health and safety in the workshop so we all go home with all limbs attached.Lauren also makes a mean cake ;)
Is starting to cool off now here so a resergence of energy coming into Winter is helping..

onto the pics..

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More Shiney bits

Here are some more bits that we have been working on..Frame 6,Frame 7 and the control box diaphragms and Tropical ration box.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is it nearly Easter?

Can,t believe it is four months into the year already.Where to begin..At the beginning will be good ;)
Start date was pushed back this year due to asbestos removal onsite so a bit of reorganising was done to start off the year.With all the rear frames finished other than straightening and heat treating the plan was to continue forward on the frontal frames up to the Firewall.At this stage we are 99% there with just a few lightening holes to be formed.This is due to having the correct size dies being machined.
We were having a lot of drama with the aerial brace not fitting up and not looking the best so the decision was to remake a lot of it.With that nearing completion again and the forming up of the control box diaphragms we will soon be looking at skinning the fuse.
Also nearing completion is the pilots Tropical Emergency Ration box.The search for an original will be on for an original Canteen will begin soon.
Soon we will have the parts needed for our bottom fuel tank,engine saddle and horizontal stabiliser from the Waterjetters to begin construction.Also our Spine Longeron is in the process of being bent up in preperation to be curved to suit the Spitfires top profile.This means new rollers will have to be machined up.
Also the new year has bought us new volunteers so training them up to be proper little metal mashers is in the pipeline.
Design wise a lot of small stuff is being finished off and still awaiting a drawing or two to finish off the vertical Stabiliser.Also to be done is the radio compartment rails.

Anyway here are some pics of our shiney bits...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Xmas time

Yes it,s that time of year again where thoughts turn to more relaxed tasks like Bbq,s pressies and alcahol consumption...Maybe not in that order..
Firstly I would thank the MAAF,Army History Unit,Oakey Army base personel,our loveable WO,s,Board Members,volunteers and well wishers for putting up with us for another year.Personally has been an up and down affair for progress but we have made forward steps.We all forget the huge task we are undertaking sometimes,the hours spent making one part or tooling,the endless discussions on how is the best way to make something.Every small part is a challenge but things are getting easier.
Up to the end we were in the process of skinning one side of the cockpit section.It is now over in the main museum down in the corner with two seats,one an early metal seat and the second a plastic seat on loan to us from Sir Bill.Our big news is the push to get our replica fibreglass wings from England.These have been purchased to hasten up the build time and to give us a more accurate understanding of the wing skins.The condition is fantastic and detail would make any model maker envious.A plan of attack is underway to get them tidied up and ready for display..More next year...
From moi and the Spitty Crew,MAAF,Army Aviation centre and anyone else who has helped..A Merry Xmas to you all and a safe holiday period where ever you may go..

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Photo essay

Work is continuing on the seat with Nathan drilling off and rivetting up the bottom stiffeners.With the thin material of the seat the countersunk rivets are dimpled into the sheet.Also the seat frames are being drilled off as the parts slowly come together to be assembled.The tropical "Lunchbox" is continued with all edges cleaned up and polished.With the paint tin out decided to restore the original radio tray we have been loaned.It has been bead blasted and now in it,s undercoat.Also gave me a chance to take some detailed pics to share with you of the lord mounts,latches and pins etc.Also the bolt detail with centrepopped nut locking.Anyway enjoy the pics..