Sunday, August 8, 2010

Back to basics

Just one of those days where you just want to sit down and bash metal.All this high tech stuff with CAD,Waterjet cutting etc is great but every once in a while you just want to take things back to basics.
Nathan is continuing on the seat assembly with the side pieces cut out and tooling made up to form the side relief.A test piece was hammered up on a piece of scrap to try the technique and also a strip bent up to make sure the seat pan will bend up ok.Looking promising so far...
With only a couple guys there today gave me a chance to get on and make up the firewall lower gussets that are mainly seen on the later series Spitfires.The cockpit section looks more like a MkVIII than a MkV with F8 and F11 so a MkVIII engine frame is being restored for it to go out on displays.
Back to basics I could have drawn the gusset up in CAD,got it waterjet cut then drilled off and cleaned up in two shakes of a dogs tail.But seeing we had a template already made and sitting in our templates drawer I decided to do it all by hand.Using the template I drew 4 copies onto the sheet,then using the guillo and tinsnips cut them out to a rough shape.The holes where centre popped and drilled with a Number 40 drill bit.The "blanks" were skin pinned together and drilled off,including all the radius holes etc.The blanks were seperated and the cutout removed using a shap chisel and vice as a cutting edge.Yes can imagine the woodworkers howling in disgust using a woodchisel on metal but we have a chisel special for the job and it was a Woodworking teacher who showed us the technique :)
With the gussets packed back together the cutout is cleaned up with a "file",yes the metal rods with the ridges,not the Computer thing that goes into folders,errr  hangon.....Thats not the sheetmetal folding machine...ohhh stuff it,you know what I,m talking about...Actually brings back memories of file terminollagy...The call of "OK WHERE'S THE FLAT BASTARD" usually gets a reply of "WHO YOU CALLING A  FAT BASTARD!!!!!!"
Anyway after file finishing and cleaning up the gussets are fitted up to the firewall and drilled off,skinpinning in place (The sheetmetal workers best friend).Then all to do is remove,clean up holes and prime gussets,ready to be riveted week....maybe.....Anyway bored yet so here are the pics...

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