I made a toy Boeing Stearman Kaydet Bi-Plane for one of my grandsons in early 2011. My other daughters said they wanted me to make one for each of my other 5 grandsons so in September 2011, once it started getting cool enough in my Phoenix, AZ area garage, I started on a batch of these toy planes.
I’ve posted my SketchUp drawings for this project at:
Note that the SketchUp design is not complete – I may update it as I work on this project.
The body is designed to be 2-1/8” wide by 2-1/2” tall by 13-3/8” long. This works out well for using dimension lumber from a home center. Material sold as 1×3 actually measures at 3/4” x 2-1/2”. Gluing 3 of those 3/4” thicknesses together yields 2-1/4” x 2-1/2” pieces.
I got two 1” x 3” x 6’ oak and one 1” x 3” x 6’ poplar pieces so that I could sandwich the poplar between the oak – this should give some sort of contrast between the center strip and the outside strips. I chose this combination just to get some contrast but it can be any species you want.
Since I don’t have a lot of clamps, I decided to cut pieces to length before attempting the glue up. I cut the pieces to 13-5/8” lengths. Since I’d recently read James Krenov’s “A Cabinetmakers Notebook”, I arranged the various pieces so that the grain of the oak matched as close as possible. I found pieces where the curves of the grain curved, and arranged them so they curved the same direction on both pieces (e.g. if there was a semi-circular grain pattern, the apex was on the top on both sides).
For the first glue up I tried to glue two body sets at the same time. I used Titebond III, spreading as thin of a coat as possible on the entire surface of both pieces to be mated together. I’ve started just using my fingers to spread glue after trying a few different things and reading about a fellow Jumberjock member that all he used was his fingers.
I laid waxed paper down on the work surface as well as between the two body sections and between the body sections and the cauls.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice until after the pieces dried that they’d slipped length-wise by around 1/4”, which I found out later can happen as you tighten the clamps.
This caused me to glue up each body section separately for the remaining 3 glue ups, and it caused me to have to trim all of the units to the same, shortened length (well, I guess I didn’t HAVE to make them all the same length but I did). It wasn’t too bad – they all ended up being 13-1/4”.
Once they had all been glued up I cut them to the same length by setting a stop on my compound miter saw. Finally, I ripped the widths of all body sections the same and then ran them all through the jointer as required to get them to the same width. They all ended up being 2.22X” wide.
I chose a front and top of each piece, marking the front with an “F” on the bottom of each piece. I wanted them to have the same dimensions as close as possible, and to have the tops, etc., selected so that I could set up the remaining cuts on the various tools and not have to actually lay out the cuts on each piece.
Note that the little bit of tear out on the left ends of the pieces is okay – that edge will be cut off later.
-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ