Toy Airplane #2

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Project by RandyMorter posted 08-21-2011 06:48 PM 2953 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After my Toy Airplane #1 project, I wanted to do another plane but I wanted it to be a bi-plane. For some reason I decided to somewhat model the Boeing Stearman Kaydet which is the plane from the beginning of the movie Pearl Harbor.

Starting on December 28, 2010, I found a image online that had a lot of the dimensions. I started scaling it down and drawing it up using SketchUp.

Here’s a link to a page with some pictures of a real Kaydet:

I started cutting parts out on 3/5/2011 – making some hardboard templates so that I can make a few of these once I get the prototype done.

This plane is all hardwood. The wings are all poplar. The body is laminated poplar and birch, with the birch on the outside and the poplar piece down the middle.

I had picked up my Grizzly bandsaw before this project and it was a lot easier shaping the body for this plane compared to the first one. The actual Kaydet has a more rounded body but I kept it simple and just tapered the tail (I used my jointer to shape the body on the first plane I did). I used a forstner bit to create the cockpits.

I had a hard time figuring out how to attach the wings and it caused me some delay trying to figure it out. The problem was that, barring actually laying out the brace pieces and calculating their lengths which was more than I wanted to do, I needed to hold the wings in place while measuring and fitting the braces. While corresponding with my buddy Mic we figured out I needed to make some jigs to hold the wings while fitting the braces. I made a couple of pieces for a jig and held the wings in place using rubber bands which allowed me to lift the wings up to fit the braces but then the rubber bands would still hold the wings in the proper configuration. That was the hardest part about the project.

Next I needed to make the landing strut. I didn’t think it would be strong enough if it was just the 3/16” dowel (which is what the wing braces are made from) so I made the strut out of 3 pieces. I’m not real happy with the design – IF I actually do make more of these I think I’ll try to figure out a simpler strut design.

I made the propeller basically the same as my first project – used a 45 degree router bit to create the propeller shape.

I used a store-bought “person” for the pilot, and painted him. This time I spray coated the pilot with some shellac. As before, I drilled a relief on the bottom of the pilot with a forstner bit and glued a small magnet to him. Then I put some steel screws in the bottom of both cockpits to keep him planted during extreme airial maneuvers. I did have to enlarge the cockpit a bit to get the pilot to fit and found that I could use my Ridgid spindle sander for that – I didn’t put the top mounting screw on the spindle and was able to move the plane body up and down as the spindle made its vertical travel and sand out the inside of the cockpit. It might have been easier to sand the wood “person” by putting it in the drill press but I was afraid of marring the head so chose to enlarge the cockpit.

I had a lot of problems trying to apply a finish to this project. It was just too hot in my garage. I used General Finishes Arm-R-Seal which I like but due to the heat it was drying too fast and I was dripping sweat on it. I had to do just a little at a time and didn’t end up putting as many coats on the bottom as I wanted. Oh well – I need to get some A/C in the garage (it must get to be about 115 or more in there all the time here in Phoenix!).
I sent this to my Grandson Andon as a birthday present.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

10 comments so far

View NV_Dad's profile


1 post in 2440 days

#1 posted 08-21-2011 07:19 PM

Nice job! Love those projects. Will you be putting out plans?

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3088 days

#2 posted 08-21-2011 07:40 PM

What a Delight to open up lj’s and see this Beautiful Project. I know You have been fighting the heat out there, so that makes the completion even better. Great job on this, it looks “GREAT”. I really am impressed with Your advanced planing on sketch up and follow through in the construction, down to the “007” style pilot, which is most likely taken from a certain debonair character pic, the “shaken not stirred pic”. All kiding aside, this is just a very nice job, and a wonderful gift, which shows Your true nature as a woodworker, congrats Randy, and thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2660 days

#3 posted 08-22-2011 03:14 AM

Thanks everyone! I’ve posted my sketchup on my website and put a link here for anyone who’s interested:

It isn’t complete, I noticed. The cut outs for the cockpits aren’t there, nor are the holes for the cockpits.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View ChrisN's profile


259 posts in 3743 days

#4 posted 08-22-2011 02:20 PM

Very nice!

Thanks for sharing!!


-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3020 days

#5 posted 08-22-2011 02:53 PM

Thanks for the idea and all the details on this. Both my father and father-in-law are recreational pilots and I’m sure something like this would be enjoyed and cherished by both of them.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3334 days

#6 posted 08-22-2011 07:13 PM

the plane looks great

-- self proclaimed copycat

View nitewalker41's profile


456 posts in 2662 days

#7 posted 09-13-2011 04:42 AM

man that is real neat, I just finished one from Armstrongs book and was wanting to try and do a scale like yours, now that I have seen it I am real excited about it, will check out your web site and links….”you did yourself proud”

-- "older I get, the more fun I have"

View BadDavid's profile


86 posts in 2002 days

#8 posted 11-22-2012 03:08 PM

Thank You, I have place this on my to-do list for the grand kid

-- BD, where bad wood finds a home. Va

View Leonard5's profile


377 posts in 2663 days

#9 posted 04-28-2013 12:53 PM

Very nice.

-- Leonard H.

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2836 days

#10 posted 04-28-2013 01:30 PM

This is very nicely done. It really looks good.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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