|Project by RandyMorter||posted 08-21-2011 06:48 PM||2280 views||6 times favorited||10 comments|
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