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Old 03-23-2006, 02:25 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Benton, KY
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Default RE: Fuel Tank Frustration

A good friend shared this with me, and I have found that it works quiet well. I was in working on one of my new planes the other day and was building the fuel tank. While I was bending the brass tubing I felt compailed to share this “how-to” tip with my fellow club members. This tip was shown to me by our own club member Bill Pierce and is one of the best tips on how to do something that I have learned since being in this hobby. Bill presented this to us in one of our meetings a couple of years ago but just in case you missed it or you are a new club member hungry for knowledge in this hobby here it is. Many of you seasoned builders that have been around this hobby a while will most likely already know how to do this. I found one of the most annoying things about bending nice curved radius bends with tubing is that ever so annoying kink that you get when you bend tubing very far. You can purchase tubing benders and there are several out on the market that work well but one of the best, simplest and cheapest I have seen is taking a common hex head bolt and 2 hex head nuts. This is how it works. You simply Lay the tube on the bolt against the threaded part and screw in the hex nuts up against the tubing. This sandwiches the tubing between the 2 hex nuts and when you start to bend it the hex nuts will not allow the tubing to kink. It is amazing how something so simple works so well. Goes back to the KIS method (Keep It Simple). You need to use at least a 3/8” diameter bolt. I use a 5/8” diameter bolt and the larger the diameter the bigger radius you can bend. The bolt I use is also about 5” long. You don’t have to have one that long but it gives you something to hold on to like a handle when making bends. Attached is a drawing showing how this works. You can open it in WORD and you may have to zoom up to see a better view of it. I have a drawing this if you need it. Just send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I will send you a copy.

As for the other problem, I have not yet experienced that problem. You might try so RTV Silicone like used on automible transmissions. I know of some that insist on using that before they secure the stopper.

"Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, and the lesson sometime later!"