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Sig Smith Miniplane build

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Sig Smith Miniplane build

Old 10-15-2006, 01:04 PM
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Rv7garage
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Default Sig Smith Miniplane build

Well, I've taken the plunge, and figured I'd document the build for anyone who's interested. This is my first real "stick-build" kit project, having only done 2 Somethin' Extra kits before this. Its fun! [8D]

I'll post my progress so far, and then weekly (if I'm lucky) updates after that. Any suggestions, questions, or constructive comments/criticisms are welcome. I hope you enjoy!

Definitely a lot more "hand work" than I've done before, with the shaping of the wing saddles. Here are the fuselage sides....
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:08 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

...and the firewall being epoxied. The firewall was two pieces of die-cut plywood which the builder has to laminate. Sig's attention to detail is excellent- the plywood pieces were cut so as the grain was cross when laminated. Nice!
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:15 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Since the point to these threads is for everyone involved to learn something, here is how I fixed some minor mistakes. Some of my cross-pieces on the fuselage didn't cut perfectly. In the interest of not having to cut yet another piece of 1/4" balsa, I tack glued the piece into the proper position, then used balsa shims and the CA + Baking Soda method for filler. Nice and strong!

BTW, I'm mainly using thin CA and epoxy in this build.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:20 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Here is the firewall epoxied to the fuse. Getting the motor mounts into the correct position was a lot easier that I thought it would be. I temporarily attached the mounts to the engine (O.S. 52 Surpass), temporarily attached the firewall to the engine & mounts, then used triangles to position the whole assembly over the plans until the crankshaft was exactly centered on the plans in two dimensions. I marked the mounts' position on the firewall, and drilled and attached them. Sounds more complicated then it was.

Here is the framed-up fuselage...
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:32 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

...and a pic of the engine mounts. The instructions call for three small holes for each of three fuel lines (1 fuel, 2 vent)- but i went ahead and made 1 big hole. Personal preference. Also shown are the landing gear mounts.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:35 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

The builder has a lot of shaping to do with this kit. Here is the tailpiece of the fuselage, with the beveled ends where the empennage will be attached.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Keep it coming... looking good so far.

Loved building this plane... was fun and a good learning experience a few years back. I liked the look of theplane so much I had the planes blown up to something like 70" about 40%-42%.

One day I'll get a burr up and just do it...

I did a little mini-build too:
http://www.rcguild.com/tutorials/smithmini/
Old 10-15-2006, 01:43 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Here's a pic of my workshop. I live in an apartment building where you can rent a detached garage if you want one. Well, my car already has one, so I rented a second garage for a workshop! I love it.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:53 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Anywho, back to work.

I took a break from woodworking, and assembled the cowl. I was going to fiberglass the inside, but it built sturdy enough without it, so I'll save the weight. Once again, CA was the only adhesive used.

I coarse-sanded the seams with 100 grit paper, progressing to 320 dry, then 400 wet finishing with 600 wet. Wow, its smooooooth! Wheel pants and headrest not shown, but same method used.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:55 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Inside of the cowl. There is a plastic reinforcing strip that covers the seam. Plenty strong.

Maudib- thanks for the compliment. If you ever get around to that 40% Miniplane, let me know- I'll hire a midget and we'll teach him to fly...[sm=bananahead.gif]

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Old 10-15-2006, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

OK, back to cuttin' wood. I gotta say, the quality of the die cutting in this kit is surprisingly good. I'm not sure what I expected, but so far I haven't even needed a hobby knife to remove the die-cut pieces from their sheets.[sm=thumbup.gif]

Here are the turtledeck formers being installed.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:02 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

nice work so far! I wish I had the option of a workshop. right now im in a 2 bedroom apartment and my girlfriend and i are expecting, so its kinda hard to convince her that using the 2nd bedroom as a temporary shop until the baby comes is a good idea.
keep up the good work
Old 10-15-2006, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Another pic of the formers being installed.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:12 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

You have to mark the position of the stringers on the front and back formers before you install, by the way.[&:]
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:13 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build


ORIGINAL: andrew66

nice work so far! I wish I had the option of a workshop. right now im in a 2 bedroom apartment and my girlfriend and i are expecting, so its kinda hard to convince her that using the 2nd bedroom as a temporary shop until the baby comes is a good idea.
keep up the good work

Hey man, congratulations! Just tell the g/f that you're going to expose junior to fine craftsmanship at a very early age...
Old 10-15-2006, 02:17 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Here she is all strung up...or is that strung out...? I dunno...


Turtledeck stringers attached. On the left side, the black mass is a pile of ankle weights from my wife's old weight set. These are being used to hold down the plywood piece where the cabane struts will eventually be attached.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:22 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Another pic of the plywood decking, weighted as the epoxy cures. Sorry for the washed-out pic.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:25 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Posting pics is fun, Posting pics is fun...! One more, and that's it for this week. Seeya next week!
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:30 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build


ORIGINAL: Maudib

I did a little mini-build too:
http://www.rcguild.com/tutorials/smithmini/

Hey Dave, I checked out your build- I really like what you did with the symmetrical graphics. Nice!
Old 10-15-2006, 05:56 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

hey thats a good idea! i'll have to try that
Old 10-15-2006, 06:04 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

this is GREAT as i have a miniplane sitting waiting in the box for when i get around to building it.

this thread is going in my subscriptions so i can reference at a later date. but i'm going to check it out as the build progresses.

great work so far, keep us posted as well as you have been so far.
Old 10-18-2006, 11:00 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

Hey guys. I am waiting on my Smith Mini to show up around friday. Cant wait for it to get here. I have heard that it flys great. Perfect for me cause I got a Mazada protoge and it will fit neatly in the back. No taking the wings of!!

Waiting on more building of the mini. Hope you havent quit cause I am looking foward to this!!
Old 10-19-2006, 01:48 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

rpembert- not quitting, just stuck in the middle of the work week

Glad that you're enjoying the thread so far, more building pics/commentary to come- stay tuned.

BTW, the size of this one (as well as the scale-like looks) definitely had a role in my choice of kits as well- I'll be able to cram it into my Corolla with no effort and hit the road.[8D]

I'll be drinking more beer -ahem- I mean doing some more building tonite. Will take pics as I go and post the progress soon.


***EDIT*** If anyone out there has a copy of Higley's "Bipes" book that I could borrow, that would be great! Its out of print[&o]
Old 10-20-2006, 02:43 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

I saw your thread, adn jumped on it! Looking very good so far!! Keep 'em coming!!

I have both the Minipalne, and teh Higley book 'Bipes' (and a few other yellow books!)

I bought the kit because of the book. I bought the book because of the kit!! What is bettter than having two building views of the same plane!!

I am looking forward to building mine, but I have a few kits in line, namely my FunAero Albatross DII that arrived yesterday! I think this might push the minplane back a bit..

Check E-bay or Amazon for the Higley book. Definelty worth owning IMO.. LOTSA stuff in there!!
Old 10-20-2006, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Sig Smith Miniplane build

hey, its me again, looking at the pics of your build make me want to build this plane real bad. i have an engine, and a radio system that would go with this model.
can someone help me with some needed items to comp;ete the kit? ex. sipnner, wheels, ect
thanx

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