23 February, 2006

Day 1 with the Tern: Tail Feathers

I started the build of the Tern today, chosing to begin with the tail feathers. The assembly of the stabs and ruddervators went fine, but I suppose that I would feel pretty bad about myself if I couldn't assemble some balsa stick parts over a plan. This was the first time that I used my GP Magic Magnet system, and it worked really well. It isn't tremendously better than T-pins for this type of build, but I do look forward to using it on the fuse. Here is a picture of the stab in work.

You can see the magnetic hold downs that I was using around the frame.

The part of today's work that I was the happiest with was the fabrication of the stab mount block. I planned this as a trapezoidal piece of balsa that would act as both a mount for the stabs (they are offset from horizontal at 39 degrees), and as a receiver for the composite tail boom. I cut a piece of balsa to the right thickness (5/8), and then cut the bevels in the sides with my bandsaw. It turned out nearly perfectly on the first try.

I just couldn't resist taking the stabs and taping the rudders to them and then pinning both assemblies to the mount just to see how it would look. As I hoped, it came out very well. Not bad for a night's work.

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