Plans in Hands

The workshopThursday was a pretty good day. First off, I managed to get down to the workshop and finish cleaning up. I remodeled the shop about a month a go and have been moving everything back in ever since. Because it is such a small space it has taken a lot longer than I had hoped it would to get everything organized and stowed. There are still a few containers that need some sorting, and I need to add a couple more of those small-parts bins, but all-in-all it is a usable space once again.

When I did the remodel I included an internet connection for parts look-ups, ordering, reference materials, and to have some audio visual stuff available. One thing I haven’t gotten around to just yet has been the installation of ventilation fans. It is a really small space and it gets hot in there really fast. Besides, if I am going to use any resins, do any soldering, blah blah blah, it would be a good idea if I had some air-flow.

A package? For me?On Tuesday I placed an order with Aircraft Spruce for some stickers, a patch, and… my set of Volksplane VP-I plans. My wife and I had something going on Thursday night which just happened to be when I was expecting Mr. UPS Man to come by with my package containing the plans. I was hoping that he would come early so I could take the plans with me, but time was growing short and we were about to head out. I was writing a note to authorize my son to accept the package for me when low and behold, who should appear? Mr. UPS Man! Package in hand, we were out the door in a couple of minutes.

My wife and I run a group called Grave Mistake. The group participates in the annual “Thrill The World” world-wide simultaneous Thriller dance event. My wife teaches the Thriller dance and I take care of the audio as well as manage the web and back office stuff for the group. So while she was teaching Thursday’s dance workshop, I was reading; well flipping through. I perused my way through the “VP-I Volksplane Plans and Pilot’s Handbook” and the “Evans Lightplane Designer’s Handbook” before the workshop ended.

VP-I plans and HandbookThe plans are on 8.5″ x 11″ sheets in a comb-bound volume. Everything is there but a lot of it is crowded on to the sheets and doesn’t seem to be organized in what I would consider a logical order. Looking at the plans a little closer now that I am home, I am thinking I need to make some copies and lay everything out so I can look at it all with my Big Picture eyes. I might need to do some blow-up prints too. I will definitely need a couple of working copies to make notes on.

While my wife and I were driving to the dance workshop I was talking with her about possibly building a 1:4 or 1:8 scale model using veneer sheets and pine. At 1:4 scale I might be able to build it from one (1) or two (2) sheets, and two (2) or three (3) pine 2″ x 4″s. Looking at the plans, I’m thinking it might be a really good idea. If nothing else it will be a good way get really familiar with the plans, and if I screw something up it wont cost me hundreds of dollars. Another good thing about building the model is that it will give me a better idea what materials will be needed for jigs, fixtures, and tooling. By building a model I should be able to prevent time and money consuming problems, and I will have a better understanding of the airplane over all. I will also end up with a really cool scale model to boot!

Looks like I have some planning and shop-office stuff to get done. I need to come up with a task list and sub-budget for the model. I think I might need to build a bench-top frame for my RotoZip tool to use it as a router/cutter for the model. I have some 1/4 and 1/2 particle board, some cheap 1/4 plywood, and some Masonite available, and lots miscellaneous hardware. That should get me started. The next two weeks are really full, but I will find some time to get some work done and report back to you.

Until next time, blue skies and tail winds.