<November 19, 2006>

Built Wing Cradle

What a great feeling, the wings are out of the jig (fixture) and into the cradle. With the fuse scheduled to be shipped in mid-December, I need to get my butt into gear and finish these wings. I bought some 3/4" MDF for the ends, but all the other wood used to construct the cradle was recycled from the wing jig.

For the diagonal braces, I originally cut 22" sections of 2x4 which would have run at a 45-degree angle. However, after further consideration I decided to increase the length of the braces to 28" which allowed them to attach a little further down the main beam, and perhaps provided a bit more torsional strength. This required a 30-degree cut at one end, and a 60-degree cut at the other.

Poor Sonoma. I changed the angle of the miter saw and made a few cuts before I realized I was blowing sawdust all over her. Ooops. She was just looking at it with that "What the heck is this stuff?" look.

Here is how the tip end of the cradle came out after all supports were added. After this picture was taken, I added another beam along the bottom to better support the casters.

I had been using the sides of the long wing crate as part of my wing jigs, and since I didn't need them anymore I was just going to cut them up for firewood. At the last minute I had a thought, why not use them to create a shelf on the cradle? That is exactly what I did.

I put a short piece of foam pipe insulation into the nose of of the wing tip ends, and then covered all the areas with thin shop carpet.

My neighbor was nice enough to come over and give me a hand putting the wings into the cradle. To my surprise they fit perfectly, snug but perfect. It is a great feeling to be at this step. The shop seems so much bigger without the wing jigs.