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The B-17 Build (Tony Nijhuis Design)


RedBaron
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Recently I became temporarily fed up with small models so turned to my biggest and longest unfinished project for some light relief - the Tony Nijhuis B-17.

 

When pondering how to join the two fuselage sides of the B-17 warp free and how to fit balsa covering without distortion of the structure I hit upon the idea of making a jig out of PolyPipe. The first step was to print some inserts for the front and rear formers and also for one former about midway along

 

This went surprisingly quickly and easily and was right first time I was somewhat surprised. The fuselage can be rotated in the jig and is ideal for sheeting and planking.

 

At this point the two fuselage sides were not glued together, they were just clamped temporarily in the correct position. After mounting the clamped sides into the jig it was then possible to glue the fuselage sides with PVA. I actually glued about a quarter of the fuselage at a time this worked just fine. So I now have an accurately shaped fuselage ready for planking in the jig. A lot of words but hopefully two pictures will make it all clear.

B17-Jig1.jpg

B17-Jig2.jpg

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My new Proxxon bench saw arrived at about this time so a fair amount of effort was spent in setup and familiarization on how the end stops work, calibrating the dials etc. Having found out how to tilt the blade I think that I will plank the B-17, each plank being pre-chamfered by the cutting process.

 

After some experiments in cutting chamfered planks I found that any small vibration of the balsa sheet near the saw blade effectively destroyed the chamfer. A guide was needed to hold the sheeting down as it reached the saw blade. The first picture shows the designed clamp inside the design program and the second picture shows a printed version of the guide attached to the saw. This works just fine

 

Additions to this build story will be a bit irregular as I have a lot on at the moment.

Proxxon guide.jpg

ProxxonGuideFitted.JPG

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Hello Basil,

Yes, it is plastic overflow pipe, it can be flexible. But with the three supports front (red inserts in the formers), rear and middle it seems rigid enough to do the job.

As I progress into the planking I will keep an eye on the "straightness" and if necessary will figure out a further support point. However the ability to rotate the fuselage seemed to be worth trying it out.

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23 hours ago, Basil said:

Hi Red B'. dont you fund that the plastic overflow pipe(Assume thats what it is) is a little to flexible when used in long lengths, as in the , centre,longditudal section,of your jig.

Bas

Yes, an excellent idea. Just that I have used the o/pipe for its original use and made that observation. No critisism meant.

Bas

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