12 August 2011, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ft. Worth, Texas
Originally Posted by hank jarrett
Question for the experts in Albatros construction. I have a friend who is repairing a Taylorcraft L-2B and needs some information on making a curved plywood fairing that goes around the landing gear bungees.
When you are preparing the plywood for bending to put on the fuselage of the D-III are there any chemicals you soak the plywood in to make it easier to bend? When I used to build models (many eons ago) we would soak the wood in water with Amonia to soften the wood. When the wood dried out on the form it would hold the shape, but that was a model, not a full size airplane with my soft pink parts going along for the ride.
What are you using (to treat the wood, we have the forms) to form the Albatros plywood around tight corners?
Knowledge never becomes obsolete! Just the people who forget it.
Just a note: Bending any type of wood is best accomplished with HEAT, not chemicals. Steam is usually the medium used to get the heat applied consistantly to the wood, but it is the HEAT more than the moisture that softens the wood for bending. Steam delivers the heat in an even, consistant manner. I'm familiar with using Ammonia too, but I'd be afraid it might interact with the glue.
I've seen some nice videos about bending wood with just heat (around a hot pipe) and it is amazing how well it works... but that is for narrow (maybe 1.5"-2" wide pieces of about 1/4" thick wood.) I suspect it may be difficult to keep the temperature even along a length of pipe to do that with plywood. Steaming will apply a virtually even temperature to the whole piece, and thin plywood only takes a few minutes to soften in a steam box.
With modern aircraft or marine ply, heat and moisture from steaming will not affect the glue at all, unlike the plywood used in WWI.
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