Sunday, January 24, 2010

It ain't all glamourous, this airplane building

The transitive periods that fall between the various well-delimited phases of the building of an airplane are convenient times to fulfill some of the clean-up and preparatory tasks that accompany any prolonged project of this size and complexity. Despite the mundanity of jobs such as the building of work benches, they must be done, and to be perfectly fair, winter days with temperatures in the mid-40s fairly scream to be used in some productive task or another, and why not select a task that furthers the progress towards the ultimate goal while you're at it?

So it was the building of work benches that I selected to fill the morning. A quick trip to Lowes to pick up a handful of 2x4s, the collection of same that I had estimated to be plenty on my last foray having proven to actually be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% shy of that required, and also some 3" #10 wood screws that I had entirely missed on the list. Lowes is pleasant early in a Sunday morning, and the effusive gratitude from the cash register dude as he saw me actually returning the wood hauling trolley back into its rightful place in the lumber aisle rather than abandoning it to its fate in the great expanse of empty parking lot caused me to wonder if some measure of his faith in the humanity of retail customers had suddenly been restored.

Back in the hangar it was a flood of sawing, the fourteen 2x4s being rendered into collections of smaller lengths. Four lengths of 60" and another four of 57" were slowly joined with various counts of 17.5", 21", 33", and 8.5". Plenty of sawdust to be swept up, and then onto the fabrication of the frames. With two frames done and the next step in the plans to be the attachment of the actual work surface, I had to call it a day. The reason being the weight of a slab of 4'x8'x3/4" MFD, which is an order of magnitude beyond my limited lifting capability.

Still, good progress indeed and a fine use for an unseasonably warm, albeit rainy, day. And there's always the NFL to fill the rest of the day, what with my conscience having been salved with the product of the morning's efforts.

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