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Narfi's Life after EU: Chapter Five - CH750-SD 3 Place Aircraft

Discussion in 'Life, the Universe and Everything' started by narfi, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. narfi

    narfi Lost

    This week we purchased plans for our new project.
    It will be a scratch built 3 place bush plane which we will build floats for as a secondary project after it is flying.

    These planes are normally purchased as a kit with all the aluminum cnc cut and drilled so the customer only has to put it together (they say 3-400hrs but more likely 2x that) but we will be building every single piece(will probably buy some of the more complex parts like the formed windshield etc...) from the blueprints and then putting it together, so it should take us much longer.

    We will start making pieces this winter in our tent, but the plan is to build a heated shop next spring/summer and by next fall be building in comfort and style :)

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  2. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf


    (Can you fly?)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  3. narfi

    narfi Lost

    I soloed when I was 16 and got my license when I was 17. The license never expires but I haven't flown in quite a few years, though I am around aviation daily..... I am a small aircraft mechanic.
  4. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    The difference between people when growing up is amazing... at about the same age I was trying to build an RC glider - never finished it :cry2: (I think I was inspired by the Sky Pirates kids film growing up [an 80's rerun] and my family used to go to airshows). The idea of getting a pilots licence at that age... or even afford a single lesson. I can't even imagine it!

    Fast forward many many years, my first "flying" was a double set of 2 channel RC copters that you could battle another player with and shoot each other down with IR. Was pretty fun although really hard to fly. Actually, during lockdown, due to breaking all my little quad's props, I've been flying an IR copter around the room whenever I need a screen break. Guess that is one of the benefits of working from home... can't really fly model helicopters around an office! I'm definitely getting better at it though! I'm trying to fix up a slightly bigger one I have that is "allegedly" outdoor capable. Reality is you need to be good at flying backwards but I have some ideas that might improve that situation.

    Anyhow. Mind suitably blown. Looking forward to following along. Aircraft Mechanic... well I never!

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  5. narfi

    narfi Lost

    I spent some time cleaning up the mess I made in the tent last 3 years boat building, still need to organize some tools and get the dust off all the shelving/benches.
    I have a 14'x35" strongback made from 2x8s and sheeted with plywood, thinking I might stick legs under it and a couple sheets of plywood to make a big table for working on this winter. Would give me a nice 6" overhang maybe reinforced with 2x4s or something.... or maybe just cut down some mdf and cover the existing size, the current sheeting is in pretty rough shape.

    Started watching the homebuilt help videos, need to rip them to a usb stick before I scratch any of the disks. Was trying to think and I cant remember the last time I used disks for watching anything.

    The plans arrived yesterday. Zenith included the SD assembly manual and the 750STOL blueprints with some parts in the horizontal and elevator pages highlighted. I assume those are the ones for me to start building, but sent roger an email to verify.

    Starting to make a tentative list of stuff to order before I start, some tools some supplies, etc....

    I found a list someone had made where they estimated the aluminum they would need for their 750stol,
    9 sheets .016
    10 sheets .020
    3 sheets .025
    2 sheets .032
    1 sheet .040
    1 sheet .063

    1/8" and 5/32" avex countersunk rivets (how many of each to start with?)

    1/8" and 5/32" clecos (how many of each?)

    Pneumatic and hand rivet pullers with Zenair modified heads

    Probably one of the Builders tool kits off Aircraft Spruce (is there a better place to look for the basics bundled together?)

    Cleco Pliers
    Metric squares and straight edges
    Compass and Protractor
    Assorted pencils and pens
    Snips and olfa knife

    Belt sander
    Band Saw
    Drill Press
    Router Table

    A couple extra sheets of 3/4" plywood for making form blocks

    Once I have a pretty good list together and finished, then negotiations with my wife begin...
    I have laid the ground work by buying her a brand new retro scooter like she has always dreamed of, and she is expecting a big lump cost starting out this project, but still I need to be wise with it.

    Like_50-1-1024x723-1-1024x723 (1).

    I own or have access to most of the tools at work already, but want to be doing most of this at home, starting in our boat building tent and moving into our new shop next fall when it is done.

    The boats were pretty much just skill saw, table saw, hand held router and random orbital sander, I do have some misc. stuff xactos, dremil, hammers, wrenches, sockets, cordless drills, etc.... but nothing really focused toward sheet metal at home.

    We have a local Aircraft Spruce warehouse (about 10% higher prices than the southern warehouses) so I will use it as my base price when shopping around for best prices. Not sure how realistic it is, but hoping to start with around $5-6k of supplies and keep the average going forward to under $750 a month.
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  6. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    OMG! You did it? You start building your own plane? I love this new project so much. And I'm jelaous to your son to be part of it!
    Well, I'm part of another project to build a bit bigger plane, the Dornier Do X. But she'll never fly ... :-(

    I wish you good luck with this project!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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  7. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Alas my project has stalled lately while I clean up. There are nerfs to Fusion coming soon too although I don't think they will impact me much and my friend has a small business edition anyhow if for some reason I need access. I'm hearing rumours of technical issues too around something I was planning on doing... so some experimentation coming up for sure before proceeding. Narfi inspires me to try harder though!
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  8. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Do a log about it somewhere, if not here then wherever people interested in whatever you are doing hang out...... The act of recording your progress motivates you to keep pushing ahead. + people will remind you when you haven't done anything in a while :P
  9. narfi

    narfi Lost

    An old friend showed up this weekend, so took him and his girlfriend out on the lake. (a lot more fun than cleaning and burning trash)

    Another friend finished the video he made of the boat we made, which turned out pretty nice.(the video)

    Yesterday after work I was able to finish cleaning out the tent from the last projects and get some of the fiberglass dust chased out.

    Just need to put some legs under the old strongback to make the table and get it leveled.


    Might start ordering stuff this afternoon.
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  10. narfi

    narfi Lost

    And I did......

    Home Depot: $950
    Amazon: $900
    Aircraft Spruce $5400

    Not sure how I want to separate expenses, but some of the long term tools I don't want to count against the airplane, but still I wouldn't be buying them if I wasn't building it. So I will keep two numbers I guess..... Aircraft Spruce was mostly aluminum and rivets, but also ~1k worth of tools, I will count all the HD and amazon towards tools.

    Total time spent building: 0 hours
    Total Cost: $8190
    Airplane + consumables + project specific costs: $5340
    Tools, etc.. I will keep for future projects: $2850

    Next up getting some legs under the table and setting up all the tools when they arrive.
    I need to make a rack for storing all the aluminum I just purchased as well.
    Need to make some flanging dies similar to this,

    Something I have been thinking about, I do want to prime everything. I guess it is controversial, but I have had to clean and replace lots of aluminum during my carrier due to corrosion, so it is something I want to do.
    Is there a good, thin, cost effective, epoxy primer that comes in multiple colors? would be nice to look inside a wing or tail section and be able to see the different parts contrasted in different colors.
  11. San


    From what I know, with aluminium, anodizing ("eloxieren" in German) is the preferred method of corrosion protection where found necessary at all. I don't know what the cost and difficulties are with larger parts, my only experience is with small stuff like housings and user interface mechanics for electronic devices. But trying a quick search, there seem to be plenty of howto articles.
  12. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Yeah, I have had that suggestion. I don't think I want to deal with learning a new system and all the chemicals involved. I 'know' paints and primers, I am familiar with them on aircraft skins, so it is a comfortable option for me.

    I agree though that well dyed and anodized parts look very nice! Just too difficult for me to learn with on such large pieces.
  13. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Got the rack for the aluminum put together with a bonus shelf on top.

  14. narfi

    narfi Lost

    Turned the 3x14' strongback into a 4x16' table.
    Unboxed and assembled the bandsaw, belt sander, drill press, and vise.


    Don't think I want the tools permenantly mounted to the table in my smallish work area so have them setto the side for now except when I am using them. Will probably mount them on individual castered tables once the shop is built.

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