Toy Boeing Stearman Kaydet Bi-Plane #4: Shape the body

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Blog entry by RandyMorter posted 10-11-2011 04:49 AM 7304 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Cutting the tail slot Part 4 of Toy Boeing Stearman Kaydet Bi-Plane series Part 5: Cut out the Tail »

The final shaping of the body is done using a band saw, router, and sander.

First I laid out the taper of the sides. Either way the cuts are done means that the flat surfaces will be reduced after one cut or the other, and it will also be harder to lay out the cuts because the lines need to be drawn on non-flat surfaces. I decided to cut the side tapers first thinking I could use double sided tape to re-attach one cut out to help preserve a good flat surface. I didn’t end up following through with that idea however.

I cut the tapers on all 5 pieces, getting as close as possible to my layout line but trying to avoid going across it. However, these pieces don’t mate to anything else and each body is unique so if you do end up with a “oops” it really isn’t the end of the world. As long as they get sanded down smooth the actual shape isn’t critical. Still, I try to practice making my cuts as good as possible each time I cut on the band saw so when it DOES matter I’ll hopefully be a bit more practiced at it.

Then I laid out the profile top and bottom using my hardboard template. I used my combo square to ensure the top and front of the template were lined up with the work piece. Then, using a tip from Christopher Schwarz’ “Anarchist’s Tool Chest”, instead of trying to make one single heavy line with my pencil I made 5 very light lines with my pencil to transfer the outline (I know, Christopher discusses that technique with a marking knife but it works with pencils too, especially since I often use 0.5mm mechanical pencil for layout – and heavy handedness usually results in broken lead).

I repeated the same process for transferring the bottom of the profile. Note that the rear is now tapered away from the template at this point so the pencil has to be extended below the template.

Next, I made all of the rough profile cuts on the band saw. Here’s a (poor) video of me cutting out one of the bodies.

The only tricky part is keeping the body flat on the table when cutting the bottom curve on the tail since the body is tapered at the rear. It’s necessary to keep downward pressure on the front part of the body (and hoping your table is big enough). I repeated the cuts for all 5 bodies.

Finally, I rounded all of the edges on the router using a 3/8” round over bit and then sanding the round over as well.

The bodies are done! On to the wings…

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

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