Toy Boeing Stearman Kaydet Bi-Plane #9: Finishing and Assembly

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Blog entry by RandyMorter posted 11-20-2011 01:27 AM 6645 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Main wing struts and propeller Part 9 of Toy Boeing Stearman Kaydet Bi-Plane series Part 10: Finally - Delivery! »

I decided to just wipe on some Danish Oil for these projects, mainly because I’m lazy and didn’t want to try to do the Arm-R-Coat. I MAY spray some shellac on them but I’m not committed to it at this point.

Sometimes it seems easier to apply finish before the full assembly in order to get into all the nooks and crannies. Since I’m just doing a wipe on oil I figured I could proceed with glue up.

First I glued the bottom wing to the fuselage. I marked the center of the front of the bottom of the lower wing (the side of the wing that’s exposed underneath the plane). I made a corresponding mark on the center of the body, at the front edge of the notch for the lower wing, so that I could ensure the wing was centered on the fuselage.

I glued the bottom wing to the body using Titebond III, spreading it over the entire surface in the notch as well as the part of the wing that mated with the body. Per someone else here on LJ, I spread glue using my finger tips. I clamped the wing to the body and let it dry overnight.

I then attached the tail pieces. My vertical tail piece was tight so I sanded it down to get a snug fit but with enough slop (in my opinion) that I could get glue between the pieces. I also had a bad angle between the cut that holds the horizontal wing and the bottom of the body where the vertical wing fits against the end of the slot. Since the part inside the body is not visible, I “undercut” or “backcut” the portion inside the body so it doesn’t meet the end of the slot all the way up and down – the horizontal wing can lay flat on the top of the body and only the bottom of the vertical wing piece touches the end of the body slot, making a nice, tight looking fit.

The plan was to glue the vertical piece in and then attach the horizontal piece.

I put the tail together so I could get the proper alignment. I fit the tail assembly to the body in a dry fit. I pulled the assembly straight back from the body about 1/16” and marked a line down the vertical tail where it met the body just to serve as a guide for how much of the tail to put glue on. The pencil line would then be inside the tail slot and not visible.
With the tail assembly still put together, I applied glue to the vertical tail piece and fit it in the tail slot of the body. After some final alignment adjustments, I pulled the horizontal piece off and clamped the sides of the body together to help get a good bond between the body and vertical tail piece.

Next I applied a small amount of glue to the top of the body in front of the vertical tail piece where the horizontal piece fits, the intent being that as the horizontal piece was slid back it would drag the glue along. If I put glue on the horizontal piece before fitting it in it would likely drag the glue along the top of the body where I didn’t want it.

I still ended up applying a bit more glue along the joint between the tail pieces after they were together. It just didn’t seem like there was enough glue without it. I think that I’ll also try just pre-gluing the tail together on one of these to see if that works better.

After the tail sat for 4 hours (hey, it’s Phoenix and still about 80 degrees in my garage; I figured it was cured enough!) I applied the Danish Oil to the entire assembly as well as the upper main wing.

Then, I glued the four body-to-upper-wing struts to the body. To do this, I dry fit the pieces as well as the center or upright outer struts. Then, I disassembled them, laying the pieces out for easy re-assembly. I put glue on the ends of the four struts, put them in the body, then dry fit the other ends into the upper wing as well as inserting the two outer struts for support, and held them about 5 minutes while they cured. I also measured from the work bench to the upper wing to keep them as parallel as possible. After they dried I applied glue to the tops of the struts and fit the upper wing, gluing it to the four struts.

After the four body-to-upper-wing struts were glued to the body and wing, I glued the three struts on one end of the wing, let them dry, then I glued the other side’s struts. I don’t have an easy way to clamp the wings so I used a couple of rubber bands and it seemed to do the trick. However, the rubber bands stick to the Danish Oil.

The strut glue up is troublesome. I want to get as much glue working as possible which led to run out from the holes. I’ll try to clean that up with an old chisel or sand paper.

As you can see in the picture above, I also glued in the wheel assemblies. Other than painting up the pilots, and perhaps some additional clean-up and more Danish Oil, I think the first one is finished!

I paint the store bought “people” as best as I can to make them look like people. I don’t have a lot of paint, and I have much less painting talent, but my wife thinks they look better than just the raw maple shape. It took less time to paint and finish these 5 pilots than it did for the movie “Hunt for Red October” to end.

Here’s a closer look – although a fuzzier look. I hate the auto focus on our camera and I don’t know how to manually focus it (I’m not sure it supports it). I glued on some little eyes I got at Hobby Lobby or Joan’s Fabric.

And finally, here are some more shots of the first plane I finished of the batch:

Now I’ve got four more to finish. I’ll post a picture or two of the fleet once it’s finished.

Thanks for reading!

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

2 comments so far

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 11-20-2011 05:27 PM

Nice job on this Randy, Your explainations are concise and interesting with lots of added info and comments which help to make a clear picture of the steps and lessons learned. Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3174 days

#2 posted 11-20-2011 07:10 PM

Thanks, as always, Mic!

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

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