Piper Tri-Pacer or.... "The Flying Milk Stool"

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Project by FJPetruso posted 02-02-2015 03:49 AM 2803 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built a version of a Piper Tri-Pacer in my woodshop. I didn’t exactly build a whole airplane in my woodshop. Nor did I build a scale model. Airplane enthusiasts often jokingly refer to the Tripod Landing Gear version of the Piper Pacer tail dragger as…. “The Flying Milk Stool”. Since my brother has enjoyed owning a real Tri-Pacer for years, & it’s over 60 years old now, I decided to have a bit of fun & make him a brand spankin’ new one!

The style milk stool I picked was taken from several photos that I found on the NET. One with a handle was nice because of it’s resemblance to an airplane tail opposite the front landing gear. I made the seat from an old 1-1/4” maple table top. And the legs from some 2” thick hard maple. The disk was cut out on my bandsaw, trued on my lathe & the edges rounded over on the router table. After marking the leg holes 1-1/2” from the edge & 120 degrees apart, I made a 10 degree jig for my drill press & drilled the leg holes. Then I drilled a 3/4” hole in the edge opposite one leg for the tenon on the Shaker styled handle I turned. 12” Shaker styled Milk Bottle legs were turned with 2” long 1” diameter tenons that were cut to accept the wedges that secured the legs.

A fixture was made (“I”-screw, “J” hook & turnbuckle purchased from the hardware store) to anchor the stool down to my bench while I layed out & routed my version of Piper Tri-Pacer logos that I found on the NET. Finally it was finished with Maple stain & Minwax one step Pecan finish.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

5 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7123 posts in 3961 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 05:09 AM

Great little project! I bet your brother will love that “The Flying Milk Stool”. Nice work looks great!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View controlledturn's profile


27 posts in 4372 days

#2 posted 02-08-2015 03:48 PM

Great project and I liked your use of the turnbuckle to secure it to your bench for routing.

At the airport where I work, we refer to the Tri-Pacer with tricyle gear as the milk stool, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a taildragger version.


-- Cheers, Joel Elder

View FJPetruso's profile


331 posts in 4318 days

#3 posted 02-09-2015 07:31 AM

The turnbuckle really held the stool rock steady for routing. And best of all there were no cutting or adjustments necessary… Just screw the Eye screw in the bottom of the stool, insert the J hook through t dog hole & thread a large washer & wing nut under the bench top, link the J hook, turnbuckle & Eye screw together like the old “Monkeys in a Barrel” game & tighten it up with hand pressure.

Here’s a photo of a Pacer tail dragger that Piper made after the Clipper model was dropped…

And the Tri Pacer or Flying Milk Stool…

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

View Tony Petruso's profile

Tony Petruso

1 post in 1801 days

#4 posted 02-19-2015 04:02 PM

Frank presented the milk stool to me yesterday. I had intended to take it to the Missouri Pilots Association monthly dinner last night to show it off. Unfortunately Rosemary’s car broke down and the delay due to towing, etc caused us to miss the meeting. I’ll take it to the March meeting. Anyone interested in seeing our 2001 trip in the Tri-Pacer from St. Louis to Fairbanks, Alaska and north of the Arctic Circle can check out

Thanks Frank for a great gift!

-- Tony Petruso, St. Louis, MO

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2718 days

#5 posted 02-19-2015 04:11 PM

I know a TriPacer pilot who announces “Caution, Wake Turbulence” on the radio when departing. ;^)

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