{short description of image}Shop Equipment
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This is a view of some of the equipment in my shop. Most of you will not have access to equipment like this but it can be helpful to see how aircraft parts are made today because you can duplicate many of the techniques in your shop. Most of the aircraft that can be built from plans can be fabricated with very basic equipment, it just takes a little longer.

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{short description of image} Lets start with a bench vise. You will use one constantly for holding parts while you work on them. Do yourself a favor and replace the part killing serrated jaws with a nice soft set of aluminum jaws. Your parts will thank you.
{short description of image} You have to have some way to cut your raw material into smaller pieces. This horizontal band saw is what I used to cut my tubing to length. You could use a hacksaw or even better, a 14" abrasive chop saw.
{short description of image} This hydraulic shear is what I used for cutting my sheet metal blanks for all the fittings and the ribs for the empennage. You can probably get away with a band saw for the smaller parts, but use a shear for the ribs. They are too long and thin for accurate cutting on a band saw.
{short description of image} This is the engine lathe I used for fitting the tubing ends for the fuselage. It is also great for making the strut end fittings and all the little bushings required.
{short description of image} I haven't used this much for my Pup because I have CNC mills. These are great for making fixtures and machining fittings. If you don't have access to a mill or a lathe, try to purchase one on ebay or through your local paper.
{short description of image} This 1" belt sander comes in very handy for de-burring parts. Not absolutely necessary, but a real time-saver.
{short description of image} I would purchase a 6" belt sander before a bench grinder or the 1" belt sander. This is a light duty woodworking tool, but it has enough power to grind fittings to shape and the finesse to do a good job of de-burring.
{short description of image} I have formed all my parts on this Di-Acro press brake. It is a 35 ton with a 6' bend length. It has a very accurate backstop and makes beautiful parts consistently. You can use a leaf brake instead but you give up a lot of accuracy unless you are very skilled.
{short description of image} This is a Pacific 12' 150 ton press brake. Definitely not necessary for your Pup. We use it for forming parts in rubber and forming the trailing edge of control surface skins. Aluminum normally comes in 12' sheets so we have purchased some of our equipment to accommodate parts that size.
{short description of image} This is a 15' Farnham roll. It was made specifically to form leading edge wing skins. It can roll as small as a 1" radius but .063" aluminum is the thickest material you can form. I might use it to form the leading edge of my wing if it is too difficult to pull it around the ribs, but it probably won't be necessary.
{short description of image} This is a 98 ton hydro press. It has a 10" x 20" capacity. I can form the aileron ribs on this but I will have to farm out the wing ribs or form them by hand. This press was made by Personal Press and I am friends with the owner of the company so I might be able to "test" one of his larger presses when I am ready to form my ribs. The red box is filled with urethane. You put your flat pattern on the form block, smash it down and the urethane forms the blank against the form block. It goes much faster than forming a part by hand.
{short description of image} We call this a Timesaver but it is actually made by Amada. It is a 37" wide belt sander for de-burring sheet metal parts. It has a coolant system to keep the parts from warping and a dryer to get the coolant off the parts. 2024 is normally clad so I will be de-burring my ribs by hand.
{short description of image} This is the TIG welder I used for my fuselage. Definitely do your welding with one of these if you can. It can produce very strong, beautiful welds.
{short description of image} Don't use one of these for aircraft parts. A MIG welder is good for making fixtures or repairing your car but it is too hard to judge the penetration you are getting on lightweight aircraft parts. Just say no.
{short description of image} Now we're getting to the good stuff. This is a CNC lathe. Great for making repetitive parts like the bushings I was talking about earlier. Takes longer to set up for one or two parts than an engine lathe. They are also expensive and hard to learn how to program and run. I am making Pup parts on this but an engine lathe is all that is necessary.
{short description of image} This is a CNC mill. This is the perfect machine for making Pup fittings. I wrote the programs, made the fixtures and cut all my fittings for two Pup's in 4 days of free time, about 16 hours. Every part is close to perfect. It has the same downside as the CNC lathe.
{short description of image} We use this CNC router for drilling our flat sheet parts. It has a 5' x 12' table so we can process a full sheet of aluminum. The average sheet we cut has 30 parts and 1200 holes to drill. This is the best way to cut aluminum sheet for aircraft parts. For making parts in your shop, make a template and use a router to cut your parts. You could also use a band saw or tin snips.
{short description of image} This is a typical workstation we do our modeling and CNC programming on. You can see a solid model on the screen. The mouse looking thing with the ball on the left side is a Spaceball. It is used to rotate, pan and zoom the part on the screen without using menu commands or the mouse. We use Unigraphics for our modeling and programming. We think it is the best software available for the work we do.
{short description of image} What can you do if you have access to this kind of equipment? Almost anything you can imagine. This is what I would consider my thesis for machine work. It is a wind tunnel model we were contracted to manufacture a few years ago. I did the basic design work for the assembly. I programmed all the parts and I did a lot of the machine work.
{short description of image} This picture shows some more details. It is hollow on the inside to make it easier to handle. The intakes and the ECS follow the same contours on the inside as the real plane and exit out the exhaust in the tail. It is completely configurable for any flight mode including gear down.

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