Curtiss Jenny Restoration

Welcome! We hope you enjoy following the restoration process of a 1918 Curtiss JN4D Jenny. Once completed, the aeroplane will be flown and displayed at the Candler Field Museum in Williamson GA (30 miles south of Atlanta). You can contact me below by clicking on "VIEW MY PROFILE"

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Location: Peachtree City, Georgia, United States

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lower longeron taper and splice

Amidst the drought (notice my parched grass) my friend and fellow antique aeroplane rebuilder Nathan Hammond offered to lend a hand with the Jenny today. I wasted no time putting him to work.

Having a second set of hands, I decided to tackle the twenty-something-foot lower longerons.

Here's Nate at the table saw rough cutting the front longeron to size.

The front half of the longeron is 1 1/2in. wide at the front and tapers to 1 1/4in. at the end. I used the "ever so handy" oscillating spindle sander to fine tune the taper.

Then the ends were put into the splice jig.

Here Nate checks the front and back taper cuts prior to gluing.

Of course Brighton had to help dad in the shop. No, the saw is not plugged in. Yes, I am watching him so he does not touch the sharp blade.

While the splices were glued, clamped and drying, Nate and I decided to experiment with the art of cable wrapping. We took a thimble with some 1 x 19 cable and wrapped some galvanized wire around the end.

Then we heated the area with a big iron and tried to ease some solder into the cracks. It was a frustrating experience! The solder didn't flow very well.

Fellow Jenny restorer Paul Dougherty had given me some good advice. He told me to heat the oil out of the cable with a low heat from a Bernsamatic torch. That seemed to help.

But the solder still didn't flow all that well and I was stumped.

Fellow Bucker friend Steve Beaver told me to use a different type of flux. He explained that I had used electrical flux rather than and plumbers flux and there was a big difference. Plumbers flux has more acid and cleans better. Electrical flux is milder because electronic devices use copper and the milder flux keeps the corrosion to a minimum. I'm going to try this next time.

Here is an original wire at the top and our "goof-off" try below. I'm also going to use a bigger thimble next time.

Nate giving his approval. We better get good at this - there's only a few dozen more ends to solder!

Till next time



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Chet Peek. I've restored a Jenny and Standard. Don't use acid flux when soldering your wires, use resin. The acid will stay in the splice and cause rust that is not visible. Lay your splice on an oak board and let the heavy soldering iron force the solder in. The technique is a bit hard to describe.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

could you please E-Mail me

Chet Peek

9:38 AM  

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