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, December 03, 2007

Wire wrapping and soldering

I promised the wife that I would knock out the wall between the living room and dining room last week. It took twice as long as I anticipated hence the spread between this blog and the last one. Sorry about that. But today, I had a few hours to spare and decided to try this cable wrapping thing again.

One nice thing about this blog - after the last post, I heard from some wonderful people who offered advice about cable soldering. One of them was Chet Peek, who restored not only a Jenny, but a Standard J1 as well. I guess it's safe to say that Chet had built his share of cables! His advise was really helpful. Chet had written a book about the restoration of his Jenny several years ago. If you like Jennies, grab a copy of his book.

Fellow Jenny restorer Paul Dougherty also called to offer advice. He first told me that there are only 276 cables in the Jenny, so I better get moving! Seriously, he told me what to get to make my cable wrapping a lot easier. He was right.

I went to MSC Industrial Supply with his list in my hands. He uses "Stay-Clean Liquid Soldering Flux" and a 50/50 .125 Solid Wire Solder. I also bought a bunch of 1/8 in. 1 X 19 Cable and a handful of Galvanized Thimbles. For wrapping, he used plain, old black galvanized wire also available from MSC.

I decided to practice with the new "stuff". I made a simple, temporary jig out of some ash and set the thimble and cable in place. Don't forget to bend up the tabs of the thimble!

Here's the cable after the wrapping. I used an original cable as a pattern. Basically, it's a 7 : 1 ratio for the wrapping. For 1/8 in. cable, that's three 7/8 in. wraps and a 1/8 in space in between.

Soldering took some patience. The iron seemed like it took forever to get the cable hot, but once it did, the solder flowed easily. The new flux worked better than the last stuff I used. The cable looks all yucky and burned at the end, but don't worry. It all wiped off.

Here's the finished practice cable.

After that, I decided to make another one.

This one turned out a lot better.

And here is where it goes. Only 275 more to make! I'm feeling pretty good about it now.

Paul also sent me a picture of his Jenny restoration. Nice, eh?

Till next time



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