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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wire Splices and Fuel Lines

There are four cable splices made using eyelets. The technique is a little different than the splices made with thimbles, but the idea is the same. I promise I'll have more detailed instructions later, but here is the gist of a typical cable splice:

First, solder the end of the flexible cable.

Using your modified screwdriver (flattened and rounded) stick the end under each strand of wire and pull outwards.

This pulls them apart into individual strands.

Since my jig doesn't work for eyelets, I used three pieces of safety wire to hold the cable in place.

Here is the first tuck. You start with the individual wire closest to the inside. Unwind it and tuck in under the closest three wires of the left cable. Take the second wire and tuck it under the top two wires. Tuck the core cable under here too. Then the third wire goes under the first wire.

Don't worry. I'll post a more detailed example (with drawings) later. I just want you to have an idea of the splicing procedure.

Anyway, flip the eyelet over and basically do the same thing on the other side.

What you are trying to achieve is a wire coming out of each opening....except one opening which has a wire and the core wire)

Starting with the first wire to the left of the core wire, tuck the strand over the next strand and under the following one. Over, under. That is the sequence as you work your way around the wire.

After the third time around (third tuck) cut off the core. We'll talk about the core later. It does not get tucked, but rather pulled down and the other wires tucked over it. You want the core to be"burried" so to speak.

After the fourth tuck, cut every other wire. This makes the next tuck taper.

The fifth tuck is "over one under two" wires. Then cut off the excess wire.

The splice looks really sloppy and ugly at this point. Not to worry. A few minutes lightly tapping it with a rubber mallet makes everything tight.

Here is the finished splice. Learning to do this was fun...and frustrating! Paul Dougherty showed me a splice back in June and I thought I paid paid close enough attention to him, but when your teacher isn't around and you're trying the splice the first one on you own, I didn't do so well. Point being - I screwed up plenty of splices before getting one right.

Practice...think about it...practice...sleep on time it will click.

Here is the first eyelet splice on the rudder bar bracket. I don't know why Curtiss did it this way, but the rudder cables are double strands of 3/32 in. cable. The elevator cables are 5/32 in. cables and a single strand. Beats me...

I finished two eyelets that evening.

The eyelets in place on the rudder bar.

At the hangar today, the wobble pump was installed.

All the fuel lines are 3/8 in. copper tubing flared on the end.

Here is the fuel line from the tank to the wobble pump.

The line runs under the seat rail.

Clamped wherever possible.

And runs all the way to the fuel tank shutoff valve. The tubing was cut with a cutter...

...and flared with the flaring tool.

Don't forget to install the nut on the tube before you flare the end!

Here you can see the fuel line routing (without the firewall in place). There will be either strap hangars to support the line or the line will be clamped to the firewall. I'm not sure what I want to do yet.

The wobble pump-to-carburetor line was bent using a wheel from a washing machine motor. Don't laugh. My wife's washing machine broke last year and when I fixed it, I noticed that this pulley was the perfect size for bending a fuel line. Some husband I am.

Here's the fuel line in place.

It parallels the other line. More clamps will be added soon.

There you go. Hope to post more before the end of the week.



Blogger FlyBoyJon said...


I just want to say again how much I appreciate all of the time and energy you have put into the blog. I am finally starting my build project, and while it is not a Jenny, getting off my butt and making it happen was in part, to your credit.

It's so exciting to see your bird getting closer to flight.

Tail winds to you,


4:50 PM  
Blogger Brian Karli said...

Hi John,

I’m glad to hear you have started your project. I’m a firm believer that if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to get it. I often told people that I would fly a Jenny someday even if I had to build one myself. Little did I know it would turn out that way.

Building a plane is rewarding. It is also frustrating, joyous, time consuming, entertaining and budget draining. But it is worth it!

Good luck with your plane. Stick with it and I look forward to seeing progress.



5:34 PM  

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