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, December 28, 2011

Top cowl patterns

Today, we made the cutout patterns for the cabane struts.

Marks were made at the cabane strut fitting locations.

And the patterns were used to find the optimal cut out. We decided it was easier to use the outside of the pattern. That way, you could move it around and get the perfect fit.

Our goal is to make a good paper pattern and then transfer it to the metal.

We also made a paper pattern for the cockpit cut out using the original Jenny cowl.

Here are the patterns.

Of course we could not resist making a rough paper template of the front windshield!

We also burnished another couple of lines on the side cowl. Not a bad day's work.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Left side cowl door

Last week the kids told me they couldn't wait for the Christmas break. This week they told me they were bored. After some vigorous yard work and shoveling out the fire pit, the complaining stopped. But, today, our youngest boy Brighton announced that he was going to accompany me to the shop.

I wanted to build the left side cowling door, so after measuring, cutting and bending, the door started to look like one.

Before I had the first bend completed, Brighton didn't want to work on my door any more. He wanted to build his own "Jenny door".

So, we cut a scrap piece of sheet metal in the shears and set up the brake to make a 1/2 inch flange. With a push of the handle...

The bend was complete.

Time to make the door.


Anyway, while Bright was pounding away on his door, I finished this one.

More soon. I got a upstairs bath tub leak to fix tomorrow. Big stain on the ceiling. Once that is fixed, I'll head to the hangar.



Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 12, 2011

Side panel doors

When I started this burnishing process, Dave Harwell at Barnstormers Workshop gave me a handful of these scotch brite disks and said "have at it". We used them pretty quickly on the belly sheet metal.

So, rather than bother Dave for some more, I decided to get some myself. I usually buy things from MSC. They have a big warehouse next to the Fulton County Airport (where I work) so it is convenient for me to stop there on my way home. Plus, their customer service is great.

Anyway, I searched "2 in. scotch brite disks 3M" on their website and a whole bunch of them came up. I narrowed it down. I wanted the purple ones like Dave Harwell gave me. A few days later, I had a bag of them. The grit felt the same but the back side of the disks were a different color.

No problem, right? I figured the ones I got from Dave were generic or something. They looked the same except for the 3M logo.

After two rows of burnishing, I could tell something was different. The pads really grabbed and wanted to twist the cowl! They made a lot more dust and the swirls were deeper. Obviously, the grit was different.

So, the burnishing was halted for the day.

Still not wanting to bother Dave Harwell, I went to the local Hardware store. They had some disks that looked exactly the same made by Fourney. I bought 20 of them. I was all ready to burnish some more when I had a change of heart. The pads that worked the best were from Dave Harwell. Why not just get some more?

So, I did.

I called Dave and he was more than gracious, ordering me more disks from his usual source McMaster-Carr. Now, I have plenty of the "preferred" disks for burnishing.

In the meantime, I didn't want to waste time waiting for the disks to arrive so the flanges were bent on the left side cowl.

And hammered flat.

Here is the left side cowl.

Then, I started making the little side access door on the right side cowl.

It is made the same way - the edges bent over 1/2 inch and pounded flat.

Here is the door being held in place with some cleco's.

Then the big right side door was marked.

Cut on the shears.

Bent 90 degrees with the brake set to 1/2 inch.

And pounded flat.

The hinge measurements were taken from the original cowl, marked, drilled and cleco'ed in place.

Here are the two right side doors.

Next step will be to drill the holes for the Murphy fasteners. They can not be permanently mounted until the doors have been burnished, but the holes can be cut.

This is what the Murphy fasteners will look like when mounted on the door.

Lastly, I put the prop hub in place for one final check. The hub works great, but I noticed that the the front nut was too long. The "nut" should be nearly flush with the hub. Something was amiss.

I got this hub from Denny Trone several years ago. I suspect it was a reproduction but unfortunately Denny is no longer around to ask. So, keep your ears open for a Hisso prop hub. I'm going to need a new front piece!

Got a busy week at work coming up. I'll try to post again soon. Enjoy!


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Side cowl

There are two doors on the right side cowling and one on the left.

Using the Curtiss drawing and verifying the measurements with the original side cowl, the marks were drawn on the new piece and cut out with the shears.

Then, flanges were bent down on the opening sides using a block of wood and a hammer.

These flanges were then bent back onto the metal. If you don't want to use the wood/hammer method, a rubber mallet works well, too.

Here is the completer door opening (from the inside).

The lower lip extends across the lower longeron.

Like this.

Here you see a good overall picture of the opening.

The second door on the right side allows access to the bottom of the fuel tank - specifically the fuel shutoff valve. It was also marked, cut out and bent using the above mentioned method.

The completed opening below.

Here is the right side panel to date. Next step is trimming, burnishing and louver pressing.

The left side cowl was marked last night, but it was getting late and I found myself staring at the measurements for minutes at a time. A fatigued brain makes lots of mistakes so I put down the tools and went to bed.

More soon. Enjoy.