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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bead Rolling

The other night, John Kuck met me at the hangar and we did some burnishing on the lower cowl.

We got about half way done when I got a call from the wife - kid #2 was home from school with a sore throat and she was taking him to the doctor. So I quit burnishing for the day in order to pick up kid #4 at preschool. Oh, well. It happens. We decided to finish the cowling later.

Thursday night, Ron, Brian and I met at the hangar. They put the stitching tapes on the upper and lower ribs of the second wing.

Ron continued with the wing - pre-punching all the holes for the rib lacing. Meanwhile, I decided to make the beads around the cabane strut openings on the front cockpit cowling.

I was really worried about this. We spent hours burnishing the cowls and the bead rolling around the opening had to be done by hand. I didn't want to screw it up at this point.

So, we made two practice pieces with some scrap aluminum.

With the same cutout pattern.

A 5/16 inch line was drawn with a compass. The bead roller depth was set and we tried making the first one.

Keeping the curve on the line was the tricky part.

Practice makes perfect, or so they say. The second attempt turned out alright.

Now for the real cowling - while we were practicing, Larry Enlow stopped by with some friends. Larry is an FAA inspector in Orlando and he was here flying Ron's DC3. He brought two other FAA inspectors so they could get proficient in the DC3 as well. The three visitors hung around awhile taking pictures and joining the conversations.

OK, back to the cowling. We were not dealing with little test pieces. The cowling is bigger and bulkier. Brian and I started beading when it was obvious more hands would be needed.

So, our visitors became quite useful. On the left is Steve Stewart from Anchorage, Alaska. He graciously held the light so I could follow the line.

Because if the throat depth of the tool and the size of the cowling, we made the bead in two sections. They joined right about here.

The bead turned out perfectly!

When we looked at the other side, it became apparent that the cowl would not fit the same way we made the first one. So, we had to change the dies - put the male end on the bottom and flip the cowl upright. A line was drawn on the outside...

And we rolled this way.

What an operation ! Brian Eberle slowly turned the crank, Steve Steward held the light and I made an attempt to keep the cowl on the line. Another visitor, John Boatright from Lubbock, Texas helped maintain the curve of the cowling.

I was happy with the results.

If you notice where the two beads meet, the bead is not seamless. This is how the original cowl looked.

Kid #2 is feeling better and we have a baseball tournament this weekend on the east side of Atlanta. Of course Kid #1 had a baseball game in the other direction on the same day. Some days, I feel like I need a taxi sign on the car. Meanwhile, Kid #3 is going to a friend's house. Kid #4 is going with me to the game. So I won't get anything done on the Jenny until Monday.

Expect an update then.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Brian, I love seeing what your doing there, and knowing where are from the other side of the planet as well. Are you still on track for OSH ?

11:02 AM  
Blogger Brian Karli said...

Thanks for the kind words! I'm not sure about Oshkosh 2012. When deadlines are involved, a project turns from fun to agony. Oshkosh 2013 is more realistic plus we are thinking about Dayton, Ohio in 2014 for the 100th anniversary of WWI.



7:13 AM  
Blogger Liberschnitzelgruber said...

Hi Brian,
I just want to say a few words of appreciation for your work. I'm no expert, but this has to be one of the finest re-creations of an original ever built. It's a work of art. My only criticism is that even though I'm inspired to build a plane myself, your standards are so high I don't want to embarrass myself by attempting it.
If I might ask an impertinent question that's absolutely none of my business; I'm curious how much the tools and materials have cost, and if you've kept track of how many hours you've spent building this Jenny.
I'm also wondering what plane you plan to build after this one, since it looks like you're approaching the finish line.

2:54 PM  

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