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

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Beading the cowl

After beading the cowl door the other day, I got to thinking about the process. The door was little so keeping the lines straight was no big deal. You could easily eye-ball them.

But the cowling was another story.

Paul Dougherty mentioned using a bigger guide to keep the long beads straight. So, last night at the shop, we did some experimenting. I got a big block of wood and affixed it to the table with wood screws and angle iron.

You can see below how the sheet metal rides along the wooden block. It worked pretty well on the practice pieces. We used an L Square to keep the block parallel to the beading machine and set the depth to 1 3/16 inches for the inner bead.

Hey, it works! The outer bead is 5/16 in. from the edge. According to the Curtiss drawings (and the original cowl) the inner bead is 7/8 in from the center line of the outer bead.

OK. Deep breath. It is time to try it on a burnished piece. If you screw it up, don't worry. It's just another few hours in front of the drill press burnishing another piece.....

It is much easier if one person guides the sheet metal and another slowly turns the crank.

The set up worked perfectly!

Here is a joint at the front cockpit.

Here is the 90 degree turn. We made this bead in two directions. Later, I'm going to go back over the intersection with a 3/16 rod (with a rounded end) and make it look seamless. This is the best you can do with the bead rolling machine.

Interestingly, the original cowl shows the intersections like this. I just want to make them look better, that's all.

A few weeks ago, film maker Dorian Walker flew down to Atlanta to see the Jenny. He is making a documentary about the Jenny to be shown on PBS in the fall.

Dorian interviewed Ron, me and my wife for the documentary. We had a great time and I thank Dorian for including us in the project.

Funny. I spent so much time in front of the camera, I forgot to take pictures! Luckily, John Hess took a few. Here is my wife Cricket having her interview.

I'll keep everyone informed about the documentary's progress. Can't wait to see it on TV.

More soon



Blogger Kurt Wheaton said...

Brian, that's awesome news! Congratulations!

3:40 PM  

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