Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eating an elephant...One tube at a time.

As is typically the case, the first side took the longest to get the angles and lengths all spot on for fitment.

With having gotten the hang of getting the angle right on the steel, and using mostly the same shapes again, cutting the tubes for the second side went much more quickly...Of course, having fewer tubes didn't hurt either.

I will be duplicating both of these again for the other half of the cockpit...In other words I'm going to be smart (i.e. lazy) and transfer the patterns over via the magic of Sharpie.  

Some people may notice the lack of 'proper' triangulation.  This was done intentionally, as I have decided to sacrifice the more ideal loading for two reasons.  First is the ability to fully tack all of the tubes in place before final welding any of the seams together.  I can't say for certain if this will be useful in helping prevent weld distortion or anything like that, but it's all part of the experiment.  The other reason is that it provides better welding access for my MIG nozzle to all seams.  Any tube intersection that would have been less than 45 degrees, now has a 0.5" gap and a greater than 90 degree angle.  To compensate for any loss in strength or rigidity, there will be 3-sided gussets made from sections of tube with one side sliced off that will be welded into each of these nodes...Which you'll be seeing more of later.

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