Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't do this at home

When tightening a bolt down on a metal to metal surface, you crank down til it stops turning.

When tightening a bolt of the length called for in the blueprint that's actually at least 1/4 inch too long, if you crank down til it stops turning, the entire bolt and nut keeps turning.

When you're tired, frustrated after cutting sizes down twice already, and cranking down on a bolt on wood, YOU MUST STOP WHEN THE FIXTURE IS TIGHT...


not when the nut stops turning. Or you sink the metal into the spar, breaking the grain, and ruin the spar.


yeah. I broke one of her bones, and on unliving creatures, these wounds do not heal no matter how many recriminations are made or tears shed.

Such a minor mistake, a moment's inattention - is as unforgivable on the ground sometimes as in the air. Just as you shall never handle a gun without thought and care about where the muzzle is pointed and keep your finger off the trigger, so, too, never work on your plane without thought and care.

It's not the end. I can get another expensive one carefully crafted. These old planes are endlessly repairable, else she wouldn't have survived 68 years already.

Progress will continue after a hiatus.


  1. Criminy.

    That sucks. Especially that it can't be fixed. I guess better to find that out now than while hurtling towards the ground with one wing cracked and fluttering in the wind, but still.

    Crap. :(

  2. "When you're tired, frustrated"

    I know its too late to help, but tired and frustrated is no time to be working on your plane. Its supposed to be fun. If its not, stop and come back when it is.

    I think it only took me 45 years to learn that lesson in its various forms.