Necessary Tedium

There comes a time when you realize that your assortment of aircraft hardware has reached a point where you have to hunt and peck your way through every drawer to find what you want - when the shear variety of nuts, bolts, rivets, and what-nots have exceeded your personal memory capacity, and it takes longer to hunt something down that it does to figure out what you're looking for. When you reach that point, its time to make some labels! Continue reading "Necessary Tedium"

Curtis Oil Quick-Drain Valve

Curtis Superior Valve Co. announced that they have received FAA PMA approval for the CCB-38000 low profile, aluminum oil quick drain valve - a very clever device, as the "tool" is hollow and you put a hose on it to drain the oil. This drain valve fits most Lycoming engines. Continue reading "Curtis Oil Quick-Drain Valve"

Applied Research - the Search Process

MS21900-milspec-adapter

I have always found that the success in a highly technical endeavor that encompasses a vast sea of knowledge is not about memorizing everything that you can (although some are successful at doing it that way) - but in knowing how to get ahold of the information you need when you need it. In the old days, that meant remembering which reference book you needed to got to in order to find the specifications for a particular integrated circuit, or the allowable number of defects in a Sitka Spruce spar blank... or in knowing who to go to that had that information memorized! Continue reading "Applied Research - the Search Process"

CleanParts Offers Rental Program

Cleanparts.com, a division of Alliance Manufacturing, Inc. of Fond du Lac, WI designs and builds water-based parts cleaning equipment, and now the equipment is available for rent. Continue reading "CleanParts Offers Rental Program"

Favorite Tools

I was working on a part for our Xenos the other day - a fairly complicated bracket to hold an idler bell crank that is part of the aileron control circuit. This bracket was to be made from 2" x 2" aluminum angle, with a right and left half (and a set for each wing). Not only is the shape fairly complicated on the top, the attaching flange has cut-outs on the bottom to clear lightening holes on the rib to which it is mounted. Just laying the thing out from the drawings to the raw stock took an hour of careful measuring and checking - and then it was on to actual metal work. Continue reading "Favorite Tools"

Now THAT's a compressor!

OK shop-hounds, we all like to talk about the size and quality of our air compressors, but I am humbled by what I found on a recent trip to Minnesota and the Soudan Underground Mine. This 100 psi, two-cylinder compressor supplied air for the underground mine continuously for half a century, in volumes enough to probably power every homebuilder in several states simultaneously. Continue reading "Now THAT's a compressor!"