Week 225 - 7 March 2007


We did work last week even though I did not file a report. Since Rick was unavailable, Greg and I decided to go see our good friend Dale Beck and work on the engine cowls. Rick had turned the mold form from wood on a lathe some time ago. Once at Dale's we cut some blank plastic and started to vacuum form the cowls. We ended up with 4 good cowls and several rejects that we will use for cutting patterns etc.. We will fiberglass the cowls just like we did all the other plastic parts.

OK..........now fast forward to tonight's work. We fabricated the hinges for the forward door used by all members of the crew whose stations were in front of the bomb bay. I had laid out this at work so the actual work went fairly well. Practice must make better as this was the best and easiest door to date. Once we were done with that we just couldn't help, but take one of the bad cowls and do some quick cutting to get a sense of looks.

Because of no report last week, I have 5 pictures tonight

1st Pilot door closed

2nd Pilot door open

3rd Side access doors open

4th Two of the engine cowls as formed

5th Junk cowl hacked out and threw on


--Gary Himes

WEEK 226 - 14 MARCH 2007

One of our web followers, Mitch has a Don Smith B17 that has been to Top Gun for 3 years now. After last weeks report, Mitch e-mailed me and after a bit of a tap-dance he stated our cowls were horribly wrong.

After saying a few words under my breath, I realized he was right-on correct. Holy Crap.........how did we go this wrong. This isn't like us at all!

The trail is old and cold enough that we don't know what happened.

Guess it doesn't matter, it just needs corrected. The problem is the cowls got molded with almost straight sides and a very sharp radius at the front. What the cowls really were was a long sweeping radius with a very rounded look.

So now for tonight. First we spent time talking about the above and just what we are going to do. We decided to make a new mold next week at Rick's. That will give me a little time to draw some scale gauges to use while turning.

For tonight, we took a air operated die grinder and removed all the excess metal from the weed eater motors. This only saved us approx. 1/4 pound per motor . But now they look more like airplane motors, and we believe it will help us mounting cowls and everything else needed under the cowl

-- Gary Himes

Week 228 - 28 March 2007

Well as you have guessed by now, we did not work last week.  I had some bug and did not know which end to hold over the toilet.  We also did not work tonight. Today is Rick's daughters birthday and he is doing the more important function.

We will try again next week!

--Gary Himes

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