More Fun With Wood.

To make 2 doors would have driven me to distraction. As it was, it was lucky that Counsel came by and asked why I wasn’t doing lap joints on the door frame – I must have been in a bit of a daze and trying to think of a way to cut the wood so that the frame of the door was angled and curved at the same time and my first piece of wood had nothing to do with anything.

Door frame

I think I’ll put a radius on the bottom corners; it’ll make it look less pedestrian. But what a game! The door frame took me the best part of the day; admittedly I had a lunch appointment and a few domestic duties to attend to but nevertheless, having set myself a target of Father’s Day next year for completion – which gives me a couple of months for the shake-down period before the Monaco Dash – I’m going to have to extractum digitum. 

Door frame

This is what gave me the grief; the door is sloping and curved and getting the angles of the cuts right was an ordeal. I’ve left a 5mm gap all round – 3mm for the aluminium skins and 2mm for clearance. I did read somewhere (and Counsel reminded me of the same) that the way forward is to build the door and then build the rest of the body round it. I can see the logic of that!

Door frame

It’s not very pretty at the moment but once I’ve levelled all the faces and trimmed everything up, it should look reasonably business-like.

Side frames

Then, as predicted, out went the plan along with the diagonal struts. The snag with the diagonals is getting them to fit snugly in the corners and also adhere to the shape of the body. More importantly, they would prevent the inner skin from sitting squarely on the framework. The horizontals with corner blocks, whilst not quite as good in theory, are perfectly adequate. In fact, the whole structure is held together with only a dozen or so screws at the moment and it’s very stable and rigid. I’ll put a couple of blocks under the top rails as well.

Windscreen post

The windscreen posts went in reasonably successfully – again, more saw cuts at angles which were difficult to visualise and the one illustrated is the better one. The first I cut too short and rather than do all the angles again, I’ve spliced in an extra few inches to make good. It’s a perfectly acceptable repair scheme provided the splice is long enough; 10:1 is about the bottom line.

Blocks

So in the latest session I managed to cut 6 bits of wood; an improvement on the previous bout which totalled 3 (and then I threw them away) and the framework – apart from the turtle deck formers, is pretty much finished. The next job is to take it all apart, clad the firewall (and I might put a 1mm steel sheet doubler on the rear cockpit bulkhead as well) and then glue and screw it all together again in readiness for the skinning.

I’m quite looking forward to that; it’ll be more fun than the wood.

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