My Wooden Airplane
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11/29/2011 - 12/5/2011

Nose Gear Strut

After watching "Cafe Racer" on cable TV, I realized that custom motorcycle shops might have the ability (and tools) to properly bend thick wall tubing. So, I found one that could do it. He charged me $100, but after two failed attempts on my own, I decided it was worth it.

I think it came out reasonably well. At the bottom, there are supposed to be threads on the outside of the strut for the nut that holds the nose wheel on. But threads are best cut before the tubing is bent. Unfortunately, I didn't know how accurate the shop's bends were going to be, so I couldn't thread it before hand. What I ended up doing was buying a 3/4 x 16 x 1 bolt, grinding the head off, and welding it up inside the bottom of the tubing.

Then I welded a washer to a 3/4 x 16 castellated nut. I still need to find a couple of bronze washers a steel spring washer, but this is basically how it looks now. What's interesting is that there is no provision in the plans for limiting the amount of swivel. The nose wheel is free to rotate a full 360 degrees around the strut. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Total Time: 12.0 hrs.