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Old 11-06-2007, 10:29 PM
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n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

I have been planning this for a over a year. Lurking on The Flying Giants and other sites getting ideas and learning. Last week I moved out of my 1 bedroom apartment into a new house which means I finally have space to start this project. Iíll be building a 35% Carden Extra 260. So far only the kit has been purchased but I have some clear ideas on how it will be built and whats going into it. This will be my IMAC machine for 08/09 and Iíll be starting in Sportsman.

So some background on my experience is probably in order. When I was 13 I built a 6 foot span Spectra motor glider that I never flew. Before that I was building stick and tissue free flight models. Then there was a long hiatus fro the hobby for high school and college. I finally learned to fly in March of Ď06. More recently I built an O2 electric profile and I have designed and built several of my own foamies. I have never built a giant scale airplane. I have about 5 mins of stick time on other peoples giant scale airplanes (Air McNairís 35% comp arf 330 & Dan Bierly's 40% Wild Hare Extra 300). I have never worked with foam cores before or painted fiberglass or used a scroll saw. I have never even started a gas airplane engine. So Iím a Giants n00b and this thread is going to be from that perspective. Its probably going to go into more detail than most build threads out there because its all new to me. The build will be shown in all its ugly duckling stages and any ďoopsĒ moments will be posted here.

It was hard to choose which airplane to build. I picked the Carden because I really like the looks of the airplane over the other 260 kits out there. I would have preferred to build a 300 but at this time I couldn't get a 35% 300 kit. I couldnít imagine spending this amount of time on an airframe that I personally didnít like the looks of. Its a personal choice and it has consequences. This is more involved than say a Dalton where everything is laser cut for you. I wont be cutting any corners, I want a light, straight, contest grade airplane. Building is a hobby and flying is a sport. Iím as much a fan of building as I am of flying so there was no question, I was going to build from sticks.

Building Tables
The first step for me is setting up a flat straight build table. My old workbench wasn't up to the task:

In fact I need two tables, one for tools and one for the building/layup work. The tables are going to be built based on a design I found linked from FlyingGiants. The build table is long and narrow, topped with a solid core door. The workbench is topped with some 3′x4′ ply that come pre cut from the hardware store.

I found a door at the Home Depot for $42, solid core, 30◊80. I went for the cheapest and narrowest door I could find. I rented the miter saw for the project and ended up needing it for two days to get finished. You kind of have to cut as you go as not everything is going to be cut exactly right. After the first table was finished I discovered that the saw wasnít square, it probably had 1-2 degrees of bevel. Make sure you square your saw before you start. I got the work table and all the legs for the build table done in one day. I had to make a couple of extra trips out for 2◊4ís. The second trip the wood I got was softer than the first batch and that just sucked. I ended up throwing away 3 pieces and going back to Home Depot for more wood. The design is really solid and the 33 inch hight is sort of magic. Its tall enough for standing and short enough to sit at.


Finally a few notes on how this thread is going to work. Lots of pics will be posted to a Flickr Photo Set available here in high res. Its just a lot simpler for me to post lots of photos there and they can be annotated. If you just want to see my progress and avoid all the comments the major construction updates will also be posted on my blog. There are RSS feeds for those if you are down with the syndication thing. I'll try to post a major update about once a week. I'd appreciate your input, especially when it comes to building technique. I hope the thread ends up being useful to other first time builders.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:39 AM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Nice building table, I did mine the same but made it where I could adjust the hight where I could work inside of the plane on it once I got the fuse and wings done. Also you might want to make an extension on one end for tail wheels where you can work on larger fuses or roll the plane back where it stays over the table once you have the fuse as a roller. You know once you start building big it only gets bigger, I have a 14in tail wheel cup extension on one end of mine that is a godsend now that I have been doing 40% and larger planes, it is V shaped and the wheel locks in to it where it wont move. I also have a small bungee cord over the tail wheel to keep it from jumping over the half round that it locks in to when working on the front of the plane.

Some of the guys know that I am spineless (real bad back) and have too much titanium to work on the ground when doing the electronics.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:37 AM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Coming along nicely Gareth! Look forward to seeing your progress. Are you planning on using weights to skin the foam pieces or vacuum bagging?

Also, just as an fyi....Dennis marks all the foam outer shuck bottoms so you know which one if the "true" base shuck. This is the side that goes down on the board to make sure everything stays straight and true while gluing on the skins. The first thing I do is mark all the root and tips of the foam parts so you know which shucks go with which cores. When you do this, scribe a line or two staight across the cut line. This will allow you to line up the shucks/cores when you glue on the sheeting.

Dennis is a wealth of info and one of the best at describing something over the phone. If you run into a jam, give him a call.

Also ask questions here, there are lots of guys here to help.

Have fun...........
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:30 AM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Gareth,

If you want help sheeting the foam give me a shout. I have the perfect place and all the lead bags you need.

Dan
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:00 AM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Right, there is masking tape marks on all the sheeting bundles and marks on the foam. Its a very well packaged kit. I'm really impressed. When I placed the order for the kit I got a call from Dennis within maybe 15 minutes! Hes was really nice and asked me about my building experience and said I could call if i had any questions. I get the impression that he does a lot of phone support. Some of the cost of the kit goes to cover his support time and new builders generally make more calls than experienced builders. I hope that I wont have to make too many calls. There are a lot of good build threads out there to draw on.

I'm going for tapered ailerons and one servo per surface (probably the unreleased new 300+ oz Hitec). The next step is to get the surfaces marked and servo pockets cut out.

Hey Dan, I would certainly take you up on that offer! Hopefully I will have that parts ready after this weekend.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:27 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Gareth,
Good luck with the kit. I have only built the smaller stuff and I was wanting to build the 40% 260 but had been hearing rumors of 600 hours. I went ahead and bought mine two weeks ago and am now about 70% done with the build (not the painting and covering). Very easy kit to build, just need to think a few steps ahead.
Studying all the other build threads sure helped me. Especially the master Walt.
Mark
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:50 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Mark786- Wow! 70% in two weeks?! that's wishful thinking for me. I have purchased my Carden 300 about 3 months ago and I just barely completed my motor box and the trusses.. How many hours do you put in daily?


Gareth- we're on the same boat when it comes to NOT having started a gas motor before. This will be my first gasser! straight to 40%... The biggest plane I have flown would be a 25% extra w/saito 180. No stick time on anything bigger either. I'm just diving right in. CANNONBALL!!!

Good luck on the build, you'll enjoy it.

Harold.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:14 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Thanks for the encouragement guys! 70% in two weeks??!! I'll be happy if this takes me two months to get it together and another two to finish it.

I got a drill press and a scroll saw for this project. I wanted to get the tools up front because its best to have everything at the start and not try anything stupid with the wrong tool. I got a Delta drill press and a Hitachi scroll saw from Lowes. The drill press is a tank and probably much bigger than I need but I'm kind of like Tim The Tool Man Taylor . The scroll saw is a clone of the Craftsman from this review, but it comes with a stand so it doesn't have to take up valuable table space. It runs smooth and cuts lite ply like butter. Great for lightening the motor box or making a firewall for your next foamy.

I also have some Forstner bits and sanding drums on the way from Rockler to use in the drill press. From Tower I'm getting more #11 blades, 22" and 12" T-bar sanders, 30 minute epoxy and microbaloon filler. I have some Hysol and Mercury CA on the way too.

I have had a cordless Dremel + router attachment for a while, so that will be good for cutting out the pockets in the foam. The bit looks like a mini roto-zip bit. I gave it a try tonight on some scrap wedges that come packed with the wings and it works much better than I expected.

So I'm still gathering the materials and trying things out.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:22 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Quote:
Originally Posted by mndbndr3d View Post
Gareth- we're on the same boat when it comes to NOT having started a gas motor before. This will be my first gasser! straight to 40%... The biggest plane I have flown would be a 25% extra w/saito 180. No stick time on anything bigger either. I'm just diving right in. CANNONBALL!!!

Haha. I know that feeling. I went from a Great Planes Gee Bee 40 profile, to a Dynaflite PT-19/Saito 120, to a 40% Extra.... Talk about a shock....
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:30 AM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Gareth,
You'll want a small Master Airscrew planer, (2) 8' aluminum angles, 3' steel ruler/straight edge, 6' ruler/straight edge and lots of sandpaper. I haven't even used CA on this plane yet but lots of 5 min. epoxy and Titebond II. What is Hysol? I saw Walt mention it. Must be yellow wood glue like Titebond or Elmores.
Mark
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:58 AM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

I have the wood glue, strait edge, and Alu angle. I have a slightly different tool in mind for beveling the hinge lines.

Hysol is like Epoxy but its thicker so it wont run. I saw Walt using it to mount the cowl on Tbobs Yak. I got some from Troy Built, looks like it will come in handy for that job.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:23 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Jack01- what was it like, flying from a 20-25% to 40%? I heard it's like night and day! I can't wait.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:26 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Gareth,
That is exactly where I saw the Hysol. The planer will come in handy in many different locations not just the bevels. I used it a lot in places like rudder, elevator and stab edge caps as well as root caps. Most of the 1/4" and 3/8" sheeting that needs to be edge trimmed. I am following someone elses suggestion on the 5 min epoxy. I have since found that it is much thicker than the 30 min. I have and therefore works much better in most applications.
Have fun.
Mark
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:25 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

Yeah the master airscrew plane I have heard comes in handy.....I will watching this thread closely because I am basically in the same shoes as you in terms of building. I have built 33% arfs but never a kit and I just recently bought a 35% Dalton Extra 260.

So good start on the thread and keep it up because I am looking forward to how it comes out

Neil
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:22 PM
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Re: n00bs Gonna Build a Carden

I like to have the working time of the 30 min and its supposed to be stronger. If you want it thicker just mix in some micro balloons. 5 min in workable for maybe 3 mins tops so you have to be fast.

The tool I'm going to use instead of the Master Airscrew plane is a Micorplane. Works a treat and no razor blades to fuss with.
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