Archive for June, 2005

new Corsair skin

My first attempt at a skin for Pacific Fighters. A nice Auscam number!
auscam_corsair (40k image)


Finished the back today. It was a real bastard – the complex curves on the back put some bends in some unlikely places, but it looks OK and it will be permanently covered in cushions anyway. Here’s a shot with my vibeseat fitted. W00t!
20050611_finished (104k image)

aaaaalmost there

A very big day on the ACESII today. Structurally it’s finished and I’ve attached the aluminium seat pan. All that’s left is the back pan, some details and paint.
The other day I added the base support to ensure the seat sits level with the lowered back. It was a bit of a bodge job, as even with a mitre box it’s impossible to cut perfect 45 degree angles in 90x45mm pine with a hand saw. It’s good enough, does its job and won’t be seen eventually, so who cares. I definitely need a small drop saw. I need to attach the seat support semi-permanently to the pit platform soon.
the base support
20050608_support (36k image)
As I fitted the subwoofer under the seat, the “bum struts” are a little further apart than in the plan. Couple that with the fact that I used 12mm ply instead of 22mm, and I thought a little strengthening might be in order. It was a simple matter of screwing in some lateral struts made from offcuts.
bum supports
20050608_baseSupport (61k image)
closeup of bum supports – soon to be covered with aluminium
20050608_baseSupportClose (40k image)
Having seen a couple of other ACESII seats built from Speedone’s plans and the way that the back pan has nothing really to attach to at the base, I designed another part. The photos show what it looks like, the dimensions and where it goes.
dimensions – including a boo-boo which I’ll fix tomorrow
20050608_newpartDims (18k image)
this is where it goes – the back aluminium will screw into it to lend it some stability at the base
20050608_newpartDetail (35k image)
Then it was time to start on the aluminium. I bought a 900×900 sheet of 0.5mm aluminium sheet at Bunnings yesterday and was getting worried it would be too thin. Unfortunately the next thickness up is 4mm tread plate which is massive overkill, so time will tell if this will be OK. I was really not looking forward to cutting it all by hand, when I remembered that I had a curious power tool in a bag left in my garage by my mate Bolle a couple of weeks ago. An electric sheetmetal cutter!
20050608_cutter (47k image)
This fantastic little tool made cutting the seat pan a doddle, and millimeter precise. A little bit of detail work with the hand shears and it was ready to screw in. I originally screwed the aluminium directly to the struts with 20mm 8G chipboard screws, but found that as the holes were often within 4mm of the edge of the sheet, as I tightened the screw it would tear the aluminium. I ended up adding a 3/16″ machine washer to each screw to protect the sheet. The screws will be under the cushions anyway, so they won’t be felt even though they each protrude a couple of mm now.
it’s screwed now
20050608_baseDetail (45k image)
Some filing around the edges of the sheet, some hammering around the underside and she was apples. Next, the back!
whew, all done – and feels pretty comfy to sit on
20050608_aces (92k image)
The only damage was a slash across my left palm from a boxcutter in an un-pit-related incident. Pretty good compared to the horror stories I’ve heard of this stage – all thanks to the super power metal cutters.
20050608_hand (35k image)

a major ACESII milestone

Today I finally attached the seat back to the seat base. I was worried about the structural soundness of it all, but as it turns out, without foundation. It’s as strong as anything. I added another layer of pine structural support for the bolts to hold onto, as the seat sits forward a little of the back thus preveting me being able to bed the 1/2″ bolts into the original brace. Now unless the bolts shear (un-bloody-likely) or the wood develops some play it will be fine. I might reinforce it with some more screws and, if it becomes necessary, an external strut on the pit base.
under construction – the most nervous I’ve ever been drilling a hole
aces_20050604_const (59k image)
The back protrudes 45mm from the bottom of the base in order to place the backrest at the right height for my back (when seat cushions are taken into account). I now need to make a platform for the seat to sit on – this will be permanently mounted to the base so that the seat can be reasonably easily taken off if necessary.
all done!
aces_20050604_done (62k image)

more ACESII progress

Today I added the parachute box surrounds and headrest, and bolted the seat pan crosspiece to the seat sides. I also bought some 1/2″ x 5.5″ bolts to secure the back to the sides. I hope they will hold.
aces_20050603 (106k image)
Another little project was to attach my toolboard to the wall of the garage. I used U-shaped aluminium and brick dynabolts, separated from the wall by 7 washers to give it some space at the back for the pegs. The aluminium lengths at the top fold up to permit removal of the board for painting or maintenance. I think it came out really nicely and my commonly used tools are now getting organised.
workshop_20050603 (75k image)

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