With the fuselage securely attached to the rotisserie it was time to learn to weld the 4130 steel tubing. Using a oxygen/acetylene gas rig and jewelers torch I test welded several scrap pieces together but it was’nt until I got expert instruction from Chuck & Craig Garret from my local EAA Chapter 145 that I finally gained some confidence.
I started welding on the fuselage lift handles and then the wing spar brackets, elevator bell crank assembly, floorboard mounts, rudder pedal mounts, engine mounts and landing gear and wing strut brackets. They say the best way to test a weld is to try to tear or break it apart. Unfortunately that destroys your weld. Sadly, a few years later I put some of my welding to a real world test during a bad landing/ground loop event. The good news is, the welds survived – the bad news is, the landing gear did not.
I will post more about that event in a future post including photos of the damage and the repairs made to the aircraft.