Some times it is little steps, and long delays. Some times being two hours away from SD Airservice where the L2M restoration project lives, is just a little too far for a day trip in the car. Most times, on days I could fly the C170 down, farming seems to take the priority. On the days that I do go, the little steps are interesting, fun, and exciting.
Last week I did make it down to Rutland. I am installing the cables that link the control surfaces of the aircraft (rudder,elevator,aeilorns, trim, spoilers and brakes), via special holes, tubes, turnbuckles and pulleys, to the controls that I manipulate in the cockpit. Some of the 70 year old cables passed inspection and were able to be reinstalled while others were frayed or kinked and had to be replaced. One of the elevator cables has an original woven splice (Army and Navy splice) instead of the much more common swaged splice. I love the craftsmanship of the original, and has glad it passed inspection!
I had to make up 5 cable bushing guides. They are small pieces of phenolic installed opposite a pulley. They keep the control cables from rubbing against anything except the pulley. As in many of my other L2M parts, they are no longer made, and have to be fabricated.
I was fortunate to have a surviving original guide to use as a pattern. It is marked and cut with a hack saw. Here is one company’s description of phenolic sheet I used to make the cable guides.
“Phenolic sheet is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to layers of paper or glass cloth impregnated with synthetic resin. These layers of laminations are usually of cellulose paper, cotton fabrics, synthetic yarn fabrics, glass fabrics or unwoven fabrics. When heat and pressure are applied to the layers, a chemical reaction (polymerization) transforms the layers into a high-pressure thermosetting industrial laminated plastic.”
The next series are installing the guides and pulley’s in the aircraft.
I have two more new cables to install. The trim cable needs to have a soldered cable terminal end. This is another procedure I have never done and may warrant another blog post! Once the control cables are finished I think I will be ready for the interior cockpit fabric covering.
This project is made up of little steps, and grabbed moments of time. But each moment and step are treasured and looked forward to. It is a puzzle and an adventure, and keeps life interesting.