Warbird Update…Cable Guides, Turnbuckles, and Little Steps

New turnbuckle, and swaged cable end.

New turnbuckle, and swaged cable end.

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!

Army and Navy splice on the elevator cable

Army and Navy splice on the elevator cable

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.

Phenolic sheet

Phenolic sheet

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.”

Shaping with a Die Grinder

Shaping with a Die Grinder

The original and the fabricated.

The original and the fabricated.

The next series are installing the guides and pulley’s in the aircraft.

guide and cable are put in place

guide and cable are put in place

Pulley in place

Pulley in place

Pulley guard installed and everything bolted together.

Pulley guard installed and everything bolted together.

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.

Parts book, often all I have to go on, when trying to track down parts.

Parts book, often all I have to go on, when trying to track down parts.

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s