First Parts: Carving Angle Stock

 
  After much internal debate, I decided to modify my build philosophy and buy a kit. However, due to financial reasons, I would not be able to afford it for about 6 months. I couldn't stand the thought of waiting that long, so I decided to buy some angle stock and get to work on the parts I would have to make anyway once to kit arrived.

My first order to Wicks was for two 8-ft lengths of each 1"x1"x0.125", 1.5"x1.5"x0.125", and 2"x2"x0.125". So, after a year of planning and preparations, I was finally working on Sonex #604!


NOTE:  photos link to full size image

The first thing I did was cut the 8 ft angle sticks down to the approximate size of the parts I would make. The compound miter saw handled this task with ease. It zipped right through 0.125 aluminum like soft pine!
These represent about an hours worth of work.
I am impressed with how easily the material is to work with. These parts required the miter saw to cut to length, the band saw to shape, files to smooth out the cut off section of flange, and belt sander to smooth the edges out. They still need holes laid out and drilled and all edges debured on the scotchbrite wheel.
After the angle was cut to the approximate length required, the dimensions were transferred from the plans using the General Tools layout ruler and protractor. The sharpie marker pictured here is a dual tip model: heavy line on one side, fine on the other. It is very handy!
Unfortunately, it didn't take long to develop my first injury either. I was cutting some angle and got careless (you know.....overconfident because things were going so well...). I didn't use clamps on the angle stock, but instead, just held it in place with my hand. The blade caught in the metal and sent it flying back at my hand at rocket speed.
It hit my index finger and smashed it pretty good. I had to go to the hospital and have the fingernail removed, stitches put in under the nail bed, and a small splint for a tiny fracture in the end of the bone. Lesson learned: don't take shortcuts on the power tools!

 

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Updated: 10 Oct 04