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35. Continuation


By this time, we’d realised that we weren’t going to get all four wings complete at this visit. It was a hard pill to swallow, but there was simply no way we’d be able to get all four wings assembled and glued. But it was definitely possible to get the two upper wings complete, and that would certainly make a satisfactory revised target to aim for.

Rick and I lifted the first assembled wing out of the workshop and put it, as you do, behind the settee in the living room, where it fitted very snugly.

After that, we got the parts for the port top wing down and made a start on assembly.

They had to set off home at midday, so I gave them a lift to the airstrip and saw them off, and returned to the business of assembly.

In the evening, Theo returned from other business, and we set to gluing the starboard wing.

The original would have been glued using animal glues (boiled down horse’s hooves, roughly) that you kept warm in a pot on the stove. They weren’t very effective or weatherproof, which is why the design doesn’t rely on glue joints. We have the luxury of modern glues, but it takes a good deal of preparation; every face has to be roughed up a little with sandpaper, and you have to make sure that you can move each joint sufficiently to get the glue in, replace it, and clamp it in place if necessary. You also have to plan how and when you’re going to turn the wing over during the operation. Oh, and once mixed, the glue doesn’t stay usable for very long, so you need to be able to work quickly. Apart from that, it’s a doddle! Here again, Theo is the boss, and I fetched and carried, clamped and squeezed. All went fine, and we left it on the workbench to set overnight.


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