BUILDING THE BACK PLYWOOD PANEL FRAME

 

PANEL #1 GOES TOGETHER WITHOUT A HITCH

 THE MATERIAL IS ¼” FIR PLYWOOD, JUST AS IT WAS DURING WWII WHEN BOEING BUILT THEM. THE FRONT, BACK AND BOTTOM HAVE 1/16” DEEP SLOTS ROUTED INTO THEM AT THE PRECISE LOCATIONS OF THE FOUR VERTICAL RIBS. FIRST THE BOTTOM AND BACK PANEL ARE GLUED AND CLAMPED TOGETHER. TIGHTBOND WOODWORKING GLUE IS USED ON ALL JOINTS. THEY REMAIN CLAMPED FOR 24 HOURS THEN THE FRONT PANEL IS ADDED. ON DAY THREE THE RIBS ARE FITTED AND EVERYTHING IS SQUARED UP AND CLAMPED AS SEEN HERE. ONLY THE SMALL LEFT END, WHICH WASN’T ADDED TILL THE NEXT DAY.

THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY WAS CLAMPED DOWN TO A SOLID WOODEN DOOR TO MAKE IT FLAT. THERE HAS BEEN TREMENDOUS ATTENTION TO THE DETAIL IN THE ORIGINAL BOEING DRAWINGS OF THESE PARTS. SLOTS AND HOLES FOR CABLES AND HOSES ARE IN THE PRECISE LOCATIONS STIPULATED IN THE DRAWINGS.

 

 

FULL ATTENTION TO DETAIL, AS THE PANEL BRACKETS ARE ADDED TO HOLD THE PHENOLIC PANELS TO THE FRAME RIB ON THE RIGHT CO-PILOT'S SIDE. ALL THAT REMAINS NOW IS TO GLUE THE TOP SHEET IN PLACE AND GIVE THE WHOLE WOOD FRAME A GOOD COAT OF FLAT BLACK PAINT. THEN THE PHENOLIC PANELS WILL BE REASSEMBLED FOR THE FINAL TIME AND ALL THE INSTRUMENTS ADDED.

 

 

FINALLY THE TOP GOES ON, FITTING TIGHTLY INTO THE 1/8" ROUTED GROOVE IN THE BACK OF THE FRONT PANEL. EVERYTHING IS GLUED AND CLAMPED FOR 24 HOURS.

FOLLING ARE SOME NEW PICS TAKEN IN MY NEW SHOP IN FLORIDA. THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES JUST TO GLUE THE TOP OF THE PANEL IN PLACE. 50 C-CLAMPS AND BAR CLAMPS TO GET IT ALL HELD IN PLACE.

AND THEN IT NEEDS TO SIT OVERNIGHT FOR THE GLUE TO SET. THERE ARE 5 GLUEING OPERATIONS ON EACH PANEL AND EACH ONE NEEDS TO SIT OVERNIGHT, SOLIDLY CLAMPED TO A 2" THICK MAPLE ASSEMBLY TABLE. FIRST THE BOTTOM IS GLUED INTO A DADOED SLOT IN THE FRONT. THEN THE BACK IS GLUED TO THAT ASSEMBLY. THEN THE CENTER TWO RIBS ARE ADDED. NEXT COME THE ENDS OF THE PANEL AND LASTLY THE TOP OF THE PANEL. EVERY PART FITS INTO A DADOED SLOT THAT IS ROUTED INTO THE MATING PART.

THIS RESULTS IN AN EXTREMELY LIGHT, YET VERY STRONG ASSEMBLY.