My Glasair III Construction Diary (Page 1)
Roger Halstead
From Midland Michigan


The Diary:

3 hours Tuesday November 12th.

    I brought the plane home today, or rather Jeff and Lee loaded it on a boom truck and moved it from the Dow Hanger 12B to our Garage.
Jeff and I met at hanger 12-B around 5:30 and. Mark Doyle came over and opened the hanger for us. Neil turned up with the truck by six and we had it in the garage by 7:30.
    It took about an hour to get the top off the crate and then one side and one end. I’ll be pulling nails for a week.
    I need to account for each box. then inventory the contents of each box. I also need to call Stoddard Hamilton again as to the transfer of ownership records and order what ever I need to get started on the Horizontal stabilizer. Resin, etc...,

Click on photo for larger image

    Man, what a bunch of parts...And this is just the big parts. The little stuff is in the basement.

Things to Do!

    Tools needed to get started -- see documentation
    Build fixture for stabilizer. i.e. A large FLAT Table!

2 hours Thursday November 14th

    Taking nails and staples out of wood crating and disassembled the top and side of the crate.
    Started taking boxes out of crate.
    Putting boxes in order and getting ready to inventory boxes.

4 hours Sunday November 24th

    1 hour Uncrating and moving boxes to basement.
    3 hours Plus removing nails from packing crate.

3 hours Monday November 25th

    2 hours Ordered three gallons of resin, landing gear upgrade including the emergency extension., and back issues of newsletters. I also studied the manual for about two hours.

    That's 11 hours not counting about three for inserting all of the revisions into the builders manual and I've yet to start construction!
It will take another three to four hours to get the room in the basement ready for starting on the horizontal stabilizer. If I'm lucky.

Thursday December 26th

    Well the end of the year is nearing and I've still not started constructions, but... I've rebuilt two closets, cleaned the Garage, Den, and a good portion of the basement. Oh! I also completely rebuilt her computer and it's now a 100 MHz 486 multimedia system with 32 meg RAM. Mine too. It's now a 686 P120-150 Multimedia system with 12X CD-ROM, tape backup, and 32 Meg of RAM. That's more RAM than my first hard drive had for capacity.
    Now that's progress! I do mean that in a positive sense.
    A little more work on the basement ceiling, a bit more cleaning on the floor and I should be ready to start construction just after the first of the year. That and my wife is happy about all the projects that have been finished. She has asked though, how I was able to get some of them done in such a short time when they've been waiting there for years.

Brief Note

    Fell on ice and trashed the camera that had most of the pictures that I've shot of the project so far. $217 to repair camera. Film...Well I did have a few pictures on the other camera. I had returned from a trip, after dark, and slipped on the ice in front of the hanger.

2 hours Monday January 14th

    Ordered Main gear parts to update main gear to current standards and Emergency Landing Gear extension kit. I also ordered the fuel tank vent valve kit and one year technical service. Still studying the manuals for the Horizontal stabilizer and wing assemblies.
    I'm now about to start on the FLAT table on which I'll assemble the horizontal stabilizer.

3 Hours June 21

    OK! It's been a long wait. Work has been keeping me busy to the point where I've not had much time to even fly. I have put about 40 hours on the Debonair so far this year and hope to finish up the instrument rating soon, but time is at a premium.
    I have one sheet of 3/4 inch Birch plywood for the table top and it's reinforced/stiffened with five 2 X 4 stringers and two across the ends. with 4 X 4 legs it'll probably never move from it's construction site in the garage. Well at least in one piece.
    Next step is to get the finish on the top.
    Well, there is one more thing. I told my boss I'm thinking really serious about retiring so I can work on my projects. The project I'm managing at work should be done in another three weeks or so. Then, Who knows? Well actually my retirement consultant, but I don't meet with them till next week.

June 26 -- Told my boss I'm gonna retire end of July

    I plan on being at Oshkosh (going over Sunday ahead of time and working at the Homebuilders Center) So I'll be at Oshkosh the day I retire.
    Now, maybe I'll be able to make some progress! (I hope)

Thursday December 5th, 1997

    Man! Now I know why some projects take so long to complete. It's been nearly six months since I put an entry in here.
At any rate, I ordered the series of Video Tapes on construction as well as; Latex gloves, scales, mixing tubs, mixers, resin pumps, etc...
    I'm running out of excuses to get the basement cleaned up so,... it looks like that's the work for this week.
    BTW the Debonair is laid up from an altercation with a deer on the runway from early November. The damage looks superficial, but I'm still waiting for word from Ratheon as to just what has to be done to fix it right.
    It's just a small dent in the underside of the leading edge of the wing just inboard of the right main. It also lost the outer gear door.

    I took a checkout flight in a 172 so I can still do some flying in the mean time.

Saturday September 5th, 1998

    I've been busy, got the Debonair back after three months down time. Most of that was waiting for parts.
    I'm running out of excuses. I cleaned and mopped the basement floor and tomorrow the big desk that was in my den goes down there along with the one that I've been using for my photographic enlarger. They go end to end and that sheet of plywood will be lain on top for a work surface.
    I have the tail section already to start.
    Am I being overly optimistic? I hope not.
    So far I really am one of those builders who has read the manual completely before starting construction -- Twice!
    There have been at least five projects completed at Barstow (3BS) in the last year and an RV-6A about ready to fly. I think it's a conspiracy to shame me into getting something done.

2 hours -- Sunday September 6th, 1998

    With the help of my wife's son, John, Her daughter's fiancé, Terry, and my neighbor Don, we managed to get the big desk into the basement without breaking anything. We didn't even scrape anything!
    I did discover that the two desks, which look exactly alike, are not. The one we brought down is 1/2 inch taller than the one already down there. So... It's cut some wedges, drive then under the base of the one desk to raise and level it. Then hot glue the wedges and desk to keep its position from changing.

    I couldn't help it... I had to place the horizontal stabilizer on the desk just so it looks like progress is being made.

Image Copyright Roger Halstead 1998

2 Hours -- Monday September 7th. 1998

    Well it turned out to be level both desks while raising the one to match the other and then hot gluing the wedges in place.
    I'll have to keep track of the desk tops to make sure that they stay level and true.

    I unpacked the rest of the horizontal stabilizer, shear web, and preformed ribs. Then got out the manual -- again -- and reread the section on the Horizontal stabilizer. That time is not included in the 2 hours. It was at least another 3 hours just to read it.
    The next step is to get out the Videotapes on the Horizontal stabilizer then "Start sanding" on the trailing edge of the shells.
    Gotta get a good band saw!

3 Hours -- Saturday October 9th 1998

    I sanded the rear of the fist shell for the Horizontal Stabilizer straight and true and started on the second.
    This was done by snapping a chalk line from the cord line marks. Then setting the edge true to the line. I used a long straight edge taped to the shell to aid in measuring accuracy.
    I still have to finish the second shell and then fit the ribs and shear web in place.
    I've been offered a jig to help set up the shear web and will probably use it instead of building one.
    I'm still not finished on this piece and already I'm anxious to get something larger together.

3 Hours -- Tuesday June 8th 1999

    Well, after a long layoff...Getting a table saw, band saw, and drill press, I've actually done a little on the horizontal stabilizer.

    Jigged up the bottom shell and marked the locations for the stabilizer ribs.

    Note the vertical wood blocks, which hold the shells in position. This makes for fitting the lower shell (which goes on top) much easier.
    Also note that the shear web is in position and the 1 X 1/2 X 1/4 inch foam blocks on the jigged shell. These are used to hold the shear web in place in both of the shells. One of the positioning blocks is laying on the shell.

-- Friday June 11th. 1999

    Purchased two 8' lengths of 1" X 1/8th inch aluminum angle to use for the hinge jig.

6 Hours-- Saturday June 12th. 1999

    Cut 24 5# foam pieces to hold shear web in position,
    Measured and marked shearweb center.
    Marked shearweb position and hot glued 4 of the foam blocks into position.

3 Hours-- Sunday June 12th. 1999

    Finished gluing foam blocks and set shear web into position. (NOTE upper panel still needs to be marked and have foam blocks glued in place)
    Started trimming ribs to fit shearweb. The picture shows the detail of fitting (and hot gluing) the foam blocks which temporarily hold the

    Below is the table with the Horizontal stab, shear web in place, ribs stacked on the table, straight edge near the front of the table
    and the aluminum angle for the hinge jig just in front of the stabilizer.
    These images are scanned in at 75 dpi and I notice a definate "zig zag" which means I may have to up the resolution, but that's more    space.

-- Monday June 13th. 1999

    Ordered NAV/VOR antenna for Stabilizer
    I may even get some pictures up before much longer.

36 Hours to date

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