Hog Bipe – Top Wing Construction

Made some progress over the weekend on the Hog Bipe. The top wing is close to being completed. So far, building everything stock and according to plans.

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No major issues so far and only one minor issue. The kit only comes with a single piece of 1/6″ x 3″ x 48′ sheeting to be used to sheet the front portion of the top wing. The piece was badly bowed such that I needed to trim it down to just a bit over 2-3/4″ to get a straight and true edges front and back. Fortunately, this was just enough to give me a good glue joint to the top spar.

The top sheeting was also a bit tricky to glue down properly. I started at the left edge and glued the front of the sheeting to the leading edger, one bay at a time, using medium CA and kicker. Once the front of the sheeting was attached, I wet it down with Windex to soften and help it to curve, and then using a toothpick spread TightBond wood glue on top of the ribs and along the spar. I like using wood glue rather than CA for attaching the sheeting to the ribs, especially considering the number of ribs involved in this long wing panel, as it has a longer work time and allows you to fuss and adjust a bit.

I then start at one end and press the sheeting down into the glue on the rib and on then the spar, pinning it as I go. I work one bay at a time and am careful not to let the sheeting buckle as I go. After removing the wing from the building board, I added a fillet of wood glue between the ribs, the spar, the leading edger and the sheeting on the inside.

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After letting the glue dry thoroughly, I pulled the wing off the board and after adding the maple mounting blocks, added the bottom sheeting. I used a slightly different technique this time. Here, I preformed the curved shape by wetting with Windex and gently bending the sheeting around the rounded corner of my workbench. It is not critical that the shape of the sheeting be perfect, just reasonably close.

I then applied wood glue to all ribs, the inside of the leading edge and spar and then dropped the preformed sheeting onto the glue. I then pinned the sheeting to the leading edge, and worked the sheeting back by pressing to the rib and spar just like top sheeting. On one side, I worked the leading edge to spar one bay at a time. Although this worked well, I ended up with a slight gap (about 1/32″) between the front of the sheeting and the leading edge on the last two bays on the outboard edge. I ended up filling it in with a bit scrap. On the other side, I pinned the sheeting to the leading edge first, then went back to pin down to the ribs and spar. This worked much better.

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That’s all for now.

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