Bending ribs

Tonight I spent some time in the living room, bending the last two ribs for the rudder. I knew it was going to take a bit more time because my “bender”, shown above is just a little bit to short for these two ribs, but they are the only two long ones.

All other ribs are short enough to fit.


Today my first job was to make a little “bender”. I made it from 2 bits of 4 x 2, 5 hinges and a steel trip. Works great !!! Really happy. The steel strip has a bit of a radius on the end, so when I bend the rib in this case for the rudder, it had a nice radius and no problem with cracking or braking, so that’s all good 🙂



The rudder is almost done now, just two more ribs to do and a few gusset plates.

I now realize why I had the problems bending the outside tube. Robert gave 7/8 inch tube but all photo’s I have seen so far and even my drawings suggest that the tube should be 1/2 inch. Spoke with Robert and yes he had made a mistake on his bill of materials.

Bends without kinks

My first real day working on the Bleriot. The shoot peen did make a big difference. After filling and compacting and more filling up, it just bends without any kinks. Really happy about the result!



Then the first rivet. Wow that riveter goes really well.




It’s starting to look like a rudder. Next are four ribs made from sheet material. First I will make a “bender” to bend them.

Shot peen


I have my “Shot peen” 1mm little steel balls!! I am going to use them to fill up the aluminium tubes, so when I bend them they shouldn’t kink or deform any more.

But wait: I saw the delivery van from Bullet Freight coming into work yesterday, just as I was leaving for home, and I thought oooh that might be for me, because I knew they were used by the supplier. Today I asked the lady at reception, and she said; “yes they were delivering the metal balls, but the bag had split and they were going to reorder it”.

Oh no I thought, I won’t have it in time for the weekend. So I rang them and they said I could have what was left over from the bag. They are just around the corner from work so just went there and picked it up. It’s a paper bag with a little hole in it, so I have almost the whole bag plus what they swept from the floor of the van !!!

Yes, so now I can start bending !!