Last evening, we finished off May's Work Sessions in great style with Chris and Autumn representing our Youth Participants, and Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and me rounding out the Mentor side of the deal.


Stringers again were on the menu with Chris and Frank teaming up and Autumn and Tom doing the same.  We are making steady progress on this wood work, working our way up from the bottom of the fuselage to the sides and eventually the top.


Mike did some independent research in the attic, retrieving the aileron control system to evaluate its condition.  He found a couple of bearings in the aileron bellcrank less than perfect, so he's going to see if he can find new ones to replace them.  Mike also found the elevator trim control and brought it down from the attic.  Between Mike and Al and myself, we rediscovered exactly where in the fuselage it is located.  As you may recall, Mike and Youth reconditioned the trim control mechanism in past Work Sessions, so it's ready to be installed.  These systems will be focused on as soon as we complete the stringer phase of the project, so we want to be ready.


Big "Thanks!" go out to all who came out last evening to work.  It's fun to see the progress on our bird, these stringers provide the fuselage all the graceful curves the Sedan is known for.  Exciting!



Another Sedan Work Session is in the log book, with a good turnout of Youth and Mentors alike.  Youth Participants included Chris Schlies, John Thro and Milt Huhta.  Mentors were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Barry and me.  Stringers were the name of the game and we all got into it.


First, John and Mike finished up their inventory and evaluation of the Horizontal Stabilizer brace wires.  They determined what parts we can use, and which will need to be replaced.  All eight of the wires are looking rough but will be useful in staging the tail feathers and aiding in running control cables.


So, on to the stringers.  For those not familiar, the stringers are narrow strips of wood the run fore and aft along the fuselage, and wooden bulkheads in the aft portion of the fuselage, that give the fabric support for the aerodynamic shape it needs to reduce drag while in flight and make possible the incredible speed for which the Sedan is known for (100 miles per hour, maybe!).


Chris teamed up with Frank and Barry, Milt with Tom and John with Mike.  Al and I oversaw the operation, primarily trying to stay out of the way of progress, answering questions as they came up and helping coordinate the three teams.  I brought in a hand-held power planer that helped speed up the tapering of the aft end of some of the stringers, while the rest of the guys shaped the forward ends and adjusted the fit in the many standoff brackets that hold the stringers in place.  All the bottom ones are fit, and now we're working our way up the sides of the fuselage.


Next week will be more of the same except for possibly hanging the horizontals and elevator to start staging the pulleys and control cables.  Of course, we don't want to impede the progress on the stringers, we'll see how it goes.


Last evening was the first time we had the big door open during the session, it was nice to have fresh air in the place for a change.  Boy, I like summer!


Thanks to all who turned out, you all work like a well-oiled machine, busy in the airplane factory!



Last evening, we had a crew of eager workers; Chris Schlies, John Thro and Autumn Wolters.  Mentors were about the same bunch as always, Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, and me.  Bill Irving made himself available and of course, Barry was there for Chris.


For the most part, Stringers were on the menu. Chris and Frank continued their work on the center bottom one.  Besides shaping the forward end to fit into its socket, they sanded down the tang of the stringer just a bit to fit the slot of the support brackets.  Mission accomplished, all except for tapering off the aft end of it, which we will tool up for next time. A bench hand plane should do the job nicely.  I have a couple I can bring in. They then moved to another pair of stringers, moving up the sides of the fuselage.


Autumn talked to Tom about using our project, among other aspects of aviation (including flying of course), as part of her Senior Project at Superior High School.  Tom agreed to be her official Mentor for her Project.  As I understand it, all Seniors are to complete an in-depth effort of independent study in an area of their choosing as a requirement for their graduation.  Autumn is the second Youth we have had use our Sedan for their Project, glad to help!  With that discussion complete, they continued work on the two stringers Dave and Tom started a couple of sessions ago, fitting them to the support brackets like Chris and Frank were doing.


We're going to get good at this stringer business, before you know it they'll all be fit, and we'll be ready to fire up the steamer again!


Meanwhile, John and Mike finished up the riveting on the Forward Rudder Cable Cover.  It is now ready for final fitting and adjustments that may have to be made once it's fit onto the floor of the cabin.  With time left, they gathered up the Horizontal Stabilizer Brace Wires to assess their airworthiness.  They found all the parts that go with them, labeled them, and initial impressions are that they need replacing.  Further inspection may confirm that, we'll see next time.


It was discovered that our fuselage had fallen victim to hangar rash!  One of the stringer support brackets got bent to the point where the weld cracked, so I welded it back on.  These brackets are delicate without the stringer in place and have enough sharp corners on them to jump out and grab anyone walking by.  We must be careful with our baby as work progresses so that we can keep moving forward!


Thanks to all who turned out on what became a very cool and blustery evening.  Crazy, from record high temps during the day to upper 40's by Work Session end.  That is the magic of Lake Superior.  The wind switched from SW to NE, the temps dropped 20 degrees in 20 minutes!  It's amazing we don't all catch pneumonia!  Haha!!



Yesterday was a little dampish, but we had a good turnout just the same.  Chris Schlies, Brett LaGraves, Jacob Koczur and Milt Huhta were there with open minds and eager to work.  Mentors were Frank, Mike, Tom, Bill, Barry, Jacobs Dad Brian and m.


Stringers were a point of focus and Chris and Frank dove right in.  They finished the scarf joint and reinforcement glued up last time, sanding off excess glue and shaping sharp corners.  This stringer is the one intended for the center of the belly, sixteen feet long requiring a team effort to even move around the hangar!  With a preliminary fit, they rough cut it to length and prepared the forward end to fit into the socket that keeps it in place.  It was a matter of shape and fit, shape and fit for a nice engagement but they got it.  Now to taper the end to eliminate any stress risers and then shape the aft end.


Meanwhile, Tom and Jim went through the remaining stringer materials to make sure we had them organized and sufficient to complete the job.  As you recall, we previously thought we discovered a shortage of material.  Upon closer examination and including a rectangular shape (that Ken Peters had provided us) for the lower side stringers (which were original to the aircraft), we now have all stringers ready for fitting.  We will dry fit all of them, get the steamer going and set them in place to dry.  I can just imagine them filling out the fuselage, giving our Sedan it's beautiful aerodynamic shape!


Not to be lost in the shuffle, Brett and Jacob worked with Mike with the intention of finishing the riveting on the forward rudder cable cover.  Some practice was in order, so they got their strips and angles.  Mike guided them on the finer points of squeezing rivets, both universal and flush head.  They started with the smaller diameter 3/32" size before moving to the larger 1/8" diameter ones.  As it happens, time ran out before they got to the big ones so that will have to wait till next time.  The extra bonus of working on their strips and angles is that they can take their work home with them and show off what they've been doing.  All in all, very nice work!


Milt got busy and replaced a couple of window frames and formers removed from the fuselage when the paint was touched up.  Last Monday, Mike, Frank, Tom and I came in and painted the fuselage satin black in the places that won't be covered when the project is finished.  Places like the "V" brace below the windshield, wing and landing gear fittings, and other tabs and handles that will be left exposed.  We did this job without any Youth present simply because of the hazardous nature of the oil-based enamel, keep it safe!


Don't forget to check out our project on our Sedan page at sedanproject.com that our web guru Bill Irving keeps up to date.  It has all kinds of fun info about us!


Thanks to all who came out last evening, it sure is exciting to see the old bird take shape!  See you all next time.



What a lovely evening it was yesterday, lots of sunshine and light winds.  So nice that Bill Irving showed up with his trusty C-172 and gave rides to all takers.  Chris went for the first time, didn't say much I heard, but came back with a giant grin on his face and a big thumb up!  John, Abby, Barry and Aaron went along too.  Just a nice chance for a ride.


As you may have gathered, Youth Participants ready for work were Chris, John and Abby.  Mentors were Tom, Frank, Al, Bill, Aaron, Jim and Barry.


John and Frank glued up a scarf joint that Frank had prepared earlier in the week at home on his radial arm saw.  This was on a stringer, number 4-38, the long one on the bottom of the fuselage.  Later, Chris joined the project while John went for his airplane ride.  They glued on a 4" long piece of 1/16 aircraft plywood, a reinforcement at a nail hole, mixing up a batch of glue/sawdust to fill a low spot.


Chris then joined Tom at the fuselage to install the upper forward cabin bow.  They drilled holes to attach the stiffeners and glued on the block splices.


Al suggested we choose a paint color to paint the fuselage tubing that doesn't get covered up.  Oops!  I guess we had better before it's too late.  Now, which part of the fuselage is that.......?


When John got back from his ride, he and I gathered up the forward rudder cable cover with the intention of finishing up the riveting on it.  Well, first we though a little practice was in order as John had never driven rivets before.  We started with 1/8" rivets on a piece of scrap which didn't go so well, so we moved to our practice pieces with 3/32" rivets.  Much easier, and better to perfect our technique before moving up to the larger rivets.  We finished up with our practice just about the time to quit for the night, so we'll have to wait ‘til next time.


I can't tell you what a difference nice weather makes ('cause you already know 😀).  It won't be long, and we can keep the big door open for our work, smell the fresh air and feel the gentle breeze.  Can you tell I love summer?  Next week is our meeting time, so we'll see you all in a couple.



Spring is in the air and I just love it!  I heard last week that we've had over 180 days with snow on the ground.  6 months? Enough already!  This week we'll be saying "So long snow!"  Exciting, isn't it?


We had a good turnout last night, Chris Schlies, Dave Gramstrup and Milt were our Youth Participants.  Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill, Al, Aaron and myself were the Guides, along with Barry, Chris' Mentor.


Milt, with Frank and Bill got busy gluing tie strips onto the bulkheads installed last week.  Those things are in place for keeps now!  When they were done with that Milt worked with Aaron to practice squeezing flush and universal head rivets on our practice materials.  New skills to be had all around!


Dave and Tom continued sorting out the stringers, combining an inventory and quality inspection at the same time.  They discovered that we could use two more pieces about 8 feet long to round out our requirement.  I'll be contacting our friend Ken Peters to see if he is able to help us out.  We then rolled the fuselage over to make the bottom easier to get at and fit the two that go along the outside edges of the bottom.  Dave got them cut to length and began to trim the ends just like the old ones. This thing is really starting to take shape!


Chris and Mike continued their work on the forward rudder cable cover.  Chris, as you recall had some practice squeezing rivets on our practice pieces last month and helped fit the new piece on the cover a couple of weeks ago. So, he was all set to move up to the next level, driving rivets with the pneumatic rivet gun and bucking bar.  With some practice on other material Mike was confident Chris was up to the task, and away they went.  Just a few rivets left, and the piece will be ready for paint.


Thanks to all who came out last evening.  I wouldn't be surprised to see an airplane ride happening in the next Session or two!



Yesterday was a momentous occasion.  We welcomed the fuselage back from paint with a brand-new coating of epoxy primer, thanks to Chris Penny and his Precision Powder Coating team for sandblasting and painting, and to our own Mark Marino and his Hangar 10 Aero for the primer materials.  Thank you both for bringing to close a two year long repair of the fuselage, the foundation of our Sedan.


To witness this grand occasion were Youth Milt Huhta, John Thro, Dave Gramstrup and Chris Schlies.  Chapter Members present were Tom, Frank, Al and me with Barry Beyer, Chris' mentor.


Now we get to add stuff to it!  Things like wooden bulkheads and formers.  That is just what we did.  After John and Frank reattached the aft pivot block, we all set it on the floor and got busy.


John with Tom and Frank set about to sort out the stringers, making sure we had them all, matching them up with the old ones to better understand how the ends will be shaped, and giving them a close inspection for defects and determining how they'll be affected.  As you all well understand, Airworthy Standards are quite particular, so we must be careful.  Thing are looking pretty good so far.


Chris, Dave and Milt went about setting the wooden bulkheads and formers in place on the fuselage.  Boy, does that change the look of our project, starting to get some character!


Thanks to all who came out last evening, our Sedan sure looks different than it has for a long time!



Boy, yesterday felt like spring! Snow melting, water running, blue sky and sunshine.  I can feel it!


We had a good turnout last evening, with Dave Granstrup, Chris Schlies, Abby Breitkreutz and a fellow new to our project Jacob Koczur along with his Dad Brian.  Along to help steer the evening were Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill and me.


Dave, along with Tom, Frank and Bill got busy with the wooden stringers.  They brought them all down from the attic and began to re-acquaint themselves with what we have and where they go, so they might find an extra one to experiment with in the steamer.  Easier said than done.  There was some sorting going on, with deciphering inventory notes taken two years ago, but I think we have it.  They found a likely candidate for the steamer, treated it and placed it on the fuselage.  I think it's going to work!


Chris and Mike went to work on the rudder cable cover, removing rivets and installing the new part.  Chris seems to be a natural, picking up on guidance from Mike well.  They got the new part aligned and drilled, ready for new rivets.


Abby and Jacob joined me at the rivet station where they were introduced to the rivet squeezing process on materials from KidVenture.  Abby is so cute!  Young as she is she pays attention and follows direction happily.  Her little fingers are just the right size for inserting the rivets into their places, and squeezes with all her might (I help) to set the rivet.  Jacob also is a bright young man, eager to do and learn, welcome to the crew Jacob.  They each got about halfway done with their pieces and took them home to show off.  They'll bring them back next time and finish them up.


Thanks to all who came out last evening, all pulling together to show these young people a little of what it takes to make an airplane!


Next week is time for our Committee meeting, so no Work Session.  See you April 11!



Last evening went off without a hitch with the help of our Youth Participants Chris Schlies, Dave Gramstrup, Abby Breitkreutz and Milt Huhta.  Mentors present were Tom, Mike, Frank, Al, Bill and me.


The first item of business was to load the fuselage onto a trailer I brought to get it ready for the move to the paint shop.  Chris Penny's shop is busy right now with customer work and doesn't have room for us, so we'll wait 'till he has space and time to take care of us.  The good thing is, when he says OK, we can respond.  We're ready when you are Chris!


Dave and Mike were working on the forward rudder cable cover, riveting on the new section.  Mike doesn't like the result.  The rivets were set correctly but the part was not well aligned.  He will now take this opportunity to deliver a lesson in rivet removal, and reassembly of the cover with a new part he will make up in his own hangar.  Sometimes things must go a little backwards in order to move forward, it's just another lesson in life, and after all we're here for the education, right?


Bill and Frank were busy setting up a steamer to eventually steam the stringers we have that, as you may recall, were produced by our good friend Ken Peters two springs ago.  This process may take a couple of sessions to perfect but seems to be progressing nicely.  Bill brought in a wall paper steamer, which when warmed up, produces a surprising amount of steam.  They directed the steam into a section of gutter down spout holding the experimental wood.  Looks promising!


I decided to introduce Chris into the world of riveting.  We took a couple of pieces Al brought from KidVenture and went to work. After a brief tutorial on the finer points of setting solid rivets, Chris got hands on experience with the squeezer, setting AN470AD3-3 rivets like a pro.  He picked up on the requirement that the tool must be perpendicular to the material throughout the process, among other points.  Good job Chris!


Thanks to all who came out last evening and pitched in.  The work goes quick and easy, before we know it, it's time to go home!



What a Spring like day it was today, gives one hope that 'ol man Winter is on the ropes and again will not survive our Planet's march around the Sun.  Yay!


Last evening, we were greeted with a crew of Youth Participants, John Thro, Autumn Wolters, Chris Schiles, and Milt Huhta.  Along to help guide these young minds were Tom, Mike, Frank, Barry, Bill and me.


We set about getting the fuselage ready to be moved to the paint shop.  John and Chris helped me to replace the right-side Fuselage Wrap Around Support, which had mostly gone missing.  In fact, if you recall from a previous post, we nearly missed it altogether had it not been for the sharp eyes of our inspection crew.  Anyway, Mike had formed up some .025 4130 sheets into the angle we needed.  John cut it to length and prepared it to fit into place, then Chris and I welded it onto the fuselage.  The part requires holes in it to attach the Wrap Around, so we cleaned up and set the part onto the fuselage, clamped it into place, and discovered one possible reason our Support was mostly missing.  The line of holes in the Wrap Around was not straight, in fact some nearly ran off the support to the point that they would compromise the strength of the little part. So, we decided to hold off drilling holes until we make a new Wrap Around, which after 69 years of service is showing a good bit a wear. We then gave the fuselage another inspection and called it "good to go"!


Meanwhile, Autumn and Mike continued work on the Lower Rudder Control Cover, kind of like a center console between the rudder cables.   Mike had previously reproduced the aft end of it which was pretty bent up.  Autumn got a very nice lesson in riveting, both with a squeezer and the gun with bucking bar.  Some practice proceeded riveting the actual part, demonstrating what not to do and what works!  Under Mike's guidance Autumn is picking up the skill nicely.


Everyone else were "floaters" throughout the evening, helping out where needed, helping make the whole Session a success.


Next time we will begin the process of preparing a steamer for bending the stringers, exciting stuff!



Boy I love the longer days this time of year, I think the winter days are numbered again for this season!


Last evening, we had a nice turnout.  Three smiling faces that we haven't seen in a while, Samantha and Brett LaGraves, and Tyler Breitkreutz were able to join us.  It's always good to have them aboard.  To round off our Youth Participant crew was Christopher Schlies, our new member last week.  Chapter mentors here to guide our young minds were Frank, Mike, Aaron, Tom, Bill I, and me.


To start off with Frank and Tyler focused on the rubber bumpers for the tail wheel upper and lower limit stops, both in the tail wheel auxiliary assembly and in the fuselage.  This involved sanding off the inside corners of our bumper material made from a hockey puck.  Next was to drill a hole in the bumper as a keeper. Talk about some rubber with a high durometer, nice and stiff!  Rubber is also a difficult material to drill, kind of gummy, but they did a great job.  Some might say "perfect"!


Samantha and Chris joined Tom in a class of Hand Tool 101.  Tom explains the function and safe use of the hand tools we use in our program, giving the Youth a foundation of safety and proper use of basic hand tools.  "A screw driver is not necessarily a pry bar!" ;-), and more!


Brett and Mike inspected the tail feathers; rudder, horizontal stabilizers and elevators, for fit and general condition prior to re priming them.  Aside from needing a little cleanup in the hinge areas, (we can clean those areas up easily after priming), they are deemed good to go.


Chris and Aaron began by giving the fuselage a thorough going over, looking for incomplete or cracked welds, missing and bent parts (tabs and such), or anything else we want to complete before we move it to the paint shop.  Well, they found several places that needed attention.  Aaron's sharp eye picked up on several items, instructing Chris and later Samantha and Brett on what to look for, marking the places with blue tape along the way.  I got busy welding on a few missing nut tabs and clips, some needing straightening before re-welding, and small cracked welds.  One significant part was found completely missing!  In the book they call it a Fuselage Wrap Around Support.  It's a small angle shaped piece that's about 16" long with bolt holes in it, up front in the boot cowl area on the right side.  We will be making a new support, and weld it on before the big move.


Thanks to everyone who made it out last evening.  It's a learning experience for all of us, and surprising what comes to light in these Work Sessions!



What a beautiful day it was yesterday.  Warm and sunny, just makes you want to get out and do stuff!  And we did, a whole bunch of us, at the Chapter Hangar.  Tim Friendsuhu was there to see what we were up to, moved his RV8A out and it didn't even cool the place off a bit, opening that giant door.  Can't wait till spring!


We met a fine young fellow last night. 13 yr old Christopher Schlies along with his Mentor Barry Beyer.  Chris and Barry met through Mentor Duluth.  Chris is interested in anything aviation.  He has joined the Duluth CAP and wants to get his pilots license as soon as he can!  After the work session Chris said he definitely wants to come back and get some more of what we have going on here.  Good deal, welcome Chris!


Along with Chris, we were delighted with the arrival of Autumn Wolters, John Thro, Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta, eager to work and learn something new.  There to help with that were Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.


Autumn and Mike finished up the picture frames for the Sedan Apparel Cabinet, installing a couple of dandy shots of Youth in Action to be displayed on the cabinet in the Airport Terminal.  After that they, along with Dave, got busy with the new brake calipers, installing brake pads, installing new hardware and transferring serviceable parts from the old calipers. The brakes are now ready to be installed on the airplane when we're ready.  With that out of the way, they decided to tackle riveting practice on some aluminum materials, .025" aluminum, punched with matching 3/32" holes.  Some of the pieces were bent 90 degrees to form an angle , so when riveted together, 3 pieces would make a channel shape, or a mini spar if you can imagine.  Good riveting skills are mandatory for nearly any airplane construction.


All the while that was going on Chris, along with his Mentor Barry and Frank set about to clean up the bores of the new hinges welded to the rudder and fuselage rudder post.  The hinge parts shrink due to welding and need to be resized.  This crew expertly took care of the task and then set the rudder in place to check fit.  A little attention was needed to provide clearance around the new parts, with a file that Chris handled with precision!  Another file helped remove any sharp weld edges on the rudder so that the covering will go on nice and smooth.  Tom looked on, offering suggestions about the work to be done and helping to straighten some interior bows and channels.  With his first experience working on an actual airplane, Chris showed great interest and attention to detail.  I think we may have a budding Aircraft Mechanic on our hands!


John and Milt joined me with the last welding (I think) on the fuselage.  Last evening's work was to replace two damaged stringer clips on the bottom along with replacing a  missing tinnerman nut plate tab.  We then set to remove any welding scabs left over from the major repair work that was done mostly on the aft portion.  Next Wednesday will be "Fuselage Inspection Wednesday"  where we will go over it with a thorough inspection, looking for anything missed, in preparation for the move to the paint shop.


As usual, Bill was our roving photographer and log book recorder. Thanks Bill, and everyone else who turned out last evening.  It's always good to see activity and progress!



Last evening was a quiet one, with Milt Huhta our lone Youth Participant. :-)  That didn't stop us (Mike G., Tom B., Frank K., Bill I., and me) from working with Milt on the tail wheel assembly.


Last week John Thro worked on, among other things, cutting out a pair of shims to take up the slack between the tail wheel saddle and tail wheel assembly.  At first we thought the material was too thin to bridge the gap, but I later thought that to wedge the shims out against the saddle and weld them in place was the correct procedure.  That's just what we did.  As the walls of the saddle are somewhat sloped, the shims fit perfectly and we ended up with a very snug fit.  Good work John!


Since welding was the task last evening, and the bottle of argon ran out just as we finished the tail wheel, we decided to call it quits around 8:15.  I'll refill it and get on with finishing up the remaining welding on the fuselage and getting it to the paint shop.  Once repainted, we can move on to more exciting tasks in the rebuild.  I can't wait!


Just a reminder, next week is our night for the Committee meeting so the Work Session will not be held.  Set your sights on Wednesday, Feb 14 for the first Work Session in February. I realize that it's Valentines Day so I understand if you want to be with your Love instead, or, you can celebrate you're love for each other by working on a classic old airplane! (haha, just a thought!)


With Ground Hogs Day tomorrow and the sun moving higher in the sky, I can almost see spring on the distant horizon, almost.  Enjoy winter while it lasts, it will warm up eventually!



Last evening was a pleasant one even though a bit breezy, the hangar was warm enough to work in for a change!  Youth Participants attending were John Thro and Milt Huhta.  Mentors there were Frank, Tom, Bill I and me.


We concentrated on the rudder mostly.  We finished fitting and tack welding the lower hinge group to the rudder, and fit the outer bow to the bottom of the rudder post.  After that we were able to remove the rudder and tail wheel assembly from the fuselage to the bench to weld out.


Bill was our roving photographer, recording the event.  Just who is that old man in the fancy hat!?!


Now, everything on the fuselage is replaced that needed replacing, fit that needed to be fit, I think, save a couple of stringer clips that will be replaced next time we have the fuselage up-side down.  I can just see it, with all the new work in fresh primer, ready to receive everything that will make it an airplane again.  That will be a big day!


Thanks to all who turned out last evening, we're making progress, one step at a time.



Last evening felt like a nice October evening, mid 30's and light winds. Not like today after the cold front got here, snow and wind and falling temps.  Good 'ol January is back!


Autumn Wolters, Dave Gramstrup, and Milt Huhta were in attendance, ready to work and learn.  Mike, Tom, Frank, Bill I., Al and I were here to help.


Autumn and Mike set to work on making up some picture frames.  These frames will be used to display pictures of "Youth at Work" on the Sedan, and placed on the apparel cabinet we have in the main terminal of the airport.  Mike has them configured so we can easily change the picture, to keep up with the progress of our project and to better tell our story, encouraging sales of our shirts and hats.


Dave, Milt and I continued our work on the fuselage, tack welding in the parts fabricated last time including the braces and bumper mount for the tail wheel lower limit stop, and replacing the lower hinge group on the rudder post.  Proper care must be taken to control all the grinding sparks, we don't want to start any fires or damage any equipment!  The fuselage continues taking shape, inching ever closer to the next phase of restoration.  Stay tuned for further developments!


Thanks to all who came out last evening.  It has been a couple of weeks since our last Work Session, but we all fell into the groove without missing a beat, build on!




Last evening was preceded by a snowy, slippery day but we carried on.  Brave souls who turned out to enjoy the Christmas Party were John Thro and his Mom Catherine, Bret LaGraves and his Dad Chris, and Milt Huhta.  Mentor members also on board were Al White, Frank Kolo, with three huge pizzas under his arm, Tom Betts, and me.


The first thing we did was to dig into the pizza and pop and start telling Christmas stories. The conversation rolled around to a picture of the Duluth Airport, taken back in 1987, with the Concord airliner on the runway, and another pic of it taking off.  What an awesome aircraft it was.  It was here for an airshow put on by the Chapter and our own Tom Betts went for a ride.  Just a short hop to Green Bay by way of Oshkosh and back.  He'll never forget it!  There was more conversation about Christmas, and then the big drawing for the model airplane, Franks Vought FU4 Corsair.  Brett and John were in the hat, and John came out the lucky one!  My great regret is that in all the excitement, I neglected to get a picture of the lad and his new airplane! :-(  Sorry folks, you'll just have to imagine John's grin from ear to ear in your mind's eye!


Things were winding down, everybody was full of pizza, so John, Milt and I decided to work on the Sedan for the rest of the evening.  They were able to finish fitting the brace tubes they were working on last time, so all the parts for the tail wheel lower limit stop are ready to weld.  Good job guys, we just might finish this thing yet!


I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  We won't meet again until January 10, so I hope the Holidays are all you hope them to be, full of love and blessings and friends, and Thanks for the Pizza Frank, it was delicious!!



Last evening started out to be a quiet one as I met Al White at the Chapter Hangar, just in from deer hunting on the airport.  He had just bagged one, but was waiting to see if I was going to be joined by others before he went back to skin his quarry.  Then Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta showed up. Followed by Mike Gardonio and Aaron Breitkreutz who rounded out our crew and we were in business.


We decided to combine our efforts and focus on the rudder.  Specifically, the lower hinge knuckle which needs to be welded on.  So, we hung the rudder on the fuselage and discovered a misalignment.  We examined the rudder and fuselage and Al suggested we heat the rudder post to bring it into alignment, so without a torch we turned our attention to the tail wheel lower limit stop.


By the time our session ended, we had all the parts roughed in and nearly ready to weld.  This part went well, so we'll have to look at it again next time to see what we might have done wrong and fix it before it's too late!


Happy Thanksgiving to all!  I hope your past year has been bountiful and full of joy, all good things to be thankful for, and a hope that the coming year is even better!



Last evening, we were greeted by Autumn Wolters, John Thro, Brett Lagraves and Milt Huhta, ready to dig in.  There to assist were Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me. 


Autumn and John, along with Frank and Tom went after the rudder, fitting the lower channel rib, tack welding it into place, and making an extension to the outer bow as it attaches to the lower rudder post at the tail wheel steering fork (can you picture it?).   All this is in preparation for hanging the rudder in place on the fuselage to 1. Locate the lower hinge knuckle and 2. Check for the tail wheel travel so we know where to put the added tail wheel lower limit stop.


Brett and Mike were busy cleaning brake parts, getting ready for matching up serviceable old parts with new replacement ones.  A little solvent cleaning (with protective apparel of course!), a little buffing, a little drilling out rivets on old brake lining, and a little elbow grease is all it takes!


Meanwhile, Milt and I were busy welding up the lower aft bow assembly, the one that holds the forward end of the belly stringers in place.  Once that was done, we removed the rotation stand on the aft end of the fuselage and set the fuselage on a temporary stand, getting ready to hang the rudder in preparation for work mentioned earlier.


All this time, Bill was circulating, documenting the event with camera and log book.


Thanks, as always, to all who turned out last evening.  It's fun to add things to the fuselage (if only temporary), makes it look like and airplane!


For those wondering about the Work Session next week, the day before Thanksgiving, we will be there, at least I'll be there, for whoever is able to come to work.



Man, it was loud in the hangar last evening.  We had the air compressor going along with die grinder, angle grinder, belt sander and bench grinder Whew!  But we got some work done!


Present to join the fun were John Thro, Autumn Wolters, Eva Hobbs, Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta.  Also present to drive the activity were Tom, Mike G, Frank, Bill I, and me.


Eva and Mike went right to work sawing some tubing for the rudder hinge, but then shifted gears over to the main brakes.  They concentrated on removing hardware from the old worn out calipers to be cleaned and made ready for the new parts.  They will continue their efforts next time.


Frank and John went to work on the rudder, removing the lower rib (with an odd repair we don't like) to be replaced with a new one that Mike G made for us some weeks ago.  They got everything all cleaned up and the rib trimmed to fit just right.


Autumn trimmed the lower aft stringer bow that Eva and Jim formed up last time to fit the fuselage.  Meanwhile, Milt went at the old bow with a hack saw then an angle grinder to remove all traces of it from the fuselage.  Once the stringer sockets that the bow holds were cut free, Autumn cleaned them up by trimming close with a hack saw and then the bench grinder with the assistance of Tom, so we can put them back in place on the new bow.  Follow that?  With the parts all prepared, Milt and I tack welded the new bow in place.  Then the fun began.  With an old stringer that Mike found upstairs, Autumn, Dave G, Mike and I located the stringer sockets onto the new bow and tack welded them in place.  It was kind of a juggling act, but we got them positioned in line with the other stringer brackets.


Dave G got busy with the control column, disassembling it for temporary storage and evaluating the fasteners again to determine which bolts need to be replaced and which ones are fit to be used again.  Only four fit the latter category, so we'll put the rest on our Hardware Want List.


Through the din of activity was Bill, taking pictures and recording the event in the log.  Thanks Bill!


As I mentioned earlier, it was a fun but noisy couple of hours, but we are moving the project along with great participation from students and mentors alike. Many thanks to all attending, including the parents of our youth attending, occasionally stepping in to see just what their kids are up to.  See you next week!



With October winding down, we got in one more work session before the meeting in November.  Eva Hobbs, Brett LaGraves, and Dave Gramstrup were our Youth Participants, with Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Bill Irving and me acting as Mentors.


We got right to work with Brett and Mike assembling the last of the Elevator Trim Control, including the handle! 


Dave and Tom went after the control column, aligning and drilling out the last of the bolt holes in the new universal joints, taking care to keep the control yokes parallel.  The control column should now be about ready to fit back into the fuselage when the time comes.


Eva and I concentrated on bending some 3/8" 4130 tubing to replace the damaged lower aft fuselage bow assembly.  This bow holds fittings for the forward end of the wooden stringers that give the bottom of the fuselage shape.  We had a template to follow that Mike made up some weeks ago, and a tubing bender that was made available to us by Mark Marino.  Thanks Mark, your bender worked just fine.  Eva and I were able to follow the contour of the template quite well and produced a nice replacement bow.


Bill again was our PR guy, photographing key elements of the operation, as well as recording the activity in our Restoration Log.


Thanks to all participating last evening, we're gaining on 'er!


Remember, next Wednesday is our meeting time, so no Work Session.  Our next one will be November 8th, see you then.


I encourage all to check out our Sedan Web Page at sedanproject.com for updates to our page.  On it we have a link to "Spirit of Katrina" apparel which we have on sale to help support our project, and much more. Check it out!  Thanks!!



Last evening we met, we worked, we learned!  John Thro was here with his brother Thomas, and Milt Huhta.  Mentors were Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and myself.  Al White was here for a bit but then had to leave.


The Thro crew along with Tom and Frank attended to the rudder, checking alignment in preparation for welding.  All measurements were taken and adjusted, all looks good.  I then put the TIG torch to work and welded up the splice and rosette joints.  Thomas was very curious about this welding business, so he watched the process.  Success!  All seems straight and aligned, so on to the next bit, replacing the damaged rib and reconnecting the aft perimeter tube to the post.


Meanwhile, Milt and I fit the cabin door top hinge that we welded up last time.  With a little adjustment it fits just fine, so on to the lower hinge, rebuilding the area around the worn pivot point.


Bill was our official recorder, taking pictures of the action and logging the session in the book.  A critical function!


Thanks to all who came out on a lovely fall evening, it's a pleasure to see smiling faces working and learning!



Yesterday was a quiet evening with Eva Hobbs, the lone Youth attending, along with her parents, of course!  Also present for the session were Bill I., Tom, Mike, Frank, and me.


Eva continues to show interest and enthusiasm for the work, and began with getting an introduction on the rudder repair.  It soon became apparent that this was not the task for her, so Mike got her working on the elevator trim control that they were working on last time. Much better!  Cleaning and painting and lubricating, all critical aspects of aircraft restoration.  Eva has a sharp mind, is attentive with focus, and a very welcome Youth Participant!


Meanwhile, Tom and Frank took to further the fit-up of the rudder parts, they're nearly ready to weld together.


I took the opportunity to tack weld the upper door hinge together and get the door to swing open.  Moving parts!  I will finish welding up the hinge, then we can concentrate on the lower one.  That one involves drilling and riveting.


Bill, as it turns out is becoming our Work Session Recorder, recording the evenings events in the Log Book, a very necessary part of our rebuild.  Thanks Bill!  Bill also prepared a cash box for the sales our "Spirit of Katrina" Sedan apparel over in the Main Terminal.  If you get a chance, get over to the terminal and check out our display, it fits in very nice there.


Thanks again to everyone who turned out last evening, we're making progress!



The rain finally stopped and the sky became partly cloudy for our work session last evening.  We were greeted by yet another Youth Participant, Eva Hobbs.  No, she isn't an heir to the "Hobbs" meter legacy, but she is an energetic and eager girl curious about airplanes.  Welcome Eva!  Also, present and eager to learn about airplanes was Dave Kostuch, Dave Grambush, John Thro, Isabella Easterday and Milt Huhta.  Mentors on board were Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Aaron Breitkreutz, myself and Mike Philips.  Mike is new to our Chapter.  He hails from St. Cloud, Mn and EAA Chapter 551.  Mike has moved to Superior and has joined our Chapter.  Mike holds an Airframe and Powerplant Certification, working on his Inspection Authority, and is excited to join our Aeronca Sedan group.  Welcome Mike!


Work continued on the Control Column assembly, with Dave G., Milt, Al, Frank, Mark, and Aaron combining their wisdom around installing the new universal joints.  Holes need to be drilled in the u joints to match ones in the assembly.  The Control Yokes also need to be clocked the same using their existing bolt holes, so much discussion was had around achieving that result.  They decided to use the existing holes as drill guides and move on.  So far, so good.


John Thro and Dave K. worked with Tom on the rudder, continuing to fit up the scarf joint and locate rosette welds required to reinforce the joint.


Eva and Isabella were on team Mike with their focus on the new parts we received a couple of weeks ago.  They distributed them to the bins of parts they are going to replace.  We are trying to stay organized as possible, we don't want to lose anything!  Next, they turned their attention to the elevator trim control.  They continued to fabricate a new bracket for the trim indicator.


Dave K. and Milt came over to help me with fitting the cabin door.  With the door clamped in place, using shims to hold it as central as we could get it, we continued to fit the modified upper hinge, getting ready to weld it up.  We're getting close!


Thanks to everyone who turned out last evening.  I can't say it often enough what a great group we have, all pulling in the same direction. t's a wonderful thing and I am proud to be a part of it!


Next week is our meeting Wednesday, so the next Work Session will be in October, the 11th.



We were greeted last evening by beautiful, clear and warm weather (it's all about the weather, isn't it?), and a hangar full of activity.  New to our group was Dave Gramstrup's Dad, Dave Gramstrup. It took us a while to get over the name confusion and come to the realization that our Dave is a Jr.  We can be so dense sometimes!  Also new to the project is Isabella Easterday, an energetic youngster eager to learn about airplanes.  She is a little young for our program, but her Dad Don stayed for the session, and she remained engaged and attentive throughout the evening, under the guidance of Mike Gardonio.  She is a budding aeronautical engineer if I ever saw one!  The remainder of our participants were Brett LaGraves, Milt Huhta, and Jared Harger.  Dave Jr. and Jared are in the same class at LSC A&P school.  Adult Mentors on the scene were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Bill Irving, Dave Gramstrup Sr., Don Easterday and me.


Dave and Dave, Jared and myself focused on the control column.  Frank Kolo with a previous commitment couldn’t be here, so after a brief study of the assembly to understand what need to be done we got to work.  The aileron control sprockets seemed to be out of time with each other, so the chain was adjusted.  The remaining pulleys were mounted and old hardware evaluated.  Dave Jr. discovered that the bolts holding the lower pulleys are bent, so we'll order new ones.  Nice catch Dave!  We discussed the procedure for installing the new universal joints which needed the bolt holes drilled.  We determined that the new holes should be drilled 90 degrees to the existing ones to maintain perfect alignment of match drilled holes, and discussed the procedure to accomplish the task, keeping in mind the the holes in the control yoke shaft must be aligned to keep the yokes in the correct position with the ailerons neutral. Whew, all this thinking can make your head spin!  We'll drill and ream holes next time.


Tom and Mike, along with Isabella, Brett and Milt worked on setting up the rudder for welding on the replacement lower section.  They built a fixture to hold everything in alignment.  Later, Mike took Brett and Isabella aside and paid some attention to the elevator trim control, cleaning parts and preparing material to make a new bracket for the assembly.


With yet another successful work session under our belts, I want to thank everyone who came out, especially our new comers.  You make it all worthwhile!



Last evening ended up unseasonably warm and pleasant, so we left the big door open.  Boy, did the mosquitoes come out, or in.  They sure kept us hopping!


We had a good turnout.  For students we had Tyler Brietkreutz, Brett and Samantha LaGraves with Brett's friend Delten.  Also, along were John Thro and, new to our group, Jared and his Dad Jim Harger, and Milt Huhta.  Mentors included Frank Kolo, MIke Gardonio, Tom Betts, Aaron Breitkreutz and me.


Mike and Brett went to work on the elevator control mechanism along with Deegan Hoffbauer and Tyler looking on.  They were able to complete the placard that goes under the crank.  Deegan is an enthusiastic young fella, much like his pal Brett.  It was also good to see Tyler again, he hasn't been here in a while.


Autumn and Tom along with Milt went after the rudder, researching the particulars of the scarf joint and rosette welds, and how to best fixture the assembly to keep everything square, straight and the right length.  Some classroom work was done using the AC 43.13-1B manual of Acceptable Methods and Practices to determine how the joint should be configured.  They could come up with a list of materials to construct the fixture for next time.


Frank had a big crew to work with around the Control Column.  At one time he had Tom and Milt and Jared and Jim and Aaron looking on, but mostly Jim and Jared.  We finally got our hands on a pair of universal joints we were waiting for so work on this part can proceed.  The first order of business was figuring out where we left off!  Once accomplished, work progressed. installing the aileron chain assembly and new cable pulleys, and assessing hardware.


John and I were back on the fuselage, but in the forward end this time.  We straightened the lower forward fairing bow assembly, then moved to the fitting of the cabin door.  The upper hinge needs some rework, so that was studied and a possible remodel was determined.  We'll have materials for next time.


All in all it was a busy, productive time last night with stuff going on in every corner.  Thanks to all who came out yesterday, it's good to see new faces, and the old familiar ones too, our group just keeps getting bigger and better!



School is starting soon, as evidenced by the absence of most of our Youth Participants.  Orientation, kids growing up, moving to new schools.  Autumn was able to come however, along with Milt, so we had work to do.  Along to balance out the other side were Frank and me with Bill I. and Al looking in.


First of all, Autumn and I inventoried a shipment of parts received from Aircraft Spruce and Specialtiy Co. In the box were parts for the control column, control cables, brake parts and pulleys.  We have work to do now!  Everything was shipped as expected, beautiful parts.  Now we can make up control cables for the rudder, elevator and trim tab, and aileron cables within the fuselage (there are still a set of cables in the wings to address).  We can complete the control column and brakes too, lots to do!


Once complete Autumn, Milt and I focused on the rudder.  At the last work sesion the scarf joint for the splice was laid out on the rudder and replacement section.  We double checked both parts to see how they compared.  Identical.  We also check with the guide book, AC 3.13-1B Acceptable Methods and Practices, to determine the length and size of the reinforcement sleeve.  We cut a piece of 7/8" x .035 wall 4130 tube 5" long, Frank cleaned up some minor surface corrosion, making it ready for welding.  Next, we set up to make the cuts with a hand held 5" angle grinder.  Once made we de-burred and inspected the joint.  The alignment is very nice, just a little refinement, some plug weld holes to drill and it should be ready to weld.


It was a quiet evening (mostly, except for the grinder!) with only one task at hand but progress no less.  Thanks to everyone who turned out.  Next work session will be in September, where did the summer go?



Last night we were greeted by Autumn Wolters who we haven't seen in a while.  She has been busy with other activities this summer, most importantly, having fun!  Also, along for the ride were our old friends Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta.  Present to lead the Session were Tom Betts, Al White, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.


Autumn and Dave jumped right in with Tom on the rudder.  Their task was to mark the scarf joint on the rudder and the new section to replace the damage.  Their set-up was somewhat elaborate in order to repeat the cut line in the same place on both pieces, but I think they got it right on.  Next time we'll double check the marks and make the cuts.


Milt and I finished up welding of the sleeves at the aft end of the fuselage (I thought it would never get there!).  Next, we welded on a stringer stand-off to replace a bent up one that was removed previously.  Our man Mike Gardonio had made up the new one some time ago, I'm glad we didn't lose it in the interim!  Next, we'll focus on the lower aft fuselage fairing bow.  This and the forward one have been subject to rough handling in a previous life and need some attention.


Al and Bill and Frank did some remodeling on the tall coffee maker table so that we can park our new welding machine under it, out of harm’s way.  All they had to do was to notch the front rail a little to provide clearance for the argon cylinder and flow meter.  Short work, nice job.  The machine is now parked safely away under the bench.  Thanks guys!


It's always surprising how early the days end this time of year.  We had the big door open for the session, it was a very nice evening, we really noticed when the sun went down, Dark!   Thanks to everyone who came out last evening, we're making progress!



We met again last evening, with John Thro back from his baseball tournament in Indiana where they won one of four, very well by all accounts!  Also attending for enlightenment was Milt Huhta.  Mentors on board were Tom B., Al, Bill I.,Mike G., and me


We got busy without delay, John and Tom focusing on the rudder, fitting the control horn to the replacement tube.  That involved laying out and cutting the relief for the lower hinge bushing and locating it aligned with the steering fork.  We tacked it in place, ready to cut the splice joint on the rudder.


Mike and Al made a cardboard template to replicate a bow assembly on the bottom of the fuselage that got bent up pretty bad at some point along the line.  We have some 3/8" x .035 tube to bend for its replacement.  The template will help us make a form to aid in the bending.


Milt and I continued our work on welding up the fuselage.  The sleeves fit on those two aft tubs are nearly all welded.  Some tight places there, where the tubes come together on the rudder post, but we got it!  Inching ever closer to completion!


Thanks to everyone who turned out last night, what a great bunch!



Last evening was our first Work Session in 3 weeks, what with AirVenture and meetings, it seemed like forever!  We fell back into the swing of it though like we never missed a day, Sweeet!  Youth attending were Samantha and Brett LaGraves along with Milt Huhta.  Mentors present to teach and learn were Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo and me.


Brett and Mike went after the elevator trim control to clean and to measure the turnbuckles so that we can replace them with the correct ones.


Samantha and Tom were back on the rudder, fitting a new control horn that Mike made back in his own hangar. Thanks Mike!  There was some confusion and discussion regarding locations and procedures.  It seems that time does funny things with memory, that's why we always try to write dimensions down and don't dismantle the old part before the new one is ready to replace it.  We're all set now though, so next time it's full steam ahead!


Milt and I continued fitting and welding the reinforcement sleeves at the aft end of the fuselage with our new Lincoln welding machine we just brought home from EAA Sport Air Workshops.  Nice machine, it will serve the Chapter well.  Thanks to EAA and Charlie Becker for making the donation possible and our life easier and more enriched!


Frank and Bill finished up the "Spirit of Katrina" apparel cabinet, applying the signage to the front.  Pretty spiffy guys!  It's now ready to load with shirts and hats and move to the Superior Airport Terminal, officially putting our stuff on sale.  So, if you can, check it out and buy a hat or shirt!


Thanks to everyone for coming out last evening, everyone pulling in the same direction is just a joy!



Last evening was a very pleasant one with just a breeze off the big lake to cool things off from the day's heat (we're not used to heat up here).  We had a good turnout with Dave Kostuch and Dave Gramstrup, and Milt Huhta filling out the group of students.  Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo, Todd Gremmels and myself were there to help out.


First, Bill took Dave K. and his mom Krista up for a ride in his C172 to look around.  It was Krista's first ride ever in a small airplane and she was a little nervous.  No worries, she and Dave came back with smiles on their faces, and Krisa with a new faith and perspective in the ability of small aircraft.


Dave G. joined Tom and Todd working on a Quickie which has appeared in our hangar since last time.  This aircraft has been a weather vane perched on a rotating column in front of our hangar for a few years and was taken down last Saturday for repairs.  The poor old bird has experienced some weathering damage and trauma from kids climbing on it.  Todd, who has fiberglass experience, has agreed to lead the repair for a speedy return to it's post in good condition (for a weather vane!).  When Dave and Krista returned from their ride, Dave joined the crew, learning about yet another type of airplane.


Frank was then joined by Bill, lining the display shelf of the apparel cabinet.  One step closer!


Milt and I went over the control cables that Mike and crew measured last time.  We wanted some confirming information on the size of the turnbuckles and number of other parts that make up the cables that live in the fuselage.  Everything checks out.  We then continued fitting the sleeves on the fuselage aft tubing.  Almost ready for welding, one more section to go.


Thanks everyone for coming out on such a beautiful (rare) evening to work on our birds.  As you may have heard, our meeting next Wednesday is cancelled due to most every one of our mentor's attendance at Airventure next week. With our board meetings the following week, we'll see you all on August 9th.



Last evening was a cool wind right off the big lake, foggy and damp.  That did not deter us though, we had a full evening of activity, inside!


The LaGraves crew was here, Brett, Samantha and Emily, and John Thro.  John was recently back from Air Academy where he was immersed in hands on activities like sheet metal work, composites, chart reading and navigation to mention a few subjects.  John said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but was disappointed when they were unable to climb the rock wall outside because recent rain making it too slippery! Overall, he loved it!


Adults here to assist were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving, Al White, Milt Huhta and me.


Brett and Mike finished assembling the tail wheel, fitting the tire, assembling the wheel halves and a final lube.  Tail wheel ready to install.  Whew, that was a long hard pull!


Tom showed Emily and Samantha all about testing the Emergency Locator Transmitter on his Glasair.  Tom had a recent lightening activating event with his ELT so he wanted to test it and thought the young Ladies might be interested in learning all about it, they were.  One more aspect of aviation to add to the list.


Afterward, the LaGraves crew helped Mike gather control cables, measure their length, and record how the ends were built.  It's time we replaced them, so we need to know what they are.


John and Milt and I worked on the tubing sleeves at the aft of the fuselage, tacking them in place to reinforce the corroded areas.  Tight spot but we'er getting it!


Frank and Bill continued work on the apparel cabinet, touching up the paint job and checking out the signage stencil that Mark Marino made up for us. Thanks Mark!  The Cabinet will be looking pretty slick by the time we get done with it.


Thanks to all who came out to participate.  This session, as always, we learned a few things as we inch further along on our Sedan project. 



Well, last evening was a little unusual in that we had no youth attending.  My guess is the gloomy weather, raining cats and dogs all day and cool temps.  Also, John Thro and Dave Kostuch are at Air Academy in Oshkosh so they were predisposed.  No worries, we will resume in July on Wednesday the 12th right in stride.


We did have a contingent of Adults/Mentors though, with Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Frank Kolo an myself ready for action.  We get a few minor things done in the hangar, and helped member Tim Friendshuh modify the front seat back in his RV8A.  Riveting is new to Tim so we were able to help him out a little and move his project along.


Thanks again to all who came out on a gloomy, wet evening.  Even though we had no youth this evening, it's all good.  We'll pick it up next time.



Last Wednesday evening was witness to yet another successful session of work on our Sedan.  John Thro and Dave Gramstrup were on board to assist and learn.  There to pitch in were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Milt Huhta, Bill Irving and me.


Dave and Tom and Milt went to work fitting the cabin door into the fuselage opening in order to finish the lower hinge arm.  It was determined that when the door is properly centered in the opening, upper hinge does not match the hinge tabs.  It was determined that the hinge must be moved, therefore the three began the surgical removal of the rivets holding the hinge in place.  This is an exacting process to remove the rivets, preserving the holes, so that the corrected hinge can be reinstalled. Once the steel hinge is removed, the door can again be fit into place, the lower hinge arm located and the upper hinge remodeled to fit.


John and I went about to fit the sleeves that were made to reinforce the two tubes that meet the rudder post.  As it turns out, my suggestion to use 5/8 dia x .035 wall tube split down the center was a poor one as the gap left between the sections is too great.  On to plan "B".  Al suggested we fashion a doubler from flat sheet, forming it to fit the tubes.  Al demonstrated the process by getting some thin sheet to use as a pattern and began to trim and fit.  In the mean time John and I made final preparations to the horizontal stabilizer brace wire tabs and tacked them into the lower longerons at the 20 degree angle that the original ones were set at.


Bill and Mike busied themselves putting a first coat of green paint on the apparel display case.


Just about the time we were all finishing up for the evening, the clouds opened, the thunder boomed and the rain came down.  In buckets!  Wow, we are going to get soaked on our way to the cars, I was thinking.  Just about the time we were going to make our move, the rain quit, with nothing more than a nice clean smell in the air! No worries!


Thanks everyone who came out to help.  It never ceases to give me a thrill to see such activity toward a common goal, engaging youth and adults alike, everybody learning something new, and making our lives richer for it.  Keep up the good work!



Last Wednesday evening was witness to yet another successful session of work on our Sedan.  John Thro and Dave Gramstrup were on board to assist and learn.  There to pitch in were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Milt Huhta, Bill Irving and me.


Dave and Tom and Milt went to work fitting the cabin door into the fuselage opening in order to finish the lower hinge arm.  It was determined that when the door is properly centered in the opening, upper hinge does not match the hinge tabs.  It was determined that the hinge must be moved, therefore the three began the surgical removal of the rivets holding the hinge in place.  This is an exacting process to remove the rivets, preserving the holes, so that the corrected hinge can be reinstalled. Once the steel hinge is removed, the door can again be fit into place, the lower hinge arm located and the upper hinge remodeled to fit.


John and I went about to fit the sleeves that were made to reinforce the two tubes that meet the rudder post.  As it turns out, my suggestion to use 5/8 dia x .035 wall tube split down the center was a poor one as the gap left between the sections is too great.  On to plan "B".  Al suggested we fashion a doubler from flat sheet, forming it to fit the tubes.  Al demonstrated the process by getting some thin sheet to use as a pattern and began to trim and fit.  In the mean time John and I made final preparations to the horizontal stabilizer brace wire tabs and tacked them into the lower longerons at the 20 degree angle that the original ones were set at.


Bill and Mike busied themselves putting a first coat of green paint on the apparel display case.


Just about the time we were all finishing up for the evening, the clouds opened up, the thunder boomed and the rain came down.  In buckets!  Wow, we are going to get soaked on our way to the cars, I was thinking.  Just about the time we were going to make our move, the rain quit, with nothing more than a nice clean smell in the air! No worries!


Thanks everyone who came out to help.  It never ceases to give me a thrill to see such activity toward a common goal, engaging youth and adults alike, everybody learning something new, and making our lives richer for it.  Keep up the good work!



Students: Dave Granstrup, Brett and Samantha LaGrave, David Kostuch

Adults: Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Mike Gardonio, Milt Huhta, Tim Friendshuh

Tom, Dave Granstrup, Frank and Milt continued the effort to remove the insert from the Rudder, without much luck though.  The combination of weld, rust and tight fit are making it impossible to move the insert without destroying the outer tube.

Mike Dave Kostuch, and Brett LaGrave enlarged the slots in the lower fuselage tubing to accept the Horizontal Stabilizer flying wire tabs.  After the tabs were fit, the tabs were dressed a little bit and set aside for welding.  They then finished cutting out the lower rear longeron patches that were started last week. 

Mike and Samantha LaGrave removed the bearing cones from the tail wheel.  They will be replaced with a different type of bearing that will better fit the tail gear axel.  Tim Freindshuh came in to go for a ride in his RV-8 and was gracious enough to give Dave Kostuch and Brett and Samantha LaGrave all a ride around town too.  Thanks Jim!


It was a wet one last evening, but that didn't dampen our spirits or turn-out for another round of work on the "Spirit of Katrina".  Dave Gramstrup and John Thro came eager to help and learn.  Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Al White, Aaron Breitkreutz and I were along for the ride!


Tom and Dave went after the rudder, assisted by Mike, repairing the section below the rudder horn.  They ran into a snag however as the reinforcing tube was also fused to the rudder main tube right at the horn.  This was due to another previous repair to the horn, as the weld penetrated thru the rudder tube into the reinforcing inner tube.  We may have to carry the repair higher up and replace the horn too.  We'll see...


John and I continued our work on the fuselage.  John worked to further the repair sleeve preparation for the corroded tube section at the base of the rudder post.  John is getting to be quite the metal worker, showing a good understanding of what needs to be done.  In the meantime I made slots in the longerons to accept the horizontal stabilizer brace wire anchor tabs. 


Thanks to all who pitched in last night.  Team work is what makes this project the joy that it is!



Youth Participats in attendance were Dave Kostuch, Samantha LaGraves, Dave Gramstrup and Milt Huhta, our most senior Participant (and still eager to learn!).  Mentors aboard were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.


Here we are in May with our first work session of the month in the log book.  It was a lovely evening, warm, with scattered sprinkles now and then, and rainbows!  Not too many sprinkles though for Bill to steal away Dave K and Samantha for a ride around the harbor in is trusty C172.  The kids came back with grins on their faces!


Dave G. and Tom went to work on the rudder, actually removing the damage on the lower hinge post that holds the tail wheel steering arm.  Cutting the tubing at a 30 degree miter so close to the rudder control arm with our primitive equipment is proving to be a challenge, but not one they cannot meet. The cut has to be close to the arm as there is an old butt joint (from a previous repair) within 2 inches that needs to be removed.  Just a little more work and they'll have it.  Oh for a vertical metal cutting band saw!


Samantha and Mike got out the landing gear structure and inspected it for any potential problems (interrupted briefly by an airplane ride).  They performed a visual inspection followed by spot sand blasting to better expose suspect areas.  They found a few that need attention.  They mostly look like weld defects from manufacturing which shouldn't develop into any problems, but we have the technology to correct them!


Dave and Milt worked with me on the fuselage.  Milt worked to prepare sleeves to reinforce two tubes at the base of the ruder post that have some corrosion.  Dave K. (again, when he got back from his airplane ride) helped to position the ground handling handles and tack them into place.  Next we located and marked the tabs that hold the wires for the horizontal stabilizer.


Thanks to everyone who turned out to work on our bird.  I just love to work with the big door open to enjoy the warm breezes!



Chilly!  We had a couple of eager fellows none the less, ready to work and learn.  Dave Kostuch and John Thro, who incidentally, will be attending Air Academy at Oshkosh this summer for the first time.  Congratulations guys!  Ready to guide were Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz, Bill Irving and me.  We had a couple of guests, formally from Oshkosh, Jim Kersting and his friend Jody.  Jim, as you may recall, was instrumental in our acquiring the Sedan in the beginning!  Thanks for coming by Jim!


Dave and Mike began the evening packing grease in the bearings for the tail wheel before reassembling. I was discovered the job couldn't be completed due to lack of bearing seals and the axle being too short.  It turns out that we have the correct axle but we need seals so the job was put aside.  Dave then moved to work with Aaron on the Cabin Door, lower hinge.  They were repairing the hinge pivot area to renew and reinforce a worn bolt hole.


John and I were back on the fuselage, John got to studying the AC43.13-1B manual of Acceptable Methods and Techniques and Practices, to design a tube sleeve that will reinforce a pair of corroded tubes that join the rudder post, while I welded up tubing joints.  We conferred, and John went ahead and prepared some parts for the task.  Afterward with just a few minutes remaining, John took a file to clean off weld tacks from the lower longerons left from the truss we used to stabilize the fuselage during longeron replacement.


Thanks to everyone who came out on a chilly and blustery spring evening, the work continues!



Well here we are in the middle of April.  I know it's spring now because the frogs have started croaking.  What a beautiful sound after months of cold and snow!


Last evening was another beautiful mild one, perfect for a few Young Eagle rides.  Three of our four students went up for a tour of the Twin Ports and came back ready to work.  They were Autumn Wolter, Samantha LaGraves, John Thro, and Dave Gramstrup didn't get  ride, just came to work.  Mentors and pilots were Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Al White, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland and me.


John and I got started back on the fuselage, completing the welding of joints in the new tubing untill he went for his ride with Al.  When he got back we continued with Samantha looking on occasionally.


Dave and Frank pressed the bearings out of the elevator control bell crank so they could clean it up for painting and service the bearings.  Autumn used the sand blast cabinet, guided by Frank to do the actual cleaning.


Dave and Mike mounted the tail wheel tire and finished building the tail wheel with grease and safety wiring the appropriate fasteners.  Samantha joined in later to see what it was all about.


Autumn and Tom worked on the rudder, deciding how to make the cut to section in the new material.


Dave and Mike, along with Al, brought out the main gear legs for inspection.  Basically they are in good repair except for some pin holes in existing welds which will be repaired.  The main pivot bushings will also receive further analysis before making a go-no go decision on their airworthiness.


All in all it was a bustling evening with activity going on in all corners of the hangar.  Try to make available next Wednesday to join in the experience that is the "Spirit of Katrina" Sedan Work Session!



Last evening greeted us with more typical March weather, low ceilings and a brisk wind off of Gitche Gumee.  That didn't stop us from working though (although it did prevent any airplane rides).  Folks showed up and we got to work.  In attendance were the LaGraves, Brett and Samantha, and visiting for the first time was Emily, their sister who lives in Madison, Wi.  She will likely be back this summer.  Welcome Emily!  Also here to learn about fuselage repair was Milt Huhta.  Supervisors along were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkuetz, Al White, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland, Bill Irving and me.


Samantha and Emily joined up with Aaron to work on the cabin door, specifically the lower hinge.  The pivot pin area had broken and been repaired, but not to our standards.  Aaron coached the ladies on a better repair which included removing the previous reinforcement to replace it with one more robust.  They were able to disassemble it and are designing a new reinforcement.


Brett and Mike went to work on a new addition to our hangar.  New style chair racks, built by Mike and Tom and Jim last weekend, and powder coated by our friend Chris Penny at Precision Powder Coating in Superior.  Thanks Chris!  Brett and Mike drove plastic plugs into the ends of the tubing and bolted on the casters.  Just about everybody pitched in to transfer the chairs from the old racks to the new ones.  Tom and Mike tried them out pushing them through the door into our furnace room, perfect fit!  Next will be a new cart for folding tables so that all can be stored in the furnace room, making more room in the hangar proper.  Good job fellas!  Once that big job was completed, Brett and Mike drilled a hole in a tail wheel bumper bracket they made for the new tail wheel stop.  Brett is a hole driller, and a good one too!


Milt and I continued work on the fuselage, tacking in the last of the cross members we replaced and welding some of the joints.  We next started the planning of a tail wheel stop to prevent it contacting the rudder in the event of a bunge and safety cable failure.  This is a modification adapted after our Sedan was manufactured.


Thanks to all who participated last evening, our last for March.  Next week is our scheduled committee and board meetings so there will be no work session.  April 12 is the next one, I hope to see you all then.  Happy Spring!



Yesterday provided us with another bright sunny evening.  It was just right for a couple of airplane rides, provided by Tom for Autumn and Tyler.  I am told that Autumn even made the position calls upon back taxi to the ramp.  Do we have a future pilot in our crew?


In addition to Autumn and Tyler, Dave Kostuch and John Thro rounded out the Youth Participant contingent, with Milt Huhta along to observe the fuselage repair. Member Mentors were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkruetz, Frank Kolo and me.


Tyler and Aaron continued the work on the cabin door.  I brought a piece of .032" thick  2024 aluminum alloy formed at 90 deg. to reinforce the door latch and handle.  Tyler and Aaron proceeded to fit it, assisted by Autumn after her ride with Tom.  They got a good start on the task!


Dave and Mike got to work finishing up the tail wheel assembly including final lubrication, ready for the tire and wheel.  They then turned their attention to the rudder to continue the work from last week, removing an array of rosette welds holding an inner sleeve from a previous repair.  This will allow us to replace the damaged lower section.


After Tyler got back from his ride, he helped Frank fit some spacers to the lower control column.  This is where the control column pivots back and forth in the fuselage with the Control Yokes.  Our spacers were stuck, so Al pressed them out last weekend.  Mike Hoag sent us a set he had (Thanks Mike) which are in better condition than ours, so that's what Tyler and Frank were fitting.  Almost done!


John and Milt helped me fit the last diagonal brace just ahead of where the tail wheel mounts.  We made a pattern piece, then John and Milt fabricated the replacement tube.  We got to fit, ready to tack into place.  We also removed the reinforcing truss that was temporarily welded to the longeron while the fuselage was repaired.  We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this task!


Thank you to all who attended last evening.  Little by little we're all getting smarter, as the "Spirit of Katrina" inches closer to overcoming gravity!



Yesterday felt like spring.  With daylight savings time it might be darker in the morning, but the afternoon daylight sure is nice.  So nice that Tom took the opportunity to give the first youth participant to arrive a Young Eagle ride.  Dave Kostuch was the lucky one, so up they went!  Also on board to work and learn was Dave Gramstrup, Brett and Samantha Lagraves, and Milt Huhta who is one of our own Chapter members, here to pick up some tips on fuselage repair and TIG welding.  Welcome Milt! To round out the other side of the equation were Tom Betts, Aaron Breitkreutz, Al White, Bill Irving and me.


Dave G. and Milt worked with me on the fuselage, fitting the last couple of cross and diagonal members just ahead of the tail wheel mount.  Dave got a taste of cutting and fitting the pattern piece of the diagonal, discovering some fitting considerations along the way.  A great teaching moment!


Aaron and Samantha worked on the cabin door latch area, straightening out the latch mount and with Al's help, plan a reinforcement for a little crack in the door skin there to give the latch more support.  They then went on to remove the lower hinge and plan a repair for it.  The hinge pin hole had been broken off and a hasty repair made.  We want to refine it and perhaps make it stronger to boot.


Brett and Bill went to work on the control column.  Seems that the main pivot bushings are stuck and won't rotate.  To help press them out of the control arm, they had to fasten a vice to a work bench.  Brett loves to drill holes!  They got the vice fastened down just fine, but no joy was found removing the bushings.  More investigation is required.


When Tom and Dave K. returned from their flight, (and once Dave was able to keep his feet firmly on the ground) they turned their focus on the rudder. 

Specifically where the tail wheel steering arm attaches.  The arm was corroded into the steel tube of the rudder, the attach holes are too big, so the lower section must be replaced.  Along with Al and I we determined a course of action and Dave and Tom went to work removing an array of rosette welds holding an inner sleeve from a previous repair.


It's so nice to be on this side of winter with the promise of spring in the air, not to mention Young Eagles!  Thanks to all who participated last evening, I believe we're making progress!



Last evening it was nice to finally walk around outside without having to chase your hat across the yard!  Boy this wind has been something!  Never the less, we had a good turnout for the Work Session, with Autumn Wolters and John Thro eager to get to work.  To help with their desire was Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Irving and me.  We even had two Chapter visitors, Dave Kauppi and Milt Huhta.  Milt was especially interested in the fuselage repair and the welding process it involved.


Autumn and Mike went to work preparing a section of tubing to replace the lower section of the rudder where the tail wheel steering fork attaches.  Our rudder is compromised in this area so we will replace it.  Autumn and Mike drilled holes in the tube to match the steering arm, not a small task to do it precisely, and make it ready to section into the rudder.  They also drilled out the steering arm where the steering cables attach.  This area had previously been welded closed to repair the original holes which showed excessive ware.  These holes will be fitted with AN42 eye bolts to receive the spring as suggested by our friend Burl Rodgers in Alaska.


John and Milt were paying very close attention while we continued to fit and replace corroded tubing in the aft end of the fuselage.  I think we are getting closer to the end of this process, just a few more sessions!


Thanks to everyone who came out last night in spite of the Gales of March, another in a long string of successful work sessions!



Despite the rain and then snow, we had a god turnout for the work session.  In fact, we had a new fellow come to see what we're up to.  Matthew Ierino, at the invitation of long time friend of John Thro.  Matt says he hasn't built any airplanes yet, but is eager to learn how!  He is interested in Industrial Arts and showed good aptitude last night.  Welcome to the Project Matt!  Also eager to work were Samantha and Brett Lagraves.  Helping to direct our crew were Frank Kolo, Aaron Breitkreutz and me.


The evening started with Samantha and Aaron inspecting the rear window task.  They cleaned up any drips in the varnish, put the woodwork away for the time-being and cleaned up the work station.  They then moved over to the display cabinet and hung the doors which were painted last time.  That complete, they shifted their focus to the Sedan door.  The latch area needs a little attention.  With a little clamping fixture that I had made up last week they pulled a little dent out on the inside skin and studied how to correct some minor deformation around the latch mount area.  We will tool up for that job for next time.


Brett and Frank were back on the control column, cleaning the aileron control chain assembly and the rod ends in the elevator push-pull tube assembly.  Once we get our replacement parts, this control column will be good as new!


John and Matt were in there with me on the fuselage.  We fabricated another jack post to hold the longeron spacing and made up a couple of cross members just ahead of the tail wheel frame assembly pivot.


Thanks to all who turned out last night, a new Youth Participant and good work done, progress indeed! 



Last evening we had a little smaller group than usual, but it was fun and educational as ever!  Dave Gramstrup, Brett and Samantha LaGraves were here ready to dig in.  Here it assist and advise were Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz, Bill Irving and me.


I worked on the fuselage along with Samantha and Brett at times, Samantha worked with Bill too, putting the last finishing touches on the rear window frames (which I really think are done now!) 


Mike got Dave going on preparing a piece of tubing ready to replace the lower section of the rudder post where the tail wheel steering fork bolts on.  Once this piece is prepared we will weld it onto the rudder.


Mike and Brett drilled some holes in a piece of 4130 steel sheet to shear into Tinnerman nut tabs to weld onto the fuselage where necessary, and then they reassembled and lubricated the old Maul tail wheel gear.


Aaron, Brett and Samantha worked on the display case, painting and installing trim.  This thing is looking pretty nice!  Soon we will be able to display our "Spirit of Katrina" apparel in the Superior Airport Terminal to help raise funds and spread the word for our Project.



Last night was a chilly one.  Here to work and learn was Dave Gramstrup.  Present to guide were Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Al White, Bill Irving, Mike Gardonio and me.


Mike showed up last evening with a spread sheet list he put together with all the fasteners, bushings and clamps identified in the Parts Catalog.  This will be used to determine what new hardware is needed for the complete rebuild.  I counted 159 individual part numbers all together.  Good job Mike, thanks!


Dave and I got right to work fitting and tacking in the last section of longeron, just forward of the tail wheel pivot on the left side.  Dave did all the cutting and fitting of the piece and I tacked it in.  Good job Dave!


Frank continued cleaning some bearings on the Control Column while Mike and Al pressed the bearing cups into the tail wheel hubs.  The rest of the crew did some cleaning and sorting out of stuff in the hangar.


Thanks to everyone who came out last night, in spite of the cold.  I mean, winter can't last forever, can it?



Last evening was another typical Sedan work session, solid activity for two hours. Youth attending eager to pitch in were Dave Gramstrup. Samantha and Brett LaGraves, John Thro and Dave Kostuch.  Rounding out the grown-up side of this were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Al White, Aaron Breitkrutz, our friend from EAA Chapter 1221 John Welna, and me.


Dave K. and Frank worked on the control column, cleaning and packing bearings and reassembling.  The column was powder coated last week by our friend Chris Penny at Precision Powder Coating, a local Superior, WI business.  Thank you, Chris!


Samantha and Tom put another coat of varnish on the rear window woodwork.  Once finished with that, Sam moved over and helped Aaron paint the display case.  That display case is really shaping up, casters and everything!


Brett and Mike shifted to work on the tail wheel.  Al had earlier pressed our new king pin bushing into the housing that we got from Jon Meserer last week. As it turns out, the tail wheel arm king pin from Jon fits the bushing just fine, so our search for tail wheel parts is over for now. Brett and Mike drilled and tapped a grease fitting hole in the bushing and reassembled the tail wheel locking mechanism.  More progress!


Dave G. and I continued our work on the fuselage.  We cleaned up the cluster where our new longeron passes through and adjusted the trial piece.  We tack welded the bushing that holds the left side of the tail wheel in place and then made a pattern from our trial piece and transferred it to a new piece of material.  Time ran out before we could cut the new piece out, so we left it until next time.


Meanwhile, Al floated around, giving advise where needed.  He even signed off some paperwork Mike submitted on the main wheel rebuild.  Permanent records, I love it!


John Thro and John Welna trial fit the cabin door to see how we might repair the lower hinge leaf.  They also wanted to find out what sort of reinforcement we could fit onto the door latch area to repair a little bitty crack in the area.  There is room, and They made a pattern for a reinforcement.   We'll concentrate on that area next time.



Boy! I like this weather way better than below zero.  January thaws are my favorite!


Dave Gramstrup, Tyler Breitkreutz, Samantha and Brett LaGraves were here, eager to work. Tom, Mike, Al, Bill I., Aaron and I provided guidance and direction.


Tyler and Aaron were busy preparing the new "Spirit of Katrina" apparel display case for paint, sanding and scraping away.  I wonder what color they will paint it?  My guess is whatever color we have the most of on hand.  Anyone have a fabulous color paint lying around?


Samantha and Tom put another coat of varnish on the rear window frames after checking, "which edge is it now that gets glued?"  They are going to be beautiful!


Brett and Mike and Al adjusted the air pressure in the main tires for storage and went after the tail wheel.  Last week we received a used tail wheel assembly from Jon Messerer, of Jonathan Aero.  As it turns out, the arm on that one, along with our new king pin bushing, will be just fine.  Thanks Jon!  The outer bearing races will be pressed into the tail wheel next time and then should be complete.  Progress!!


Dave and I continued our pursuit of an airworthy fuselage frame.  We removed the last corroded longeron section and stabilized the structure in preparation for fitting the new tubing.  The work is coming along well and should progress quickly once this piece is in place.  Just a few more cross and diagonal members to deal with; fabricating a revision, an additional tail wheel assembly stop (this is to prevent the rudder hitting the ground in the event of a bungee and restraining cable failure), a few miscellaneous repairs and ta da!


Mark Marino helped us out with some stenciling for the header on our "Spirit of Katrina" youth participant board.  This is a place where we put the names of all the youth who have helped with the project.  So far we have 22 names on that board with plenty of room for more!  If you know of a eager young mind looking to develop an interest in aviation, steer them over here and we'll show them a way!


Thanks to everyone who came out last night, it feels so good to see the activity and progress in our Chapter hangar.  Build on!



Last evening, we met again, for the first time this year.  The air was chilly, and the roads were slick, but Dave Gramstrup and John Thro came to work.  There to assist were Al White, Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Berglund and me.


Dave and crew, Mike and Al, set to assembling the main gear with brakes and tubes and tires.  The project is complete except for setting a storage tire air pressure next time.


John and I continued work on the fuselage, fitting the truss removed from the left side to the right side.  With a little grinding and checking, we got it close enough to weld in place.  John discovered the welding observation hoods wouldn't turn on, so while I welded the truss in place, he went to work with Frank and Bill examining and cleaning the control column parts.  When I was finished welding, John came back and we rotated the fuselage 180 degrees to set the stage for replacement of the last of the corroded tubes.  We discussed what we needed to do next, and measured the angle of the lifting handle to be 30 degrees up from horizontal, as it too must be replaced. 


I regret to say that through the focused work and excitement, I failed to get any pictures of the activity last evening.  Sorry, but you all know what we look like, and I'll get a picture of the beautiful mounted tires next time!



Last night was still a little icy but a few brave souls made it over to the work session anyway.  Ready, willing and able were Dave Gramstrup, Samantha and Brett LaGraves along with their grandparents, Dawn and Bob DeSoto, in from N Dakota.  I was the only one representing our chapter, but with Grandma and Grandpa on board it was full steam ahead.


After a short tour of the project for Grandma and Grandpa, Samantha and Brett went right to work on the window frames that they worked on with Sam taking the lead.  I was pleasantly surprised with her presence and knowledge from previous work sessions.  "Shouldn't we sand the work from last time before we varnish?" she asked.  Yes, we should, both the previous coat (we'll be needing two) and the run over on the bare side.  She and Brett got busy with sand paper with Grandpa Bob pitching in too.

In the meantime, Dave and I got to work on the fuselage.  The first order of business was to remove the truss we had welded onto the left side to hold the fuselage in shape while we worked on the lower longeron on the right side.  After a little coaching, Dave got busy with the grinder and removed the truss, beautiful.  I looked in on the sanding job.  Those guys really know what they're doing!  After the work session, the Grandparents were taking Sam and Brett to their Great Grandma's house several miles south of town, so they had to cut their evening with us short.  The window pieces were left, all sanded, ready for the next coat of varnish next time.  Thanks Dawn and Bob for the visit, I hope you can come back for another visit real soon.

Dave had removed the temporary tail wheel frame assembly pivot bolt, cleaned it up and reversed it in the assembly.  We then punched a pair of witness points and strung a string to check alignment.  So far, so good!  With the work session coming to a close, we began to fit the truss on the right side for operation on the remaining corroded longeron.

Thanks to all for another successful work session.  I am always surprised how all thoughts of the rest of the world step aside while in the work session, and how fast the time goes.  You know what they say about time and fun!

Remember, for more information about our project, go to sedanproject.com for our web page.


The Sedan work party again went off very well with a turn out and some projects to do. The adults on hand were; Aaron, Mike, Frank, Bill Berglund, Al, and Tom. Jim was away for the holidays. The students were; Brett LaGraves, Samantha LaGraves, John Thro and Autumn Walter.

Tom, Autumn and Samantha worked rear window frame parts, first removing them from the fuselage and setting them up for varnishing. They learned that set-up and prep of the parts for varnishing is more involved than the actual varnishing of the parts. Part way into the project Brett joined the varnishing team and we made short work of it.

Mike, Brett and John greased the bearings for the main wheel halves and temporarily assembled the halves. We need new nuts and another type of felt seal for back halves.

Aaron and John cleaned up the display cabinet and a real in the appearance.

Everyone wound up the work at about 8:10, we cleaned up and headed home. It was fun and productive evening for all.


The turkey has settled and we were filled with energy, enough to build an airplane.  Well, at least enough for a couple of hours work!  Eager to get to it were Dave Gramstrup,  Brett LaGraves and his sister Samantha.  Samantha is a 5th grader who "knows a little bit about airplanes but hasn't built one yet", so we're going to try to fix that last one.  Welcome to the crew Samantha!


Big kids present to guide their young minds were Tom, Mike, Al, Frank, Aaron, Bill Bergland, and me.


Brett and Mike dove into their landing gear project with some new parts generously donated by Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co.  Thank you, Desiree, Chenelle and Janette!  Wheel bearings on the main wheels were first on their minds.  Mike brought some dry ice to freeze and shrink the outer races and placed the wheels in the kitchen oven to warm up and expand.  The races dropped in place like magic, the temperatures equalized and the races are there for keeps.  Brett got a good lesson in what happens to things with temperature, they move quite a bit, don't they?  They next focused on the tail wheel kingpin bushing, removing the worn out one to make ready for pressing in the new one.


Samantha and her crew of Aaron, Frank, Al and Bill continued work on the door.  Removal of the extra skin was first.  The only thing holding it on after work from last time was the door lock, which took some delicate fingers to remove, that Samantha provided.  With the lock removed, the spot welds and a few remaining rivets holding the original door parts together were in their sights.  Rivets were drilled out and spot weld removed with a carbide burr on a die grinder.  The outer door skin must be replaced once the rest of the door is repaired.  We are still on the fence about replacing the entire door if we can find one in serviceable condition at the right price or repairing this one.  Anyone know of one available?


Dave and I concentrated on the fuselage longeron that was fit and tacked into place last time.  I brought Dave up to date on the task and explained why we were doing what we were doing.  We checked that the fuselage was still straight and true as we could with a string line and our witness marks.  We welded, rolled the fuselage, welded, checked alignment, welded, rolled the fuselage, welded and checked again.  We did this pretty much all evening and went as far as we could.  Next is removing the truss and the last section of longeron.


Thanks again to all who participated last night, slow but steady, progress marches on.



Last night was our last work session before Thanksgiving, and progress was made.  Dave Gramstrup Brett LaGraves, Autumn Wolter and John Thro came to make sure of that!  Here to assist were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz, Al White and me.  New to our group of mentors last night was John Welna.  John is an Aeronca flyer and builder who hails from EAA Chapter 1221 that operates from KCOQ, Cloquet, MN.  John came to see what we were up to and if he could lend a hand. Thanks John!


Autumn and Tom continued their work on the rear window frames, positioning the frames and drilling mounting holes.  The frames are about ready for varnish and Lexan. Progress indeed.


Brett and Mike continued cleaning wheels in preparation for new parts that are on their way.  When they took that task as far as they could they moved to the tail wheel steering fork mount on the rudder.  The steering fork was frozen into the rudder and when removed and corrosion cleaned up, the rudder tube wall is too thin.  We will replace the lower section of the ruder where the steering fork mounts.  Brett and Mike began preparing a section of tubing by drilling the bolt holes that secure the steering arm.   Once they are satisfied the bolt holes are correct we will cut the tube to length and replace the damaged section with it.


Dave Gramstrup was assisted by quite a crew as consensus was achieved on the direction to go with the door.  As mention before, the door has a fair amount of damage so further disassembly is in order.  With the outside door skin riveted in place, rivet removal was the task.  After the lower section of door skin was removed, it was discovered that at some point, the door had been repaired with an additional sheet of aluminum on top of the original. Hmmm! In the beginning, John Welna said that his Champ door had been spot welded together where ours was riveted.  Now we know why because beneath the riveted skin, the original was still there, spot welded.  We will continue to disassemble the door, and at the same time search for a replacement possibility.  John thinks the Champ door may be the same.


John Thro and I continued with the fuselage repair.  The longeron section was prepared and trial fitted last time so we carried on.  First, alignment of the fuselage was checked with a string line down the center, our witness punch marks were measured and the tail wheel assembly fit verified.  All seems good.  The replacement tube fit was refined and tack welded into place.  Next time we'll weld it in a little more before moving to the other side.



With this unusually warm weather, it's hard to believe it's November!  At least it gets dark early so we don't have to feel bad about working inside on the Sedan.  That's exactly what we did last evening.  Dave Kostuch, Dave Granstrup, Brett Lagraves and Autumn Wolter pitched in along with Brett's Dad Chris.  Chapter members there to help shine the light were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Bill Irving and me.

Autumn and Tom got busy on the rear window frames, Tom showing a method for plugging holes drilled in the wrong place, with a dowel epoxied into place, then fitting them into the fuselage.  Tabs on the fuselage will be used to locate the new holes in the correct position.

Brett, and his Dad, helped Mike examine the brake calipers and hydraulic lines that feed brake fluid to the calipers.  They were disappointed to find massive corrosion on inside of the calipers.  There is a good chance that they are damaged beyond salvage but we'll look closer before we make that determination.

Dave G. and Bill focused on the cabin door.  There were a couple of patches in the upper hinge area, pull riveted in place that covered some damage.  Rivets were drilled out and patches removed.  This did not reveal much.  Further study is needed to make a proper repair.  Their attention turned to the door latch.  The handle is loose and the latch sticky.  There is a plastic bushing for the door handle all worn out that will have to be replaced.  They were able to remove the latch box, take it apart and found it full of dirt and corrosion.  They think it can be cleaned up and put back into service.  We'll know more next time.

Dave K. and I worked on producing a replacement tube section for the longeron removed earlier.  Dave got a chance to read about accepted methods of repair to steel tubing in aircraft in the FAA Circular "AC 41.13-1B, Acceptable Methods, Techniques and Principles"  This is the recognized authority that describes all sorts of repair and construction procedures in all aircraft.  We then made a paper pattern from our trial tube and transferred it to a new piece of tubing, to cut, grind and fit it into place.  Once that was done Dave cut another piece of tube to act as an internal reinforcement for our scarf joint of the appropriate diameter and length determined from what he learned from studying in the AC 41.13-1B.  Next we will refine our fit, check the fuselage for alignment and tack our new pieces in place.


On a dark and gloomy Halloween like evening we were met by three eager fellows, Brett LaGraves, John Thro and Dave Granstrup.  Present to assist were Mike G, Aaron B, Bill I, Frank K, and me.  We had them outnumbered!

First of all, Aaron and Bill went upstairs and found the left side, pilot's window and the door.  Dave worked with them to inspect and assess their condition.  The left side sliding panels simply need to be replaced salvaging the steel frames. The rivets holding them on were drilled out on the drill press and removed.  The window was then used as a pattern to trace out the shape on our new lexan sheet provided by Aircraft Spruce. The door will be more of an issue as it was damaged around the upper hinge area, and the handle needs to be re-bushed. 

Brett and Mike paid attention to the main wheel halves, removing the bearing outer races.  The wheels were one at a time placed in the chapter's kitchen oven at 215 degrees for 20 minutes, and the races were then tapped out using a block of hard wood as a drift. Out they came, clean as a whistle!  The wheels were then scuffed up for repainting.

John and I continued our work on the fuselage, successfully removing the corroded longeron section we have been working on and then fitting a pattern to make the replacement tube.  This section involves the boss for the tail wheel pivot on one end and a splice joint on the other.  Next time we'll prepare the new tube and splice, hoping to have them tacked together.

All together it was another successful session, even though the hangar was cold!  Someone didn't turn up the heat, I think we were thinking it's still summertime.  With our floor heat there is quite a lag in raising the temperature out there.  Next time we'll try to be more on the ball, I don't think it's going to be warmer out any time soon!


They came, they worked, they learned, they grinned!  Dave Kostuch, John Thro, Autumn Wolter and Brett LaGraves were at it again bringing the Spirit of Katrina ever closer to her former glory.  Present to assist were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Bill Irving, Al White and me.

Autumn and Dave teamed up with Tom to further the instillation of the right rear window.  This task is proving itself way more challenging than it appeared at first.  However, steady progress is being made. Next week they should be able to bolt it into place.  The left one will be a piece of cake, with all the questions and issues solved by the right one.  Go Team!

Brett and Mike got after cleaning and inspecting the wheels of the landing gear.  The tail wheel needs some machine work as the king pin on the arm is bent. The rims of the wheels need new bearings too, that's next time.

John and I focused on the fuselage.  We extended the truss we built earlier to the next cross member, much stronger, and placed a screw jack under it to "add suspenders to the belt" to help keep everything in place.  Our string line shows we are on the right track, as well as the two witness points we established before the surgery began.  John continued, removing the corroded tubes in this section.  Next week we'll remove everything that isn't the lower longeron in this section and hopefully begin to fit the new tube.

Al floated around making suggestions and helped us make sure the work being done is in accordance with approved practices.


Last evening's work session was a bustle of activity.  Eager to help and learn were Dave Granstrup, Autumn Wolter, John Thro and Dave Kosutch.  Chapter members ready to lend a hand and show the way were Tom, Mike G., Frank, Bill I., Al and Jim.

Work started with arranging the furniture in the hangar, making room for some benches and a dandy media blast cabinet donated to the Chapter by Gene Amorde.  Thanks, Gene!  Next we divided to conquer, Autumn and Tom teamed up to fit the right rear window to the fuselage with help from Frank and Bill and Al.  I think they got it figured out.  Dave K. and Mike got together to disassemble the tail wheel post assembly for inspection and evaluation, and Dave G. and John threw in with Jim on the fuselage.  We strung a string line down the center of the fuselage to gauge symmetry, which showed the fuselage pretty straight.  We then made the bevel cut on the lower right longeron in the third bay forward of the rudder post.  This point is the end of corrosion damage needing attention in the lower right longeron.  We noticed the truss we built was shorter than it should be as the fuselage sagged a little once the tube was cut.  No worries, we put a jack post under the forward end of the truss to bring everything back into alignment and started making parts to extend the truss to the next cross member. 

Bill presented the crew with a work sheet to help us be better organized in our documentation of work accomplished.  The two-sided form allows room to specify the date, the task, people involved, steps taken, note conditions and on the back, room to identify specific parts required to complete the task.  Good job Bill.  This form will become a permanent part of the restoration record, stored in a dedicated binder.

These work sessions are kind of exciting in that we don't know exactly who is going to show up and thus what we are going to do for any given evening.  However once the crew is all together, we coalesce into a finely tuned machine dedicated to restoring this classic aircraft.  It is a joy to pause and take it all in.  You folks are amazing!


We had a good turnout last evening.  Eager to work and learn were Autumn Wolter, John Thro, Brett LaGraves and Tyler Breitkreutz.  Rounding out the grown-up side of things were Tom Betts, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo, Aaron Breitkreutz, Brett's Dad, and me.

Right off the bat, Bill had his C-172 on hand for a young eagle flight, a young fellow independent of our group.  As soon as Bill got back, all the kids except John disappeared.  They were off flying with Bill!  I understand that Autumn executed an excellent take-off and flew most of the flight, you go girl!!

John and I got back into building a truss to hold the fuselage in place while we remove and replace a corroded section of the lower right longeron.  We have it nearly finished, just a couple of small welds left to make, then the surgery begins.  John is showing himself as a darn good metal man!

Autumn and Tom continued work on the rear window arm rests and frames.  Autumn showed us her skill with wood work, doing a great job on her assignment.

Tyler and Brett followed Frank and Aaron up into the upper parts storage and came down with the control column assembly to inspect and disassemble.  First apparent were the dried and cracked u-joint boots.  The rest of the parts seem serviceable with only cleaning and repainting required.  We'll know for sure when the inspection is complete.

Thanks to all who participated last evening.  The time flies by, but we get work done.  Fun!


I was a dark and stormy night, lightning flashed, thunder boomed and the rain was pouring down (I always wanted to open with a line like that!) but we had a great turnout just the same. Young people ready to work were Dave Kostuch, Dave Granstrup, John Thro, Brett LaGraves, Tyler Breitkreutz, and our newest, Autumn Wolter, our first young lady to grace our crew.  We are excited to have you on board Autumn, a fine addition to our crew!  Present to guide and assist were Bill I, Mike G., Tom B., Aaron B., Frank K., and myself.

Dave, Dave and Mike continued their disassembly and inspection of the main wheels and found corroded bearings which will be replaced, but the wheels were otherwise in good condition.

Tom took Brett and Autumn aside for shop safety and hand tool instruction as is protocol for new participants. Brett missed his opportunity last time, so he got his chance last evening. 

Tyler and Aaron were busy inspecting and assessing the condition of the seat frames and cushions.  They found the rear seat in very good shape, nothing wrong that a little cleaning won't fix, but the front ones are a little more worn and will need repair.  The front seat frames appear to be serviceable but a little closer assessment is in order. 

John and I focused on the fuselage and longeron repair.  Earlier in the week I had a conversation with a friend of the Chapter, Roger Sundin.  Roger is very experienced in all kinds of aircraft repair so I leaned on him for some advice before we moved to the next phase of our repair.  His suggestion was to build a structure, more or less a fixture onto the fuselage to hold it in shape while corroded members are removed and replaced.  This makes total sense; I would have done the very thing back in my welding shop on any other complex framework that needed surgery.  Thanks Roger!  Well, John and I set out to do just that.  I brought in some square tubing I had at home so we designed and began to build our truss.  John was the man behind the saw guided by Bill, and I assembled the pieces. Dave and Dave stopped over to help take critical measurements of pieces to be removed, and to observe the process.  We still have a little more fabricating to do before we cut out the corroded section, but we're well on our way.

Thanks to all who came out in the foul weather last evening.  A very dedicated crew I am proud to be associated with!

Hi Folks,

Last night was anything but normal for our work session.  First of all we were met by a photo journalist from KQDS FOX 21 TV News to do a story on our little project!  You will find a link below to their piece, only about a minute long, that pretty well captures what were up to, including a link to our Sedan web site at the end of the text.  Check it out!


Now, back to the work session.  We had a full house last evening with Dave Granstrup, Jon Thro, Dave Kostuch, Tyler Brietkreutz and a new fellow, Brett Lagraves, here to learn.  Chapter members were Mike, Bill I, Frank, Aaron and me. Tom was home sick with pneumonia, get well fast Tom, we missed you!

First of all it was my distinct pleasure to present to the crew our first shipment of parts donated from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.  We received main and tail wheel tires and tubes, shock rings for suspension and enough acrylic sheets to make all the side windows.  Thanks you so much Desiree Czaplinski, Marketing Manager for ACS for such wonderful support!  You are an inspiration to us all!

After the bright lights of the media were gone we settled down to work.  Dave and Dave along with Mike got into disassembling, cleaning and inspecting the tail and main wheels.  They discovered the bearings on the tail wheel were rough, with the verdict still out on the main wheel bearings and tail wheel arm oilite bushing and locking mechanism.  Tyler, Brett and Frank continued work on the rear window frame and arm rest. Jon and Bill brought down and started inspection of the front seat frames, finding no glaring discrepancies.  Further inspection will be required.  Jon and I moved to the fuselage, preparing to remove the next section of longeron from the tail wheel assembly pivot forward.  This will be a rather complex procedure as there are multiple clusters involved.  No worries though, it's all good!

It was great to be a part of all the activity last evening. Thanks to all who participated.  If you haven't been to a work session, I encourage you come out and experience for yourself what we have going on.  It's a lot of fun too!

There was a gathering at the hangar last evening.  In attendance was our old friend Dave Granstrup. You remember Dave, he used our Sedan as his Senior Project last winter.  Dave graduated from Superior Senior High last spring and is now attending Lake Superior College in their Aircraft Maintenance course.  He said that his experience with us gives him a leg up with his studies at LSU.  Way to go Dave!  Also in attendance was Jon Thro, and Brandon Cegelske's two sons, Owen and Mason. Chapter members helping out to show these young fellows the way were Brandon, Tom B, Mike G, Frank K, Bill I, Al W, and me.

Dave and Mike set out to press some new oilite bushings into the tail wheel assembly.  Jon helped out until my wife came by with some welding equipment I forgot to bring with in the first place.  Thanks Cathy, you saved the day!  As soon as my equipment arrived, Jon and I resumed our job of welding the replacement tubes in the fuselage.  Dave also stopped over to observe and pick up some pointers on TIG welding.  Owen and Mason, with Tom and Brandon, started to make a replacement arm rest for the right side rear window.  It was in there someplace that Tom gave Mason, a young fella just starting the 4th grade, a lesson in hand tool safety.  Mason passed the quiz at the end with 100% correct.  Congratulations Mason!  When Dave and Mike finished with the tail wheel assembly they gathered up the tail and main wheels and prepared for their disassembly and inspection.  Frank continued working on name tags and Al, our A&P/IA floated around observing and telling us what we were doing right, and wrong!  For example, I had asked Cragin Machine to make an axle for the tail wheel assembly which required cutting threads on a grade 8 bolt.  Turns out that this is not allowed in aircraft construction.  The threads must be rolled to minimize stress risers and grade 8 is too brittle, AN bolts (closer to a grade 5) must be used.  Thanks for your help anyway Bob.  We'll be in touch with any machine work we run across.  So the search begins for an extra-long AN bolt.  Stay tuned! 

Thanks to everyone who participated last night.  Progress, that's what they call it!

Yesterday turned out to be a very nice evening, a little breezy but no rain!  Two fellows eventually came to join in the project, 13 year old Dave Kostuch, new to our group came with his Mom Krista.  It was just the three of us for a while as all other comers from Duluth were stuck in traffic. Road construction!  We three started going over some basic tool orientation when the crew started to arrive.  Among them was our old friend, Jon Thro and his Mom Catherine. We decided to move into the hangar and get to work.

Present to assist Dave and John were Tom, Aaron, Frank, Mike, Bill I., Al and me.  Mike Busch, president of EAA 1128 stopped by to be a familiar face for Dave and Krista.  He referred them to us after they visited him in Two Harbors a couple of weeks ago.   John and I got back on the fuselage, fitting the tube we removed last time while Al arranged a Young Eagle ride for Dave.  After Al and Dave returned, with the usual Young Eagle grin on his face.  Dave set in to join Frank and Tom cutting out name tag blanks from the old fabric.  These name tags will have the names of all our participants written and then posted on a cork board hung on the wall.  That way we can see at a glance all the youth we have introduced to our project!

The evening came to a close way too quickly, and we all went our separate ways.  It was great to see a new face at the hangar.  Dave, we look forward to seeing you again, thanks Krista for bringing him by, there is much more work to be done!

Thanks to all who participated, it's good to be back in the swing of things.


It was cool in town last evening, the lake breeze felt good for a change.  Jon Thro and Tyler Breitkrentz came to work and Tom, Mike, Aaron, Bill Irving and I were there to assist.


Repairing the fuselage was the task at hand.  First of all, we fabricated a jack post, to be used along with a bar clamp, to hold the structure in place while welding.  Tyler and Aaron were busy cutting some 5/8 threaded rod while Jon prepared the tubing.  We put the fixture in place before tack welding the tube we fit last time.  Next we rolled the fuselage over and removed the opposite tube.  We were all ready to cut and fit the new one when it was time to go.  Time flies when you’re having fun!  We're making progress, one tube at a time.


Meanwhile Bill was flying a Young Eagle and her Mom, a gal that had contacted him thru our Chapter web site.  They all came back from the flight with the usual ear to ear grin.  Tom was busy going thru his pre-flight inspection with Tyler and they too went for a Young Eagle flight.  Tyler came back with the usual grin that lasted the rest of the evening.  He showed me the selfie Tom took while he was flying.  There was one happy guy!


Thanks to everyone who showed up to work, you make it all possible!


Due to member participation at Airventure in Oshkosh next week, there will be no work session on Wednesday the 27th.  Then, with the Chapter meetings on August 3rd, the next session will be on August 10th.  Wow, that seems like a long time from now, but enjoy the summer, August 10th will be here before you know it!



Yesterday, a day that earlier promised good flying weather did not deliver, so much.  Even so, there was a window thru which Tom was able to give a Young Eagle ride to Jon Thro and get back just in time for a downpour!  Both were thrilled to get an up close and personal look at local rain clouds and yet stay dry.  Good job Tom, Thanks!


Otherwise, it was Jon, Andrew Wcklund and Owen Cegelske that came to build an airplane.  Chapter members on board to help guide the boys were Tom, Mike, Frank, Bill Irving and me.  The order for the day was to begin replacement of corroded tubing from the aft end of the fuselage.  Thanks to Mark Marino we now have all the tubing we need to accomplish this task.  Thank you Mark!  I started with the aft most tube on the right side.  It was removed and then a new piece of 5/8 dia. X .035 wall tube was cut and fit into place.  Time ran out before it could be tacked in place, but that will be first thing to do next time.  Meanwhile Mike and Tom helped Jon and Andrew glue the rear window frames together getting them ready to fit into the fuselage.


Thanks to everyone who came and helped out yesterday, it's a joy to work with you all!



Last evening found us again at the chapter hangar with four eager lads wanting to build an airplane.  Jon Thro, Owen Cegelski, Chris Young and and a new fellow, Hans and his dad.  I am sorry, in the excitement of the session, I forgot their last names.  Hans, please come next time and straighten me out!  Chapter members were Brandon Cegelski, Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Rob Cotter, Bill Bergland, Bill Irving, Frank Kolo, Al White and me.


Order for the day was to continue work on the rear window frames, headed up by Tom and Mike with help from Bill I., Chris and Hans.  Mike brought his router table to cut the rabbit for the rear window and to fit the vertical bar to complete the frame.  The frames are shaping up nicely with more work to be done such as fastening the fore mention pieces together and fitting the arm rest.  Next the frames can be fitted to the fuselage and varnished like the rest of the wood work.


Meanwhile, Jon and Owen were busy itemizing the tubing needing replacement in the tail wheel area with help from Rob and me.  We now have a list of tubing sizes and lengths required.  I then demonstrated the process of inspecting the interior of some of the tubes by cutting a hole with a burr on a die grinder and looking inside the tubes.  To our surprise and delight, the interior of the tubes were very clean and free of corrosion.  This means that there is likely no corrosion from the inside out, only the outside in, which makes repair pretty straight forward.  Next thing, we studied the drawing for installing a left side "Seaplane" door provided to us by Mike Hoag, (thanks again Mike!) to figure out what materials we will need to make that change.


Next session we will continue on with the rear window frames and begin to replace tubing in the tail wheel area of the fuselage.


In a quiet moment, Hans's Dad gave some basic flight theory to Hans and Chris in the chapter meeting room.


The weather last night was so beautiful we found ourselves asking, why aren't we flying these kids on a day like today?  Well, the short answer is that we failed to provide them with Young Eagle release forms to make it all legal and insured!  This has since been corrected.  From now on, and I admit to falling behind the curve on this one, our intention is to have the crew flight ready in the event that weather permits for Young Eagle Flights.  To that end, I would like to extent an open invitation to any and all Pilots wishing to give Young Eagle rides to show up on all but the first Wed. of the month around 6:30 pm to share the joy of flight to these deserving youngsters.


Thanks to all who helped last night, your excitement and contribution gives this project life!



On a rainy Wednesday evening, varnishing was the name of the game.  On board to work were Jon Thro, Andrew Wicklund, Chris Young and new to our group, Ryan Miller from Superior Senior along with his mentor Linda Harper.  Welcome Ryan and Linda!  It's exciting to see new faces come to our project. Chapter members were Tom, Mike G., Frank, Bill I, Al, and me.


First order of business was to mix up some varnish and get previously varnished pieces ready for the second coat and a place to work on the floor boards.  While Jon and Chris and Andrew were scuffing previously varnished bulkheads, Ryan helped set up an additional table for the floor boards.  When all was said and done, we got a second coat on one side of all the bulkheads and formers, and a coat on both sides of the floorboards.  Man that bare wood soaks up the varnish!  Sometimes it's hard to see where you've been it soaks it up so much.  Nothing was done to the fuselage last night, I was afraid of getting iron and grinding dust in the wet varnish, we'll get to that next time.


In the meantime, off site, Tom has been making ready pieces for the rear window frames from Douglas fir donated by Ken Peters.  Tom has them beautifully milled and spent some time last night shaping the inside of the frames.  I suspect that we'll be gluing them up soon and making ready to receive the Plexiglas.


Thanks to all who threw in last night.  It's amazing what can be accomplished in just a couple of hours.  Again, welcome Ryan and Linda, you are a great addition to our crew!



Yesterday started out with warm sunny skies so we opened the hangar door to let some fresh air in.  After a while it got a little chilly so we closed the door.  Go figure, I love Superior!  We were also greeted by Andrew Wicklund, accompanied by his Dad Joe, and a new fellow, Chris Young.  Chris is a 6th grader from Cooper Elementary School and a hard worker.  Our mentors who came to help were Tom, Mike G, Frank, Rob, Al and me.


Our task last night was varnishing the other side of the wooden bulkheads and formers.  We scuffed up the varnish which found itself on the back side from last time and proceeded to varnish.  We covered all of the pieces we did last time plus the forward most section of the floorboards. Meanwhile, we organized the work space by putting away the old bulkheads and stringers to the attic along with the new stringers awaiting their time to be installed.  Once the way was cleared we turned the fuselage over and began to inspect the corroded tubing for candidates for replacement.  We found some obvious ones and some not so obvious ones. A more detailed exam will have to be performed to determine the scope of the task.



Last evening was a rainy but productive round of work on the Sedan.  We were greeted by our 'ol buddies Jon Thro and Tyler Breitkruetz, and a new comer Andrew Wicklund, an 8th grader from Superior Middle School.  Andrew was accompanied by his Mom Jenna and his Mentor, Jean Walsh.  Jean and Andrew have been together for 6 years thru Mentor Superior.  Welcome to the project!  Our project mentors included Aaron Breitkreutz, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland, Mike Gardonio, Tom Betts and me.


The order for the evening was to begin varnishing the woodwork.  Several of the fuselage fairing bulkheads had been removed for the gluing on of stiffener strips, so they were ready to go.  The rest of them were removed from the fuselage except for the upper fwd cabin bow which Tyler, Aaron and Frank were still working on.  The pieces were laid out on a plastic sheet covered table and the varnish mixed.  Jon and Mike discovered a missing access hole in one of the bulkheads so they cut that prior to varnishing.  With safety glasses and nitrile gloves on the varnishing began.  Jon and Andrew learned how much the thinned varnish soaks into fresh clean wood and darkens it, showing all the places we missed!  We did one side of the pieces, leaving the other side for next time when the first coat is dry.  Meanwhile, Tyler was doing double duty helping Tom shape the rear window frames.


More varnishing is on tap for next time as we begin to shift gears to working on the fuselage, replacing corroded tubing, fabricating a left side door and possibly a separate door for the baggage compartment.


Thanks to all who turned out on rainy evening, this project gets funner every time!!



Jim Nelson here, back on the job. I have found that the project has progressed quite well in my absence.  Reinforcements were added to the wooden bulkheads, notches we're cut to receive the stringers, cabin formers at the wing root were made and installed, and the forward floorboards had shims glued on in the appropriate places.  Tom and Frank have been experimenting with steaming the stringers so that they would more easily bend into shape.  More experimenting is on tap for that.


Last night Jon Thro was on board to work.  He was joined by Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Al White, Tom Bets, Bill Irving and me.  Needless to say Jon had plenty of mentoring going on!  First of all he tried the front floor boards back in place for fit.  It was decided all's good.  We then checked the aft floorboards and found one place on each that could use a shim.  Floorboards were marked and shims glued into place.  While the glue was drying, it was noted that the forward most floorboard was missing so we proceeded to produce it.  A template was first made from cardboard, and when that fit properly, Jon traced it onto a piece of 1/4" plywood and cut it out with the band saw and jig saw.  After a little minor adjustments, the piece fits just fine.


We had a little time left so we checked out the rear window frames and came up with a couple of questions to answer before next time.


After the work was done last night, Jon was awarded a hot off the press "Aeronca Sedan Project" tee shirt for his continuous dedication and perseverance with our project.  It will look good on him!



Last night there was another in a long string of successful work sessions on the Sedan.  Jon Thro and Tyler Breitkreutz were on board with enthusiasm! There to lend a helping hand were Tom Betts, Mike Gardonio, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland, Al White, Aaron Breitkreutz and me.


Our task was to finish fitting the floor boards and sort out the remaining formers above the cabin.  We were able to get the floorboards to fit real nice thanks to the skill demonstrated by Jon and Tyler.  Thanks guys, you make this all possible! 

I invite you to come by the Chapter hangar anytime and check out our progress, this bird is starting to take shape!



Last night we had yet another successful round of work on the Sedan.  Despite the nasty March wintry mix, two experienced and eager young fellows came back for more, Owen Cegelski and John Thro.  The crew of advisers was also strong, with Tom Betts, Frank Kolo, Rob Cotter, Mike Gardonio, Al White, Brandon Cegelske, Bill Irving and me.


Sawdust flew again with the sawing and saanding of the remaining wooden bulk heads and formers, and the rear window frames.  Floorboards were further fitted and trimmed, with installation considerations discussed.  Communication was strained at times over the noise of the belt sander, but fun, as that is the sound of progress!


I was able to present to the crew our latest acquisition, beautifully milled stringers and former strips, generously produced and donated by Ken Peters.  Ken is a new friend of the Sedan Project and mine, he lives in Cloquet and makes his living working with wood and timber framing.  Thank you so much Ken for your generosity and interest in our project.  Your efforts will be put to good use!  We inventoried and inspected the wood, which we found beautiful and plentiful.


Another contribution to the project was presented, a kit of Poly Fiber Epoxy Varnish from our own Mark Marino, thanks Mark!  The kit is enough to varnish all the wood in the plane.  The Sedan is going to be so pretty it will almost be a shame to cover it all with fabric!



With our Sedan Project Leader, Father Jim Nelson out of town, I went out to the join our crew of adults and students in our first effort at installing our new wood formers. The formers and stringers to follow, will give the fabric its shape. We also set the floor boards in place and confirmed that they will need to be cut a little closer. I had purchased a box of quarter inch bolts and nuts to temporarily attach the parts and test the fit as Jim had suggested. We still have to fit the stringers and then remove all those wood parts for varnishing. With the temporary fasteners, they’ll come off quickly.

The folks involved were; Dave Granstrup, Josh Canfield, John Thro, Frank Kolo, Bill Bergland,
Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitkreutz and Tom Betts.

These two hour evenings seem to go by very fast. It’s pretty light, we’re having fun with it!


Last night at the Chapter Hanger we had another round of working on the Sedan.  We were graced with a couple of new faces, brothers Ryan and Kyle Granquist of Northwestern Middle School.  They rode with Brandon Cegelski who also brought his son Owen.  To round off our crew, we had Tyler Breitkreutz and John Thro.  Chapter members advising last night were Tom Betts, Aaron Breitkruetz, Mike Gardonio and Jim Nelson.


To start off the evening the young men were given a brief tour of the project and then Tom set up a little classroom instruction session to orient the lads in the safe use of some hand tools from pliers and hammers and drills to wrenches and screw drivers.  The instruction ended with a quiz in which everyone got a perfect score.  Good job boys, and Tom!  The lesson materials were provided to us by Bret Steffen from EAA Headquarters. Thanks Bret!  We plan on expanding the lesson part of the Sedan experience to include many more tools and Safe Practices for Shop Work.


The evening continued with a demonstration conducted by Mike and Jim in the proper use of epoxy resin as an adhesive.  We set up to join laminates of the rear window frames.  The parts cut were made from 1/4" plywood which we had been using for all the bulkheads, the finished parts are 1/2" thick so we just put two together for each of two windows, follow?  As we worked we talked about various aspects of working with epoxy resin, safety and properties, and some places where this material is used and its role in aviation.


At the end of the evening, we turned the fuselage right side up in anticipation of our next session, where we will be fitting wooden bulkheads and floorboards.


Thanks to everyone who attended, we look forward to the next session.



Some sawdust flew but mostly we were tracing out the last of the patterns, floor boards today. Devon and Tyler dove in on transferring the patterns and did a fine job.  We were able to nest the parts in the remaining plywood on hand, and then they were made into smaller pieces, ready for the band saw.  Tyler had an opportunity to try his hand with a jigsaw for the first time, separating the patterns from the sheet.  He did very well, listens to instructions, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.  We hope he comes back for more!

Meanwhile, Al and Austyn, assisted by various members operated on the right side horizontal stabilizer which had a hangar rash type dent in the forward tube (the one which holds the hinge bushings).  The dent was about 6" from the outboard end of the tube.  Al had turned an 8" length of steel to a diameter to just fit inside, to drive into the tube and force the dent out from inside.  Once the drift was in place, a little coaxing with a hammer on the outside of the tube removed the dent.  There was a slight learning curve to the process when it came to removing the drift, but Austyn got a firsthand look at what "figuring it out as you go" in the arena of aviation is like, a valuable lesson!


Last night we had another round of making sawdust in the Chapter hangar, cutting out bulkheads and window frames for the Sedan.

Dave Gramstrup, John Thro were busy, with a new fellow, 6th grader Owen Cegelske along with his Dad, our own Brandon Cegelske, who came to check us out and to help.  Owen is an eager worker and seemed to enjoy himself.  We look forward to the next time he joins us.  Dave and John dove right in, working practically unsupervised making great progress.   Guiding the young minds were Tom, Frank, Al and Jim

We are finished roughing out the bulkheads and window frames so it won't be long and we'll be fitting them to the fuselage.  This is a fun part where we see our work taking shape!

Yesterday we had another work session at the Chapter hangar, with a couple of Boy Scouts from Troop 16 this time, brothers Austyn and Devon Smelley, and Aaron Breitkreutz's son Tyler.  Members of our crew were Al White, Frank Kolo, Mike Gardonio, Aaron Breitlreutz, and Jim Nelson.  Tom Betts was there, in and out, flying a Young Eagle on a beautiful winter's day.


Last night we had another productive work session on the Sedan.   John Thro was our man, demonstrating his skill on the band saw, cutting out parts for the rear window frames and the upper forward cabin bow.   His assistants were Frank Kolo, Aaron Breikreutz, Mike Gardonio, Robt Edelstein, and Jim Nelson.

Our next scheduled session is next Wednesday the 27th at 6:30, come if you can and join the fun.  We will be cutting out the interior of the window frames and gluing the 1/4" plywood together to make 1/2" thick frames.  Depending on the crew, we'll continue producing wooden parts from the tissue patterns.