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.