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I Forge Iron

new man & shop

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I am new to blacksmithing but have been working with machinery as a diesel generator mechanic since '79. I love machinery and believe a well built machine is its own reward. I first learned to fly in '80 and finally got my private pilot's licence in'04. In between those years I leared about design and construction of aiplanes mostly through rresearch in my spare time. I started my own business in '06 and have bee working to make it successful. Now I am setting up my shop to build a flying boat amphibian from scratch. This is what brought me to forging...

I am attempting to design and build a 4place version of a Coot Amphibian. The aiplane is consructed of wood, fiberglass, and steel. The Coot is a 2 place airplane with a gross weight of 1900 lbs. The Long Coot will be 50% heavier at about 3000 lbs. This means the steel wing attachment straps and landing gear components must be built and tested for the incresed weight. That means I need to be able to fabricate, forge, heat treat and temper these components in my own shop. There are many parts that lend themseves to multiple fabrication. Some of these could be drop forged on a hammer into a female mold. So I am trying to set up my shop for both wood work and hot work. I have a shop layout drawing, but I don't know how to post it. My shop is 27x30 with a seperate dropped area 9x13 at one end. That will be the hot shop.

The first piece of major equipment i purchased is a blu max 110. I seriously considered a KA75 but felt the blu max was more versatile in the long run.
I have learned a lot in the last year and I still have a lot more to learn. I found your site last week and love it. Thanks for reading. Pete

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Couple questions, excuse my ignorance. 

Why does the plane get 50% heavier with the addition of two seats and a little more length? 


Why do you have to do all the work (especially the heat treating) in your own shop? 


Are you planning to manufacture these planes or do you just want to own one for yourself? 

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I'm not sure how to update my profile. I am near Fredericksburg VA. Learn more about me at www.gentune.com

Increasing the length of the widest section of a boat makes it much heavier than adding a couple of feet to the bow. Turning a 2 place into a 4 place doubles the payload, requires more power and more fuel... it all adds up. My basic premise is to add 25% in length and 50% to weight capacity. That will keep the required balance between the control surfaces and allow for the added payload powe and fuel.

Even if I hire it out I still have to know what I want to be sure I get what I need.

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I want this plane for myself, but I'd like to sell plans and parts in the future. Most people can easily fabicate hulls, wings, and control surfaces but custom steel springs and through hardened tempered parts is something else. One of the things that made the Coot successful in the fist place was Molt Taylor selling the specialty steel parts that were very difficult for the average homebuilder to fabricate on his own. Molt fabricated them in his own shop.

Learnig to do this has other advantages as well. A lot of standby generators have been in service since the 70s. They're still doing the job so long as you can get parts to keep them running. These skills may have other applications for me as gime goes on.

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Welcome aboard Pete, glad to have you. My Father built a couple planes, I got to ride in one once. Neat bird.


About manufacturing sophisticated specialty steel parts. Have you researched what liability insurance is going to cost? Remember what put de Havilland (I think) out of the Beaver, Otter business?


A pilot landed on a closed airstrip and tried a really short take off in a heavily loaded tail dragger with a dozer sitting in the middle of the white X marking the strip as closed. Well, he realized he wasn't going to lift in time so he hopped it almost clearing the dozer, stalled BIG SURPRISE THAT and ground looped the wreckage. He successfully sued the manufacturer because he couldn't see directly in front, line of sight being blocked by the cowling when on the ground. The plane was manufactured in the 1930's but this idiot won anyway. Even though he was violating State/Federal law and FAA regulations.


Just something to think about.


Frosty The Lucky.

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