Well this is my first entry, so please grab your popcorn, get your cat and a drink we'll get this circus rolling!
Im building this for my cousin whom is a soon to be officer in the Royal air force, so its a parting gift for him. If you have a welder, metal and a spark plug under your bed you could recreate this! Well.... maybe aim for a better outcome! (add a cheeky winky face there)
So before we close the doors and get the A team music in full swing make sure that you have the correct safety equipment;
PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT
Im setting a bad example with my workstation, but keep your area clean, its a must, busy floors are tripping, fire and if its sharp cutting hazards. With that in mind lets start on your P.P.E.
Eye protection - I personally prefer full face than glasses, personal experience with shards of metal going balistic into your face isn't fun so if youre a wild card glasses maybe your thing.
Fingers & Thumbs - If you lose one, 9 is the highest number you can count to so bare that in mind! A good pair of gloves is mandatory with metal, pretty much every edge's destiny is to hurt you so lets get some thick material between you and the sharp bits.
Skin and clothes - This practice could also be achieved with glue so don't let my bad welding turn you away. But if you do have a metal melter make sure your hands dont become part of your plane, heavy duty welding gloves are needed, an apron too if you want to keep your favourite knitted jumper.
Face & eyes - Arc eye is what you get from staring into any form of weld, it's like sand in your eyes so don't weld without a welding mask.
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Step 1: Equipment + Resources
This really isn't very consuming, a welder is the only thing that isn't readily available, but glue is also a valid way to stick things together!
Here I have a sharpie for marking my design, tin snips or a hack-saw for cutting the metal, file for smoothing and shaping, steel ruler and last of all a spark plug. Any sheet metal is fine for your wings and tail, i'm using a steel ruler because I had one on hand. If you arent sure of a material to weld check if its magnetic, rule of thumb that is usually weldable! DO NOT weld metal with a coating, it can give off gas, and im not talking about the farts.
Okay, everyone still awake? Ill continue!
Step 2: Cutting and Shaping
There are many better qualified metal fabricators on here, but every one of them will tell you the same, a man with files .. is a man with files, but can also achieve great things! I cut my wings and tail out of a ruler and my propellor out of a bit of sheet metal, I can't justify the variation there but this is a reuse project so it doesnt matter what metal you use. I would say measure twice and cut once but as you can see in the pictures, I was measuring while I was cutting.. Awesome! Then clamp your work in a vice or just grip it like you life depends on it and file the edges smooth, depending on the plane youre going for wings can look different.
When you're done cutting and filing, be sure you clean the workspace, I've added a picture of metal shavings, these are what you want to avoid losing, they hurt when stepping on them, more than a lego brick in fact so be sure to bin them.
Step 3: Tail Nut Tabs
You may not believe me but its hard to find the edges on a circle. To get the tail squared I welded it to a nut and then slipped it over the HT end of my spark plug, I aligned it with the wings ive balanced on here so in the end it isnt crooked.
You'd be right when saying that weld looks like sick, but lets bypass the thoughts here ladies and gentlemen!!
Step 4: Wings
I learnt my lesson on the tail end that less is more, so when it came to welding the wings on I only used two blobs of the finest weld money can buy! I wasn't 100% sure on if the spark plug had a coating on so i took a file to two of the edges removing it if it was ever there, we'll have to call it a phantom coating!
Step 5: Vertical Stabilizer
Okay okay, I lied when I said I learnt my lesson because instead of making a nice neat small weld line to attach the top tail thingy I did some hideous welding to attach it (me, bad welding.. whaaaaaa?) so forgive me internet, but we can use the excuse it was rushed! shhh between us.
This was pretty self explanatory, just weld a mini wing in some metal, although I did something pretty neat! I filed a small indent in the rudder so I didnt have to weld to blobs either side, just one central! It would be good for you to try, I missed it with my MIG wire and made it look ugly but hopefully your skill isnt of a caveman like me.
Step 6: Propellor
Now this was a bit tricky (for me)
So let's cut the bit out, and shape. I won't bore you with that but what I did was put it half in a vice and twisted very slightly, then again on the other blade, this makes it look more realistic as a propellor cuts through the air but also makes drag like a boat propellor, so it maybe a nice little addition to yours if you want to make an airplane! Pretty neat right? Anyway, I put it on the other end of my sparkplug, I can guarantee you'll get a nice weld here because this part is designed to have a current going through it as this is the spark part of the plug.
Step 7: Cheeky Clean and Stand
This isn't mandatory, theres many types of stands;
String, fishing line, copper line, landing gear, the world is your oyster but my stand is an old 32mm spanner that was in a garage fire so it was useless to me and an old circlip, welded together and I have a fancy looking stand, I put my spark plug spitfire on an angle to make it look like it was flying through the air, or something along those lines!
I hope you enjoyed and made it this far before falling asleep! This is my first entry so feedback would be fantastic! Have a good evening!