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Douglas S.B.D 5 Dauntless 69" wingspan

CrashRecovery

I'm a care bear...Really?
Mentor
#1
Well I finally broke down and decided I'm gonna try balsa. I've been searching for something that really grabbed my attention, had detailed plans and was a decent size. So I chose this version of the SBD because it was the best set of plans I could find online for free, and they were complete. Its drawn but a Scottish fellow H.W. Taylor and it has a 69" wingspan. On my best days I'm 70 inches tall.

https://aerofred.com/details.php?image_id=80831

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I was looking to have the plans cut for me but localfiend offered to help with some of the cad work. Well got me started in the right direction any way. I started with DoubleCAD for the first time today. Dale has a nice video on how to get pictures or plans loaded into DoubleCad and how he gets everything to scale. So far I'm liking this better then sketchup. Its taking some getting used to but I think I will over come. Here is my first attempt of tracing parts to get them ready for someone to laser cut.
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I'm going to keep this thread updated as the build goes on. I'm not sure how active it will be but I'll keep things updated.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#3
Looking at your CAD screen, it looks like you're tracing one half of the fuselage formers and then mirroring it so it's symmetrical? I know many plans that were created years ago by hand are FAR from symmetrical, and that could really help keep things nice and neat.

Did you have to do anything special with the plans, or just import them straight into CAD where you could start tracing parts?
 
#6
Check with this fellow. http://www.balsaworkbench.com/ I have an RCM agwagon short kit from him, and it looks to be nicely cut. I know he's willing to do custom work. He's Balsaworkbench on RC Groups. I haven't built it yet, but I did unwrap some parts and checked them out.
 
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CrashRecovery

I'm a care bear...Really?
Mentor
#8
Well I tried the mirror idea on two and then directly traced one out. I'll fire up the computer and get the link Dale sent me of his video on how to get things imported. Just remember the picture your going to trace has to be a .jpeg. So if it's a pdf you will have to convert them.
 

CrashRecovery

I'm a care bear...Really?
Mentor
#10
Well here is night two of playing with DoubleCAD.

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I thought I was screwed when I opened it up tonight and the reference picture had not saved. I was able to put a new one in and get it scaled and was able to get back to work.
 

CrashRecovery

I'm a care bear...Really?
Mentor
#14
My buddy has the traced out plans. He's going to review them and then we are going to see what parts need to be adjusted to fit each joint. Final drawing will be to fit the sheets of wood on the cutter.
 
#15
Sounds like outstanding progress. I am actually considering selling my 3D printer and putting the money towards a laser cutter. The 3D printed planes are fun and all, but I still like balsa better! I am excited to see this Dauntless come together.
 

CrashRecovery

I'm a care bear...Really?
Mentor
#17
Things are progressing. Localfiend has arranged the plans for cutting. Now we need to buy the material. This is where things get tricky. Ill try and post a picture of the arrangement that has the wood sizes and types. Can someone explain this whole wood grade thing?
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#20
Lighter weight wood = softer wood = weaker wood = easier to cut.
Heavier weight wood = harder wood = stronger wood = harder to cut.

This is very general, obviously, and skips all the real "details" involved with grading balsa. However, many people new to balsa assume that balsa is balsa, and are unaware that there are different grades that are used in different applications.

For my own balsa supply I try and keep enough stock to have some of each type on hand. Normally I don't go quite crazy enough to actually weigh each piece for grading, but some do, especially when trying to keep a build as light as possible. That's one advantage of building giant scale, a little extra weight usually isn't a big issue. :)