Pietenpol welding with Friends

Builders,

In the winter, work shifts to several activities we save for the slow season. They are R&D and Testing, Building up inventory, and specialty custom work. Today was good example of the last category. We had Corvair/Pietenpol builder Earl Brown at the hangar, and Vern and I did some welding on parts for Earl’s wheels and landing gears.

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Over the last 10 years, Earl and his better half Katrina, have attended a great number of Corvair Colleges, always showing up to assist more than make progress on their own stuff. Although they are from Pennsylvania, they coveral all the Corvair Colleges we have held in Texas, and we also in attendance at many Barnwell Colleges. That sprit of giving back and assisting others is the fundamental element that makes the Corvair world different. I appreciate it beyond words, so I was glad to have Eral at my hangar to advance his project with some welding .

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Above, Wire wheels are popular on Pietenpols, it gives them the original pre-war look. The hubs for these are made from tubing and plate, and welded together. For a look at some nice welding, check out the bead on Earl’s hub. It was done in my shop by Vern today. Vern has been welding for 50+ years. To get a look at part of his story, please read :American made tools, built to last. When I have had just the right amount of coffee and a good nights sleep, I can come reasonably close to Vern’s efforts above, but I rely on the pulse feature on the machine to produce uniform ringlets. Vern is old school, and the bead above was done solely by hand motion and working the pedal. He is exceptionally skilled.

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If you follow Piet stories, you know that we make die spring gears for them. For a detailed look at how we have made many of them in the last 20 years, review this 2012 story: New die spring landing gear on a Pietenpol, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  The Parts above are the caps for a set of die spring gear for Earl. The Rod ends are from SummitRacing.com, as well as the weld in threaded sections. they are 1/2-20.  Each of the above parts has two very fine weld beads on them. This is what first class TiG welding looks like.

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Above, Your humble narratior, Earl and Vern in my workshop. A fun and productive day by any measure. We are working on the gear legs tomorrow, I share some pictures of the final work in the next installment.

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Happy Building and Flying,

Wewjr. 

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