Your Shop

From "Construction Notes" Falco Builders Letter, June 1992

I just got a letter from a Falco builder who had spent several years deciding to build the Falco, then bought an 18,000 square foot steel shed to build the Falco in. Then after reading the manual, he became upset at finding that he needed to install a climate control system for the building, and that with a building that large, it would cost more than the airplane.

That's quite true, but you don't need to do it. Steve Wilkinson's climate control system was a barn door, and he lives in New York. This is a non-problem. First, try to understand that no two Falco builders are alike. Some are very laid-back and others are compulsive about every single detail. In our manuals, we try to give you as much information as possible.

Unless you heat your shop in the winter, and thus probably should add a humidifier to keep some moisture in the air, all most of you need to do is be aware of the humidity. Don't skin something large right after a heavy rain when there's lots of humidity in the air. If you like, get a wood moisture meter to see what's what. Many builders have done this. Some find it interesting and informative. Others tell me it's a waste of time, and that you don't need to be that finicky.

And the other thing you need to keep in mind, whenever one of these seemingly impossible barriers springs up, is that a lot of people with ordinary mechanical skills have already done this. Don't let these things dominate your vision, instead ask how others have done it.

I'm finding that many Falco builders have adopted the practice of putting a light spray of water on the outside of the plywood just before gluing it to the wing or fuselage. They also use damp rags for this purpose, and it's to slightly expand the plywood so that it will taughten slightly when the glue dries.