Clamping Methods

From "Construction Notes" Falco Builders Letter, March 1994

I never cease to be amazed at the way in which an idea developed by one Falco builder ends up being adapted to a different application by another builder. You may remember the method that Fanie Hendricks used to temporarily hold pieces in place. He would put masking tape on the bottom of a hinge and also on the wood structure and then use instant isocyanate glue to bond the back on the masking tape on the hinge to the masking tape on the structure. The hinge would be held in place rigidly, and you can break it off by peeling the masking tape off the hinge.

Al Aitken used this concept when locating the landing gear fittings on the wing and forward wing spar. As you know, in our manual we have a method of nesting the fitting on the forward wing spar inside the fitting on the main wing spar. This insures perfect alignment.

In the past, all builders have simply clamped the fittings to the spars. Instead of clamps, Al Aitken put masking tape all over the forward wing spar, and also covered the bottom of the landing gear fitting with masking tape. Instead of clamping the fitting to the forward wing spar, he simply coated the masking tape with epoxy, put all the fittings in place and set the forward wing spar in place and moved it around until the spar was located properly.

After the epoxy hardened, he took the forward wing spar off and the landing gear fittings remained in place. He was then able to drill the mounting holes through the spar because the glue and masking tape held the fitting rigidly in place. After the holes were drilled, the fittings were easily peeled free from the masking tape.