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CX7 Build - Wes Vasher

Wes Vasher
 

Hi everyone! I'll post updates on my CX7 build to this thread. Before I start cutting metal I'm going to model up the airplane in Solidworks so I know exactly how it's constructed as well as hopefully troubleshoot things in the computer before making too many mistakes making parts. I might build a Lowrider 2 CNC router for cutting ribs and formers but have not decided that yet. I'm using Google docs to capture notes, document the build and Google sheets to manage component lists. The CX4 is pretty much my dream plane (the design is so beautiful), but I have little kids so I want to be able to take them on trips.

For this first post I spent the morning modeling the center section spar.
CX7 center section spar model

Side note, I'm kicking around the idea of creating a Thatcher CX7 airplane for XPlane. I want to start working on the geometry for that after I finish the Solidworks model, not sure if anyone in the Thatcher community are into flight sims at all.

thrmaln
 

Hello Wes
I will be following this as well. I am a CX4 plans holder but the CX7 is more wife friendly than the 5. Also a long time SW user since version 98. I own a few plan sets and currently putting one of them in SW to build sub kits for builders and looked at the lowrider as well. While I like the design And also designed my own a while back for lack of time sake I may just buy an Avid Router. Figure the cnc build would be a project unto itself so might be easier to buy a kit so can get parts cut sooner. 

You will likely find issues with fit as you put plans designed for hand cutting parts in CAD as I know someone who did this on a CX4 and I did ut for a Bearhawk LSA. At some point you may depart ftom the plans quite a bit but the CAD will be a more accurate case and the parts you cut should fit well

Best of luck and I look forward to monitoring your progress. 

Marc


On May 10, 2020, at 12:27 PM, wes.vasher@... wrote:

Hi everyone! I'll post updates on my CX7 build to this thread. Before I start cutting metal I'm going to model up the airplane in Solidworks so I know exactly how it's constructed as well as hopefully troubleshoot things in the computer before making too many mistakes making parts. I might build a Lowrider 2 CNC router for cutting ribs and formers but have not decided that yet. I'm using Google docs to capture notes, document the build and Google sheets to manage component lists. The CX4 is pretty much my dream plane (the design is so beautiful), but I have little kids so I want to be able to take them on trips.

For this first post I spent the morning modeling the center section spar.
CX7 center section spar model

Side note, I'm kicking around the idea of creating a Thatcher CX7 airplane for XPlane. I want to start working on the geometry for that after I finish the Solidworks model, not sure if anyone in the Thatcher community are into flight sims at all.

Wes Vasher
 

I'm the same, if I didn't have kids I'd be building a CX4 but I do love how the CX7 looks. It has so much character compared some of the other low wing two seat kits out there in my opinion. I'm hoping to square away those fit issues and make decisions in the CAD model before cutting metal, at least that's my plan. I too am a little worried about building a CNC and having to deal with all the quirks that go along with that. It's a constant war with my 3D printer to keep it running. :)

Ace Mccool
 

You might find that you could save a lot of time and perhaps expense by just getting the basic tools and following the plans.   There is nothing complex or difficult to building one of these planes.   As John Monnet was fond of telling his builders, "You ain't building a space shuttle.".  There are also kits available for parts.  I used a kit for my CX5 wings...wow!  I had always built from plans. Never used a kit before!  What a treat!
It's only too bad that the CX5 plans, and probably the CX7 plans don't have the sheet cutting plan that the CX4 has.   
Of course if doing the cad thing and 3d modelling is an enjoyable part of the process for you, who am I to rain on your parade.  We're doing this for fun, right?   

Joe Robertson
 

I would just add that Ben is working the solidworks route too, so you might co-operate with him on getting a model done.

I dont have SW and am not a cad guru, I managed to learn solvespace and openscad, I might be able to manage FreeCAD.
Too bad this couldnt all be done in freecad, I could help.

You must have a 3d printer like I have. ha.  I have not achieved panacea as promised.

--
Joe Robertson
Madison, AL USA
planeless aero engineer, hacker, maker, fixer

Wes Vasher
 

CAD is definitely something I enjoy doing. It's more for my learning process than anything. I also like to be prepared so it helps me feel a little more prepared for what I'm getting in to. Joe, I want to use 3D printing a lot on this CX7, from printing wing/stab tip plugs to interior panel plugs for fiberglass work. I can't wait!

thrmaln
 

Its hard to fight the urge yo build things that will help build the plane later. I was going to build a 4’ x 4’ x 5’ build volume 3D printer for my other project but decided to shelve it for now as I wont need it fir at least 6 months. I will need the XNC router and the Tormach I bought used few months ago. 

I like to do the CAD work in the evenings when mom and baby have gone to bed. This keeps the thinking about the build going. May as well solve as many issues in the virtual world so that my time in the hangar is spent building with less problem solving. I think people discount the value in that. 


On May 10, 2020, at 3:47 PM, wes.vasher@... wrote:

CAD is definitely something I enjoy doing. It's more for my learning process than anything. I also like to be prepared so it helps me feel a little more prepared for what I'm getting in to. Joe, I want to use 3D printing a lot on this CX7, from printing wing/stab tip plugs to interior panel plugs for fiberglass work. I can't wait!

Robert Kent
 

Hey Joe, I have to agree with you that the CAD route is very time consuming. Ben Carlson is in
the process of modeling the CX7 so that he can produce parts for it as a business. His many parts
price is quite reasonable if you chose to purchase from him.

I would suggest that you download Autodesk Fusion 360. It is a very professional 3D CAD
program that is FREE for the home hobbyist. There are many tutorials on YouTube to study its
many features, tips and techniques.


Joint us on Saturday's, 11 AM EST, Thatcher video Session to visit with current CX builders
discussing their experience, tips and building techniques.

Rob Kent
Sammamish, WA


From: thatcher-aircraft@groups.io <thatcher-aircraft@groups.io> on behalf of Joe Robertson <orbitalair@...>
Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:04 PM
To: thatcher-aircraft@groups.io <thatcher-aircraft@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [thatcher-aircraft] CX7 Build - Wes Vasher
 
I would just add that Ben is working the solidworks route too, so you might co-operate with him on getting a model done.

I dont have SW and am not a cad guru, I managed to learn solvespace and openscad, I might be able to manage FreeCAD.
Too bad this couldnt all be done in freecad, I could help.

You must have a 3d printer like I have. ha.  I have not achieved panacea as promised.

--
Joe Robertson
Madison, AL USA
planeless aero engineer, hacker, maker, fixer

Charles McClung
 

For what it's worth, here's one man's opinion and experience....

I love using Solidworks and CAD.  I've built 2 CNC routers.  In our business (now sold) we had a new Haas VF2 mill as well as a lathe, welder, etc.  I still have access to rent time on a waterjet, mill and laser.

I'm building a CX4.  I cut my wing shear webs, ribs and several skins on the laser.  Spar 4130 fittings on the waterjet.   I used the CNC router to drill the center section and wing spars, as well as cutting many small 2D parts.  Drilling the spars on the CNC was the most beneficial of these exercises -- the holes are all perpendicular and accurately spaced.

With all that said, I've learned that I can spend way too much time utilizing these 'tools', whereas many simple parts can be cut by hand with satisfactory results, in a fraction of the time.  I have to fight my tendency to over-think and over-automate.   I thought I would use the router to 3D machine plugs to make molds for my wingtips.  Then I realized I could burn way too much time perfecting the process. No doubt I would enjoy it, but do hope to fly this plane some time next year.  I just bought the wingtip set from Earnest Martin -- WOW, what quality!  I could have never done it so well.

I suppose the real question comes down to what your priorities and objectives are.  If you want to fly as soon as possible I'd recommend doing as Ace commented -- buy the spars and pre-made components -- especially the spars.

If you want to hone your CAD/CAM skills, the plane is an excellent application.  Also be aware that if you're an EAA member you can download a full (student) version of Solidworks.  The only difference between the basic purchased version and student version is that it notes that all drawings as created with the student version.  The drawings are clean and easily opened in a CAM software.  I'm still blown away by the power of Solidworks every time I use it and now that I no longer own a purchased copy of Solidworks I'm very grateful for their cooperation between EAA.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer.  You'll find the right balance of fun, expediency and economy.

--
Charlie McClung
N504CX early building stages
Charleston, WV

Axel#391
 

Wise words and my thoughts too - take a sheet of alu and start cutting...only my hint. Its fun...most of the time🤓😉

AtlBB
 

Agreed fun most of the time - for other times keep bandaids handy :)

Ken


On May 11, 2020, at 5:34 AM, Axel#391 <a2u@...> wrote:

Wise words and my thoughts too - take a sheet of alu and start cutting...only my hint. Its fun...most of the time🤓😉

Phil Flaugher
 


GO for Xplane!!

-----------------------------------------

From: wes.vasher@...
To: thatcher-aircraft@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Sunday May 10 2020 2:27:20PM
Subject: [thatcher-aircraft] CX7 Build - Wes Vasher

Hi everyone! I'll post updates on my CX7 build to this thread. Before I start cutting metal I'm going to model up the airplane in Solidworks so I know exactly how it's constructed as well as hopefully troubleshoot things in the computer before making too many mistakes making parts. I might build a Lowrider 2 CNC router for cutting ribs and formers but have not decided that yet. I'm using Google docs to capture notes, document the build and Google sheets to manage component lists. The CX4 is pretty much my dream plane (the design is so beautiful), but I have little kids so I want to be able to take them on trips.

For this first post I spent the morning modeling the center section spar.
CX7 center section spar model

Side note, I'm kicking around the idea of creating a Thatcher CX7 airplane for XPlane. I want to start working on the geometry for that after I finish the Solidworks model, not sure if anyone in the Thatcher community are into flight sims at all.

Greg Mekkes
 

Thumbs up for XPlane11

Greg

On May 11, 2020, at 11:24 AM, Phil Flaugher <phil.flaugher@...> wrote:


GO for Xplane!!

-----------------------------------------

From: wes.vasher@...
To: thatcher-aircraft@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Sunday May 10 2020 2:27:20PM
Subject: [thatcher-aircraft] CX7 Build - Wes Vasher

Hi everyone! I'll post updates on my CX7 build to this thread. Before I start cutting metal I'm going to model up the airplane in Solidworks so I know exactly how it's constructed as well as hopefully troubleshoot things in the computer before making too many mistakes making parts. I might build a Lowrider 2 CNC router for cutting ribs and formers but have not decided that yet. I'm using Google docs to capture notes, document the build and Google sheets to manage component lists. The CX4 is pretty much my dream plane (the design is so beautiful), but I have little kids so I want to be able to take them on trips.

For this first post I spent the morning modeling the center section spar.
CX7 center section spar model

Side note, I'm kicking around the idea of creating a Thatcher CX7 airplane for XPlane. I want to start working on the geometry for that after I finish the Solidworks model, not sure if anyone in the Thatcher community are into flight sims at all.

Bradley List
 

Group,
It certainly would be nice if the plans were available on CD, and CNC, mini-mill, or Job-bot programs could be bought. The neighbor on the end of the runway has a new job-bot, and has agreed to cut honeycomb ribs for my BD-4 wing, when I redo it. I just wonder how well that thing could cut aluminum sheet, and honeycomb parts, with so little waste. Brad List

On Monday, May 11, 2020, 3:33:19 PM EDT, Greg Mekkes via groups.io <mekkes2020@...> wrote:


Thumbs up for XPlane11

Greg

On May 11, 2020, at 11:24 AM, Phil Flaugher <phil.flaugher@...> wrote:


GO for Xplane!!

-----------------------------------------

From: wes.vasher@...
To: thatcher-aircraft@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Sunday May 10 2020 2:27:20PM
Subject: [thatcher-aircraft] CX7 Build - Wes Vasher

Hi everyone! I'll post updates on my CX7 build to this thread. Before I start cutting metal I'm going to model up the airplane in Solidworks so I know exactly how it's constructed as well as hopefully troubleshoot things in the computer before making too many mistakes making parts. I might build a Lowrider 2 CNC router for cutting ribs and formers but have not decided that yet. I'm using Google docs to capture notes, document the build and Google sheets to manage component lists. The CX4 is pretty much my dream plane (the design is so beautiful), but I have little kids so I want to be able to take them on trips.

For this first post I spent the morning modeling the center section spar.
CX7 center section spar model

Side note, I'm kicking around the idea of creating a Thatcher CX7 airplane for XPlane. I want to start working on the geometry for that after I finish the Solidworks model, not sure if anyone in the Thatcher community are into flight sims at all.

Wes Vasher
 

Here's something I'm not sure about. From the plans I think the stab spar webs are installed on the inside of the angle caps, but in the construction manual it looks like the web is attached to the outside flap ends of the angles.

Side note I ordered my first aluminum today!

Robert Hasson
 

For what it’s worth I installed my horizontal stab shear webs on the outside of the spar caps (angles).

Bob H



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Bernard Melendez, Jr.
 

We in aviation call them spar caps (I'm guilty too) but technically they are flanges, and the center part is correctly called the web.
The structural shape of the tail spars for example, are "C" channels. The same terms apply whether the shape is an "I" beam, an "H" beam or a channel. Flanges and webs. This for information purposes only.
Bernardo


On Monday, May 18, 2020, 07:13:28 PM CDT, Robert Hasson <hassonb@...> wrote:


For what it’s worth I installed my horizontal stab shear webs on the outside of the spar caps (angles).

Bob H



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Wes Vasher
 
Edited

1/25 1/4 scale CX7 nose wheel fork. I'll probably 3D print parts as I model them because why not!

Bernard Melendez, Jr.
 

That 1/4 scale CX7 nose wheel fork will work great on your 1/4 scale CX7. A little small to ride in, though.
(feel the) Bern?

On Saturday, May 23, 2020, 09:46:18 AM CDT, Wes Vasher <wes.vasher@...> wrote:


[Edited Message Follows]

1/25 1/4 scale CX7 nose wheel fork. I'll probably 3D print parts as I model them because why not!

Alvin Voigt
 

Who is the 400% giant holder the full-scale nose fork?