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    I'm considering taking the plunge and starting a 4 place QB build. I have a 2 car garage, 19x15 feet. Would the fuselage fit for some of the build, maybe up to the point of rudder and engine installation?

  • #2
    That’s a small 2 cars! I just went to the garage where I am building and ran a tape at those measurements. I had to imagine how the fuse fit since it’s elsewhere but I am pretty sure It will be tight but it will fit. If you can’t find a conclusive answer I’ll go measure it out at the fuselage for ya. Just PM me.


    • #3
      Isn’t Rob building in a single car garage? His might be double deep or something.

      19x15 will work. It you won’t be able to have the engine and rudder on at the same time.
      Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.


      • robcaldwell
        robcaldwell commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, It's a 2 car tandem garage. I measured before taking delivery of the kit and everything barely fits (w/o wings). On the gear legs, I have about 1/2" clearance under the garage door header. I can install the rudder, but not the rest of the tail feathers.

        The good news is.... The fuselage will be moved out of the garage next week and taken to the airport (KSVH) where it will be hangered so I can bring in the wings. Progress!

      • Dpearson
        Dpearson commented
        Editing a comment
        Rob, my garage door header is ~82" - does that sound like a problem?
        Great progress on your build - I'm following along on YouTube of course!

      • robcaldwell
        robcaldwell commented
        Editing a comment
        I measured and my door header is 82.5".

    • #4
      I think much of the answer lies in organization. I’m building in a double car (3 feet bigger in each direction than Dpearson’s though). Wings are only 10 inches thick and store easily up against a wall. Control surfaces, tubing, struts and landing gear are mounted in simple, shallow racks on the ceiling over the tracks of my garage door. Flat parts are under my bed. Wings are only 15’ long but my rotisserie takes up another 2.5 linear feet. I could do it on a table if I had to, but I wouldn’t like to. I work on one wing, mounted in the rotisserie while it’s twin sits on the wall and I also work sometimes ​ on the fuselage beside it. I’m kind of tripping over the fuse on my way to the drill press but I have it mounted on casters (taildragger style) so I can push it out the door on nice days. I have two benches 30” wide, one of which I could do without.

      My plan goes like this: build one wing and whenever I’m waiting for hardware or learning a required skill, I can jump over and bolt stuff onto the fuselage any time. At this point I’m closing up the first wing and I have the controls and pulleys and cables mostly in the fuse, as well as some fuel lines. Very soon my finished wing will trade places with the one on the wall and I will continue as before.

      When the second wing is complete, I will either put both on the wall or in a buddy’s hangar. It’s not hard to find someone willing to store wings and other flat parts. Then I can mount the fuselage on the rotisserie, kitty-corner in the garage, and do the fuselage, boot cowl, interior, tail and get the covering done. Then I take the tail surfaces off, hang them on the wall, back the rudder post into the corner, and do the landing gear, engine and cowl. I think I can paint in this space, but it will require adjustments to this plan. Stewart’s or Oracover, since my garage is attached.

      Some things I cannot do at home: wing alignment will have to be done by carting the pieces out to the airport 3 miles away and assembled in a borrowed or rented hangar. Cest la vie. This is not required on new kits, I believe. The entire fuselage with wheels, prop, and tail will probably not fit, but since my plan allows for basic completion of these elements without simultaneous assembly, there shouldn’t be too much to do at the final assembly phase-a month or two of rented hangar time to do that, rather than years.

      You actually don’t need a lot of space around the perimeter of whichever piece you are working on. I suggest a 30” wide table beside your component for your tools, small parts and for working surface. Maybe this could be moved into the house at times? Your relationships may vary, of course. In your smaller space you might want to move the fuse out while working on wings.

      I’m doing a QB Patrol. Scratch builders should probably ignore my comments altogether.

      Some things will save space: vertical,compressor. I don’t have one, but wish I did. I live in a cold climate so mine can’t be placed outside. If I could I would. By the way, my 20 gallon compressor runs about three times per day for two minutes for riveting and shearing. Painting is a whole other animal and I will probably have to gang up some borrowed units with along with mine to get the volume.

      Dpearson, I think it’s do-able within your space budget as long as you get to have all of it. I doubt the extra fuselage width is much of a factor. Think both vertical and horizontal. At some point you will need a hangar, but you already know that. You aren’t going to lavish years of work on your perfect aeroplane just to leave it out in the wind, sun, and dirt.
      Last edited by Pbruce; 09-03-2020, 10:35 PM.


      • #5
        My garage is smaller than that! As others have said, organization is key and its really helpful to have other places to store things. It will get tight when I start the FWF in a month or so, but it really helped to have my wings taken to be stored in a hangar and the tail surfaces are in my basement. Flaps and ailerons are in my living room. I have a great wife.


        • #6
          Great question mate, I'm a bit of a nomad myself with my work, and so I'm building a 4-place out of shipping containers. I have three, 8ft wide by 19ft long. Two are the side-opening type, so on sunny days you can fold all the doors back, and it's a wonderful workspace: watertight, lockable. I invested a couple of months before I unpacked my project putting a metal sub-frame inside it to hang my lights, power points, air fittings etc. When you don't have much space, you have to be organised.

          1) One container is for the project parts - one wing or the fuselage at the time. I definitely recommend building a rotisserie for the wings, and also for the fuselage. The fuselage just fits, without engine or tail feathers. Not sure what I'll do when I get to those parts of the build.

          2) The second container is for all my tools - it has a workbench, and everything small I need to work on it.

          3) I have a third container (just a normal 20footer), where I put all of my parts and materials I'm not working on.

          4) The whole thing is 5kms away from my house, which is a bit of a bugger, but it is in an industrial estate, so I can use die grinders at 6am on weekends.

          5) I used the shipping container as a spray booth for my wings, worked well. I just attached plastic sheeting to the walls with magnets.

          6) When I needed to hang the wings, I pulled a favour and shipped the whole plane into a hangar for two months, did the wings, struts, fuel lines, flap controls and made up a template for the windscreen, and then disassembled the whole lot and back to the workshop. You will spend MANY days moving parts around between the containers, this can be a pain.

          I know my situation with the containers doesn't address your question about working in a garage, but I've posted it anyway because I imagine there are lots of people who want to build a plane but don't have the space, and in my experience you can do it this way. I don't think you could scratch build in this space though - only do a kit.

          Good luck with the build!

          Last edited by James; 09-12-2020, 04:50 PM.
          The Barrows Bearhawk: Who knew my wife could get jealous of a plane?


          • davzLSA
            davzLSA commented
            Editing a comment
            James I think you just proved where there is a will there is a way. I admire your tenacity.

        • #7
          Dpearson, I believe it can be done in the space you have but it will be difficult. As other have said organization will be key to success. Remember your tools will take up space as well as airplane parts. If you have another storage space else where that would go a long way in helping your organization while you build.. I wish you good luck on your build.


          • #8
            Thanks Dave, I've put a bit of work in to it, but it's paying dividends now :-)

            These two images are taken on the same spot, so there's a useful 8 ft gap between them, where I do my "dirty jobs": welding, swarf cutting etc.

            Things to note for people thinking of doing the same thing: if you're wiring the container yourself, makesure everything's grounded to and earthing stake, with safety switches, etc.
            Put the container up on blocks, to let the air circulate underneath, or else you have damp problems. White or beige is the best colour to paint the outside, reflects sun.
            Everything's hung off the sub-frame, not welded to the container walls (the weld points are the first place they rust out).
            Air compressor hung off the end doors, so you can swing it open and away for noise.
            There's a "climbing S" of pipe behind the tool board, so that the condensate from my compressor seeps down to a drain under the floor.
            50-cal ammo tins under the benches are handy for storing different types of tools. Also, that shelf underneath the bench is where I lay my rivet gun, drill etc I'm not using while the work piece takes up all the space on the surface.
            You can't see it, but there's a belt linisher on wheels hidden behind the door, a great tool to have.

            How good is it that were in a position to even have a crack at building our own planes?
            We're the lucky people, for sure. Whatever space you have, you can make it work :-)

            Attached Files
            Last edited by James; 09-08-2020, 05:45 AM.
            The Barrows Bearhawk: Who knew my wife could get jealous of a plane?


            • davzLSA
              davzLSA commented
              Editing a comment
              Now that is what I call organized. I usually start out that way but after a job or 2 it all goes to hell in a hand basket. And it looks like a hand grenade went off in my shop.

            • James
              James commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, well I cleaned it up before I took the photo :-)