I’ve built two ribs, so my hands are now thoroughly covered in superglue. I laminated three layers of 3/32” x 3/8” balsa in a spiral. Each rib is about 20” in diameter.
While building the spiral I used pins to hold the balsa in place while the glue set. The first rib was a bit more difficult as I pinned down the strips in too many places. The second I only pinned the ends down and glued longer sections. This gave fewer voids in the lamination, too.
Today I went out and got some balsa wood and various tools to begin construction of my zeppelin. I started by cutting a piece 3” by 6” by 1/32” sheet of balsa into 3/8” strips using this method, then I put some nails in a 4’ x 4’ sheet of plywood in a circle. I stopped after seven because it seemed too loud.
With 36” strips this thin, I won’t need to soak the balsa to get it to bend, which means I won’t need to clean my tub for soaking.
I’ve already sustained an injury, which can only be a good omen, as almost every other time I’ve built something awesome I’ve drawn blood. This time it was from hitting my elbow on my counter as I retrieved my x-acto knife.
I figure that if I have six months of savings and need to use it, I’ll probably burn through it at double the typical rate. I won’t be working, I’ll be having fun, so I’ll have all the typical expenses plus the vacation-like activities I’ll be enjoying.
So far I’ve got two months regular expenses covered. By the end of 2007 I should have 6 months covered. I’m making 20% more than my previous job and I’m directing most of that right into 401k, but the remainder has been chewed up by more conference travel.
The higher 401k deferment should also keep the cash/investment balance decent. Right now I have 1/4 liquid and 3/4 in investments.
Also, having 6 months of double the minimum I need to get by gives me plenty of money to draw on for something like a down payment.