Design - Fabrication - Restoration

Past and Present Projects and Jobs.

Cessna 150 Leading Edge replacement.

Cessna 150 had damage to the leading edge showing the need for immediate replacement. I was asked to repair them, first in my workshop, then on site, wings off, then in situ with no assistance. This airfield was over 100 miles from my workshop.

The Inspector had put his finger through the leading edge of this old Cessna, I was asked to replace it. The aircraft was 120 miles from the workshop. The image below was from the final visit.

Half the ribs had corroded to pieces.

This was my setup (Images below), during three days of the hottest weather. No power so I bought a little generator of ebay and got it running, small compressor, one ladder stand, and nothing but myself for 3 days. I camped under the wing first night, then retreated to a hotel the second as it was cold at night!

All replacement ribs fitted, skins around 70 percent fitted by the end of my first three days. I also treated the corrosion on the main spar, trapped under the aft skin, lots of wet and dry, 624 acid, scotch, then primer.

All Done.  

Pulsar Nose Leg and Fork.

A loaned leg needed a permanent replacement, so some quick dimension jotting and hasty replication.

I was provided an existing example and given a total of 15 minutes to copy down the details on a scrap of paper on the airfield summer seats, reproduced with additional strengthening in some areas I considered needed them.

The fork had to be replaced with a steel fabrication as the aluminium casting had snapped through a casting flaw.

Pulsar nose leg.

Heavy Metal Workshop Doors.

New workshop/hanger space at the airfield means more doors! It was high time to build the welder a trolley which helped to no end.

The welding style and quality seems somewhat overkill for the purpose, but it will look very nice and last.

Cap 10 Canopy Repair.

A Canopy from a Mudry CAP 10 aircraft has had a propeller taxi through it leaving it very bent out of shape, the aim is to removed the collapsed sections of tube, recover the canopy release cables and mecahnisms that run through them, and shape up and weld in new tubing.

Stainless Steel Sink Bushes.

Stainless Steel Welding and Machining. Drawn sink bushes that won't draw any longer, needed cutting, machining in two halves, welding back together,  machining then polishing away the weld. 

his was a good test for the newly modified welding rig, which required a back gassing supply, and the newly acquired 4 jaw chuck for the lathe. 

Fuel Bowsers - Diesel delivery units converted for Jet Ranger kerosene.

Two of these brutes where converted diesel tankers repurposed for kerosene for a chaps garden based Jet Ranger, and required water drains adding, the double tank made a large outer hole a necessity.

Alfa Romeo Restoration.

This is an ongoing automotive restoration to rebuild a 1960's Alfa Romeo which has suffered from a lack of design foresight, in the form of any kind of corrosion protection, and is lacking a large amount of the car's original mass lost in the form of rust.

Piper L4.

This airframe had been modified considerably in Switzerland, so here are the all new frames fabricated from original Piper section provided by the very helpful John Barker in the US who has restored over 30 of these aircraft.

The frames are cut half through and welded into shape, the clamps are formed and then brazed on the corners to take the wooden stringers. They also form a gentle curve as you can see.

Pardon the floor mess it was left over from my hasty bike trip departure to Spain. — at DFR Restorations.

Piper L4 airframe restoration.

The L4 requires a rather tricky 6ft length of W section, which owing to my dutiful nature was made of S515 and not some very low strength comm steel like many, this produced a forming difficulty as only two of the folds could be made on a folder.

So I bit the bullet and figured out the old mill in the farm workshop and machined up these two blocks, about 5 inches long, and tapped clamped and tapped again and polished along the whole length, then straightened. — at DFR Restorations.

And here is the result, I was very pleased how well this came out, this is welded to the birdcage, the frame that mates to the wings propped up top in this pic, and has a variety of frames added that take windows all the way aft to the frame shown.

Getting the birdcage into position, this was provided ready made by Univair in the US, but its accuracy leaves something to be desired and its made up for a Super cub so I've had to largely cut it up and rebuild. Lots of sections sizes needed changing and some removing altogether.

This is an 'in the field military' mod to reinforce the hinge mounting point on the frame, doors obviously pulled it out of shape originally.

My home made tube straightener, the L4 seems to have suffered various bends from hot weld modifications and knocks, so I developed this to move them back with the addition of a little acetylene.

First L4 Cowl Assembly finished and delivered, 0.5mm 430 stainless and the softest alloy sheet on earth makes for some very careful fabrication, I had to make a variety of new tools and extensions for the jenny and a half dozen fly press punches, came up very nicely with an anonymous helper, A new L4 top door to go with it. 

The L4 has got its rough cut windows. Awaiting hardware and materials to clamp them on. Finding materials in this country is a nightmare, and expensive one at that!

The L4 cowls are just about done, with new mounting frames, a new center console, and I refurbed the dash, but whether the welds will hold up long term I can't say, it was cracked out of every hole and corner.

Additional Storch Fuselages.

Quotes have been provided for the fabrication of up to 3 Fiesler Storch fuselages from scratch, a big job with lots of complex weld joints.

Heavy Duty Folder. 

Exciting addition to the workshop courtesy of Phil Trangmar, a very heavy duty, and just very heavy, 4 ft folder. Rust was so ingrained it took 4 days of grinding, grease and painting effort to get it ready to use and still needs some more work.

But I used it to good effect to fold up these replacement vintage land-rover parts, and make up all the steel window frames for the L4.

This funny channel section is started with the turn overs folded in the folder, then hammered flat, then folded in the middle, then pressed in my little machined up block, then gradually pulled into a curve with wood in the vice. The sliding window drops down into the fabric curving around the longeron. L4 is very nearly finished now. Window frames going in elsewhere.



<  ZR sporting her new pinstripe, reg decals and wing walk, tried to honour the craft with the walks curved ends.

> Just a comparison between the new and old shocks from the Menestrel undercarriage, she definitely has a spring in her step now pleased with the outcome.

> Upgraded the whole fuel system on the Menestrel with a much better mechanical pump (see end of black pipes), upped the bores and simplified the system for a smoother run, also did some work on the prop as some rot was setting in and was quite out of balance.

Sport Cruiser Cowling.

 his seemed like the most prudent and time effective method of redesigning this Sport cruiser cowl, I've been involved with making a Jabiru 6 cylinder work in a sport-cruiser at appropriate temps, not an enviable project as the Jabiru have a never exceed CHT of around 350 deg C! which is the average running temp of most engines.

Aluminium Motorbike Rack. 

Welded aluminium unit, will polish and lacquer it and leave as burnished ally finish.

Piper Sport Baffles. 

New baffles for a piper sport, auminium unit, will polish and lacquer it and leave as burnished alloy finish.


I've started work on a new customers Auster based Headcorn, has been standing for around 3 years waiting for a dual brake modification.

Old floor panel was assembled with Pop Rivets, which where removed, new ones being made.

Then some almost un-manufacturable, floor plates, which accommodate the brake pedals. I made these in 1.1mm stainless for ultimate longevity, made up a press tool to produce the flutes, and hydraulic press. Forming wasted edge flanges was very manual and involved a lot of hammering. Clamping and heating to stress relieve. Dual assembly was dry assembled in a couple of hours.