Ted's Aircraft Shop
The Shop

The Shop


My wife has a rule.  I can purchase any tool I want, but it must be put to use immediately.  That guarantees every tool in my shop has been used once.  I do not feel as if I have many tools because they have been collected over 40 years, one at a time.  If you are handy, and take on projects around the house, especially remodeling jobs, you acquire the tools and skills fundamental to building aircraft or almost anything else.  How well you do depends on your basic interests, your skill with your hands, and the care with which you use those skills.    


The Shop itself is my only real luxury. My first shop, as a child growing up, was a 2x6-lumber bench in the pig barn, topped by a peg board which held the hammers, pliers, and tools needed on the farm.  My later shops were corners of a garage, a corner of my wife’s laundry—a test of a strong marriage, a small room in the basement, a specially-made shop in the lower level in the house in Chicago.  In Pittsburgh, I decided to go “whole hog” with a large shop, a separate studio, and an office for a total of 2000 square feet in the lower level of my new house in Pittsburgh.  It was rumored I built the house around the shop.     I started with extra height, nearly nine feet of headroom, a big advantage when handling full size parts.  The doors are 36 inches wide, and two sets of walk out sliding doors are double wide, nearly 66 inches wide.  I could get a boat in and out of the shop.  An airplane, no problem. The “studio” next door to the shop itself contains the assembly benches, many small tools, and most of my radio control modeling tools. The third room on the lower level is an office and home theatre, 15 feet wide by 36 feet long.  Adjoining are a kitchenette, bath, two walk-in storage closets, and the utility room with its furnaces, clean up sinks, water heaters, and the Internet, cable TV, and telephone wires. 

The shop is where I assembled the 17 foot wings, one at a time, and the fuselage.  It is 19 feet wide by 26 feet long. It has a large 36 by 84 inch Birch wood workbench with two wood vices—my own design.  This bench is used for small projects, parts assembly, painting, tool storage, and metal grinding and cleaning, and almost any other operation.  In the shop you can find a DeWalt chop saw, a Ryobi table saw, a 14 inch throat band saw, an oscillating spindle sander, a sand blasting cabinet, a painting spray booth along one wall over the exhaust vent, a router table, a metal shear/brake/roller from Harbor Freight, a floor jointer, a large floor scroll saw, and air
Restoring a Piper Cub J-3
The Shop
Essential Tools
Aeronca L-16A
Moni Motorglider
Learn to Fly a Taildragger
It All Starts with Modeling
About Ted and His Aircraft Shop
Contact Ted
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