Cover photo: THE ANIMAL alongside one of Jon Staudacher’s other projects, an acrobatic airplane. Photo by Avram Golden.
My good friend and previous employer, Jon Staudacher, always surprises me with how he designs and builds his projects. Jon creates everything from hydroplanes to airplanes using materials and methods that are logical and practical. He would say he treats most of the things he builds like a science project, experimenting with new concepts in design and materials, and continually learning new things. I will explain some of Jon’s unique approaches to a few of his recent projects. Continue reading →
I hear it said increasingly often in the last couple of years as I meet people during my travels “Who will be the next generation of tradesmen? Who is going to work on our cars, boats, and homes?” This is a serious lament posed by today’s tradesmen, potential employers who have a very hard time finding apprentices and workers to learn their trade. The U.S. is in dire need of men and women willing to work with their hands and develop the skills necessary to build and repair all our…stuff. Continue reading →
Aircraft designer and builder Jon Staudacher’s newest project is a wooden enclosed trailer for his new racecar. Jon designed a trailer to be suitable for hauling his racecar and living in over a weekend at the race track. The trailer was built by scarfing and gluing together individual pieces of wood to form a beautiful natural wood-finished racecar trailer. Jon always surprises me with how innovative he is with projects. After Jon built an open-wheel race car he had a design in mind for a new plywood trailer. Continue reading →
Let’s look at a good method for building curved walls curved-face cabinets. A while back, as I was waiting in the reception lobby of a major American corporation, I had the chance to admire the curved reception desk and other oak furniture in the room. However, when I examined the reception desk more closely, I could see facets in the oak veneer instead of a nice, smooth curve. I immediately realized that the cabinet builders had sawn closely spaced saw kerfs in the back of the panel so they could bend it to shape. I thought there must be a better way. Continue reading →
Above: Mixing G/flex with other WEST SYSTEM Epoxies increases the versatility of these epoxy systems.
WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin-based epoxy is a very versatile system. For years, experienced users have been mixing and blending the various product combinations in countless ways. For example, users may blend 205 Fast Hardener and 206 Slow Hardener to make a hardener with a modified cure speed. Different uses of 410 Microlight® Fairing Filler provide a further example. Many customers assume that the only use of 410 is to make a fairing compound—it is added to thicken epoxy to a peanut butter consistency to create a light, easily-sanded filler. Continue reading →
Above: This strongback table is used to assemble airplane wings in John Staudacher’s shop. It must not twist or sag.
Jon Staudacher, of Staudacher Hydroplanes and Aircraft, has been using a long, very flat, work table/strongback that is mounted on casters. The table was originally 32′ long, but because of space considerations, Jon has since shortened it to 20′ (Photo 1, at top). Four rubber casters support it, one at each corner (Photo 2, below). Continue reading →
Above: Shown upside down, the base of Jon Staudacher’s trailer is a series of plywood torsion boxes, doubling as storage compartments. The depth of the boxes makes a very lightweight, rigid structure.
Over the years, we have featured some of Jon Staudacher’s more innovative projects and ideas. From his extreme house, to race boats, to aerobatic airplanes, to a gate at the end of his driveway, to something as simple as a paint roller brake, Jon has always sought the simplest method to build his projects. Jon’s latest project is no exception.
Faced with the expense of having several custom round windows built for his new house, Jon Staudacher figured it would be cost-effective to build the frames himself. He used his background as a boat builder and some of the characteristics of WEST SYSTEM® epoxy to help him along. Here’s how he approached the project. It’s a neat technique that you could use for a variety of projects. Continue reading →