Saturday, October 3, 2015

Make a Toy Biplane for

Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals has started a charity called Makers Care ( All proceeds go to the Make a Wish Foundation, who grants wishes to very sick children. One of the largest expenses in wish granting is air fare. They have a fundraising drive that includes making an airplane out of any material, and posting it on the Makers Care site. Steve is donating $5 for each submission. This is my submission. I encourage you to make your own and post
it at Also consider making a donation. I have already made a one.

I used scraps of wood to make this. Since I was painting it, I didn't worry about what kind of wood each part was. I ripped some 3/4 inch material to 2 inches wide and cut three pieces to a little over the final length. I glued them together and ripped height to 2 inches as well.

I marked the taper on the sides and cut it on the band saw. The band saw cut how it wanted and I lost the line and cut too much. I am just terrible with this band saw. After trying to fix it for a while, I gave up and just cut it and made a shorter plane.

I made cutting templates for the irregular parts. I attached them with spray adhesive and cut them on the band saw and shaped them with the sander.

The wings
The tail

The propeller
I cut the circle portion on the front with a circle cutter. Unfortunately, this cutter leaves a ridge on the circle cutout. I put a bolt through it and put in in the drill press in a sort of vertical lathe. I used a file and sandpaper to remove the ridge without flattening it too much. This is where I decided to buy pre-made wheels.

For the wheelbase, I just marked the lines to cut since everything was straight and regular.

I cut the axle and the wing struts out of a quarter inch dowel. I assembled the wings and tail. I masked the glue areas and painted the parts.

I glued the parts together, attached the propeller with a screw, and touched up any paint needed.

You can get plans for this plane (at least as I intended to make it) here in PDF or Sketch Up format.

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