Making Tiedown Rings

I have always had some reservations about the durability of our Maule tailwheel, so when Georg was selling his lightly-used Bob-designed tailwheel for a good price, I was glad to buy it. Today I did a trial fit to the spring to make sure it would fit, then disassembled it. I’ll paint it white to match the fuselage, and to promote crack detection.

Tailwheel Assembly

Tailwheel Assembly


This wheel uses a 10-inch tire, so I took this picture so that I could remember the tire size, which is 10×3.5-4.
Tailwheel tire size

Tailwheel tire size


The tiedown rings are intended to mount to the bolt that holds the top of the strut to the wing. I started with mild steel 1/4″ rod, which I heated and bent around a piece of scrap steel that was about 1.5″ in diameter.
First Bend

First Bend


Rather than fight with a small piece of metal, I just added the second bend right on to the first. It was easier to do with more straight stock to hold on to.
Second Bend

Second Bend


I made the flat plates out of 4130, and as you can see, I left the 1/4″ rod a little bit long for the welding. That makes it a little bit easier to control the heat at the end of the bead.
Welded Tiedown Rings

Welded Tiedown Rings


I’ll still need to drill the holes, but that will have to happen on another day.

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Hours Logged This Session: 1.8
Total Hours: 1883.75