Building a Bubble Dancer is not exactly easy.

While I am not a master builder, I do have a fair amount of building ability and it still took me over a year to build my first Bubble Dancer.

I have repeatedly seen on the forums comments by people who decide not to even try building a Bubble Dancer because of the time and difficulty involved.

That is a shame.
So after I finished my first Bubble Dancer, I sat back and really thought about how the build process could be made easier.

I analyzed the areas that were the big time-wasters and the areas that were the most difficult and the techniques that needed improvement for me to save time and produce an airplane that met the design specifications of this marvelous bird.

What I realized was that with a few simple adjustments to the build methodology, the time and the quality of the build would all improve dramatically.
Granted, some of what follows may be intuitive and may have only been problematic for me, but nevertheless, I'm just sharing my experiences and perceptions on the chance that they prove beneficial to others.
The first and biggest thing I changed to improve the quality of my build was to buy a scale.  This is an obvious no-brainer, but it was just one of those tools that I did not have the first time around...

I then adopted the mantra: "Weigh Everything!"

With this mind, I took my scale whenever I went shopping for Balsa.

I also created this Bubble Dancer specific Balsa Weight Chart.  This chart is simply and expansion of the ones you've seen before with some color coding for grain type.
I looked at the finished build and identified areas that consumed an unacceptable amount of time.

Below are some of the problems and then the solutions.

The spar/rib layup    -     make a wing jig
Spar rounding          -     sand the carbon before layup
Wing panel joining   -     use a wing jig
Kevlar wrapping       -     use Kevlar tow instead of thread

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-- Current through January 21, 2014