Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Overhead Console Work

This is only the first step to making the overhead console. There will be multiple steps and parts that need to be made before this thing starts really looking like a finished product. So far it's been a lot of fun. I have some cool ideas for this overhead which is what finally drove me to making my own instead of ordering one. I often have a very specific thing I want something to do or have and when I can't find it on the market I make one. The "I'll just build it myself" decision is usually a very quick one for me to make and I make it often. Most of the time it's furniture..."they want how much for that?!! Wow I could make that for a fraction of the cost and it will last a lot longer! OK I'll just build it" Yep the decision happens that fast and I'm off sketching plans and buying hardwood. Well, the plane isn't any different. If a product is fairly priced and it would be laborious for me to make on my own I'll buy it and not think twice. The overhead though, I had something in mind, some exact details I wanted. Details I would see on the jets I used to work with. So the decision quickly became "I'll just build it" and, so far, it's been a lot of fun!

Dates and Times
Wed 13 -1.5 hrs- removed cabin cover, drilled backup strips
Sat 16th -5.0 hrs- prepped cabin, cab-o-sil gaps, made foam mold and taped to cabin, spray foam filler
Sun 17th -5.0 hrs- started fiberglass for overhead console, two layers
(The times for Sat and Sun are estimates as I wasn't watching the clock. They also include a lot of planning and trial/error time that is normally not done in the shop.)

First I roughed up and cleaned the cabin cover and then filled in voids in the cover with West Systems Epoxy Resin with 205 Hardener and Cab-O-Sil Filler to thicken it up. After filling in voids in the cabin cover I made my mold for the console. The "mold" is made from foam insulation from Lowe's. It's tacked together with glue and then wrapped in tape so the fiberglass doesn't adhere to it. I also filled in the empty space of the forward door frame with spray foam. After the foam dried I cut it to the height of the rest of the structure and then cut out the area needed to install the visor mounts.

I then added a fillet of the filler mixture along the edge of the foam and coated and filled the empty/cut open cells of the foam. I then laid my first piece of fiberglass while everything was still tacky.

I put two layers on the overhead mold and one layer on the sprayed in foam.

Fiberglass laid in place and drying.....step 1 complete.

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