Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Starting the Cabin Cover

Fiberglass! I am actually excited to start fiberglass work. I was productive last weekend. I cut out the cabin top and then had the first test fit. I found a lot of places that needed additional trimming with the test fit. With the top back off I trimmed up the noted places of interference and then tried to fit the cabin again. This time it slid right into place, success. On Monday (holiday off from work) I started all the match drilling and countersinking into the fuselage. All in all, the whole process went a lot faster than what I thought and was much easier than what I expected. Actually, it was a lot like wood working but without worrying about wood grain.

I also did a lot of brain storming about my overhead console and how to do fiberglass work. I got a lot of good pointers from a buddy of mine that stopped by Sunday and Brandi pointed me in the right direction to the West System's Website and their products. Most of their products can be bought from Aircraft Spruce and you can do a lot of research and learning on their very informative website. Instead of forking over $1000 for the Aerosport console, which isn't exactly what I want anyway, I want to build my own overhead console. With an order of fiberglass and epoxy from Aircraft Spruce on it's way I hope to start this coming weekend. In addition to the overhead console the cabin cover is going to take a lot of work filling voids and shaping the structure to actually look decent, but I'm ready to get started.    

Dates and Times
Sat 9th -4.0hrs- Cut cabin top
Sun 10th -3.75hrs- Cut and shape cabin top
Mon 11th -6.0hrs- Brain storming overhead ideas, drilling holes with helper Kris, countersinking etc

Marking the places to cut. The existing scribe lines are hard to see and usually not straight.

    Going into battle with fiberglass gear on.

The cabin top trimmed and ready for test fit.

The tools I used: Cut off wheel, Angle grinder with cut off disk, hand held belt sander with 80grit paper, drill gun with sanding drum and 80 grit paper. I mostly used the angle grinder with the cut off disk and the belt sander. The disks I used were standard metal cut off disks from Harbor Freight and it cut right through the fiberglass without a problem.

The leftover trimmings.

I used a pulley attached to the ceiling to hoist the cabin top above the fuselage. Then I would move the fuselage under the cabin and slower lower the cabin top into position.

The cabin top trimmed and in place.....looking even more like an airplane! 

Match drilling to the fuselage and countersinking holes. I used all the normal tools here, nothing special.

I drilled the attach holes for the center post.

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