Archive for the ‘Canopy Frame’ Category

Painted Glare Shield and Clips – 1. 5hr

June 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Friday Jun 29, 2012

Tonight I painted the glare shield and the little clips to hold down the canopy along the front. I used flat black JetFlex WR. It cost me $60 to order a quart of this paint but I really like it. I have just recently learned how to really work this paint. I sprayed on two medium coats at high pressure to give a smooth finish, then I sprayed another couple of light coats at about 20 psi to give a nice fine textured finish. It looks very professional. I painted the clips on the side facing the plexiglass so they will not be visible from the inside of the canopy.

Ready to Paint Glare Shield – 2 hrs

June 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Thursday Jun 28, 2012

After work I sanded the epoxy filler I put on the glare shield last night.  I took most of the epoxy off just leaving enough to fill the low spots.

It seemed pretty smooth so I brushed on a coat of UV Smooth Prime because it is thick and fills small voids and irregularities well. I sanded it and it was good to go for paint.

But it was already dark and getting late so I just masked the part to paint tomorrow.

I also did a little work on the release handle in the fuselage. I fit the yellow ball but I don’t have a #16 drill bit so I installed the little spring that preloads the catch against the latch.

Preping Glare Shield for Painting – 3 hrs

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Wednesday Jun 27, 2012

Tonight I marked the glare shield for painting and I put down a mask line with red electrical tape. It will lay down in smooth curves must better than masking tape. I also put in the last pop rivet shown here. This one is trailing behind because there was a gap between the skin and the aft tube of the frame so I filled the area with epoxy and flox last night and let it dry over night. Then I drilled out the hole again and simply installed the pop rivet.

Next I scuffed the surface of the glare shield to prepare it for priming and painting. The surface was not as nice as I wanted it to be with little holes in all the pop rivets and some minor waviness around some of the rivets so I mixed up some epoxy with light weight filler and spread a thin layer on to smooth it out. I will let this dry over night and sand it out tomorrow. It may take one or two more cycles to get it smoothed out then I will put down primer. This is all just so it looks nice through the wind screen.

Made Clips for Canopy Forward Edge – 2 hrs

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Not a lot to report today except I made these aluminum clips to help secure the forward edge of the canopy. Them plans describe them as optional. I figure they will be invisible once the canopy installation is complete and can only help strengthen the attachment of the plexiglass to the frame.

More Riveting Canopy Frame – 4 hrs

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday Jun 23, 2012

Last night after work and this afternoon I worked on the riveting of the canopy frame. With the exception of one rivet, this thing is done. Some of the rivets were tough to shoot and it helped to have Denise drive the gun on a few while I bucked.

The reinforcement kit is installed also as you can see in this view.

I put it back on the fuselage afterward to check how it fits. Overall, not too bad. I have no complaints on the left side at all. The right side has about 1/8 inch gap between the C-702 skin and the forward fuselage skin. I can play with that a little bit more but if all else fails I can fill it when I do the fiberglass work on the C-702 skin.

Here is a close up of the left side. Nice.

Here is the right side. That gap measures 1/8 inch at the very bottom.

Started Riveting Canopy Frame – 3.5 hrs

June 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Wednesday Jun 20, 2012

This post covers what I did the last two nights.

Last night I did a final fit check of the C-702 skin to the canopy frame. This entailed putting the frame back on the fuselage with the skin to see how much I needed to shim to raise the C-702 skin up at least level, if not slightly above the forward fuselage top skin. It was clear I needed a shim in the center section so I made one from .025 scrap to snap the center eight rivets. Here it is drilled and dimpled. However when I put it in it was a bit too wide causing the skin to rise too mush at each end. So I cut the shim down to the middle four holes only and that seemed about right.

Tonight I finally started riveting the C-702 skin to the canopy frame. For a while I thought this day might never arrive. I was riveting solo so I rigged the frame up to make it possible to reach both sides without holding the frame itself; one hand for the rivet gun and the other for the bucking bar. It was kinda slow going but I got all but two rivets set on the front row and some of those were hard to reach with the tungsten bucking bar. I started working my way up the left side when it got too late to continue so I will resume here next time.

Painted Canopy Frame Parts – 5 hrs

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunday Jun 17, 2012

The epoxy was good and hard this morning where I tacked the shims to the canopy frame so I used my hole deburring bit to countersink the holes in the shims. These are ready to receive the dimples in the C-702 skin.

Next I riveted the canopy bow frame to the canopy frame side rails. My daughter Jennifer was in the garage keeping me company while I did this.

ThenI prepared the spray gun and painted all the parts of the canopy frame that will be visible inside the fuselage. This took a while but all you can see here is the end result. All these parts are done and the paint is dry to the touch but still curing.

With that done I directed my attention to the forward fuselage structure, and in particular the canopy latch mechanism. I had this installed loosely for a while but now it was time to do it for real. I decided to install the cotter pins in the linkage now knowing that they will be in the way when I finally rivet the skin over this. My plan is to use a few CherryMax rivets to replace those that are really hard to get at with the linkage installed. I think that will be better than trying to install all these cotter pins upside down with my head under the instrument panel.

For the record, here is a shot of the right hinge pin showing the cotter pin installed and the hinge block screws torqued (no torque stripe on self-locking nuts).

Priming Session – 8 hrs

June 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday Jun 16, 2012

It was a very productive day today. I got nine items on my list done today and that’s more than usual. Scott came over to help for a while and that gave me a boost. The completed tasks are:

  1. Make new thicker shims for lift struts
  2. Make shims for canopy frame gaps
  3. Drill “new” side skirt holes thru side skirt shims
  4. Drill out canopy frame holes for 1/8 rivets
  5. Dimple C-702 skin
  6. Countersink canopy frame & side skirt shims
  7. Dimple side skirts
  8. Prime canopy frame parts
  9. Rivet canopy stop bracket

Most of the dimpling and countersinking is boring to look at so I will pass on photos of that. Here are the canopy frame parts staged in my mini paint booth for priming.

There are a total of 35 parts in all in this batch. After they were dry to the touch I laid them out in the warm sun to dry for an hour or so. They love that. The primer normally reaches full cure in a couple of days but doing this helps accelerate that.

Later I riveted the canopy stop brackets to the longerons in the forward bay.

I also mixed up some epoxy and bonded the shims to the side of the canopy frame. Each one is about .5 inch x .5 inch and the thickness of each is uniquely selected based on the gap I measured to the skin in each location.

Tomorrow I can start riveting some of this stuff together for final. Yeah.

Made and Drilled Brace Clasps – 1.5 hrs

June 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Monday Jun 11, 2012

I thought last night that I had finished fitting the reinforcement kit parts to the canopy frame but I later realized that I still needed to make and fit the six clasps. These are little oval tabs that tie the different sections of the outboard braces together. So I made the six parts out of scrap .032 sheet.

The instructions say to hold the clasps in place and match drill. That sounded like an invitation for the drill to drift so instead I aligned each one by hand and marked one hole location with a sharpie. Then I removed the clasp, marked the location with a spring punch, drilled the hole, and clecoed the clasp to the brace through that one hole. I could then use a cleco clamp to hold the clasp in alignment as I drilled the next hole. That worked really well.

Finished Drilling Reinforcement Braces- 4 hrs

June 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Sunday June 10, 2012

Continuing on with the reinforcement kit for the canopy frame very early this morning I marked bend lines on the flanges of the side braces and bent the tabs to the approximate angle required. Then I placed the center brace on the frame, aligned it 1 inch from either gooseneck bracket and aligned the holes with the centerline I marked previously on the weldment flange. Drilling the holes along the was flange simple. Then I fit the side braces by hand, pressing it firmly in place to get the position right. I had to trim a little bit off the outermost tabs that mate to the inside of the weldment to get the tabs to sit flush. Then I match drilled the holes along the weldment flange making sure the forward tabs were aligned to the centerline.

I too a break to go to church and spend some time with the family and came back to this task in the evening. I wanted to make sure I did not twist the canopy frame while match drilling the aft tab holes to the C-702 skin so I decided to put the frame back on the fuselage to make sure everything was true before drilling. So I just jumped in the pilot seat and drilled the holes while pressing up lightly on the braces. I could drill all but the outboard four holes on each side in this configuration.

I don’t know why but I kinda like this picture with the frame lifted.

Then I took the frame back off the fuselage and finished drilling the outboard four holes on each side.