Triming and Hanging doors

posted Jun 25, 2012, 8:39 AM by Bill Thomasson   [ updated Jun 25, 2012, 8:56 AM ]
Well the epoxy has cured for 24 hrs, so it is time to trim the doors.
First up is removing all the clecos that are epoxied in.  It takes some yanking and pulling to get them out, but not any power tools.
I then used an edge finder (similar to the hole finder), just take a peice of shim stock bend a 1/2" 90 deg angle, then about 4" straight, fold it back on itself, and then drill a #30 hole centered on the 90 deg bend.  Place the bend over the edge of the fuselage, and a marker in the hole and trace out the edge of the fuselage on the door.
I then also based on hits from made some attach brackets for the index cleco points.
Getting the door to sit exactly in the same spot I think is key to fitting the door without so much frustration.
I trimmed to just outside of the lines, and then sanded down to the edge of them with a small belt sander.
The first door (left) went well, it probably took 10-12 times off and on (just using the index clecos to hold it on) before it fit well all the way around.  Then I attached the hinges (with it clecoed using the index holes), but then found it still shifted some when it was only supported by the hinges.  I improved the process for the right door:
Right door:
Marked using edge finder. Cut and sanded until all the marker was gone.  Then test fitted.
After the first try the majority of the door fit nicely.  Mark where there is still overlap and sand some more.
To get a straighter line then just hand marking where I need to trim, I used masking tape edge to mark my sand-to lines.  Needed to take a little off the top and a few spots on the edge still.
View from the front at the 3rd try showing it still is up a little.
After 4 times (1.5 hr) the right door is fit well enough to put the hinges on.  Don't worry about perfect gaps yet, as I saw on the first door, it will shift a little with the mounting on hinges, and then again when the latches and seal is done.
Hinges were then installed.  I followed the instructions, but instead of using the reference line to make sure the hinges were on the same plane, I took a piece of angle aluminum, and cut the center section of one face out so that it could rest on the cabin top, but still have parts that would go down next to each hinge face.  So the 2 faces were exactly parrellel.  After drilling 1 hole in each hinge, then clamped the hinges to the angle to get them aligned, and then match drilled the other holes.  This was quick and precise.
Each door then needed a little additional trimming (sanded while still on hinges) to get them to fit.  They both shifted rearward a little (1/8 inch at bottom). 
After doors were hung found I needed to shim under both hinges (.050 stock used part of the insturment panel) to bring the door surface up to the cabin top.  19 hours total so far.