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Section 43 : Cabin Cover

Date Started 5/1/2012  
Date Complete7/14/12


Changes From Plans

 McMaster-Carr door seals

Final installation

posted Jul 17, 2012, 8:01 AM by Bill Thomasson

After overhead was installed and doors rough cut I installed the cabin cover and epoxied it in. (Before final door fitting so that I was sure the cabin top would not move or change).
Cabin cover floxed & bolted in place.  Then a layer of micro on top, followed by smooth prime.
Sanded and then painted.
Cabin top DONE! (Except for exterior finishing/painting)


posted Jun 14, 2012, 6:48 AM by Bill Thomasson

Cutting the windows was not bad at all.  I did wait until it was 85 degrees out, and moved the windows outside and let them sit for 1 hr before cutting to hopefully make them less prone to cracking.
I cut them with a roto-zip and the cutoff blades that came with the kit.  The hub hole was not big enough for the rotozip, so I had to drill out the hole in the center to get them on the roto-zip.
I cut on the lines provided, and then did a test fit.  It still overlapped on the top some.  I marked a new cut line by looking through the window and then trimmed it.  It then took 2-3 more tries to get it all nicely seated.  After the first cut I just used my belt sander to sand it down where it needed to be lower, and smoothed the entire edge out with the belt sander (100 grit).
Did the same for the rear windows.
Really starting to look like a plane with the windows on:
While the cabin top was off, I drilled the center support holes wider and inserted the bushings, and countersunk the screw holes.  I had been very careful to make the bushings exactly the right length.  This is not needed as you end up countersinking the top of them off.  I also made the bushings long enough to go through the Aerosport Carbonfiber overhead console.  Once this is glued on, it should actually help with the cabin top strength, so no reason for the bushings not to go through it as well.

Cabin top inside is done.

posted Jun 4, 2012, 7:50 AM by Bill Thomasson   [ updated Jun 4, 2012, 7:51 AM ]

I finished working the Mcmaster-carr door seal around the doors filled with epoxy-flox.
Applied a coat of UV-smooth primer.  Still had a few bumps and dips that showed up much better with the primer.
applied and sanded another coat of micro, and then of primer.
Sanded the final coat of primer with 120 grit instead of 60/80.  Looks good. Ready for painting, but need to hold  off until mounting overhead console.  Mounting of overhead console will involve gluing it with flox and then building a transition with micro.... and lots more sanding.
Cabin top is done except for final mounting, and cutting windows to size. Waiting on cutting the windows until it is hot out.

First Fiberglass work

posted May 21, 2012, 8:57 AM by Bill Thomasson

Tried my first fiberglass work.  Added 4 layers of cloth to the door frame on the inside to make up for the removal of the rain gutters (that was needed for the McMaster carr door seals).
After dry cut off the excess with tin snips, and then sanded down to flush.
Then applied micro that was mixed to penut butter consistancy.  After drying sanded down smooth until I could see at least some parts of the original fiberglass. (Don't want the micro too thick).  Only a few small areas then needed further touchup filling.
Then straightend the edge and made a good area for the door seal to fit by filling a section of the door seal material with flox (Epoxy and micro fibers mixed to a toothpaste consistancy)
After removing a nice square 3/16" edge for the door seal to sit on.
I still have to top of the door frames to do the edging process on, and one more light sanding needed, then I will be ready to apply some primer and see how it looks.

Countersink and more triming

posted May 14, 2012, 8:10 AM by Bill Thomasson

Countersunk all screw holes around doors and match drilled holes for screws in bottom of door.
Match drilled rivet backing strips and countersunk all holes for skin dimple.
Marked Door and window openings and sanded to 3/4 in. (fine tuneing).
Bottom of door is 7/8", sides of doors 3/4", and top of door is 1"+
Will start building up door edges and laying some more fiberglass to compensate for the gutter removal tonight.
8 hr spend on these tasks.

Trim and install cabin cover

posted May 7, 2012, 7:52 AM by Bill Thomasson

First fiberglass work. (Oh Joy)
First I cut a piece of wood so that it would exactly fit in the cabin door opening. As a quick and and accurate measuring stick.
By comparing the cabin top with the measuring stick it was clear that all the curved parts would have to be removed, and some of the thickness of the straight part.
Took the cabin top outside and with Daniel's help started cutting. In the door openings cut right up to the flange instead of at the scribe lines.  Then used a small belt sander with 60 grit to sand the bottom and sides of the door opening until flush.  This went quickly.
First test fit got it about 1/2 way down.
By the 3rd try we had it sitting on the door sills.
It took 2 more test fits to get if fully done.  Mainly those were getting the sides and rear done.  Make sure to test fit it with the rear cabin skin on , as this pushed it down and required a little more sanding along the sides. (2.5 hrs to get to this point)
Cutting the insides of the door.  This is needed to be done before mounting or you can't get the screws into the doorframe because of the overhanging lip.
Match drilled, starting with the top rear center and working forward.  It looks really good and is sitting flush to the aluminum skin.
Drilled screw holes around door frames.
Match drilled center support into top and forward structure.
This is now 11.5 hr into the cabin top.  After fit of windows will be ready for dissassembly and deburring, then final attach (after finishing work and aerosport overhead console).
So far the cutting and shaping has been no problem.  Will see when I have to start actually laying up fiberglass.

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