Monday, June 17, 2019

Cabin Top

This week has been all about the cabin top initial fitting.  Travis helped me get it down from the overhead last week and its been a dusty several hours since then.  The good news is the top is on and fitted with most of the holes drilled.  I still have to drill the center support post but once thats done it will be time to remove it for lots of upgrades/modifications.  I'm glad to get this part of the project almost done because of the magnitude of fiberglass to be worked.  I don't really mind working with fiberglass but with the size of this piece it made it much harder to move around.  Not only that but I cut my hands several times on sharp edges trying to manhandle the darn thing.

Next up is to fit and install the overhead console.  Then there is a huge list of tasks that I want to get done before I do the final install.  These final steps include riveting the last two skins on and I think I want to take advantage of the access to install wiring, brackets, nut plates, firewall stuff, you get the idea.

One thing you will probably notice is that I moved the airplane into the main part of the garage.  I just didn't have room in the small bay to work on the cabin top.  I may take down the temporary wall at this time but I'm not sure that now is the right time.  I don't like leaving any of our cars in the driveway more than necessary, especially during the hot summer months.

First, or second, or third attempt at getting it to fit.  There was a LOT of cutting and sanding to get it to this stage.  You may notice that at this time the top didn't quite sit down against the fuselage.

Getting closer....

Ok, it fits, now its time to cleco the rear skin on so it can be drilled.  This took at least three more on/off cycles to get the fit just right.

All edges drilled for riveting.  

Look at all the dust and debris in there!  Just a small sample, believe me!
Countersunk screw holes for bolting the forward half of the cabin top to the airframe.

"When it starts to looks like an airplane you are half way done"...well its starting to look like an airplane.  :-)