Monday, December 30, 2019

More Doors

The past few weeks have been dedicated to working on the door fit and the instrument panel.  I used my CNC to do some test cuts of the inserts for the instrument panel and found that there is a small error in the conversion from the Solidworks export DXF to the import process in Cambam (the GCode tool I use).  Turns out that everything I cut is just a bit over-sized.  So I took on the task of learning the Solidworks CAM solution.  It was a bit of a steep learning curve but I finally managed to get it working.  However....on my first test cut the controller board for my CNC failed.  I think it was in the USB connector but regardless it has become intermittent which is a problem.  Bottom line is I ordered some new parts for the CNC and will be making some upgrades to it soon.

Regarding the doors, I've been working on getting the seals to fit properly.  Once I felt they were about right I worked on the spacing between the doors and the cabin top.  Still lots of work to do but here is what I have so far.

This is the pilot side of the panel.  This is the insert that I cut that allowed me to discover the size difference in the DXF conversion process.  I had to do some significant edge sanding to get this one to fit properly.  I may have to do more since the paint will take up some room.  I'm considering having this anodized instead of painting but need to find a good local shop.

Passenger side door gap after inserting the foam spacer (seal), applying micro liberally on both sides of the foam, and then sanding the micro and foam spacer down to create an even transition.  In this picture the foam has not yet been removed.

Side view of same door as picture above.

In this picture the door on the right side of the photo still has the 1/8" rubber seal in place, the left side has been removed.  To open the door at this stage I had to use a razor knife to cut through the seal all the way around the door.  Then I could get the door open but had to remove the seal from both the door and the cabin top.  Both proved to be harder than I would have liked.

In this picture you can see the seam between the cabin top and the fuselage.  I sanded and then filled the small gap with micro/epoxy filler.

The door gap came out pretty nice by using some 1/8" rubber gasket material.  If I were going to do it again I don't think I would use the same stuff since it was a real bugger to remove.  The sticky side was up against the door and the plain rubber side was against the cabin top.  Turns out that epoxy loves that plain rubber and stuck like crazy.  I had to actually sand the gasket material off of the cabin side.