1ST QTR 2006           •   •   • 
01/01/06 2.5 846.2 Did some design work for a box that will attach to the back of the front seat. It will have a top face suitable for switches or circuitbreakers, and will have a case that will open to hold charts etc. Shown at right is the basic box, I still have to design the case that goes in the rectangular hole. Isometric view of seatbox design Flat pattern layout in PDF file
01/02/06 2.0 848.2 Removed the canopy so I could work on fitting the passenger headrest panel. I adjusted the angles of the flanges and then TIG welded the joints and corners up. I also filed them to shape. Corner welded and shaped with files Alignment of panels along longeron
01/03/06 2.5 850.7 Located and jigged the tabs to mount the headrest panel, then welded them in. I also welded in the rear instrument panel tabs. I then located and drilled the holes in the panels for the 10-32 bolts or screws to mount them. Tackwelding in the headrest panel mounting tabs Tab jigged in place for welding Rear instrument panel mounting tab welded Backside of headrest panel test mounted
01/19/06 1.0 852.2 Got some posterboard and used it to make a template for the instrument panel top cover by taping it into position and progressively marking and trimming it to size. Making template for the instrument panel cover Template done
01/20/06 1.5 853.7 I traced the posterboard outline onto some .050 6061-T6, then went over to Kens and cut out the cover. I used the slip-rolls to get it rolled into the basic diameter needed.
01/26/06 2.5 856.2 With a tie-down strap holding the cover tight against the panels, I positioned the cover and drilled two #40 holes for clecos in the center of the arc. I then spaced out the holes 3" on the back panel and 3.1" spacing on the front cover and installed silver clecos. I then used a sharpie pen to mark where to trim the panel, and did so. Cover cut to rough shape, rolled and clecoed into center position Strap holds cover down tight against panels
Rare action photo with aft tail rest facility shown #40 silver clecos installed except where strut bracket goes
01/27/06 1.0 857.2 Went over to Ken's and bent the flanges in the outer edges of the cover. Ken bending flanges in the power brake Flanges bent Corner detail
01/30/06 4.0 861.2 Drilled, clecoed and then installed 6-32 nutplates on the Garmin 296 bracket. It will attach to the panel with instrument screws. Worked on fitting the cover, but eventually did a canopy test fit. Arghhh! The front panel is too wide and tall. I thought I had enough room, but didn't test the canopy in the forward locked position until tonight, assuming it slid parallel to the longerons. Its obvious now that the gap between the canopy and the instrument panels is tightest when its forward and locked. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, and I hate learning this way. GPS bracket ready for 6-32 nutplates
01/31/06 6.0 867.2 I decided to make a new headrest panel, figuring it needed to be about 3/16" narrower on both sides, and profile down lower about the same amount at the ends too. I cut and reshaped my oak form block, then pounded out a new panel. I then took it over to Kens and put the two vertical bends in it. I was going to make a new top cover, but Ken suggested I flatten the flanges and re-bend them. I was able to flatten the flanges using a polished rivet bucking bar and a smooth surface ground piece of steel plate to keep from putting marks in the cover. I then annealed the bend area to keep it from cracking on the next bend. I then discovered that the cover fits the new panel differently, putting the outer holes in the cover too close to the edge of the new panel, so I welded them up. New headrest panel and re-flattened top cover
New headrest panel compared to old
02/01/06 2.0 869.2 Drilled and clecoed the new holes in the top cover, and trimmed it to fit the panels better. I then took it over to Kens and re-bent the edge flanges. Yea! The canopy will now close over my sheetmetal work. Here's the updated drawing for hammerforms to make panels that work.  Top cover holes welded and ready to be re-drilled New flanges bent and canopy now closes!!!
02/07/06 2.5 871.7 Spent a lot of time trying to get the canopy damper strut and mount for it figured out. I have determined that my sheetmetal must be slightly wider than a Kimball fuselage probably because I put my side formers on a little differently. Thus my canopy cannot open quite as much before the skirt hits the aluminum side panels. I shortened the ball joint sockets on the strut to shorten it as much as I dared but still could not get the strut to work. Canopy and hinge geometry makes the strut reach its minimum length about 1/3 open, and if I put the strut bracket in a position where the canopy will close, it then allows the canopy to open way too much and hit the sheetmetal. I need a strut that doesn't extend quite so much! Looking at pics of N80XP I think they had the same problem and solved it with a cable limiting the travel of the strut and canopy, but tomorrow I will go over to Kens and see if we can cut the strut down on the lathe, and then re-thread the end with a M6x1 die. Desired canopy skirt clearance
Canopy fully open with strut extended
Canopy closing - strut collapsed
02/08/06 3.0 874.7 Went over to Kens and made the strut about .570 shorter than it was before. Came home and figured out where to mount the bracket on the panel. I then made a small doubler plate to put between the nutplates and the instrument panel flange. I then put the nutplates in. After testing it in its new mount I decided to order another strut, when I get it I will cut it down more so I can leave the ball joints with more material. I am concerned I have taken too much material off these ones in my first attempts to fit it. Cutting the strut rod down Using a Metric M6x1.00 die to make threads Doubler plate and holes for nutplates
Nutplates installed for strut mount and one cover screw Strut and bracket mounted Canopy skirt clearance
02/15/06 1.0 875.7 I got my new strut and determined that it was possible to shorten the strut in the lathe and not modify the balljoints whatsoever. Another trip over to Kens and I made the shaft 1.15" shorter which gives the strut a 3.0" stroke since it collapses all the way to the balljoint base.  See drawing Of Modified Strut
03/08/06 1.5 877.2 Life intervenes again! I find myself involved in another home improvement project, this time my office. I'm emptying it out for hardwood floor, built-in cabinets and countertops so it will look as nice as the rest of the house. I don't know why my wife can't stand my office, I know EXACTLY where everything is. Anyway, I needed to figure out how to narrow the EIS display boxes so I can fit stuff closer to them in the panels. So I took them apart for investigation and decided I could install nutplates just inside the cover, then trim off the mounting flange extending outside the cover. Office "Before" picture
03/08/06 3.5 880.7 Since I will be mounting my EIS boxes behind my panels I had pulled off the decorative faceplates so I could use one as a template to keep them on identical screw patterns. Note that I always kept one EIS assembled so I could see how to put the other back together! I also put masking tape over the display screen to keep it from getting scratched while drilling etc. After installing the 6-32 nutplates, I had to do some minor trimming of material from the back covers to allow them to fit tight without hitting the nutplates or rivet shop heads. Using the faceplate as a template I drilled holes and test mounted the EIS. Looks good and won't hit my GPS bracket now. Nutplates done on first EIS Narrowed EIS compared
A handy drill jig Rear view of mounted EIS
QTR TOTAL 36.5  
 1ST QTR 2006           •   •   •