Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Big Cut

I've read so many builder sites about "the big cut," the one where you slice the canopy in two and create a rear window and a tip-up-canopy, and everyone said when it was done that it was "no big deal." But you know what? It is a big deal, a very big deal and while might went very well in today's 90+ heat, I'm not ready to say the reason it went well is in spite of the plodding effort I've given it to now. Who knows? Maybe that extra strip of duct tape is whey it didn't crack?

In any event, I got up this morning and it was already 80 degrees so I knew there'd be no waiting for the garage to heat up, it was already an oven. I put on some more Duct-tape strengtheners (strips to hold the edges together, and I also put strips in to keep either side from falling off the sawhorses when it was finally cut.




And I started cutting. Now that this here is a straight cut...




...and it went pretty much perfectly. I got down very close -- probably way too close -- to the cutting wheel to be sure I was dead on. Pices of hot plastic were pelting my face and while I should've had goggles, I didn't. I used safety glasses. The picture above is my "fix" to prevent the bounding plastic from getting behind the glasses and into my eyes.

As has become my custom, I overdid it on the precautions (or maybe it went well because I overdid it!). Van's said to use duct tape to keep the halves together every foot or so. I did it it about every two inches...



When done, I just pulled the two apart and finished the edges to a 600 grit stage. Look at this beautiful edge!



My garage has really become a disaster since I started doing the canopy work. So after placing the two back on the fuselage, I gave the place a good cleaning and hosed it out, just as storms and much cooler temperatures came through.

I guess I cut just in the nick of time.

Our Daily Thread: Why it's this one on the Yahoogroup site. Some good pointers on what is done next, and a notice about a common mistake made in assembling the canopy frame.

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