Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Racing winter

Now that Oshkosh is over, the heat is on to beat the cold. All year, I've wanted to get all the canopy work on my RV-7A done while it is still warm enough to cut and shape it without significant danger of ruining it. I made the "big cut" before Oshkosh but haven't done anything since. Of course, there was this matter of a bridge falling down that caused me to divert my attention to other pursuits. And last Thursday night, my youngest son was mugged as he walked home from dinner by 4 guys (he was with my other son and their roommate) and he lost all of his memory back to April and his brain was data-dumping all but the last 20 seconds (think of "10-second Tom" in "50 First Dates."). It was very scary. He'd see the bridge collapse video in the hospital and get shocked each time he'd see it. Being an EMT, he kept trying to leave to be with his crew at the bridge site (we had to tell him it happened several days ago every 2 minutes). Anyway, very frightening but fortunately he's out of the hospital now and seems to have his memory back.

So last night, when the temperature hit 94 during the day, I eschewed the "National Night Out" block party on my street and trimmed the sides of the canopy to fit. The dimensions, as near as I can tell, came out fine.

As usual, though, I have some questions:

Fitting the side of the canopy through the "ears" at the forward end of side rails, it seems to fit fine, thanks to some hole-elongation techniques I learned on the Dignity Web site.

But there is now a very slight gap as it curves in toward the center...

I'm thinking that if take a sliver out of the very corner (right after it passes through the "ears"), I can eliminate that gap. But I'm not sure. I can also push lightly down with my finger and remove it, so I'm also thinking when I put the "clips" on, it will suffice. What say you?

In looking at the sides, the canopy wants to bow out. Is this normal? A strip of duct tape won't hold it against the sides for more than a few minutes and it takes less pressure to hug it tight to the side as you go front to rear, but it requires a pretty good force around the ears to keep it tight. Is that normal? Does this present a stress problem when I drill here?

Here's a shot looking from the front back to the "ears" on the side. Sorry about the blurriness.

And here's the side looking toward the front...

All advice cheerfully considered.

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