Finishing Kit

July 26, 2011

Canopy Frame Final Assembly - 3.0 hrs.

This was a big day! I think all builders love riveting stuff together the most. It really feels good to be doing the final assembly and riveting of this canopy frame, leading up to the work ahead on the plexiglass canopy. Yesterday I fab'd the little wedgies that go under the forward half of the C-613 splice plates. Today, I get to put it all together. First was to figure out a way to back drill through the pilot holes in the C-613, through the wedge and through the bottom flange. I have my right-angle drill, but most of the bits I have for it are too long. I finally found a very short #30, as you can see below. It did the job. Then the usual job of taking it all apart, deburring all the holes, scuffing, cleaning and priming the little wedgies, countersinking the flange for flush rivets, and finally, riveting it all together.

Once that was done for both sides, I turned my attention to the aft part of the assembly. I drilled and clecoed the new F-704 splice plate to the top of the F-631A's. It will stay clecoed for now, with #40 holes, according to the plans. Then I riveted the side rails to the curved channel pieces. Finally, here's the completed canopy frame!

The gold clecos you see at the bottom of the F-631A's are pairs of holes drilled out to #12. They will eventually hold a latch that gets bolted on. But for now, this is ready to go back on the fuselage and I can finally start fitting the canopy! It looks like summer may FINALLY be coming our way. I've been wondering if we'll get one at all this year. Believe it or not, while most of the country swelters in summer heat, we've had only a small handful of days this whole year where the temperature has reached 80° or more. With the first of August nearly here, I feel like I'm finally ready to work on the canopy if/when it gets warm enough around here.

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