Finishing Kit

July 29-30, 2011

Canopy Prep - Fabricating Tail Stand - 4.0 hrs.

Yesterday and today, my time was split between some canopy prep and fabricating a tail stand. I started on the canopy prep, by pulling back the vinyl tape that's on the surface to expose the bare plexi underneath. The idea, as I've learned from other builders, is to leave the protective tape on the plexi, but put masking tape down that you will cut through. This will hold the protective vinyl on the canopy while giving you something to draw a line on and cut through, and not risk the protective tape coming up while you work and having dust and chips from the cutting process get underneath the tape. I hope that makes sense.

Here's my taping job. I pulled the vinyl up and cut it off roughly where I plan on making my first cut, then put the masking tape down.

It took me a while to get all the way around the canopy. This is more tedious than meets the eye, but not difficult.

Now the canopy is ready for my first cut! However, as I discussed yesterday, I need a pair of sawhorses or something similar to put the canopy on during all the work coming ahead. I found one sawhorse out in my shed, and realized that the other one of the pair that I knew I had is right here under my nose. Many months ago I put it under the tail of the plane as a temporary support, and it's been there ever since. Now that I need it, I'm forced to make a decision. Do I make or get another one, or make a more suitable stand for the tail of the plane and re-claim my sawhorse? I decided to make the stand.

I found some scrap 2 x 6's and a 2 x 4, and a piece of seatbelt webbing. That's all this is. I wanted to make sure it was wide enough and long enough to resist tipping over. I'm real happy with this. It's much easier to walk around, too.

Here's a shot from the rear, showing the seatbelt webbing that cradles the tail of the plane. I can slide this as much as 2 feet forward if I need to during any work on the very tail end.

Now, I can honestly say that I am FINALLY ready to make that first cut!

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