Finishing Kit

August 23-24, 2011

The Second "Big Cut" and More Canopy Trimming - 5.0 hrs.

Over these two days, I made the second "big cut" and then did some careful trimming and fitting work . This time it's on the replacement canopy. I really took my time on this cut and made sure I went carefully and didn't mess up. I didn't take any pictures of the process or any of the mess. It's nothing new. I was concentrating on doing it right. It went without any problems and I was relieved when it was done. I did, however, get a shot of my deburring work, using my vixen file. I described a while back how well this works, and I thought I'd include another shot. I just took the canopy out in the grass and went at it. The safest way to use this tool on the canopy is to pull it toward you. My thumb keeps it from slipping and scratching the canopy. This method works really well! You can also tilt the angle of the file to about 45° to deburr the sharp corner edges. I use the coarse side of the file at first, then for final smoothing switch to the finer teeth. It makes kind of a squeaking sound as you pull it and it cleans up the rough-cut plexi in no time.

Back in the shop, I'm finally attempting my first fitting of the canopy inside the ears on the canopy skin. As you can see, I had also trimmed the horizontal sides of the canopy. The fit was pretty good, but I had some big gaps under the plexi on the front. It wasn't settling down enough, so I had to trim a bit more on the canopy right where the ears are, so it would sit down a bit lower.

The vixen file made the perfect tool for this work. I could shave off very tiny amounts a little at a time, and test fit. Then go back and do some more, etc. Eventually, it settled down where it should be. Here's a closeup. It's looking pretty good here, but there are still some small gaps under some areas. You may also notice that I trimmed the ear on the skin. It's about 1/4" shorter, to match the frame behind the plexi and eventually match up with the side skirt as well. I have sort of rolled it inward, also, toward the canopy's curve so it fits closer and looks better. More work is needed here, but it's a start.

After a lot of work and fitting, it's looking pretty nice! I'm pleased that it's nearly fitting like a glove once again, inside the ears this time.

Here's a shot of the left side.

Looking pretty nice all around. Some very small gaps remain.

Here's one of the gaps under the canopy. It's hard to see in this picture, but it's right in the middle area.

Here's my working method: All the little red hash marks are where the canopy is touching the skin. This is where I need to remove a bit more material to help close the gaps that are to the right and the left. So I pull the canopy off, file at this spot and remove a micro amount of material, and then put it back to check the fit again. This has worked very well to get the exact fit I'm looking for.

At this point, I think I've done about all I can to get this canopy trimmed and fitted. This has been a big day.

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