Finishing Kit

March 17, 2012

The Glare Shield - 4.5 hrs.

Now that I have the canopy latch installed, it's time to focus on wrapping up some things that MUST be done before glueing the canopy in place on the frame. It would be extremely difficult to work on the glare shield once the canopy is in place, so it should be done beforehand. Access is totally open at this point, so it's a no-brainer to do it now. A while back I primed this area, not sure how I was going to finish it. Then I decided to cover it in a nice flat black vinyl that Cleveland Tools sells. So I ordered a piece from them. Now the task is to figure out how to cut and fit it. A piece of wax paper worked perfect for this task, to make a template. Tape it in place, and you can easily see through it to mark where it needs to be trimmed.

The trimmed piece of wax paper is now taped to the vinyl, and the vinyl cut to shape. This worked real well.

Now the vinyl is taped in place on the glare shield to check for final fit. My first idea was to wrap it around the edge of the aluminum and cut it to fit the underneath side.

But the more I look at the underneath side, the more it bugs me that there is this ugly gap between the skin and the tubing on the frame. So I decided to fill it in. I mixed up some West Systems epoxy using some black dye and some colloidal silica thickener. Below, I have it all masked off ready to apply the filler.

Not easy to see in this light, but after unmasking, this is the result. This will be lightly sanded and painted to match the rest of the interior. Looks MUCH better! This is the forward side on the right.

Here, my flash was turned on, and it illuminates the work much better. A light sanding and paint will clean this up. Not only does it look nicer, but it really helps solidify this area where the skin doesn't touch the underlying tubing.

This is the aft side of the same area, showing the other side of the bead that was applied here. My plan is to fold the vinyl around the edge of the skin and cover this area with the vinyl and run it back to the tubing so this won't even be seen.

With the epoxy in place and the masking removed, it's time to wait for it to cure for final sanding. A light touchup should be all that's needed, followed by some paint.

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