December 18, 2009

The F-782C Cover, continued - Stick Boot Rings - 5.5 hrs.

With the primer on the F-782C cover dry, I got busy today and riveted things together. I started by riveting the heat baffle to the cover. Easy, fun stuff. I had to use my rivet gun on one of these rivets, but I was able to squeeze the rest.

I riveted the nutplates to the cover as well. Here's a shot from the front side:

Then, I set this aside and started work on the stick boot rings. Holy cow, these things are a lot of work! Believe it or not. The drawings show tons of details about how to fabricate these, dimensions between holes, and so on. I thought there might be an easier way to accurately make them. I started out by cutting the sheet of .032 to the width and length, and then clamped and bent it at the specified bend line. I laid it on top of the forward seat cover to check the bend angle and get a good fit. When the bend was just right, I used my big unibit to drill a large hole near each corner, large enough for my clamp to reach through. Then I was able to clamp the piece tightly to the opening and backdrill through the seat cover for all the holes. A #30 bit fits right through the existing nutplates without harming them to drill those holes. They were enlarged to #19 later, after the piece was taken off for deburring, etc.

With the piece drilled and clecoed to the seat cover, you can remove the clamps. Then mark the cutout by tracing carefully around the inside of the existing opening in the seat cover. Then, I took the piece off and carefully drilled a 1/2" hole for each corner radius.

The picture above shows how the clamps reach through the larger holes. It was easy to accurately back-drill all the holes from this point. Then you remove the clamps and trace the piece for the cutout. This picture also shows the corner holes drilled for the corner radius.

Then I re-traced the piece one more time before starting the cutouts.

I don't know what ever made me think this would be a good idea. I clamped the piece to my workbench and inserted a hacksaw blade through it, then put the hacksaw back together and proceeded to cut out the opening. Bad idea! Although there was no harm and eventually I got a good piece out of this, it was a big hassle, lots of work fighting it, and just not the best choice of tools. I did the second one using my die grinder and a cutoff wheel, and it went like a breeze. This was followed by a ton of filing, smoothing, deburring, and so on until I had a perfect fit and finish.

When I had both of them to this point, I scuffed and cleaned them up, and shot a coat of primer on them. Tomorrow I should be able to do a big batch of top-coating on all these cabin covers.

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