Sunday, March 4, 2012

Instrument Panel 0412484 Finished

 I don't have an instrument hole punch and couldn't find one to borrow so I used the jig saw to cut out the holes.  It was slow but cheap.  To make a slot for inserting the blade to start the cut I just punched 1/8" holes 3/32" apart.  It's very easy to do with the Whitney punch but hard to do with a drill.  The drill but wants to wander into the adjacent hole.
 With the holes sawed out, the next thing was to smooth and more perfectly round the holes.  The drum sander on the Shopsmith works great for this.  I have a 2" drum which is head with the drill check for the 2-1/4" holes.
With all the edges de-burred it's ready for primer and paint.  When the paints dry the instruments and lights can be mounted.  I have to repair the original cover but it should be usable.  I like it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Instrument Panel 0412484

 The instrument panel is made of 1/8" aluminum and shock mounted to the frame.  I had the remains of 2 original panes, neither of which was worth using or repairing.  The easy solution was to just make a new one.  I have no interest in instrument flying so I chose to go back to just basic instruments in the original arrangement.  With the parts manual and the owners manual it was easy to figure out which holes in these parts were original and what had been added or modified.
Before I drew the new panel on the aluminum I made a CAD drawing to work out the dimensions without wasting expensive aluminum.
 This is the original arrangement of the instruments.

 Some measurements were needed to create this drawing.  Small hole sizes are easy to measure with a set of drills to use  The larger holes are measured and located by scanning the parts and bringing the scan into the CAD file. Scale the image based on the length and width which are easy to measure and just draw over the image.  Knowing things were done to fractions of an inch makes resolving exact measurements easy.
The outline is cut and the small holes punched or drilled.  The biggest holes I could punch in .125" 2024-T3 were 5/32" diameter.  Even those were hard.  The holes for the lights were punched 1/8" and drilled to 7/16" with a #5 center drill.  There are some 9/64" and 11/64" holes.  I just punched them one size smaller and used the drill press to finish drill them to size.
Now I just need to cut the instrument holes.  I don't have a cutter for this so I'll just have to use the jig saw on the Shopsmith