August 31, 2009

Screen at last

Today was the single hardest day of the job so far and as I type this I’m feeling pretty whacked. Before I did anything I measured and re-measured the positions of the tube cut outs, especially the side tubes, and I then realised that even though I’d ‘adjusted’ them, the markings I’d made based on the old screen were not symetrically positioned, in fact nowhere near it. Clearly they ought to be, so I looked closely again at the old screen still in position on the pod, made a note of the exact adjustments that were necessary and re-marked them symetrically this time.

Eventually I had to take courage and start cutting and as it happens, the results in the end didn’t turn out too badly as the following pics show.

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Based on measurements, I made the nose tube cut out wider than I instinctively wanted to and my instinct proved to be right on this occasion, although it’s really only a matter of degree. I’m very pleased with the side tube cut outs which were not at all pretty originally. Now they are a nice tight fit without actually touching the tubes and I doubt I’ll need to put any ‘filler’ around them to take up the gaps. The left one I cut slightly longer than the right because there has to be a gap for the fuel tube to pass through.

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Unfortunately I had to cut most of the cable ties that I had put in place yesterday holding the wiring to the front tube and I also had to drop the panel down to jiggle the screen into place. Drilling out the holes to match those in the pod and panel was not difficult once I’d got everything exactly lined up, but fitting the nuts to to the plastic bolts that I used to secure the whole thing was very tricky and very tiring as I had to lie on my back inside the incredibly cramped cabin and grip the nuts while my son screwed the bolts up from outside. That’s what I mean about it being a hard day, as well as the difficulty of the job. It was bad enough getting in, but getting out was a nightmare 😕

The cabin is now beginning to look a treat and I’m very proud of the way it’s come on compared to how it was when I started. It all looks so much cleaner and brighter than it was and it’ll be nice to be flying in that environment.

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I didn’t get around today to re-securing the wiring with new cable ties so that’s one of the next jobs. I’ve also got to borrow another smaller tank cutter from my stepson to cut a hole through the screen for the lower vacuum fuel pump and after that I’ll be able to run the fuel system up to the engine. I couldn’t do anything about the door plastics this week-end because Bill Brooks was on holiday last week and P & M need to confirm with him exactly what rivets they need to supply for the doors. However, I couldn’t have got round to them even if I’d wanted to because my tank ran out at just about the same moment as time did. So they also go on the list for next time 😉