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[February 7, 2008]


I fell asleep tonight veggin' out on the couch and totally killed the time I wanted to work on the project. After a late start, I got the canopy frame out and the top skin and clecoed it to the match drilled holes. One thing I was going to do is flute the forward channel of the canopy frame. I am really glad I didn't, because the holes in the skin aren't straight either. I guess Van's tossed us RV builders a freebee.


Next I clecoed the bad the canopy pivots on to the forward channel. I did this to pull the aft tube to where it will sit when everything is riveted together. That way, when I drill the aft tube it will be more or less dead on.


After an initial fit, I noticed this weld was interfering.


Also, the last two holes on each side are WAY off - like 1/4" between the skin and the tube.


Here's another shot. After checking the usual web builders log, this problem is pretty common. Some people make 1/4" spacers and others fill these holes with rivets to nowhere. The problem with the spacer is I don't think a CS4-4 pop rivet will go through 1/4" piece of metal and then into the tubing.


Here is the weld in question.


After some filing it sits a lot better.


I got the drill stop out and set it to not drill through the tubing. You start with a #40 drill for pretty much everything on the canopy frame. Once it is all setup and you are happy, all the holes go to a #30.


The fit with the weld filed down. MUCH better now.


I started drilling from the center and worked myself left first. All well. When I went to the right, I notice the centerline I drew on the tube was sloping 1/32 - 1/16" off center. To fix this, I used a block of wood and beat the tubing down a little. That fixed the problem right up.


Here are the two holes that are too far off the tube to work. There is 13/64" and 1/4" gaps between the top of the skin and the tube below.


I tried putting the frame onto the fuse and the tungs didn't want to fit into the fuselage at all. Mike is not happy. I'm calling it a night, this thing is pretty screwed up.

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