[September 2, 2008]

Wow...I can't believe its been over 2 months since I last worked on the canopy frame. Before it starts cooling off for the year, I decided it would be a good idea to finish up this canopy drilling/countersinking. Tonights plan was to attach the canopy side skirts. Before I can work on the skirts, I needed to put some #6 screws in to hold the canopy to the side frame. I can't leave the clecos in there because they would interfere with fitting the skirts. So, I countersunk the #30 holes to accommodate #6 screws. I know #6's don't fit into a #30 hole, so I spun the screws down a little in a screwdriver and used a file to take some of the threads off until they were a little less than 1/8" in diameter.

Speaking of countersinking the canopy, I bought two new #30 countersink bits - one of them a traditional 3 flute style, the other a "no hole" style. After testing both of them, the 3 flute is the way to go. The no hole bit left some NASTY chatter behind randomly. Instead of trying to "crack the code" on why it was misbehaving, I ditched the idea of using it and went with the new three flute.

I popped the modified screws into the canopy.

Here is a close up.

And I popped some nuts on the back. The nuts had no problem threading onto the trimmed down screws.

Next I laid out the drill holes on the side skirts. It took a while to get all my measurements just right.

Next I drilled the side skirts to the canopy frame.

Now the fun part - I squeezed inside the fuselage and from the inside, using the #30 holes in the frame without screws/nuts in them, I backdrilled the side skirts to #30.

I got out, removed the side skirts, removed the temporary screws, then clecoed it all back together.

Now I needed to crawl back inside to drill the remaining holes that previously had screws in them.

Finally, I trimmed the aft edge of the skirt to about 1/16" from the aft skin, as indicated in the directions. I repeated all of this for the left side and called it a night. Man I love working with aluminum more than fiberglass!!



Last Modified: August 13, 2023