2005-03-20

7 hours

Today was the day I had to start the centre console plug. I can’t really get the inside of the plane finished now without having the centre console in place. So, here goes…. I’ve been procrastinating with this for a while, due to the amount of work it’s going to be, and the mess and fuss. I bought some 1/8″ MDF sheet from Orange Hell a few days ago so I was ready. I guess I better get it started then. Ugh.

I started with my CAD drawings I made and laid out each facet of the part and cut them out of the MDF on the band saw and sanded the edges smooth. I did both sides together (hence the clecoes) to ensure that the whole thing would be symmetrical. Here are all the parts for the sides laid out on the bench.

I spent some time messing around with all this stuff in the actual plane to make sure the fit was right. I think I’m happy now. Time to take all this stuff home and cut the wood to put it all together…

So, I cut a bunch of 2×4 into lengths of 3.75″ for the main part of the console, and some pieces 4.75″ for the area that interfaces with the fuel pump cover in the plane. The overall width of the console will be 4″, and the fuel pump area is 5″. Then I enlisted Lucy to come down and hold stuff while I cleco’d the whole thing together. Here’s the thing in progress.

Once I’d got all the pieces together for the main body, it was time to glue and screw. So far so good. I can’t believe how long this thing has taken me so far already. Once this plug is finished, I have to go and make a mould, then the final form! It’s going to take forever! Here’s the glued and screwed main section shown with the cleco’d  fuel pump section. I have to make pieces for the top, front and back of this thing now, but that needs to be done at the hangar on the bandsaw one night in the week. In the meantime, I should research and order up supplies for making the mould and then the form.

When working on Van’s stuff, the cup o’ tea must be in the Van’s mug!

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