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Old 11-01-2006, 09:26 AM   #15
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oversized holes a MUST

Nice looking guard! Lexan is used for many cockpits in experimental aircraft. It is very strong. When installing lexan you need to oversize the holes to allow for movement of the lexan. It is sensitive to temp change and expands and contracts. I have replaced a number of cockpit door lexan panels that were not installed correctly. You will get lots of spider cracks at each hole you drill if you do not oversize the hole. Jigsaws work well as do aircraft snips for cutting. A surform plane will clean up the edges nice and quick. Then follow up with 80 grit in any area that might be exposed to human contact. The best product I have found is Brillianize available from TAP plastics, for cleaning. Pledge also works.It's really nice to see some great work being done out there.
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:46 PM   #16
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Questions

Doorgunner (and others),

My PO had a new lexan rock-guard installed. The crew he hired to polish the skin spilled something on it that "melted" the surface. Anything that you know of that might smooth/polish it out?

Also, when doing woodwork, I often put down some masking tape to avoid splintering the edges. Would there be any benefit to doing that with lexan?

How did your front sofa arrangement turn out? I saw the removal at the rally, was just wondering.
Dave
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:26 PM   #17
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Dave; Thanks for helping remove the gaucho. As far as the melted area - without seeing it I suggest you put a sticker over the wound! I usually mark my cut edge with a marker - use aviation snips to cut close to the line then finnish up with the sureform plane. Lexan is quite easy to work with but the edges left unsmoothed can bite you. As far as the front room goes not much is happening. I've just located a few very new products that look just like the carbon fiber I was planning on using. This makes me happy as aluminum and carbon don't really like each other all that much. I'll start a thread on this when I get started! And don't forget to debur the holes you drill in the lexan!!
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:00 AM   #18
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Good tips, thanks.
Dave
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:14 AM   #19
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Gunner, thanx for the tips-I did not oversize the holes,but if you have ever seen a 71 frame-is very flexible-am hoping that it will expand or contract with the lexan! I will watch them closely-As you can see my lexan is only slightly tinted [its all they had]-I wonder if something could be added to the underside to make it alittle darker?--thanx--jim
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:35 AM   #20
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just keep watching it! Seein as you never leave the dirt no one will get hurt!!I kinda like the lighter shade, makes for a brighter winter day. Hey maybe you should have a winter and a summer sheild. Have fun Tim
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:51 AM   #21
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Safari Rock Guard

Just bought a '72 Safari yesterday and sadly it doesn't have the rock guard. This lexan solution looks great, all I need is a frame. Does anyone out there have one they would be willing to give up?? If so, please PM with info.

Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2006, 12:44 PM   #22
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What?? tinbenders can't bend aluminum??
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:39 PM   #23
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Rock Guard Frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner
What?? tinbenders can't bend aluminum??
Yeah, this bender can but I thought for once I would make it just a little easier on myself since I have higher priority items to take care of on my new project. Interior panels to pull and magic to work on a misaligned entry door before it rains again.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:47 AM   #24
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tinbender-I would bet there are plenty of em around-most are afraid to use em cause they are so flexible-[the original plastic was moulded and added strenght to the frame]-But it appears that all is well if you use 1/4" lexan-at least mine is traveling well--try a new post requesting one-I'll bet someone has one for you--good luck----jim
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:20 AM   #25
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tube frame

Tinbender- just having fun- another thought, Most of the window frames on the small experimental airplanes are formed with 3/8" .032 6061T6 Alu. Some anodized some not.Good for 130 mph.Will send a few images if you request em. Nothin beats a pair of cheap sunglasses! Tim
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:16 PM   #26
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Lexan cracks, tube framing

Just some info for others to copy or whatever. Ideas ideas ideas
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:42 PM   #27
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Wow, thanks for the tips. I think I'll try and tackle this one over the winter, have nice new cover by spring.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:48 AM   #28
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Smile Re-built Rock Guard

While this is an older thread, I am reviving it to post some pics of my rock guard rebuild--with much thanks to Jim for showing that it could be done! Judging from his photos, my workmanship is not to Jim's standards but I was in a hurry get on the road last summer (and also had to build a new battery box).

I used 1/8 inch polycarbonate--shop carefully as I found a sign shop to be double the price of a plastics dealer! As noted in a previous post, the frame is very wobbly without the plastic, and they rely on each other for strength. I didn't have a rivet puller when I started, so I went to the 'big orange box' for stainless screws and nuts. Yikes, retail stainless is such a ripoff, so lesson learned. I then bought the rivet puller as I was finishing this project.

I trial fitted the polycarbonate into the frame and drilled and countersunk the holes (for the screws). Then I removed the plastic from the frame to clean out the shavings. That ended up being a lot of work, as everything had to be lined-up and clamped again. In the end, it worked out well. I flipped the brace bracket around as Jim suggested, and had to make stand-offs for the bottom of the frame. I used my new rivet puller to attach those! While trying to bend the stand-offs in the vise, they kept cracking at the bend, and I ran short of aluminum flat bar, so I had to cobble together one of the stand-offs (note the double rivets in one of the photos). I wasn't able to put as much curve in the dividers to allow for brace clearance as Jim did, so my stand-offs had to be a bit deeper to keep the braces away from the window frames when closed.

I hope someone else can benefit from the photos--good luck. And thanks Jim!!
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