06 January 2014

Right Lower Console - Part II

Through out the last week, I had been planning for the weekend. I was really really looking forward to finishing "all" my panels.

In the middle of the week itself, I had realized that in the limited time that will be available to me, I won't be able to accomplish the task with manual tools. So, I decided to invest in a power saw. 

A little testing with the powered tool, and I realized that metal or wood cutting blades were not going to be very useful in cutting the plexiglass. Took advice of a friend, and purchased myself a "six-pack" of grinding blades. These blades are awesome. They cut through plexiglass like hot knife through a cake of butter.

Also realized, at some expense and wasted material, that while power tools are faster to work with, they also damage material equally fast. One has to really plan his cuts, to be able to accomplish reasonable level of finish. 

After the initial learning curve was over, by mid-Sunday, my daughter was equally comfortable using it, as I.

Cutting the big pieces was a lot easier, then shaping the small pieces. Most of the wastage happened in shaping the smaller pieces.

Finishing up the Right Lower Console. The black thick gauge paper is their to 'shape up the panel' in conformity with the actual airplane texture.
Two metallic pieces seen in the centre of the console are 'cut-out reinforcement'. Some switches (typically potmeters) were too thin, with smaller axles, that necessitated this arrangement.
The individual panel clusters are also beginning to shape up nicely.

Not all 'cuts' can be made with a power saw. A lot of work had to be done with a manual hacksaw. Rigged up a temporary 'jig' to hold small pieces in place, while I made the cuts. Each of the three restraining pieces are rearranged for different pieces. While, I was doing this, I thought, I must take a picture of this 'local arrangement'. Who knows, someone else might find it useful. :)
I'm fairly happy with the end result 

More than two and a half days of back breaking work. And all I could finish was all the panels for Right Lower Console and a few panels for other instrument consoles. 

I'm thinking this is just about 40% of work accomplished. At this pace of work, it will take me atleast two more weekends to just finish the panels. Phew!!!

Did I mention, I did test out this panels for night lighting also. I forgot, or maybe I was too tired, but the results are quite amaz

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