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REFLECTOR: Re: Window Installation

At 03:04 PM 9/1/98 +0100, Simon Aegerter wrote:
>Now comes the hard part. I used a diamond disk on a Dremel tool to cut
>along the tape about 3/32" deep into the window. 
I tried this, but had a hard time controlling the depth of the cut.  So, I
just started grinding away with my Dremel bit (see below), staying close to
the razor knife-edge line, and when the ledge starts to get some depth to
it, I can start easing in towards this line.  Don't try to grind right up
to the knife-line immediately; this will make sense to you once you start
doing it.  Remember, this is different from Simon's method, where he
creates a 3/32" deep cut-line right from the get-go.

>Next, with a 40 grit disc (2"dia) on the pneumatic angle grinder I cut the
notch that would
>eventually take up the outer skin. 
I have done 2 rear windows so far, with good results (so far!!).  I tried
the small grinding disc, and found it hard to control the motion of the
tool (Simon must have a steadier hand than I do).  I experimented with
several methods, and found that my Dremel tool with a router bit, used on
its side (not on-end) works very well at grinding away the plexiglas ledge.
 The router bit has a very nice cutting surface used on its side; and the
tool bit does not "blind" while cutting.  It does create a lot of very fine
plexiglas "filings".

>It is impossible (at least for me) to get the window exactly flush all
Amen and amen.  I spend several hours per window, moving around the
perimeter of the window many times.  The ledge gets deeper and deeper.
When it's about 1/32 deep, I can start fitting it in the fuselage window
hole.  I have to stop and rest OFTEN; otherwise, I might start making

Make sure all of the blue foam is removed from the inside surface of the
outside skin.  Get it clean, but don't sand thru the skin!  Patience,

>I found the wedge method not very handy. They tend to delaminate the inner
I use the wooden wedges; I don't jam them in very hard during the initial
fittings, so I haven't seen the fuselage skin delaminate, yet.  But, I am
careful when trying to make the window conform to the shape of the
fuselage.  I insert the wood wedges the same way you install lug nuts on
your car wheels; go diagonally back and forth, and gradually the window and
skin come together, with a little bit of "light" pushing.  [If the skin
starts to delaminate, I'll use clecos].

>It's really worth the effort; the finished product looks very neat and
>people keep asking "how on earth did you do it?" The answer, of course is:
>"very carefully!"
Very carefully!  The first window I did (copilot rear) really tried my
patience, but now I know: (1) it can be done, and (2) how to do it.  So, I
will whittle away at the remaining windows knowing there is a good-looking
end product in sight!

POSTSCRIPT:  If you elect to have Malcolm at Hangar 18 do this for you,
what he does for what he charges is worth every penny.  It's like getting
the molded wings from Alan Shaw; worth every penny, but you decide how to
spend those pennies!  Good luck.   

Pete Beaty
RG-E std wing