Upper shelf buildout

Well, at some point, it comes time to stop looking at devices mocked up on a shelf and actually start making some holes. I decided to make today that day for the upper shelf. This was mostly uneventful, just lining stuff up, drilling mount holes, and getting nutplates laid out. The one dumb mistake I made came while I was doing the mount holes for the Skyview backup battery mount – I’d unwisely left multiple drill bits lying around, and instead of grabbing the #21 for a #8 screw, I used the #12 for a #10 screw…so yeah, that’s now mounted extremely securely with four #10s.

With all the nutplates installed, it was time to add stiffeners. I’d been holding off on these until all the mount stuff was done, since they necessarily had to work around those nutplates. I decided to add two longitudinal stiffeners, roughly evenly spaced, plus another lateral stiffener right beside the CPI2 backup battery (the heaviest thing on this shelf by a good margin).

The stiffeners I made from some .032” sheet I bought a while back, using the cheap Harbor Freight bending brake I also bought a while back. This was a much nicer way to make this bent stuff than the hammer forming I’d been doing before. Then it was just time for more drilling, dimpling, and finally riveting. The finished product can be seen here:

Then I figured I ought to do a test mount of everything, you know, just to make sure it all fit up OK. Seems pretty decent:

Now I’ve just got to get this thing where it can be mounted in the fuselage. Just got to lay out a few more screw holes and get the matching holes and nutplates installed on the forward braces.

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