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Old 05-12-2019, 07:57   #1
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Fill large hole from old electronics removal

Ive been watching various videos on fiberglass repair, but cant find something similar to what I want to do.

Im upgrading my chartplotter and displays and will be mounting them in pods so theyll be closer. Id rather not just screw in a piece of starboard to cover this, but wonder whats the best way to restore this.

Glass only? Plywood glassed over? Paint vs gel coat ?

I can remove this section and do the repairs at home.

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Old 05-12-2019, 08:34   #2
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

For large repairs like this I've started using this method. (NOTE: this is not really a structural way to do things but to cover up big holes like this I find it works for me)

Get a large piece of melamine covered MDF shelving and wax it. Then lay up enough glass and resin to get the thickness you want ( I usually use 3-4 layers of 1708 ) let it cure . Pop it free and then cut it to a similar size as the hole but with enough overlap to be able to grind a 8-1 or better bevel. Do the same thing on the opening and then epoxy the 2 together. This produces a nice flat patch that is easy to fare. Once all of this is epoxed on, you can go on the inside and add a strip of 1708 to the inside to really secure it . Much easier than trying to do all of this "free hand" Then you can gel coat the outside to match the rest. Gelcoat matching is the hardest part in my view.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:50   #3
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

The solution posted by pccm can result in a like new finish but I will add an easier option: make a lid out of fiberglass that fits like it is supposed to be there.

Use G10 fiberglass board 1/4 thick that you can get here: https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...berglass+Board

Use cardboard to make a template that not only fits right but looks great as well. Keep it 1/4 smaller than the outline and decide if it looks better when smaller.

Transfer the cardboard pattern to a piece of 1/2 plywood and sand the edge. This is the final template. Put it on top of the G10 and trace the outline. Cut the fiberglass but stay about 1/8 outside the line. Now use double sided tape and attach the fiberglass on top of the plywood template so that it overhangs about equal amount all around. Use a router with flush cut bit to follow the pattern and cut the G10. I would probably followup with a 1/4 radius round over bit.

For finishing I would sand, prime and paint. Making a lid helps with small color differences. Use a good 2-part paint like Awlgrip or Interlux perfection with their epoxy primers
G10 finish is so good that you wont need to do any fairing.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:42   #4
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

I make a cardboard template and get a piece of heavily tinted perspex cut with rounded edges. Looks good and is quick and easy.
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Old 05-12-2019, 14:17   #5
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

another option (which i have used) is get some carbon fiber plate (2-3mm) and use this to cover over the hole

make a feature out of it...and carbon always looks cool !

cheers,
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:12   #6
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

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another option (which i have used) is get some carbon fiber plate (2-3mm) and use this to cover over the hole
Agreed!
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:01   #7
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

Do it the easy way. Remove all the instruments, cover the old panel with a piece of starboard, then cut all new holes and remount.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:18   #8
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

A couple of other quick options:

If you like the idea of cutting "glass" window material be sure to use Lexan. It is stronger, more UV resistant, doesn't yellow or craze in the sun, less likely to crack.

Local engineering schools can cut this material on a laser cutter with perfect results.

A student could make up the drawing in minutes from a sketch if you don't have the ability to create a CAD drawing. This is easy stuff for someone with moderate experience.

You could create a really custom panel with offsets, lights, switches and an angled display using additive manufacturing. (generically known as 3D printing) You can even specify the surface texture.

Don't do this at home, go to a university or industrial shop which can work with a variety of materials and processes suitable for your application and budget.

The results that you see from home 3D printers is not representative of the current capabilities of high end industrial machines. Fortunately for you, many schools have the better equipment and love to give their students practical projects to work with at very low cost to you. Case Western, IIT, Purdue are a few of the schools with industrial quality processes and the students qualified to produce anything that you desire. Most of the planning, design and cost quoting can be done by email.

Met-L-Flo Inc. www.metlflo.com in Sugar Grove, IL is a perfect small industrial company for limited production runs and tremendous experience. They will work with you in any capacity that you need from consulting to fabrication. Carl Dekker is one of the pioneers in this industry. He is very friendly and capable. His shop is equipped with all the processes available at this time. They do amazing work.

Before you write off this idea, consider that many of the interior, non structural features of the modern airplanes are built using additive manufacturing do to the economics of limited production runs and the unlimited ability to modify the design.

You are only making one, but you can design what ever you want it to be and it will be accurately produced to with a fit within thousands of an inch of your specification. The current Computer Aided Drafting systems will give you a 3D preview of the print before you start building it, so you can tweek it to your heart's content without the old school risks of breathing fumes, getting full of dust or having a bad cure of resin. Being in your cockpit, a 3D printed panel will forever be a conversation piece as well.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:55   #9
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

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Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
another option (which i have used) is get some carbon fiber plate (2-3mm) and use this to cover over the hole

make a feature out of it...and carbon always looks cool !

cheers,
Remember if the plate is electrically conductive (ss, aluminium, or carbon fibre) the panel is supposed to be connected to RF ground (else you just made an antenna to mount your electronics near).
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Old 12-12-2019, 04:10   #10
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Fill large hole from old electronics removal

Lots of great ideas here! You can also just change it out with a Navpod for your new instruments. Not the cheapest option but they are nice. [ATTACH]
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Old 04-01-2020, 12:06   #11
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

I decided to go with Starboard and a nav pod Click image for larger version

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Id love to put the instruments and Starboard in with no mechanical fasteners, but that may not be the best solution on what Ive been reading.

Plan is for screws around perimeter and 4200 (sanding, acetone and running over sealed surface with blow torch) to seal it up. Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2020, 16:04   #12
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

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Originally Posted by ChristianBoston View Post
I decided to go with Starboard and a nav pod Attachment 206277Attachment 206278

Id love to put the instruments and Starboard in with no mechanical fasteners, but that may not be the best solution on what Ive been reading.

Plan is for screws around perimeter and 4200 (sanding, acetone and running over sealed surface with blow torch) to seal it up. Thoughts?

Thanks!
I recommend the screws as mechanical fasteners and Maine Sails butyl tape as sealant
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Old 04-01-2020, 19:23   #13
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

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I recommend the screws as mechanical fasteners and Maine Sails butyl tape as sealant


Easy enough as I have a bunch!
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Old 14-01-2020, 19:31   #14
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

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Old 15-01-2020, 07:27   #15
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Re: Fill large hole from old electronics removal

That looks great and skookum as h@ck
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