I finally finished painting the instrument panel. I kept having problems with orange peel in the paint as well as dust and debris since I don’t have a paint booth. I mostly fixed the orange peel problem by switching from my cheap Harbor Freight spray gun to my nice Fuji HVLP spray gun. It’s not perfect, but it looks great. After it cures, I can label it and spray a clear coat over it to protect the labels. The scrap piece in the upper left is so that I can try different label colors to see which is easiest to read.
Our developer conference is over. It was an exhausting week with sessions and labs all week and eating and drinking until the wee hours each night. I’m exhausted, but I’d like to try and get the panel installed this weekend. In order to finish up the paint tomorrow, I needed to get the engine control bracket primed tonight. I also primed a piece of scrap aluminum flashing that I’m going to paint and use as a test for installing some labels.
Since the headset jack brackets have now been painted, I installed the headset jacks for good.
I got back the engine control bracket from the welder. I’m using the bracket from Experimental Air, but I took about 1/2″ off the top to give myself a little more knee room. This required having a welder attach a new top plate so that it could be screwed to the bottom of the panel.
I used three screws to attach the bracket. The one in the middle required a hole in the bottom flange to allow me to use a straight screwdriver to access this screw.
I installed nutplates on the bottom flange of the instrument panel. I was a little concerned that the one on the left would interfere with the switches, but there’s over 1/4″ of clearance.
After sanding the instrument panel with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out a few rough spots, I shot it with the same paint that matches my leather. I *think* I’m going to have to sand this a bit and shoot another top coat, but we’ll see tomorrow. You can see in the lower right of the picture that I also painted all of the screws that will be visible on the panel.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I primed the instrument panel tonight. I applied a little filler last night and first had to sand it smooth.
I’m working seven days a week now, but I took a break in the evening to work on the plane a bit.
My pneumatic squeezer’s adjustable set holder snapped at the base of the threaded section. I’m going to call Isham and see if I can get this replaced as this shouldn’t have happened.