Canopy Drilling

Time: 3 Hours

Now that I had the jig built it was time to get the canopy drilled. First up was to clamp the canopy down to check the fit and alignment. 

I was happy with the fit so far and removed the clamps and the canopy from the frame. I needed to mark the frame for all the hole positions. Before I did that I placed a layer of white electrical tape along the frame where the canopy comes in contact with the frame. What this does is allows me to see right where the canopy touches the frame and that’s where I need to drill. 

Then I carefully laid out the drill marks on the frame/tape. 

With all the marks on the tape I returned the canopy to the frame. As you squeeze the canopy to the frame you can see the thin line that is created between the canopy and tape. 

So now the fun part…drilling this expensive fragile peice of plastic. I grabbed a few new #40 drill bits and my drill and started at the aft end working my way forward on both sides. I drilled through the canopy and into the frame below. These hole will later get enlarged to a #30 hole for the skirt fitting. I clecko’ed every hole as I went along. I just took a deep breathe and took my time. It really wasn’t too bad just stressful. 

Whew another big step on the canopy done. Now I could final trim the canopy since I had the holes drilled. I borrowed Glenn’s canopy cradles, they allow the canopy to rest upside down on the work bench, so that I could trim it. With the canopy removed and placed in the cradle I drew a few 1/4″ around several of the rivet holes. The reason for the 1/4″ holes is that I plan on using, as many builders have, surgical tubing sliced the thickness of the canopy as a shock absorber for the rivets. The rivet will fit inside the tubing and the tubing inside the 1/4″ hole which allows for expansion and contraction reducing the chance of cracks. So now that I have the outline of the final holes I could draw a line, 5/16″ from the hole edge, for the final cut line. 

Next up the last cut and finishing edges. 

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