Time: 3 Hours
The stock canopy handle for the inside of the canopy frame is not the best looking design in my opinion. I’m taking another page out of Glenn’s playbook with a little twist. Glenn cut off the handle part and added a black ball as a hand hold. I like the basic idea but wanted my handle to match the pilot and passenger throttles. They both have nice anodized handles, the passengers being a little smaller, and I thought that the smaller one would look good. So I cut off the stock handle at the lower end and left a short peice of the top part of the handle.
You can see the black line that marks the lower cut. Once I made that cut I left the short peice on the other end. This left a welded tube for me to work with. It was too big for an AN-3 bolt so I made an insert out of aluminum tube that had an ID for an AN-3 bolt. I had to sand it down to get the OD to fit the handle tube. I used this homemade bushing to drill the back of the handle. From there I was able to bolt the handle to the bracket.
I took it apart and cleaned and primed it followed by a couple of layers of paint. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that this setup wouldn’t work! There is another peice that acts a hook that slides over the circular stem you see in the above photo. As the handle is turned the hook pivots at the screw hole and rotates to pull the hook. As it does it slides by the flat part of the handle. In the setup I came up with the nut would hit the hook as there is only about a 1/16″ space. So back to the drawing board. What I came up with is to weld a threaded stand off, fro McMaster Carr, to the handle so that I could just screw the handle into it and not need a nut. So I cut off the remaining portion of the handle and cleaned up the flat part with my angle grinder. Since I drilled a hole for the original bolt I figured I would put it to use to hold the stand off from the back side as I weld.
After I welde the parts I cleaned them up with my grinder and Dremel. I then primed the parts to prepare of another atempt of painting.
I decided that despite me owing a small angle grinder and have taken a few classes with my brothers, my welding skills are a little rusty. I mixed up a little epoxy and micro to clean up the look of the welded joint. After that dried I primed and painted the handle. Now you can see the issue I would have had with the nut in the last setup.
The hook will get trimmed to match the canopy when I’m all done with it so that it securely hooks and holds the canopy frame closed.