Time: 8 Hours
I got another full day in the Hangar working in another modification. The space between the firewall and forward bulkhead lies the forward baggage area. The floor is removable to give you access to several items like the rudder pedals, brake masters and several other things. The issue is that all the screws that hold down the floor are tough to get at within the small baggage area. To make this access a little easier I removed the center section of the floor and to make an easily removable access panel held down with Cam-Locs. To start I spent some time laying out the exact opening. I had to make sure I gave plenty of clearance for the different angles that support the floor. I also had to make room for the Cam-Locs and their parts. Once I was sure I had everything all laid out correctly I got the dremel out and cut the opening.
I then spent an hour or so straightening all the edges with a couple of files and sand paper. Last week I had ordered some sheet stock so that I could make the panel for this mod. I laid it out and put the cut out frame of the baggage floor on it to trace the opening.
Once I got the rough shape cut out I moved towards building the ledge that the panel will sit on. I used some .040 sheet to fabricate several strips 1.25″ wide. I cut them to length and laid out a rivet line keeping all the spacing correct and watching the edge distances. With a bunch of clamps I was able to drill all the holes and clecko them.
Now that the stiffeners were in place that made it easier to place the floor panel in place and remove it so that I could get the final shape perfect. I made several light passes on the Scotch-Brite wheel and kept checking the fit. It took a little while but I got the fit just right. With the new panel in place I clamped it down so that I could work on the Cam-Loc locations. I came up with a good layout for all 10. I then drilled a 15/64″ hole at each spot and followed that up with my 1/4″ reamer to get them to the final size. I then removed the panel and placed all the Cam-Loc studs in the holes in the support ledge, normally they would go in the panel, but I used them to hold the receptacles in place.
As those were being held in position I was able to drill all the rivet holes for them. I then replaced the studs in the panel and used them to hold the panel to the substructure since the receptacles are not riveted yet and clecko’s would get in the way. Here is how it all looked when finished.