Hjem 737 Cockpit project Cockpit related Cockpit interior - Front sidewall structures
Cockpit interior - Front sidewall structures Print E-mail
Written by Vidar Fagerjord   
Saturday, 05 May 2012 20:16
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Update 24. may 2012

I've made the right sidewall as well - or to be correct: there front parts. The aft portion of the sidewalls, where the flight bags are located, will have to wait. I plan to make the side walls in two pieces, and my focus is on the front parts for now.

I glassed the structures by using narrow strips of glass fiber over the joints. By using thin glass fiber, it is easy to form around the corners. The heavier (thicker) stuff does not like narrow corners - very easy to get air bubbles where the weave lifts off the plywood.

The dark brown stuff is polyester putty with glass fiber threads in it. I started using long-threaded, but switched to short-threaded since it is easier to work with in this case. The fillets are applied with a butter knife (!!!) with a big enough radius - the fillets gets the correct radius, and I don't have to sand as much.

Here's a shot of the piece I had to fit since I cut the parts wrong:

I glassed the whole structure with a long piece of glass fiber. This creates a very strong structure. All joints are glassed on both sides.

I then made the "rib covers" from pieces of insulating foam. I cut three pieces from a sheet of foam, two of which I cut at a 45 degree angle. I epoxied them together, then epoxied them in place and covered with two layers of thick glass fiber fabric. This made a very hard "shell" over the soft foam.

After the epoxy cured, I cut the foam to shape and sealed the top with two layers of the same glass fiber fabric.

I also made a fillet at the bottom with polyester putty. Since the foam was sealed with epoxy, the polyester goo did not dissolve the foam.

I sanded the fillets to a smooth surface and "painted" them with epoxy to seal them. Just because I had some epoxy resin left over from the sealing of the foam pieces. You should try to utilize every drop of the epoxy - it is expensive stuff! I used leftover resin to "paint" the whole back of the structure in order to seal the plywood.

And now for the bigger picture:

The two sidewalls end to end before the last fillet was made. Looks great!

Another example of being cheap:

Leftover resin + micro glass balloons, and the "table" area of the right side wall got a layer of putty - which is FAR more easy to sand! I'm going to use epoxy mixed with micro glass balloons on the entire surface (inside), then sand smooth and flat before painting.

Here's a shot of the two sidewall structures placed side by side. Excuse the mess in the background - the workshop is busy!

This building technique is simply fantastic! VERY easy to do, and very forgiving if you make a mistake. The only drawback is that sanding cured epoxy is hard! But the end result should be smooth and clean.

I just need to make a support "leg" at the back, then I have to start the sanding job - but I need to let the epoxy fully cure first. If you sand epoxy before it is fully cured (which can take up to two week depending on the conditions), you will clog the sand paper very quickly.

I also have to cut holes for the oxygen mask panel, the light panel, the cup holder panel and the chart pocket - but I'll do that when I have the parts I need.

More to come, but I'm not going to bore you with images of me sanding, sanding, and then sanding...

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:07
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