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Monday, July 25, 2011

Canopy Cutting Day 1

Today it was about 80 degrees in Seattle, so I decided to take my first few steps on the canopy.  Directions tell you to draw a center-line down the canopy on the protective covering..  Good luck with that.  There is no real way to tell what is center, so I measured from about 20 different places and did the best I could..  Using the very edges, as well as the edges of the tooling marks..  I think I got it..   Then it was time to pull back the plastic and tape it up to make the first few cuts.   Initially you are supposed to remove the tooling marks along all 4 sides.  I only worked the front and the back today, to get a feel for how to cut this plexigas stuff.  I used the disk supplied with the kit and my die grinder.  It cut fairly slow and I think if I had 3/8 inch air line vs. the 1/4 inch I could get more power to my grinder, but I was able to get through it working slow.  Glad they tell you to practice on these first few cuts because there is a learning curve to cutting this stuff.  Do it first when it is hot outside, Then focus on the front of the disk and the back while cutting.  Keep it from binding and move slowly.  Tape up the cut line as you go so that the pieces to start to get floppy and use both hands because the grinder bounces around a bit.  Here is the first cut.

Also, I think next time I will use my respirator vs my dust mask. The smell of that burning plexi is nasty and my sinuses were effected all day.  Use really big protective eye wear because the bits of plastic are hot and there are tons of them, they burn a bit when they get in your eyes.  Cuts 3 and 4 I decided to start taking of the forward corners..  Then for Cut 4 I took off the tooling marks in the back.

After cutting and before moving the canopy I used a orbiting sander with 80 grit sandpaper and it cleaned up the edge really nicely.  That was the only part that worked better or was easier than I thought it was going to be..  ;-)   Anyway, I got through my first cuts and the canopy sits a bit better on the fuse now...

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