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Tue 23 March 2004

I started the day shaping the braces more 'aggressively'. I got the vixen file out and went to work. The corners of the canopy frame have about a 1/16" radius so the material needs quite a bit of work. Finishing with the scotch brite wheel as per usual. (BTW: I didn't originally like the vixen file - it was too extreme, however after the initial new edge has been broken, using a light touch I'm starting to really like it as a tool.)
Then I started to try and workout a way of providing support inside the channel before drilling the other side of the brace straps.
After lots of permutations and experiments I ended up using the bend brake as a second flat surface to temporarily fix the low portions of the frame with a couple of #40 clecos.
This meant I could lift the whole structure and use C blocks to set a constant size frame whilst then drilling the second side with #30's.
The final step was to match drill the #40 locations with the whole structure still tied together. The end result was really good, both sides of the frame lay flat on the table and the frame is 1 1/2" all the way round. The only remaining concern at this point was the edge distance clearance on the internal braces.
However once opened up - the edge distances were shown to have come out well. Then it was the normal deburr / clean up routine. General advice would be make sure the radiusing of the brace straps is really good and everything should work out. Not sure if I would use a different clamping setup 'next' time - I was probably being overly cautious.

PS: Make sure every thing is REALLY well labelled at this point, I had one slightly scary moment.....

Then counter sink the brace locations for AD426 / CS-4-4s.
Final bit of canopy frame is the rear bracket that mounts the brace to the rear bulkhead, this is one of those 88.XXX degree bends.
Finishing up for the day I did another couple of hours working through the brown bags, I managed to sort all the remaining rivets (solid and pop) and snap bushings into the appropriate boxes. Why VANs has to include 4 CS pop rivets in a bag of 120 LP rivets (which look VERY similar) is beyond me - but normal rules apply - the VANs packers get it right, just keep looking.......
Tomorrow the new fuselage might arrive, if so I will probably have 11 project days left before I have to finish and get ready to return to the UK. Dad will have about 7 days. Therefore I've decided to really cram as much effort as possible into that time. Good news for the project but it will mean I won't get a chance to update the website until after I get back to the UK. The plan at the moment will be to upload the photos each night or morning but little or no commentry. The rest of this week is going to be REALLY busy but hopefully I can finish this phase with a good productive period. 
Carl Morgan