Sunday, 27 January 2008

A new interior - Floorboards

I've been sidetracked so far this year with three other projects, a new car, an AD on Taylorcraft lift struts and the small matter of someone trying to build a new town on our airfield but I have at last managed to make time to start work on the aircrafts interior. The old interior was not unattractive or particularly tatty, but I feel that it could be better in a number of ways. The floor was the original aluminium which had been modified over the years and then covered with carpet. This will be replaced with a 6mm birch plywood flooring and aluminium kick plates.

Working on the principal that everything will have to be done at least twice before it works I set about creating a template floor in cheap 5.5 mm plywood first. This will then be used as the template for the final floor. First the shape of the current floorboards was transferred onto the onto the plywood.

I used a hole cutter and fly cutter to get the shape around the heel brakes. The rest of the cutting required is just straight lines at various angles.

I used a jigsaw to cut the straight lines which meant setting up a straight edge to help guide the saw. The calipers have been set to the distance between the edge of the jigsaw footplate and the saw blade. Once set this is used for all cutting.

Once cut, the floorboards (which are in two halves so that they can be removed) are laid out. I will have to make some fine adjustments before I am happy with the fit, mainly because the old aluminium boards overlapped and the new plywood boards have to but up to each other. This photograph shows the two floorboards in situ with work still required.

The bulkhead will slot into a grove formed by two quarter round strips of wood that will be glued in place. A battery box holding two sealed dry cell batteries will be fixed in the center of the bulkhead where it shouldn't take up too much space and will be easily accessible. It will also help fix the floor and bulkhead in place.

I still have to manufacture the kick plates and battery box before I'm confident that I can finally make the floorboards.

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