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Aluminum dash, things were learned

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
I havent been doing much metal working worth posting lately, figured this was worth a post

After finally getting my print nc up and running, and having a few projects (wood) under my belt, i figured it was worth giving it a go cutting out a dash (aluminum) for the little single seat airplane ive been working on. I took some dimensions of the existing, instruments, etc and drew up something in fusion.....Now i didnt just hop into cutting the dash out of the limited supply of aluminum sheet i had, cut a foamboard test piece to see how i liked it....looks good!

Ok time for the aluminum, selected a 1f 2mm cutter, 24k rpm and 1000mm/min (100%), tape/glued the stock down and away i went........first problem....i never actually milled the wasteboard in situ, and now that im cutting 1/16 material its a problem, 1/4 the way though....1 cutter bites the dust

second shot, 2f 2mm cutter, 24k, 75% speed, offset the cutter to make up for the high spot....oh well ill just take a couple runs at it.........1/2 way through (half depth) 2nd cutter bites the dust

third times a charm right, try a 1f 2mm again, 24k, 65%, made it the whole program at half depth....except the last 1/8 of the program, that didnt cut at all due to the wasteboard issue

this goes on, i slowly cheat the depth down, getting further and further through......2 more cutters down, ok somethings up, i take a better look at the snapped off bit....plugged up

last go, 1f 2mm cutter 24k 80%, zereod the top waste board as top of material....waste board needs to be cleaned up anyhow.......this time.....wd40, lots of it

Success! only 4 cutters LOL, now i know, must used lubricant, oh well 2mm cutters are cheap and this is 100x better than i would have been able to cut out by hand

Dash.jpg
IMG_20231210_151343.jpg
Dash marked up.jpg

Still to be done is the bend just below the wooden sill, and match drill the mounting holes with the original and trace/cut out the curvature to match the cowling

original dash....replacing the tach, swapping the fuel gauge for a sight guage, adding a hobbs meter and running all of the engine instruments through an esp32 w/3.5" display, that will clear up some room for the ipad
P2240014.JPG
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
Tell us more about this little single seat airplane you have been working on.......

I didnt build it, and its wood, i bought it from an older guy in Ontario who could no longer keep his medical, completed in 2006 and has 230 hrs. its a "taylor monoplane", nothing crazy, a slow 80-90mph cruise, 3ish gph burn, 1835cc vw, homebuilt

ive just been picking away at things that i was not happy with and some items need to be addressed while i finish my license and before i give it the ol' college try

some of the metal things ive made
- new seat pan
- new slightly larger aluminum fuel tank (.040 aluminum...fun welding :oops:)
- new exhaust headers (still need a 45 to keep exhaust potentially out of the boundry layer)
- new carb heat muff and cabin heat muff
- new carb heat box
- new cabin heat box (never had cabin heat)
- different radio holder
- new aluminum intake pipes
- dash
- new cooling "eyebrows"

some of the non metal things
- stick mounted ptt button
- esp32/3.5 tft engine monitor....waiting on a new batch of MAX6675 chips
- seat back and bottom cushion + upholstery
- nicer fiberglass distributor bump

there are still a few items to address, plus some more annual inspection related things to check on.....i have time, cold weather is coming

Marked up cowl.jpg IMG_20231006_190417.jpg IMG_20230930_205252.jpg Gas tank marked up.jpg Eng bay marked up.jpg

and some pictures from the original builder/owner, i dont know how he was able to fly with the seat he had in there
P2240029.JPG P2240020.JPG taylor 2.jpg taylor.jpg
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
Very cool. Learning to fly, and building an ultralight is something I've always wanted to do. Coming to the realization that I'll probably never get to it, but love seeing others builds.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
Where is this being stored?

wings are in a 6x12 enclosed trailer in a storage yard with some of my other junk, the rest of what you see is in my garage in shawnessey, once you take the wings off even a 2 seater isnt all that large

That’s awesome!
You have more experience with your PrintNC than me.
I’ve haven’t dared to try aluminum but I’m on the verge.

thats the first bit of aluminum ive tried, really does work pretty good, just dont forget the lubricant! haha

Very cool. Learning to fly, and building an ultralight is something I've always wanted to do. Coming to the realization that I'll probably never get to it, but love seeing others builds.

Thanks, surprisingly its registered as a normal aircraft (special certificate of airworthiness, amateur built) and not an ultralight, makes those log book hours count ;)
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
Are you training on a stick control aircraft?

yes, although thats not really the concern, what i will need to try and get is some additional training in a conventional gear (tail dragger) aircraft....wich is somewhat difficult to come by as 99% of training done now days is with tricycle gear aircraft...and being a single seat i cant just hire a freelance guy for some dual time

How was it for noise?

not nearly as bad as i thought it would be, i put on some ear muffs assuming it would be ear piercing, and it was a little overkill, it was louder than wood, but not orders of magnitude, defiantly tolerable with light ear pro
 

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
yes, although thats not really the concern, what i will need to try and get is some additional training in a conventional gear (tail dragger) aircraft....wich is somewhat difficult to come by as 99% of training done now days is with tricycle gear aircraft...and being a single seat i cant just hire a freelance guy for some dual time

Where are you training and on what aircraft?
 

whydontu

I Tried, It Broke
Premium Member
Sounds like my experience with my small CNC machine. I’ve had decent results with slow feeds, high spindle rpm, and shallow depth of cut. 5 inch per minute, 12,000 rpm, 0.003” per pass, and a squirt bottle of BandAid cutting fluid. Takes forever, but haven’t snapped any cutters recently (tempting fate with this statement).

Another hint is to run a surface probe mesh before cutting so the cutter maintains a stable depth of cut, even if the workpiece isn’t flat.

Have also had decent result by not doing a 100% through cut, leave 0.005” of material. With aluminum, a few thou is easy enough to cut with an exacto knife to finish.
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I may screw up my courage and use my router to cut the the trunnions for my carbide grinder.
 

phaxtris

(Ryan)
Premium Member
Premium Member
Seriously......:eek: $17000-$20000 to obtain a private pilots license nowo_O


yep, on average, probably more like 17-24,

if your a superstar and manage to roll through with the min hour's and of course the weather co-operates your probabaly 15k, but the average is more like 60-80 hrs, at 250-280$ an hr for dual, and 180-200 an hr solo it adds up fast
 

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
yep, on average, probably more like 17-24,

if your a superstar and manage to roll through with the min hour's and of course the weather co-operates your probabaly 15k, but the average is more like 60-80 hrs, at 250-280$ an hr for dual, and 180-200 an hr solo it adds up fast

Well that certainly would have been out of my reach. I paid something like $1200 in 1982 to obtain my license and that was a stretch for us at the time.
 
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