Rear Canopy Windows Install (Part 2)

Time: 3hrs

Today I cut the rear windows almost to size. The goal was to get them to fit into the opening. The next step is to cut them a little smaller so there is a bit of an expansion gap between the edge of the window and frame in the canopy. I don’t remember what the gab needs to be so I’ll have to look on the planes at TAF. I think it was something like 10mm, but that seems a bit large so I’ll need to verify.

Some things I learning doing this. One, don’t use a jigsaw to cut the plexiglass. Fortunately I had my old windscreen to test with, but the jigsaw, even with a fine blade, cracked the plexiglass. What worked great was a thin cutting wheel for my 4.5″ angle grinder… Thanks for the suggestion Jean (from Torrance TAF). After rough cutting the window to size with the grinder I used the belt sander with 80 grit paper to fine tune the size which worked amazing. You can easily take off a good amount of material if you apply a bit of pressure, but also if you go light it’s very controllable and you have a nice clean edge. The process at that point was to keep checking the fitment of the window and marking with a blue sharpie and then sanding with the belt sander. I put some registration marks on the window and frame so that I could quickly line the window back up since it’s very easy to align it a few ways.¬†Eventually when the window is the correct size I can finish sanding the edge with maybe 120 grit.

The good news is I didn’t crack the plexiglass at all and now that I’m comfortable working with it the windscreen and side windows should go along quickly. The right side actually went quite a bit quicker then the left because I had the process down and was more confident about how much material to remove.

Left side window done. The goal was to get it to fit snug into the frame and so that all edges were smooth to the canopy skin. I’m a little worried that the window isn’t recent enough and that the Sika won’t hold it to the frame. The tape keeps popping off so there’s a bit of pressure there. I’ll have to check with TAF to see what they suggest.

Tools of choice: Belt Sander with 80 grit paper and 4.5 angle grinder with 1mm (0.040″) thick metal cutting blade.

These are the metal cutting blades I purchased from Amazon. 4.5″ diameter and 1mm (0.040″) thick.