Time: 3 hrs
Over the course of a few days (had to wait for tools and supplies) I covered the cubbyhole and rear part of the console. I also installed the Stratus Power Thingy.
The main hold up in doing this was getting some time to go to downtown LA to buy the leather for the plane. This past week I finally got a chance to go shopping for the leather. I was able to find some very nice leather close to the color I wanted for a very good price (around $200/hide). So with that done I proceeded to fit the cubby hole top (the part I made out of carbon fiber) to the cubby hole and then covered the rear panel and the side of the cubbyhole.
I found that for one leather is pretty hard to cut, but with a sharp pair of scissors I was able to make the major cuts. Finer tuned cuts required a very sharp exacto/utility type knife. Making large hole was the next challenge. Drills worked OK for small holes but I wanted to make holes large enough for the rivnut flanges to fit in so that the leather would lay flat and not add to the thickness of the rivnut flange. I found some leather punches on Amazon which seemed to work pretty well. They were only around $7 so I found that a few weren’t super sharp and took some hammering to get through the leather. Most of the holes came out pretty good. Some I had to finish off with the knife
So now the 3 hides of leather and some carpet need to be boxed up and shipped to TAF in SA so that they can make my seats and side panels. I’ll keep enough carpet to do the luggage area and a few other spots.
Another thing to note is that the Barge glue works really, really well. It doesn’t seem like it would but it really sticks and holds the leather well. I ended up getting a quart from Amazon for around $30 and that should do most of the interior. I nicknamed it “Snot” because it looks just like it, and is snot-like in many ways :-). Thanks to Craig M for finding this stuff.
Here’s the cubbyhole pretty much done. I will probably put the Lemo connectors for the rear seat headsets in the rear panel next to the Stratus and I still have to mount the arm rest which I don’t have yet.
Lining things up to fit the cubby hole top. I put in M4 rivnuts and then had to drill out the holes in the top
Drilled a 1 1/4″ hole with a hole saw and then cut a small notch with the dremel to install the Status.
Covering the rear panel was pretty straight forward. I found that after making the initial hole for the screws with a drill bit a reamer worked great for opening up the hole and cleaning it up.
Back side on the rear panel.
I used a 9mm leather punch for the M4 rivnuts and a 7mm (though probably should have done an 8mm for the M3 rivnuts. The punch makes a pretty clean hole. I found you can push down with your fingers on the leather to transfer the shape of the rivnut onto the leather then position the punch over that with a wood block behind. You have to be fairly quick since the impression only lasts a minute or so. I did the 4 rivnut holes along the top and then glued the piece onto the aluminum. the 4 rear (M3) rivnut and 4 front (M4) rivnuts were done after. I just only applied glue to the part I wanted to glue.
Glue on the aluminum.
And glue on the leather side.
One side done. One thing to note is that there are no rivet head bumps since I used flush rivets and filled with expo filler.
Close up of the rear panel.
The top. I didn’t realize I probably should have put the cubbyhole top the other way so the carbon fiber weave pattern would have matched. Oh well too late now. Most of it will be covered with the arm rest.
And the side. Pretty happy so far with how it’s coming out.