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Window Skins

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  • Window Skins

    Has anyone skinned their windows using the parts included in the kit? I tried following the same attachment method as is in Eric's Builders Manual (vol III) and as Colby on his model 5 youtube video. For the fore and aft sides of the window frame, I left 3/8" of interior overhang for sandwiching the plexiglass between the outer skin and inner 3/8" angled aluminum parts included in the kit. My problem is, the remaining exterior skin does not overlap the fuselage frame and has a 3/8" gap. The top and bottom pieces have no problems at all. Am I missing a step?
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  • #2
    I followed the same procedure, and encountered the same issue on my patrol QB. I had the issue of insufficient overlap only at the back of the windows. I ended up making new back skins (15 minute’s work) I have lots of overlap now. My guess is that it’s not necessary to center the skins on the round frame, and that if you and I had offset the skin on the frame we might have been able to hold the clear window pane in place while having enough margin to overlap the fuselage frame too. I’m interested I want others did too. Colby told me he had ample margin.

    I also find that the aluminum skins fight tight tothe fuselage frame with the windows closed, leaving no space for any kind of sqishable seal. I’m intersted in how others navigated this issue.


    • #3
      Something else that’s interesting I’m seeing is my window frame is made from square stock instead of round tubing. I’m also wondering if my frame is smaller than others. There’s about a 1/2” gap fore and aft. Curious if that’s nominal for folks with tubing. Attaching a few more pictures for reference.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I ended up making a one piece aluminum trim piece with the proper overlap on all sides. Many builders are forgoing the interior trim aluminum pieces and just sandwiching the plexiglas between the aluminum trim and interior steel window frame.



        • N8doggaf
          N8doggaf commented
          Editing a comment
          I really like how that looks, and the jig you have it sitting in. There’s still a chance I might still do that.

      • #5
        I used the kit supplied angles and the lower channels and wider strip. The top and sides weren't quite the right size. I made new ones to get the right overlap.

        I started out thinking I might want to attach the glass directly to the frame. I thought I would try out the stock doors first. I am about to paint the last exterior of the last two doors right now. All prep is done, just about to mix the paint.

        I used a circular saw (a track saw actually) with a plastic/non-ferrous metal blade to cut the acrylic and Lexan glass. It made really quick work of it.


        • N8doggaf
          N8doggaf commented
          Editing a comment
          That’s genius using a circular saw. I used a jig saw on a slow setting to keep from melting and it took forever. I’m not sure how I feel about sandwiching the plexiglass between them frame and skin. I’m worried about all the possible drill holes that can now become cracks. I know there are ways to mitigate that risk, but my OCD only makes me want to be accurate. I also like the idea of being able to change out the window with screws and not have to drill out rivets.

        • jaredyates
          jaredyates commented
          Editing a comment
          I used the sandwich method. I drilled through all of the layers, then removed the clecos and enlarged the plastic holes with the step drill. The effort of needing to drill rivets if/when replacing the window is balanced by the effort to have to cut threads on every hole.

        • svyolo
          svyolo commented
          Editing a comment
          I did similar for the rivet holes in the plastic, but I just used a bigger acrylic drill bit. The track saw is brilliant. It has replaced my table saw for 100% of anything bigger than a foot. Goes right through aluminum. I can cut perfect aluminum strips in seconds. I doubt I spent 5 minutes cutting each window. No cracks, chips at all on 1/8 Lexan (skylight), 1/8 acrylic (top windows), .080 Lexan (rest of the windows). I tried it out on the edge of the plastic sheets before I cut into the big parts.

          I put the aluminum or plastic or wood on a 2 inch thick piece of foam insulation as a cutting surface. I have just about destroyed the first sheet I bought a couple of years ago.
          Last edited by svyolo; 12-23-2021, 12:50 PM.