I've made progress on a few small items this week. A hardware order arrived from Aircraft Spruce, so I was able to install the data plate on the fuselage skin just behind the rear seat. It is visible with the canopy open or closed, but it isn't exposed to the air flow going around the aircraft, so it should stay fairly clean. This location wouldn't be legal for a US registered aircraft, but the Canadian regs are worded differently than the US ones.

That ACS box also had the hardware I needed to install the baggage tie downs on the floor of the aft baggage compartment.

One of the items I need to finish is the glare shield. It is a piece of aluminum sheet that extends aft over the top of the instrument panel. Some people just put a piece of plastic trim over the edge of the aluminum, but the aluminum would probably slice right through the plastic if my head hit it during an accident, and the aluminum would then slice open my head. Some people put a slit in a piece of aluminum tubing, and use that as an edge protector. That seemed like a much safer idea, but I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to put a slit along the tubing. I tried several different ideas, and wasted quite a bit of tubing in the process. The first lesson I learned was to not cut the tubing to length before making the slit. If you cut the tubing to length, then screw up the first couple of inches of it, now that whole piece of tube is wasted. I eventually learned to just unroll a bunch of tube, and not to cut it off until I had successfully made a slit.

I spent quite a bit of time surfing the web, and digging through e-mail list archives. I finally come across a message by Mark Nielsen from Green Bay. He had drilled a hole in a piece of wood, and then cut a slit from the edge to the centre of the hole. Clamp the wood to the drill press table, and put a cut off wheel in the slit. Feed the tube through the hole, and voila - a slit in the tube. It took several tries to get a hole with a slit running right to the centre, lined up with the hole, but once I had the wood made it did a great job.

I will probably use some JB Weld to bond the tubing to the edge of the glare shield. I found some fairly tough vinyl leatherette stuff at a fabric store to cover the glare shield with. Now I need to sort out whether I will try to use one piece of vinyl to go on the glare shield and over the edge of the tubing. Or, whether I should just have the edge of the vinyl butt up against the tubing, and find some sort of rubber or plastic to cover the tubing. I'm leaning for the second option. I think I can put a slit in a piece of rubber tubing, and slip it over the aluminum tube.

I finished making and installing the labels for all the cockpit controls, except for the switches on the front stick grip. I had forgotten about those, and I just realized it now. I added that task to the master list. I also closed off three or four other small items on my list, and added a couple of things. Three steps forward, two steps back. Overall, the list is maybe three items shorter than it was a week ago.

I spent several hours poring over catalogs seeing which mix of vendors I should order from to get a whole bunch of hardware I need to finish various tasks. No one vendor carried everything, so you need to order from several places. I've got two more orders coming, and I need to put two more orders in tomorrow.

And, I've spent too much time watching the NHL playoffs. The Ottawa Senators are on a roll, and look to be on their way to the Stanley Cup finals. Knock wood.