Ivan's RV-7

Working on the OP-43 access panelsTimer icon2h

August 15, 2023

Randomly, I switched to working on access panels on the F-7106 forward top skin.

I drilled the holes to mount the reinforcement rings, as per plans, then marked the location of the cutout for the cover (later I realized that marking the blue film is not a good idea since it peels so easily, so I removed it and marked the skin itself).

Marking the hole cutouts.

Did a rough cut with the nibbler attachment. I'm not very good with the tool, so I cut conservatively.

Using the nibbler to do the rough cut.

The tool in question.

The Bite Dog nibbler attachment.

Then I used the half-round file to finish the cutout.

Fitting the cover (no gap yet).

The same process for the other side, and both covers fit with ~1/32" gap. The forum recommends a 1/16" gap, however, so I might trim the skins a bit more later.

I dimpled both the rings and the covers to make them centered on the hole. It probably, only makes things more difficult, though, as the ring is not flat anymore due to material stretching while dimpling.

Getting a small (~1/32") gap on the second cover.

I used the large sanding drum in my drill to do the final trimming. It cuts nice and slow.

The sanding drum.