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Old 11-28-2022, 10:53 AM
claycookiemonster's Avatar
claycookiemonster claycookiemonster is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Midway, UT
Posts: 560
Default Easiest Instrument panel mock-up?

I want to assemble the instrument panel components to do the initial wiring and to check how the overall arrangement works and looks. I know I've seen some "test" panels here, but can't find them now. I don't want to do this on the official panel, so how are you guys assembling the components and holding them in place for this? Plywood? I'm finding that splintery and hard to get right. Another aluminum sheet?
Clay "Cookiemonster" Cook
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:00 AM
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Weefle Weefle is offline
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Vernon BC
Posts: 229

Try plexiglass then you see whatís on the other side.


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Old 11-28-2022, 11:15 AM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,146

Iíve used Luan. Cheap and easy to work with.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019? (actually 2022) RV-10 N46BX
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:07 PM
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RV8Squaz RV8Squaz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Senoia, Georgia
Posts: 986

Originally Posted by Weefle View Post
Try plexiglass then you see whatís on the other side.

This is what my favorite avionics shop does. Works well. They showed me the mock up with everything in it before cutting any metal.
Jerry Esquenazi
RV-8 N84JE
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:23 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,326

If you want to use aluminum rather than ply or plexi then commercial grade aluminum is quite cheap. I got a sheet of 5005 alloy 4' x 8' .040 for about $30. It is also available thicker .063 same as the factory panels. This alloy is a bit softer than 2024 but for a trial run it is fine and an advantage is you work it with the same tools as the real panel.

A panel blank from Vans is only $35 (plus shipping) so another thought is to use one of those for the "test" panel and then you may well get it right on the first go, so it becomes the "real" panel!
I have been using a cardboard overlay with taped on full size prints of screen, instruments and radio etc.during initial mockup. It's obviously easy to move things around, before going to the effort of actually cutting a test panel.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Wings and tail complete, fuselage almost done, working on canopy.
Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build

Last edited by PaulvS : 11-29-2022 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Vans panel blank option
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:37 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,573

Originally Posted by Weefle View Post
Try plexiglass then you see whatís on the other side.

Recommend polycarbonate like Lexan rather than acrylic, because it's less likely to crack.

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Old 11-29-2022, 06:09 PM
graywoodworking graywoodworking is offline
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Merrimack
Posts: 10

I bought duplicate parts from Vans and assembled a panel and the first bulkhead. That way I was sure everything fit perfectly. I wired everything on the bench and powered everything up. It was easy to then transfer everything to the plane.
Larry Gray
S/N 140367
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Old 12-04-2022, 10:08 AM
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rockitdoc rockitdoc is offline
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
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Default Foam Board

Like this. Easy to cut. Cheap.

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Old 12-04-2022, 02:35 PM
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mulde35d mulde35d is offline
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Location: Clarksville, TN
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If you are any good with Microsoft and have access to Visio it is great for entering actual dimensions. You can then position everything digitally and when you print it is printed to the exact dimensions. I then tape the paper to the panel and start drilling /cutting. Has worked really well
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