OK, so another seven hours of work on top of what I did in the first post brought it back to flying status ? not finished, because it still needs fiberglass work and paint, but at least the Val is once again airworthy, and the canopy is now pristine!
This portion?s notes:
1) Removed all the clecos and took the canopy off the frame for trimming the sides. I did this with the cut-off wheel and angel die grinder with sanding discs. Dressed the edges with Dremel sanding drum and finished with 600 grit sandpaper to polish.
2) Drilled all holes in the sides of the canopy to ?? with plexi bit. Drilled the front edge holes one size up from 1/8? per standard Van?s instructions.
3) Cut little grommets out of surgical tubing for all the ?? holes. They fit just fine with friction alone, so I didn?t use any adhesive to hold them in place.
4) Replaced canopy and clecoed from front to back, including the skirt. The fit isn?t exactly the same, as the canopy shape isn?t exactly the same. The rear of the skirt was a very tight fit, and I left several clecos out rather than pre-loading the assembly excessively.
5) Riveted the skirt to the frame using CS4-4?s, then used AACQ4-4?s for the skirt/canopy/frame sandwich holes. I gave each hole a swipe of countersink with a deburring handle so that the rivet heads will be a little below the surface ? I?ll fill with micro before paint. This will hopefully keep the rivets hidden.
6) After all the rivets were in place, I turned the canopy upside down and used silicone to fill the gaps between frame/canopy/skirt from underneath (you can?t see this area from inside the cockpit, but this ads some sealing and a little bit of adhesive in the back).
7) After the caulk had cured, I test-fit the canopy on the plane, and found that I have a bit of a gap in the back ? I?ll fix that with glass and micro before paint ? this is art, not engineering, and all it needs is a pleasing shape.
A few pictures (sorry for the focus ? good camera is on a trip ? this is the old shop camera that has problems with it?s macro focus?.):
A sharp razor blade makes it easy to slice washers out of surgical tubing
Fuzzy picture, but you can sort of see the surgical rubber grommets in the ?? holes
Skirt riveted back on to frame ? not that the rivet heads are over-countersunk
The shipping box makes great work stand to hold the canopy inverted! Note the caulking underneath the low frame tube.