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With the plexiglas positioned and weighted down using shot bags, I crawled through the side window so that I could make a mark from the inside. I used a nice new sharpie pen to draw a line above the stiffener to the glass, then carefully began cutting the protective material with an X-acto knife along the edged of the stiffener. Being inside the cockpit with that glass on is awesome!!! When the new experience gets old, crawl out and get the glass off.

I set my plexi on some foam pads I bought at a fabric store and pulled the protective cover from the trimmed area. I began masking by using 1/2"-striping tape I got at an auto body supply store. I put two layers along the inside edge followed by a 3/4"-layer held back 1/8" and finished off with another 1/2"-layer back on the line to allow for squeeze-out clean up later on. I used a grinder for sanding the bond areas. With this tool the work goes so fast, but care must be taken so mistakes don't happen. A final once-over with #40 paper and a cleaning with rubbing alcohol finished the glass.





Before I bonded the glass, wood blocks were made and holes drilled through the stiffener so that I would have clamps along the sides to help push the glass snug and get a good bond. Bolts with fender washers were used to tighten down. A final application of tape for clean-up was laid down and the Hysol was mixed. I had really forgotton how awful that stuff is. It smells bad and is thick beyond words. At any rate, wet out was done to stiffener and glass and more Hysol mixed with flox applied to the stiffener. My friend and I postioned the glass on and adjusted it the best we could. While he was getting the clamps in placed I crawled through the side window to help get the position perfect, tightend clamps and clean up the exess hysol. This is where the tape is king. After the clamping was done I scraped the bulk of the hysol squeez-out with a popcicle stick and wiped the rest with my fingers. I then pulled the top two laters of tape off for a perfect edge. (Note: make sure you have a good fan blowing fresh air in the side window to keep cool). A few shot bags were positioned and a final clean up done on the outside. I resisted opening the canopy for two solid days to allow the hysol to cure, but when it opened for the first time I really felt like I was getting somewhere. The bonding is really a two or three man job so be sure to have a few friends around and get everything laid out and complete a checklist before mixing glue.

I cut a hole for my defroster inlet and inserted my inlet pipe with car wax applied.To give the stiffener more strength in the hinge area, I bonded six layers of carbon uni to each side in the frontal area, overlapping in the center. When the glass has cured it's a good time to install the gas struts as that canopy is heavy. THE CORRECT METHOD is to open the canopy to its full open position and have the struts bolted to the doublers and firewall anchors. Swing the struts until the anchor seat square on the firewall. Super glue that in position and drill your holes and bolt together. (Note: I used a 2"x4" cut to 63 1/2" to support the canopy while I did the drilling and bolting). The doublers really work sweet as I'm not getting the push-up on the stiffener. Everyone can thank Rick Schrameck for this great solution and Lancair for producing them as a fix. The last step will be the top skin and body work
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More to come in part three...










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