<October 20, 2006>

Cut & Drilled Left Landing Light Lens

It was the left lens's turn tonight. Covering the lenses with tape (to protect them) turned out to be a hassle. I couldn't see what I was doing, so I removed the tape, and sure enough, the process was easier and quicker.

I drew lines on the wing that roughly outlined the shape I wanted. I then put the raw lens on the wing and traced the pattern onto the lens. After cutting away the excess material on the band saw, I smoothed the edges using my belt sander.

Again, another improvement tonight was to lay the leading edge on the table and clamp it down. I had drilled the left lens with the leading edge standing (vertically), but this horizontal orientation was much better. As described in the directions I used a tape handle to pull the lens tight for drilling.

It fit pretty good. All six pilot holes have been drilled with a #40.

The instructions say to now enlarge the holes with a #30 bit. Unfortunately, while doing so, I put a small crack in the plexi around one of the holes. The #30 bit acted like a screw and dove through the hole, blasting out the back and causing a crack in the process. I countersunk the holes to see if maybe I could remove the cracked portion of the material, but no luck, it is still there. It is a real small crack (you can't see it in the picture), but I am afraid it will only grow over time, so I am going to order a replacement lens from Vans for $12.