Well, this is where things went terribly wrong. First off, the instructions refer to a “strake cut template” that you don’t get in your kit. You’re supposed to lay this over the strake about 30″ back from the place were the fuselage halves meet on the front of the door opening. You call the factory, and you have this conversation:

FW: “yea, don’t use a template, it won’t come out right, just cut the strake even with the door opening from the inside”
BF: “how do I cut it from the inside with the door on”
FW: “the doors on the plane?”
BF: “…ah, ..yea…”
FW: {chuckling} “and you can’t get it off, can you”
BF: “…ah… no…, no I can’t…” {getting nervous}

FW: “Ok, here’s what you do, get the door off, then square it up from the inside, but cut it as close to the fuselage door cut line as possible”

OK, so two things. First, I don’t like the “cut perpendicular to the door cut line from the inside” technique at all. You’d have to have line a foot long saw to do that in one motion, and I think it’d be hard to judge “perpendicular”. Second, on my fast build I have a door jamb already, for which I’m grateful, but the cut line needs to be even with the opening (a 1/2″ further out), not the jamb. So, here’s what I did. You go to the hardware store and get one of these trick new B&W laser level/stud finder deals, pin one side so it doesn’t seek level, grab a stand, and fire the laser at the strake perpendicular to the fuselage along the door line. At least this way I can visualize the cut line, verify it’s perpendicular, scribe the line, and cut it. I was very pleased briefly, as this worked very well for me. Then I realized that I still had a door clearance issue. A quick search of the available Velocity picture archives confirmed that my strake was too low on the door line. Many angst filled hours and a couple of phone calls to the factory, the Strake Repair began.

Laser Alignment of Door/Strake Cut Line



Door Cut Out

Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Sunday December 1st, 2002 at 9:46 PM

Categories: Strakes
Tags: Building Fuselage Strakes

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