DIY overhead panels

IMG_1648My current (second hand) overhead panel has been made from 12mm MDF on which a picture of the OVH has been glued. Holes have been drilled for the switches and annunciators and these operarate as they should as far as they are present. In the near future I want to create another OVH in which the now still missing components can also be incorporated. I stumbled across a cutting router (Silhouette Cameo) and investigated the possibilities of it. It is meant to cut paper, thin cardboard, vinyl and other such materials. However when I cut the panels out of 3mm thick polystyrene and stick the panels out of vinyl on to them, I can achieve the same result.

I printed the panels in true size so I could measure all the dimensions and started to create AutoCAD drawings for each panel. The software of the cutting router can read .dxf files. I also started work on the frame for the AFT OVH (see picture bove). The parts are still loose, because I still have to decide where and how I will guide the wires. On the back of the total frame (both AFT and FWD) three “doors” out of 12mm multiply will be mounted. Both outside doors will cover the outside columns, the third door will cover the three inside columns. All three parts will be mounted with piano hinges on the thicker wood of the frame. On the inside I will mount led strips voor backlighting and on the outside I will place the interfaces.

To test these thoughts I have started work on the AFT OVH. I think almost all constructive problems can be met (except for the slanted joints) and the construction is small enough to be easily handled. Also, if I meet problems I can’t fix in this setup, not too much materials have been used. In principle all joints will be glued and screwed. However there are places where there are joints on both sides at the same height. One of these joints will have to be nailed. After removing the wood from the nails I can screw the other joint and after that fix the nailed joint again. By alternating these joint, if applicable, the sturdiness can be guaranteed. I also have to see in which order I will have to build the lot because there in not much room. If necesary I will have to fix the screws in a slanted way.

I think I will buy the cutting router somewhere in the coming week, which gives me time enough to create alle the AutoCAD drawings of the panels and import them into the cutting router software. When I start mounting the panels I also will have to consider the mountig of the panel in the current contraption. In both outside columns I will have to move some panels to be able to mount the slides for fixing the panel. On the left the ELT panel has to be mounted a little higher and on the right the FDR panel, but I have room enough for that on both sides.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *