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Old 01-21-2018, 06:54 PM
dooleypster dooleypster is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 5
Smile RV 8 canopy/windscreen

Just about to start the canopy, and must separate the bubble into the 2 pieces for the front windscreen and the sliding canopy. Any advise for where to start the cutting process, what to use for the cut, and any pitfalls to avoid?
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:05 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,763

If you’re truly “just starting” the canopy, you have a lot of trimming to do before you make the “Big Cut”....
Paul F. Dye
Editor in Chief - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
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Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:24 PM
jump4way jump4way is online now
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Coolidge, AZ
Posts: 306

I tried using the Vanís cutting wheel thatís included in the finish kit but that did not work out that great for me. I got a better cut with better control using my Dremel tool with thin fiberglass cutoff wheels.

Itís an iterative process, get ready for ton of plastic bits flying around.

There are quite a few threads found here addressing trimming the canopy. If I remember right, the idea was to trim the front to the sit on both the roll bar and the forward upper skin then trim the sides and back to fit the frame. One thing that helped me not take too much at a time was to take a popsicle stick and punch a hole in it about a half inch from the end then stick a dry erase marker through the hole. I then put the stick on the forward upper skin and traced around the canopy giving me a straight line to work with.

One other idea was to make a straight line with that dry erase marker from the center of the back of the canopy to the center of the front so you have something to visually align with each time you put the canopy back on after trimming.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:41 AM
flyinga flyinga is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fredericksburg, TX
Posts: 545

Do it in a warm place!
Jim Averett
TS36 - Silver Wings
Fredericksburg, TX
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:47 AM
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Mike S Mike S is online now
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Default Welcome to VAF

Pete, welcome aboard the good ship VAF
Mike Starkey
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Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

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Old 01-22-2018, 11:54 AM
nilberg nilberg is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 180

Like Ironflight said, there is a lot of cutting before splitting it in two.
The rough cutting to remove the excess material is good training and experimentation with cutting techniques.

I ended up with using the vans supplied cutting disc, but you need a good mandrel to avoid imbalance and wobbling. A wobbly tool makes things much harder.

Here is how I started (after getting new tools and mandrel, the first time didn’t go to well.....)

Make sure the cut off pieces are supported with your hand or tape to avoid seizing the cutting disc or worst case starting a crack.

I also made sure to sand all edges after each cutting session before I carried the bubble around.

Last edited by nilberg : 01-22-2018 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Added video
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:00 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 985

For me, the kit supplied cut-off wheel would just sort of melt the plexi - SLOWLY. I ended up buying this Dremmel saw at Home Depot:

With the right blade, it cut through plexiglass like butter - QUICKLY. Other blades I bought or that came with the tool, cuts through thick aluminum and other stuff.
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:05 AM
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mill2978 mill2978 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Erie, CO (KEIK)
Posts: 221
Default Dremel Carbide cutting wheel

I used one of these:

Easy to control, cuts clean as opposed to melting/pushing material.

Temp in the shop was 68-70

That tool is also really handy for cutting fiberglass, I also got the 801 shaping wheel that I use for shaping fiberglass.
Aaron Miller
RV8 N127KT - First Flight October 16, 2018
Donation made for 2018
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:33 PM
dooleypster dooleypster is offline
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 5

Many thanks for all the replies....I'll go at this slowly as you suggest.
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