Time to get some REAL construction underway! I am beginning with the center pedestal. This will 'center' (pun intended) the structure and is probably the most forgiving structure in the cockpit to build. It is basically a set of boxes that are just very cool!
As we are going with a wood structure, I have several options to consider around the type of wood, fasteners, finish, etc. My standard will be basic pine for the support frame with smooth finish 1/4" plywood on the sides and 3/8" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) for the top panel sections.
So...let's see how far we get this weekend!....
First thing is to lay out the basic shape of the pedestal using the base.
I then duplicate the base shape using slightly smaller pieces. This will form the top part of the structure
Lay them side by side to compare
The Power Quadrant and CDU/FMC section had to be built with an angle in the middle of the Power Quad (for the CCD Controls) and an upward angle on the CDU/FMC segment, as in the actual aircraft
Connect the top frame with the bottom frame using 1 1/2" pieces. I used drywall screws (my favorite fastener!) to connect the various pieces. I am no carpenter - no time for 'dove joints' and 'glue'!
The finished frame. The 45 degree angle pieces at the rear are a PAIN to measure and build. Several errors along the way...but nothing a saw and some anger won't solve!
The frame is built to separate midway...so I can get this beast out of the basement some day!
The MDF top panels are cut to measure. They lie perfectly covering the frame. I will add the seating frame parts later.
The semi-finished pedestal. Still a lot of work to do...but good enough for this week!
Reflections. (this is where I sit on my work stool and stare at my creation for a few long minutes and visualize flying through the air in the finished product...I usually am covered in sweat, sawdust, blood and pizza crust...but I am in 'the zone'! I also admit my failings to myself, and try to learn for the next phase of the project...or just blow it off and keep moving!)
- I did not build in the 'overhang' piece of the pedestal. If you look carefully at a real 777, the rear part has a 1" indented base that goes about 2" high around the whole rear. I don't think it makes a difference...one less place to lose a screw!
- The structure will make a great place to put electronics and power supplies.
- This thing looks like a coffin...for a small person with a rather large head!
See you next week!