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Guest fly

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Hi all you lucky ...........Thrusterers!


A bit of info please ?


I'm about to cut some holes in a alloy instrument blank for my Thruster .


I know they are to take the standard 3 1/8'' aand 2 1/4'' square instruments


Should I add an extra 1/16 to hole dia to allow for a bit of play or will the standard instruments fit snugly


Also any advice on instruments brands?....are the one sold in the RAA mag ok?


Tony Hi to you .... have you been swamped with trailers ? could you put me down for one as i'm still looking .


Regards to all FLY



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Guest TOSGcentral

Hi Fly.


I suggest that you remove a well fitting instrument from the existing panel, measure the hole and replicate that.


If you can wait long enough I am doing an article in the next TOSG Bulletin (about three weeks away from the streets now due to the last one being so late).


This will be mainly about lay out and sensible channelling of information. There are a surprising amount of things you can do to make life in the cockpit easier and more effective. A new panel is just the time to do it.


No I have not had any replies to my appeal for trailers. I only at present the two that I use myself. But you are on the list!





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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Fly,


First thing I did was to make a proper Aluminium panel.


But you really need to have the instruments in front of you before you go making any holes! Follow Tony's advice as not all instruments are exactly the same size, invest some time getting the layout right, it should be setup so your scans across the gauges and switches are logical.


You can mount most instruments from the front or the back, But mixing front and back mounts looks real odd, If you mount from the rear , (usual way) you will need to hog out one of the 4 small holes for the altimeter Kollsman knob.


I have some of those funny "altimeter nuts" if you need them, I actually used stainless steel button head socket screws for my instruments, and painted the panel matt black.


I think Aircraft Spruce have standard instrument templates (page 359 in the printed catalog, it says the hole is 3.16, and mount holes on a 3.5" pcd, and for the smaller ones it says hole is 2.3125" and mounting holes 0.169 diam on 2.625"PCD) Remember to allow some space on your panel for a GPS bracket and or radio bracket, and maybe consider where the compass will be.


Getting good clean holes without warping or scratching the aluminium can be tricky , I think I did it by marking out on the BACK of the panel, sticking some contact on front face, put a piece of plywood on milling machine, then clamped panel front side down onto this, use a hole saw to remove most of the hole, then use a boring tool to bore a hole to the exact size . Dress up holes carefully then wet sand 300grit before priming and painting. Today I would use laser cutting.


Cheers, BobT



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