Join Date: Nov 2016
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Re: Beckson Portlights
Well, I finally got one of the portlights installed. Between correcting the way they were installed, cleaning everything up, and the cold temps slowing the cure time of the epoxy I used, it was a major pain in the rear.
First, the ports were only held in with 4 through bolts, with the remainder of the screws being very short and more for appearance than anything else. The 4 through bolts had been countersunk all the way through the outer skin, and were really only attached to the inner skin. So I drilled out some more of the outer and inner skin so that there was clean non contaminated material to fill with thickened epoxy.
Another issue is that the cabin side is curved, so I had to make some shims to fill the difference between the flat flange and curved cabin side. I used some .030 thick polyethylene sheeting I had left over from another project to make up a set of shims to fill the space.
I also did not have the truss headed nuts to use, so I countersunk the screw heads on the outside, and used nyloc nuts on the inside. This is the same setup that was originally used, but there are 10 of them now instead of the original 4. I also beveled the outside edge of the opening so that there would be a nice thick gasket of material to seal everything up.
Did I mention, that as soon as I got it finished, it started to rain! I had to improvise a cover to keep rain off until the sealant had a chance to set up. Fortunately, the sealant is not really affected by the temperature much. It may take a little longer to fully cure.
All in all, even though it was a pain, I am fairly please with how it turned out. With a little bit of luck, next weekend I will do the other one. That one should not take near as long to get installed.