Welding Skylight Tabs

Since I used round tube for the skylight structure, I’m welding little tabs onto the tubes. These tabs will get nutplates and will hold together the aluminum-acrylic-steel sandwich.

Bearhawk Skylight Tab

Here's the first tab

I originally sized the tabs so that they would fit a standard nutplate, but then I realized that I really don’t need to install nutplates on the tabs that are accessible from inside the cabin. I’ll need to have someone sit in the cabin to hold the nuts during installation and removal of the skylight, but that should only happen every 5-10 years or more.
Bearhawk Flap Handle Modification

While I had the torch out I also welded up the flap handle.

Bearhawk Skylight Attach

In this picture about half of the tabs are on.

The flap handle also gets a reinforcement for the slot that the aluminum arc passes through.
Bearhawk Flap Handle Reinforcement

I cut this piece of steel out of a larger diameter tube, as specified on the plans. I didn't cut the slot until after I welded the part on- it's easier to hold onto it that way.

Since Tabitha was there, she took a picture for me.
Flap Handle

It's almost done! I just need to cut out the slot and add the reinforcement on the other side. The apron helps keep errant sparks from burning holes in my t-shirt. It took me a while to figure out where the holes were coming from!

Cutting a slot into a steel tube

I used the existing slot to guide the drill from behind for these holes. With the end holes drilled, the dremel makes quick work of the rest.

Tabitha also came out and cut more seat foam today.

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