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Thread: Landing/Taxi light cover

  1. #1
    grbamford's Avatar
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    Default Landing/Taxi light cover

    Long story short, replaced my landing and taxi lights w/ LED. Got ahead of myself removing the lens cover. It dropped on the hangar floor and broke. My new cover arrived today w/out pre-drilled holes. Any suggestions on marking and drilling holes to match with the current holes on the wing and prevent cracking the new lens?

    Thanks!

    Greg

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    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    I install it over the wing and mark with a sharpie. then use a drill bit heated up with a propane torch to melt the holes. A Unibit works well too but I have cracked them that way.

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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    When I drilled mine , I bought the cheapest bit at harbor freight and dulled it by drilling into concrete . I went slow and w a dull bit , it burns the hole in more than drilling a grabbing. May not be something most subscribe to, but it worked for me.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    Buy a bit that is made to drill Plexiglas. The right tool to do the job. I have drilled a gazillion of holes both on airplanes and when I worked in a model shop and never cracked a piece while drilling.

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    Frank Green's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    jim is correct. there are special drills. the included angle of a normal drill is 118 degrees. for plastic 90 degrees is preferred with little back rake and light pressure. practice on some scrap an you'll be fine
    -Super Stub-

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    Wag-builder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    Funny thing, I have a book produced by the makers of Plexiglas back in the 1930's and they recommend a drill bit that is flat that scrapes rather than drill or cut. I have used them for many years and always have a round hole that is very clean and never had a chipped edge. When I have a little time I will scan and post the page from their book. I have also had very good luck with the brad point wood bits because they work the same way.

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    Frank Green's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    The general rule is you go flatter with hard materials usually 130 degrees. With the 90 as you break thru as long as you keep the pressure light you break thru more gradually instead of all at once. the other thing is warmer is better 75 plus is preferred, never below 60
    Last edited by Frank Green; 08-09-2019 at 10:38 AM.
    -Super Stub-

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    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    Quote Originally Posted by wyandot jim View Post
    Buy a bit that is made to drill Plexiglas. The right tool to do the job. I have drilled a gazillion of holes both on airplanes and when I worked in a model shop and never cracked a piece while drilling.
    I whole heartedly concur. https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...lickkey=106440

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    grbamford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    Gents,

    I really appreciate the help. Bought a set of drill bits for plexiglass and plexan. Donít doubt Iíll use them again at some point. Plan is to mount it to the wing, mark it w/sharpie and start drilling with the small diameter bit and move up in size. Iím also going to use the old lens cover as my practice piece and template. Only question I had for Steve was did you leave the piece on the wing while you drilled or did you just do that to mark the holes?

    Again, much appreciated guys!

    Greg


    Sent from my iPhone using ShortWingPipers.Org

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    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Landing/Taxi light cover

    Quote Originally Posted by grbamford View Post
    Gents,

    I really appreciate the help. Bought a set of drill bits for plexiglass and plexan. Don’t doubt I’ll use them again at some point. Plan is to mount it to the wing, mark it w/sharpie and start drilling with the small diameter bit and move up in size. I’m also going to use the old lens cover as my practice piece and template. Only question I had for Steve was did you leave the piece on the wing while you drilled or did you just do that to mark the holes?

    Again, much appreciated guys!

    Greg


    Sent from my iPhone using ShortWingPipers.Org
    Just marked it. With my luck I would slip and drill through the wing.

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