First step in the process of getting your panel fabricated is of course getting your ideas down on paper and if you are so inclined, into a CAD file.
While supplying a CAD file makes the process a bit faster, don't despair if you do not want to learn a CAD program. You can supply a sketch, drawing, photo, etc. and I will make it into a CAD file for you. An equipment list (make and model) will help. I have an ever growing template database of the equipment most builders install.
CAUTION!! When laying out your instrument panel, always keep in mind the position of your equipment not only in the X (left / right) axis and Y (up & down) axis but also the Z (front & back) axis - What is behind the panel? May be brackets, braces, hoses, bulkheads, etc.
I will look at the information you send, ask some questions about what you are trying to accomplish.
If the panel is not a "STANDARD" panel ( Panel Pricing ) I will give you quote for a very reasonable cost for the panel fabrication.
From Ideas to CAD file
As the panel takes shape in the form of a CAD file, I will continually send you updates that you can print and review. See something that you don't like or is incorrect, I will make changes and send another round of files. I often make suggestions based on past experience from the panels I have fabricated.
This back and forth collaboration continues until the panel looks the way you envisioned it.
Final CAD File Checks
Once you are satisfied with the panel layout, I will generate and send a FULL SIZE drawing in PDF format that. The full-size drawing puts everything in perspective and often prompts changes to equipment locations.
This PDF can be taken to a Staples, UPS Store, etc. and be printed out full size. You can then cut the full size drawing and place it in your aircraft to verify fit. Feedback about locations you are not happy with are sent back to me and I adjust the CAD file accordingly.
The old adage "Measure twice cut once" has never been more appropriate. I actually measure many more times than twice !!!
When both you and I are satisfied with the CAD file, it's time to cut aluminum.
Time To Cut
The aluminum that Vans supplies for instrument panels is 2024-T3 with a thickness of .063". Another poplar aluminum for panels is 6061-T6 with a thickness of .063" or .090"
I do not stock aluminum sheets or blank Vans panels. When you are ready to have your panel cut, you order the panel from Vans and have it shipped directly to me. I will cut the panel and ship it directly to you.
If you are doing a partial panel or some other custom panel, you can order the required aluminum from Vans or Aircraft Spruce and again have it shipped to me.
The Panel Pro needs 1.5" around the periphery of the blank panel to clamp it in the system. Vans blank panels have sufficient material for this. Keep this in mind if you are doing a panel from raw aluminum stock.
Panel is loaded into the PanelPro system and cut.
Your Panel Is Done
Completed panel is inspected, photographed, packed and shipped to you usually via UPS Ground.
I will notify you of shipment tracking number and will supply a photo of completed panel. An invoice will be sent for final cost which includes fabrication as well as shipping.
Payment may be made by sending a check or on-line using PayPal. There is an extra fee for using Paypal.