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Old Oct 28, 2014, 06:57 PM
Registered User
United States, NC, Matthews
Joined Dec 2012
290 Posts
Hatch door frame

I have a Decathlon i am building and i want to make a Hatch door to hide my power switch/charge port. The picture i attached is the inside view of the side of the fuselage where i want to put my hatch. The factory supplied a cut out for a small power switch but i am not going to use it. I want to put the hatch to the right of the factory power switch location but i want to make a exact copy of the un sheeted area (red exposed ultracote) . I will make 1 solid piece of wood in that area and then cut a smaller area in the center of that to make my hatch. My question is does anyone have a way to replicate the exact shape of the fuselage where i want to put the hatch? The two corners in the picture have a rounded edge not square. I am drawing a mental block to find a way to make an exact copy without cutting out the ultracote in that area.
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Old Oct 28, 2014, 07:01 PM
Registered User
United States, KY, Taylorsville
Joined Mar 2010
1,636 Posts
Cut and sand scrap balsa sticks to make a 'picture frame' to fit inside. Remove. Trace around your 'picture frame' to cut your sheet wood part!
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Old Oct 28, 2014, 07:17 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM USA
Joined Sep 2003
15,755 Posts
There has got to be an access hatch somewhere on the full size. I'd figure out where it is and make a scale hatch in that location. That way you don't have to make it 'invisible'.

Or, make one of the doors functional and put the switch inside the cabin area (or just hinge a window). I have been known to leave a window open to access things like switches and batteries.

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Old Yesterday, 07:01 AM
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Joined Jun 2014
11 Posts
Take a sheet of paper larger than the opening. Tape it in place to hold the sides. Then using your finger or a stick run it along the edge of the hatch frame. It will leave an impression of the shape on the paper. Cut along the impression line and you have a rough cut of the hatch.
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Old Yesterday, 08:39 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
13,440 Posts
An alternative to a visible switch or even one behind a hatch, is to use a rod operated remote switch.

We used to do it a lot back in my IC power days, just to keep the oil and crud away from the switch.
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