I have been working on the window frames. It may seem like an odd place to start, but the window frames are crucial to the dimensions of the whole cockpit. They dictate the width of the cockpit, and the length of the flight deck area. There is no room for error, as the monitors have to fit exactly inside the frames, and the frames have to span each other at exactly 45 degree angles. It is much easier to alter the bottom structure if necessary as it is not as crucial.
Google sketchup is a great program, but every time I made modifications to my design, some of the dimensions would get out of whack. It was also hard to get components and groups to line up properly without sinking into each other. This also caused measurements to be inaccurate. I'm sure if I spent more time with the program I would be able to sort it out, but I have enough of what I need to start building.
So I decided to start the build using the sketchup design as more of a guide and doing physical measurements at each step. Then I would compare the two.
I started out by cutting the pieces to size and cutting the ends at 22.5 angles. I drilled 1/4 inch recesses with a spade bit on the bottom piece to accommodate the monitor base stub so the monitor would sit at a 90 degree angle. I wasn't concerned with the neatness as these holes would not be seen
Screwing the pieces together.
Laying out and drilling screw holes for the front bezel cover and retention strips
Front and rear monitor retention strips in place. The rear strips are two inches wide and run the length of the frame. When in place there is a space left for the the monitor to sit.
The false window is bolted to the window frame unit. It is made the same way as each window frame but has squared ends instead of 22.5 degree angles.
The window frames connected together.
They are fastened together with 2 45 degree construction brackets on each side, and a mending plate on the top. This is mainly for alignment purposes, and not for strength. The frames will be bolted to the top and bottom 2x4 framing. This will provide the strength. You can see the monitor stub from the stand I mentioned earlier.
Window frames with a monitor in place
Closer view of the monitor in the frame.