After flying my  HDS for 10 and half years, decide to upgrade the instrument panel in order to relieve some COVID fatigue.  Purchased an inexpensive CNC router to make the cutouts and learned to use the software to make the drawings and generate the GCODE.

Was able to clean up some wiring and remove unnecessary instruments.  Still getting used to monitoring digital instruments instead of the old reliable steam gauges.


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Comment by Jerry Latimer on February 14, 2021 at 5:26pm

Hi Bob, I thought you might comment.  I hope you are doing well.

It's funny you mention the comfort factor.  It was almost like flying a new plane even though I had spent a year flying with the AV30 along side the analog gauges and I had spent what I thought was a lot of time with the MGL simulator on my computer learning all of the menus on the MGL.  After 3 flights, I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable.

Comment by Jerry Latimer on February 14, 2021 at 5:23pm

I used a lettering machine with clear background and black letters

Comment by Glenn Davis on February 14, 2021 at 5:18pm

Hi Jerry,

Did you send your panel off for the lettering or do it yourself?

Comment by Bob McDonald on February 14, 2021 at 3:19pm

Definitely a different "look" to the panel. How comfortable are you flying the new look? 

Comment by Jerry Latimer on February 14, 2021 at 11:17am

I purchased a Sainsmart 3018 ( and modified it with their kits to increase the bed size from 300 x 180 mm to 300 x 320 mm.  The software was Fusion 360.  It is free to hobbyist and actually pretty powerful, but the learning curve is pretty steep.  I could have probably created a drawing in any 2D software and sent the drawing to someone on the web and had it done cheaper and faster, but that is no fun.

I actually made several versions before I got the final one.  Having the tools allowed me to prototype and make changes relatively quickly.  Each panel takes less than an hour and half to mill.  There is some post processing that adds some time but it is a fun learning project.

Comment by Daniel Niendorff on February 13, 2021 at 7:26pm

Looks great?  Can you tell us what CNC router and software you used?  Would love to try something like that....

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