Starting the Window Frames

And so it was time to tackle the window frames! I had previously posted an outline of the concept I had for creating window frames so that I can properly secure windows and also easily replace them when needed.  The first test of the concept was on the port hole windows on the rear of the cabin which turned out as a success in my books 🙂

Today was now the beginning of the fabrication for the window frames for the front windshield in the canopy. To start I needed to create a support structure for the bottom of the canopy so that the bottom wouldn’t spring out of shape once I removed the existing window.  This was accomplished using some 5/16″ round bar that was bent to follow the shape of the canopy.  It needed to stay up closer to the window so that it didn’t get in the way of the inner ledge on the main body.  I’ll also be able to use it as an anchor point to secure the window frames and create an even more rigid structure.

I also welded on some small tabs that I drilled in order to secure the bars to the canopy fiberglass.  I simply added a couple of temporary screws that will hold everything until I can embed the steel bars into the canopy using some fiberglass cloth and resin.

The anchor points allowed me to remove the windows and have everything keep the same shape.  Next was busting out the template material and tracing the rear curvature of the window to then transfer onto some steel and some 1/4″ plywood to act as the backing material.

The steel was drilled every 2″ for the fasteners that will hold the windshield in-place.  Some roberts screws and nuts were then secured to the window frame and the nuts were welded onto the back.

The plywood was then drilled to leave enough room for the nuts to pass down inside allowing the steel to lay flush.  This gives both a solid back to the frame and provides enough space for the screws to travel all the way through the nut to secure the windshield.

I then drilled 4 small holes so that I could temporarily secure the frame to the canopy using some drywall screws.  Once I have all the frames completed, I’ll glue them to the canopy using some construction adhesive and weld some small tabs from the metal to the outer rod frame.

As you can see this gives a nice thick window sill around the windshield.  It will all be fiberglassed over to seal it in and have a nice smooth edge.  I’ve also attached a couple reference photos of the actual Batmobile to show the thickness of the window sill.  They used this area to secure a bar in Batman Returns for their pretend windshield wipers.  I’ll be fabricating the same look, but instead with some functional wipers to pass a safety inspection 🙂

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