Below - Dave's new panel for 2005, note the new digital voltmeter and colorful release and spoiler knobs.  
Below - March 15, 2003 - Dave's shop with 1-26 bay. Interior doors provide access to the main shop facility that is heated and full of power tools, work benches and compressed air. Dave runs a giant air compressor, has a large fan in the 1-26 bay and has 220 power available for future needs such as welding, etc. Nice facility, no cars allowed in the glider hangar, please!
525 undergoes its annual inspection and upgrade program. Improvements include replacing the old power hungry cigarette lighter adapter with a Goddard PS-5a, new rudder cables, new instrument tubing quick-disconnect, pee-tube outlet relocation and various other minor enhancements.  
Dave installed a quick-disconnect on the back of the panel to clean up the tubing installation and facilitate removal of the panel - looks pretty damn nice!  
Dave finishes up the wiring and installing the pS-5a on the back of 525's panel.


Functional check shows success - everything works and the iPaq is charging. The PS-5a really makes for a clean and easy installation, about 4 fewer wires are required than with the previous installation.
The aircraft side of the tubing quick disconnect.
Dave swages new thimbles on the ends of the rudder cables prior to installation.
June 2000 - 525's original panel as it looked when I bought it in Blairstown, NJ.
Dave Piotrowski and I agree that having the airspeed needle right next to the vario needle is a clever idea and it works great and provides lots of extra real estate. 525's new panel is shown below:
2001- Last years panel, and...The latest fashion in panels for 2002. iPaq 3835 connected to the Volkslogger. Power in from the ships battery runs the iPaq and through a separate circuit breaker and guarded switch for the logger. Ilec SC-7 is new for 2002 as well.
We eliminated an extra 3" hole, moved the compass far away from the electrics, put the radio, switches and other knobs on the LH side.  The two holes on the left are the mic and phone jack holes for the Telex 5X5 and we finished it off by oversizing the panel mounting screw holes and inserting grommets for shock mounting.
The next project is to fabricate a new panel for 686 just like the one above that Dave and I made for 525 .
. On 525's panel, we cut the holes first, I decided to cut the panel outline first, then cut the instrument holes. No particular reason. The idea was to copy the panel arrangement shown in the Association restoration manual.
Here is 686's new panel blank with 525's old panel on top to provide hole locations for the panel mounting holes. Once the panel mounting holes are drilled, it's time to lay out the instrument hole locations.
Using a photo of 525's panel to get the general idea and a marking pen to draw the holes where I want them, I proceed to measure the instrument hole centers.
Very important to get the holes lined up perfectly with the panel and with each other. Your eye is an excellent observer of even the slightest variation in level or plumb. Staring at a crooked instrument in a panel all day will cause you concern and disgust.
Pilot holes being drilled for the hole saw. That rectangle drawn in the center is for the GPS III+
The 3.125" diameter hole saw making short work of the .070" thick aluminum.
Next the 2.25 diameter saw for the compass, radio and vent hole cutouts.
Radio cutout is on the left, compass on the far right and vent hole is in its original location. Because the vent hole is a 2.66" diameter hole, I use a sanding drum to open it up to final size from the 2.25" cutout made by the hole saw. In view on the left are the sanding drums, one of my rotary files and the greatest drill bit in the world - a Unibit. If you do not have one, get one - they come in two sizes and they are the best drill in the world for large holes in thin aluminum sheet. Trying to drill a .375" diameter hole in .070", or thinner, aluminum with cause you pain and discontent with a regular drill bit. Unibit is the only way to go and accept no substitutes for the Unibit brand.
Using lots of straight edges and squares and much measuring two and three times to get the instrument lined up and squared perfectly with the bottom edge of the panel. Once all lined up and checked many times, the mounting holes are pilot drilled.
With all instrument and mounting holes drilled, I opened up the panel mounting holes to .290 to accept the .187 I.D. grommets for a little shock mounting - idea comes from the 1-26 Association Restoration Manual, get one if you don't have it, very good info in that book.
Getting there, panel sanded and deburred. Now I need to remove the old panel from 686 to get the final location of the master switch and circuit breaker holes.  I will also use 686's panel to finalize the outer contour of the new panel so it matches the cockpit perfectly. Two holes need drilling to mount the GPS, paint and that's it.
Picking up the holes from 686's old panel for the data plate and release placard.
Using a belt sander, I cleco 686'd old panel to the new panel to sand the final contour. It's important to use the panel being replaced for this step to insure the same fit. Not all panels have the same outer mold line.
The Unibit doing what it does best for the circuit breaker and master switch holes.
Final fit checks for the instruments prior to painting.
Home Depot has a good rough surface gray spray paint that looks great. Easy to use, I suppose anodizing would be best, but difficult to do at home. I traced the new panel on the remaining aluminum in case someone else wants a new panel just like 686 and 525's. I have enough aluminum for two more panels - send me an e-mail if you're interested.
686's new panel installed. Need to do some tie-wrapping on those wires hanging down, then a test flight. The Winter needle agreeing nicely with the SC-7.