Sanding down and painting the lower right wing

April 30, 2012

(two day roll up April 29/30) So today amp’d up after the previous day of good luck with the lower left wing I took the lower right wing down off the wall and cleaned and sanded it. I got it all sanded up and that was about the amount of time I had and figured I would shoot it with paint the following day.

The next day after work I got home with full intention on shooting the white on the wing. I got the dust off the wing by wiping and blowing the wing down with compressed air and then wiping it down with an alcohol damp rag. I loaded it into the booth and shot the white on it.

Time spent last two days 6 hours
Total time spent 1286 hours

Top coat on the lower left wing and re-paint on the lower kick panels

April 29, 2012

Today I started off by sanding down and the out side of the left and right kick panels. They had a bit a orange peel more than I would accept for the amount of work it took to fix it. I sanded it down with my orbital sander using 320 grit sand paper until it was smooth again. I then re-shot the paint and it came out a mirror shine.

After that I took the lower left wing off the wall and sanded it smooth again with my orbital sander and scotch-brite pads. I cleaned it off with a rag damp with alcohol and I mixed up 25 ounces of Part A (the most I have mixed today at once) and shot the white on the wing. It was a little bit cooler in the basement (68 deg F) so it took longer than normal between coats before it would tack enough for the next coat. What usually takes only 40-45 minutes to paint took nearly 65 minutes, and I probably could have waited longer.

Another thing to note is that my white Part A is thinner than the blue Part A. So for my white I divide by 3.0 for water and for my blue I divide by 2.75. So when you get a new gallon of paint Always check the first couple of batches viscosity with the M-50 cup. I recommend 20-22 seconds 19 will want to sag if painted on the vertical 24 or more won’t flow out as good and will leave with a less mirror shine or almost dull orange peel look.

Time spent today 8 hours
Total time spent 1280 hours

Top coat on the upper ailerons, throttle panel and wobble pump lever

April 28, 2012

Today. I spent some time prepping the upper ailerons for top coat. I started by cleaning them of all the dust over the last 8 months of sitting around and then I sanded them and scotch-brited them. I also wanted to get some paint on the throttle panel and wobble pump lever so I loaded them into the booth as well. I mixed up paint and shot them to a nice pretty white.

Time spent today 4 hours
Total time spent 1272 hours

Top Coat on the engine cowling

April 27, 2012

Today I decided it was time for the engine cowling to go blue.  I finished up the final sanding on the cowling to 320 grit.  The cowling didn’t need primer any where except for where I expanded the left cowling out to fit the engine.  I have been filling and sand for several weeks now on and off.   So I shot a final primer coat on to those parts and then let them dry.  While those parts were drying I shot a first coat of eko-fill on the gear leg fairings.  This really highlighted the pin holes in the leg.  I nearly had to sand most of it off and I will need to re-shoot them.  On Thursday I worked on the turtle deck by sanding the latest batch of clear coat in hopes of filling in some of pin holes.  It sort of works but its a real PITA.  I think I got it good enough and will use primer from here on out.    Anyway back to the cowling.  Once the primer was dry I sanded it down with 320 and then wiped everything real good with 91% alcohol loaded them in to the booth mixed paint and started shooting.  41 min later they looked like this:

The next day I took them out for a photo shoot:

And for all you video folks:

Time spent today 8 hours

Total Time spent 1268 hours

Top coat on the fuselage and other misc things

April 14, 2012

Today, I worked on the cowlings briefly to sand off the polyester filler I added to the cowling to fill the rivets and other low spots. I then prepped the fuselage for top coat by using compressed air to get the sanding dust off. I then wiped the whole thing down with alcohol and then loaded into the paint booth. I mixed up paint and tacked the fuse off and shot the top coat.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1260 hours

Top coat on the canopy panel and wind screen skirt

April 9, 2012

Tonight I decided to top coat the canopy panel and wind screen skirt. After battling orange peel a couple of days ago and partially eliminating it yesterday on the rudder. I decided to reduce the paint even more to 2.75 down from 2.85 which was down from 3.0. I have tested the 3.0 ratio before with my viscosity cup and had it go right to 20 secs, problem is I can’t remember if that was the white or the blue. I thought I was getting good results with the blue but then I think about it either the parts were really small and because of my fan width I over cover with paint thus getting good results or in the case of the kick panels and side panels I didn’t get great results. Anyway for what its worth I think you should, if you can, check the viscosity because I got fantastic results at 22 sec on the M-50 viscosity cup. It was much easier to paint as the paint will flow out better to a ridiculous gloss.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1257 hours

Canopy panel, cockpit inst panel, turtle deck, and painting the rudder

April 8, 2012

Today was a busy day I got all sorts of work done on the canopy panel. First thing first. I measured marked and trimmed the canopy panels ends to meet up with the turtle deck. I then marked and cut the inside coping tube (4130) then I welded an extension tube on to it to lengthen to the end of the new canopy panel. After that I marked and drilled new holes for the rivets on the extension. I sanded the tubing down in prep for priming. I figured the tubing would start to corrode if it was primed after being attached to the panel so decided to prime it, then attach it. So after I was happy with everything I made sure the turtle deck was in place and and I drilled the holes and installed the nut plates that hold the top of the panel to the turtle deck. After all that was done I removed both panels and the windscreen skirt and etched and rinsed them allowing them to dry for several hours. I cleaned them all off with alcohol and primed them. While they dried I pulled the instruments out of the instrument panel and started to sand it down in prep for some primer. I didn’t strip this one as I though I could salvage the primer that I used a few years ago. In hindsight I will likely strip it and re-etch and prime. A hour or so after I primed canopy panels, coping and windscreen skirt I pulled them out of the booth so that I could top coat the rudder.

Now with the top coat on the rudder I decided since I was having some orange peel issues that I would thin the mix a little more using 2.85 instead of the 3.0 on the can. It worked a little better but I still think it needs more so next time I will use 2.75 and see how that does.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1254 hours

Top coat on the fuse panels round 2

April 7, 2012

Today I washed off the oil and dirt/dust from lightly sanding and scotch briting the side kick panels and side panels then I mixed up some paint and just before I shot them I brushed them lightly with a tack cloth. This time however, the paint didn’t go on quite as well. Lately the paint wants to orange peel a bit. What I have found with the Stewarts Systems process is that you want to get good coverage in the first two coats but not shiny this is important to keep the colors from pulling off any high spots. Then On the 3rd and 4 coat you really want them to start shining especially on the 4th coat. If you can see a perfect image of yourself in the booth about 5-10 seconds after the gun as gone by you will likely have a really nice finish coat. If it looks orange peel then you will get a sum what subdued look of orange peel. It won’t be as bad as you think leaving the booth but it will be noticeable. The paint really continues to flow out after you let them sit. So sometimes I make sure to used whatever is left in the gun to “salvage” any orange peel by putting more paint down. This really allows it flow out nice. Unfortunately you likely won’t have enough paint to do that. So I have some orange peel effect on the inside of my panels. So I will likely sand smooth and re-shoot them. Oh well, this is really the first I have had this problem in a good long while.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1246 hours

Top Coat on the fuselage panels

April 5, 2012

Today I prepped and top coated my fuselage panels. I started off my scuffing them with 320 and/or red scotch brite for the sharp sides. I then wiped them down with alcohol and took them into the paint booth. Right before I mixed the paint I used a tack cloth to get an contamination off of them unfortunately I had a few fuzzy either make their way to them or were left on there that the tack cloth didn’t get. Oh well you can only see them in the sunlight and even at that they are easily disappear if you are farther than 1 foot away.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 1243 hours.

Priming the Fuselage sheet metal

April 4, 2012

Tonight I set up the paint booth so that I could prime the sheet metal panels.  I started off by wiping the panels with a jersey cloth and alcohol to make sure all oils from me touching them were gone.  I then shot primer on 4 of the panels and the throttle cover.  Once they dried I pulled them and installed the side panels and kick panels and shot primer on those as well.

Time spent 3 hours

Total time spent 1240 hours