White Eko-fill on the rudder and I-struts, shooting the I-struts with blue eko-poly

March 30, 2012

Two day roll up post for the 29-30 Mar. In preparation for top coat I needed to put a white coat of Eko-fill onto the items getting painted blue to give the color a bit of depth. I shot the I-struts and rudder after I rubbed them down with some scotch brite. The white eko fill like to run so I set the gun at 3/4 turn out from closed and moved fast. Several very light coats with drying in between works way better than runs. It only takes two light cross coats to change the color to white.

The next day I sanded the white eko fill with the scotch brite again, wiped them down with a rag and alcohol while blowing compressed air on them. I mixed up my custom color blue and shot those nice and shiny blue.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1223

Unrelated to the airplane build, my buddy came over so I could paint a couple of scallops on his motorcycle fuel tank. After doing some dent filling with bondo we primered it with Eko-prime sanded it smooth with 320 and then shot the blue onto it and it came out fantastic. It really proves out versatile the Stewart Systems products are.

3rd X coat on the Istruts, stabs, rudder and elevators starting cowling prep

March 17, 2012

Today I took the morning to go flying with my buddy to work on my instrument rating. This afternoon I started prepping the left side cowling for paint. It will need a bit of body filler as this is the side that I had to widen for the engine to fit. It also has some areas that need some filler to fill in some voids after the molding process. I started by sanding all the gel coat down with 320 to give it some grit for the paint and to also clean it up since it had bugs and other things on it. The sanding worked really well the cowling looks great. After that I re-installed the ladder back into the paint booth and hung the I-struts, right stab, rudder and elevators for their 3rd cross coat.

Time spent 5 hours
Total time spent 1190 hours

Sanding the 2nd X coat and spraying the 2nd coat of grey on the fuse

March 16, 2012

Today I spent the day first sanding everything I sprayed the day before which was the I-struts, horizontal tails, elevators, rudder and fuselage. After the fuse was sanded I sprayed a 2nd cross coat of Eko-fill on to it. With the 100 watt light bulb test I could still see light through in some areas so it still needs another cross coat which is what I planned for anyway.

Time spent today 5 hours
Total time spent 1184 hours

Spraying Grey Eko-fill on to the Stabs, Istruts, Elevators

March 13, 2012

Today prepped and sprayed the grey Eko-fill. I lightly scuffed the surfaces with 320 to remove any small particles that ended up in the brush finish. I then sprayed the first cross coats on both sides.

Time spent 2 hours
Total Time spent 1171 hours

Ironing the Tapes on the lower left wing and Istruts and Fuse and Eko fill on the wing and Istruts

March 11, 2012

Today I worked on getting all the tapes on the fuselage, lower left wing and the I-struts finished ironed down prior to the filler coats. This took a long time harumpf. Anyway After the tapes were ironed down I eko-cleaned and rinsed all the above and then applied the first brush coat of the Eko-fill to the lower left wing and I-struts. On the fuselage since I using the Linen colored glue in attempt to keep the inside of the fuse looking somewhat decent it requires a different treatment. You thin the Eko-bond linen glue slightly no more than 10% and you can use a foam roller or I used a 3 inch foam brush and put it on similarly to the Eko-fill. I kept a rag close in case I had a heavy area so that I wouldn’t have any ridges. Tomorrow I plan on shooting 2 coats of White Eko-fill on the fuse to “lock” in the color then it it two more cross coats of grey eko fill for UV protection. After the wing i-struts dried I applied eko-fill to the other sides repeating to get two cross coats on both sides of the wings and the i-stuts.

Time spent today 8 hours
Total time spent 1163 hours

Finishing the covering of the I-struts (Total Aircraft Covering is Complete)

March 10, 2012

Today I got a late start but I spent most of the day finishing my I-struts. One I-strut was covered but need perimeter tapes the other needed everything. So while glue was drying on one I would work on the other. There’s not much to talk about here other than my technique for the installing the leading and trailing edge tapes. I decided to install them in three pieces. This just allowed the best transition through the intersection of the 3/4″ tube and the streamline tube. I had tried a custom cut bias tape but that didn’t work well. But the three piece method worked pretty good.

I also decided that wholes I cut for my elevator horns to go into the fuselage needed some metal re-enforcement to clean them up a bit. So i cut out two 0.025 aluminum pieces in the shape of the exit and glued them down just like you would with a inspection ring. I then laid a patch over the top and glued it down.

***Another major milestone today. Officially all the covering is complete on the aircraft now I am just down to finishing (truly the hard part)***

Time spent today 9 hours
Total time spent 1155 hours

Covering the I-struts and finish ironing the lower right wing tapes

February 9, 2012

The last two nights I spent a few hours covering the one of the I-struts which didn’t take too long mostly just waiting for glue to dry but it is covered much the same way as anything else I have covered before. Tuesday night I covered half of one of the I-struts and the tonight I covered the other half. So now it is just waiting on finishing tapes. While I was waiting for glue to dry I directed my attention at getting the lower right wing read for the its first coat of fill. First thing that needed to be completed was to finish iron the tape edges to make sure they are staying down. I cranked my iron to 275 or so to make them nice and flat and soften that glue. I found that 275 seems to work best to get them to stick and stay down nice and smooth. You do have to be careful as to not shrink the tape so I have heard but I haven’t had any of those problems yet. So Tuesday I finished Iron the top of the lower right wing and tonight I did half the finish ironing of the bottom half of the wing.

Time spent last two days 4 hours
Total time spent 1090 hours

Powder coating time

October 24, 2011

I packed up the truck with the fuselage, Stabs, Rudder, Elevator, all the control tubes, I-struts, and a box full of parts and pieces. The powder coater I used will be media blasting, phosphate wash and Powder coating with TCI 9840 Signal white. The powdercoat is a Polyester TGIC powder which has excellent chemical resistance and is nice and crack resistant. So hopefully I will be able to go pick it up by the end of the week. Also made up some really detailed instructions and photos with labels at the below links.

Powder Coating parts pictures.ppt

Clear coating upper wings, I-strut final welding

August 14, 2011

Today I got to work by finally epoxy coating my upper wing. This is a tedious task when doing the ribs. I used the System Three clear coat product and a paintbrush. I plan on using two coats with sanding in between coats on the to and bottom surfaces and spar faces because the epoxy inevitably has some ruff texture when dry. This took about 1.5 hours between to separate mixes to do one side plus the ribs and took about 5 mixed ounces of epoxy total.

I then moved onto finish welding my I-struts. I had partially welded the tubes in most places and this was to merely finish the welds on the streamline tubes and the brace tubes to the ¾” square tube. I am always surprised how much time it takes to weld simple projects especially when they are easy to maneuver and get into an easy welding position.

Time spent today 6 hours
Total time spent 733 hours

I-struts #8

January 11, 2011

Tonight I started with making up the last support brace for the I-strut. I then took the I-strut over and tacked the support braces to the streamline tube and the 3/4″ tubes. I didn’t have whole lot of time tonight but I was able to finish off the I-struts all that is left is final welding.

Time spent today 1.5 hours
Total time spent 424.5 hours