Counter balancing and Attaching the ailerons

September 4, 2012

So Monday evening I double checked my math with the ailerons attached to the wings and slave struts attached to the ailerons. I used a Gatorade bottle safety wired to the upper aileron at the leading edge tube and poured 1 lb 8 oz of weight (I used BB’s they were cheap to buy and heavy) to balance the ailerons with the fuse level. So that meant that I needed 0.75 lb of weight in each aileron. I took each aileron home to balance them that night.

Tuesday after work I took the ailerons back out to the airport for final installation (I hope). This time I used new and correct sized hardware along with castellated nuts and cotter keys. What a damn bitch these things are to install! Getting the bolt in is no problem getting the washer and nut on is a another story, especially on the center hinge with the control arm in the way. It took an assortment of special tools like ratcheting end wrench, curved hemostats for pliers and box end plugs to go into my sockets to turn my sockets into low profile socket wrenches when accompanied by the ratcheting end wench and my hangar mates cool new low profile craftsman socket set. Side note everyone needs a set of these things I will be buying set soon. Anyway 6 hours later all were installed. I hope they don’t have to come off for any reason!

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1590 hours

Masking the lower right wing and shooting silver on the ailerons

June 15, 2012

Today I started by re-masking the silver areas on the ailerons from painting the blue and then I sanded and shot them silver. While the paint was drying I started laying out the lines for the lower right wing. I got the bottom and top laid out and the I masked them for the blue and sanded the wing areas for shooting them blue tomorrow.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1388 hours

Spraying the ailerons blue and installing the instruments into the panel

June 14, 2012

Tonight I decided to get the blue on the lower ailerons that I had masked off. I loaded them into the blue and sprayed the blue horizontally to make life easier since I had tons of room to lay them flat. I used my trusty extension ladder that is now color coordinated with the airplane for a table. After that I worked on installing the instruments into the panel for the last time. I then installed the panel into the fuselage.

Time spent: 4 hours
Total time spent 1380 hours

Masking ailerons for blue

June 13, 2012

Tonight I spent some time masking off the areas of the ailerons that were going to get painted blue. This is kind of a a paint because there are some weird intersections at the nose where the bottom scheme flows into the top scheme. Anyway I got three of them masked off and I will spray the blue on them later this week.

Time spent 4 hours
Total time spent 1376 hours

Painting the Silver on the upper wing

June 9, 2012

So I got back off of travel and on Saturday night I masked off the areas that were blue and white to make way for the silver. I then sanded the areas that were going to be silver to scuff them up and on Sunday I painted the silver stripes on the top and the silver stripe on the bottom. Here is how they came out: Pretty good huh!

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 1372 hours

Masking the upper wings for blue

June 1, 2012

Today I got started on the upper wing masking.  This was going to be a bit more challenging as I have a) match what did on the lower wing and also make it symmetrical.  Like most seemingly  hard parts of this project I give it way to much thought and not enough action.  I started by installing the upper ailerons.  I then went on to measuring some of the lines on the lower wing where they intersected at some ribs.  I marked those locations with some tape and the just like I did on the lower wing I just started laying line free hand making sure to hit my marks.  I would say I have it within a 1/8″.  I also noticed that my fine line tape wasn’t sticking very well.  I remembered that Stewarts tells you to wipe the whole surface down with alcohol first, which worked much better.   Once I had the line for the upper wings marked I moved on to the lower side.  I again went with 15″ spacing for the invasion stripes.  This matches the lowers, witch works out nicely.  Laying out all these line was pretty time consuming with loads of measuring.  Once every thing was laid out I moved onto masking the white and silver areas.  Lots of used masking tape here.  I think I have about $80 in masking tape by now but it’s good stuff so I can’t complain.  I have found that if I buy the really discounted 3m 233+ tape from TCP global and then pay the shipping it’s the same cost as just going to car quest to get it.   Any this was a 2 day roll up post.


Time spent last 2days: 9 hours
Total time spent 1358 hrs

Priming the canopy metal and Painting the Upper wing (again!)

May 19, 2012

So today I thought it was high time to give the upper wing another shot of paint. But before I did that I thought it was also high time to prime my canopy parts so that I could top coat those this weekend. I did that and took a couple hour break to let them dry.

After several hours I started in on moving my upper wing into the booth and in prepparation to paint. I cleaned it off with compressed air and alcohol damp rag and then started mixing paint. As you may remember the last time I started off with a new gallon of paint that was later deemed a bad lot of paint. I confirmed this with my new batch of paint since it set up right at the 10 minute marks for both the first and second coat. The third coat took a little bit longer maybe 20-25 minutes. But not big deal there just gave me more time to mix up my second batch of paint. After the third coat I estimated that I would need about 300 more grams of paint to finish to include what was in my pot. I was off by 25 grams it seems as I ran out of paint with two rib bays to go. I ran out of the booth mixed up 50 more grams and finished shooting the wing with no ill effects. Just so I don’t forget I also painted my instrument panel as well.

Well the end result was fantastic, they look glossy and smooth!

Time spent today 4 hours
Total time spent 1328 hours

Update #2 on the Wing paint issues

May 7, 2012

So I called Stewart’s this morning to ask about the paint problems they told me the 70 deg 68% humidity was near ideal conditions and they were concerned about the paint not tacking in 20+ minutes especially on first coat. Read them off the lot numbers on the paint I just received and they said they thought it was suspect. They did some checking and found that the resin in that lot of paint was bad. They are sending me two new gallons of paint. It’s a bummer that the paint was messed up however, its great that Stewart’s is such a great company and sent me two new gallons of paint to fix the problem no questions asked. The dehumidifier dropped the basement to 55% humidity which should be better than before and help too.

Update on the upper wing paint problems

May 6, 2012

I have completed the following:

1) Purchased a Hydrometer the basement today was at 70 deg and 68% humidity (not great but not terrible)
2) I shot a test panel of the white it took forever for each coat to tack total paint job took 70 minutes and it still ran (sheeted) because it wasn’t tacked (still slightly stick with some color transfer) 20 secs on the M50 cup
3) Thinking it was the white I shot some metallic silver (20 secs on the M50 cup) I had on a test panel it tacked much much faster still ran and sheeted on me a little but the job was done in 41 minutes about 10-12 minutes for each coat versus 15-20 for each coat with still no where near the tack issues like the white has been doing to me (aka tacked a lot better but I probably should have let it sit a little longer)
4) Thinking it was the humidity I borrowed a de-humidifier and started that process and have the project a rest for the day in 4 hours It had removed 68 Oz of water from the air and had dropped the humidity down to 62%.

I will try another test panel tomorrow after work hopefully the humidity will be way down below 50% or more the lower the better in my mind. I also may try shooting a test panel with the viscosity at 22-23 sec instead of 20. I had been shooting everything at 20 because I was have was having a hard time with the blue flowing out and at 20 sec it really flowed out nice.

Top coat on the upper wing

May 4, 2012

Today I decided to take the day off work to paint my upper wing besides it was my Birthday anyhow so what better way to spend day than painting my upper wing. I had a fair bit of cleaning to do to get the upper wing clean mostly just a good wiping and blowing with compressed air then wiping it down with a alcohol damped cloth. I loaded the upper wing into the booth and tacked it down several times to make sure it was ready. I estimated that I would need around 2000 total grams or about 58 ounces of part A to get the wing painted. I was nearly through my first gallon of white paint, so I just dumped the rest into my new gallon of paint. I mixed up the new gallon to get it nice and stirred and and mixed about 65% of my 2000 grams of Part A which ended up at 37 ounces of paint but once you add the catalyst and water you end up with quite a lot of paint, but you need it all for the first 3 coats. I sprayed the first coat and half way through my arm was killing me. Its really a bear to go up and down with so much paint in the hopper. The first coat took almost 20 minutes to tack enough that I was comfortable to move on to the next coat and really it wasn’t as tacky as I like. It also spider webbed on my real bad in places which it hasn’t done before. I just moved on at 20 minutes and sprayed the next coat. It still spider webbed in spots and this coat took nearly 25 minutes to tack. I was starting to get worried about pot life. Anyway I waited as long as I felt comfortable and shot the third coat. This one took nearly 30 minutes to tack. So now we are in almost 70 minutes and it was running and sagging all over the place. I didn’t know what else to do and most of the sags were where I had to put trim colors anyway so i just went with it and mixed up more paint and shot the final coat at 70 minutes. By the time it was all said and done I had runs in places and loads of sags so i tilted the wing up to horizontal to combat that. I came back about 3 hours later to a glossy in places but not really glossy and the areas that spider-webbed looked like strings of yarn in the paint there were other areas that looked like they blushed (a flat soft feel to them) I haven’t had any problems up to this point so this is the list of areas where I could have gone wrong.

1) New gallon of paint
2) New quart of cataylst
3) Possible High Humidity
4) Rushed job not tacking well. (it took nearly a 1hr 30 minutes when it normally takes 50ish minutes)

Well happy birthday to me! Like a giant F’you!

Here is a picture as you can see the wing is dull in places and semi glossy in others it was all over the wing in random places.

Time spent 4 hours
Total time spent 1294 hours