Monday, June 15, 2009

Painting - Day 1

June 15, 2009

Today was by far one of the most grueling days of this build. I finished cutting a few pieces out of ply (the landing gear and the bell crank platform) and got them ready to install. I do need to paint some sanding sealer on the landing gear.

I began to drill out some 1/2 holes in the bell crank supports, and my 12 year old Ryobi cordless drill, which was just fully charged, was dying out. I was barely able to drill out two holes, and I still had more to go.

I also installed the tail wheel door and tail wheel assembly. I removed the wheel for painting. When I installed it, the filler that I used for the slightly oversize hole in the dowel opened up, and I suspect that will happen with the wings as well. I have been reluctant to screw the wings in because of that.

Today I completed the prop assembly. The spinner has a aluminum back plate that looked like a great back plate to screw in a 3/4" piece of pin to. I used my belt sander to gouge out some holes to fit the PVC pipe props around a 5-1/2 " diameter pine. I secured the blades (after sanding the rouigh edges of the props) with some Gorilla Glue and three #6-1/2 wood screws per blade.

The spinned was easy to cut with the Wiss snipes. After a few trimming passes the spinner fit! Total time from start to finish and ready for paint: about 2 hours. I bet this saved at least 10 hours and a day doing it this method. I recommend this way to those dreading the drill press method described in the plans.

I went out and bought what turned out to be $70 in spray paint. I decided that spray paint was the way to go on the finish. I was shocked when I got to the register on that bill. I bought 4 cans of Rust-Oleum Metallic paint (it was the only type of spray paint that had sparkles in the paint) at $4 a can. 4 cans of white primer (to make the sparkles stand out) two cans of black, one can of yellow, and one can of Olive Drab for the top of the fuse between the cockpit and the beginning of the black and yellow checkers.

I made a mistake with the spinner, and realized my error as i was finished. I did not apply a primer coat before spraying the yellow (I figured yellow would be the first overall coat). When I went to spray the black "bumble bee" scheme, the painters tape removed some the yellow. This stinks, because the whole reason I bought the spinner was for the visual appeal, but now it will have some chipped paint. I'm going to attempt to strip off the paint tomorrow and do it the right way.

I must warn those out there considering using spray paint, you will pay a lot, and 4 cans of metallic aluminum is not enough. I think I've applied 7 coats of this stuff and it is still uneven. I suspect at least 3 more cans are needed.

The paint on the wood is after 7 coats.

Tomorrow I hope to have the painting completed, and I will begin the process to get the wing on. After this, all that is left is the fine detailing. I have Sunday as the date I'm shooting for to have this finished (Gretchen/Jocelyn's baby shower) as an excuse to get away. Hopefully the weather is nice and the hanger doors will be open for a photo with the real deal!

The reason that the tail is not fully painted is because the entire rudder is black. The same with the other panels that you see that are only half metallic (black/yellow checker scheme goes there). I must say, I think a roller job to start would have been best, but I will continue with the cans for now.

Tomorrow I will buy more cans of metallic, and drill out the remaining holes for the landing gear dowels. I hope to have the wings on at least tomorrow, but I will not have the wheels on until at least Thursday.

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