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  #61  
Old 08-12-2005, 09:33 AM
Glos Glos is offline
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To everybody following this thread.

This appears to be an excellent process and it will pay off on the big end where it counts.

I did mine in the middle 80'S following Rutans suggestion of using that absolutely crappy Feather Fill. Get a paint chip where water can get in and the Feather Fill soaked it up like a sponge. Later the nightmare. Bubbles inder the paint starting at 2" and up to 10" Constantly chasing the fixes until the paint surface is a combination of unfixed primer or mismatched paint blotches.

At the 8 year point, I took it all home to start over. Second time I used a sealer/primer/filler from Sportflight. Sticks real good, fills ok and easy to sand.
Adaquate.

I wish I had this data back then. I would have followed it to the letter and would sing while I was doing it.

This is where the finish will be directly proportional to the effort. It is not the most enjoyable of work but it is a lot lot better than Re-do's
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  #62  
Old 08-16-2005, 04:30 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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I've finally gotten around to writing up and posting my Step 4: Filling the Scratches and Pinholes. This is the webpage that covers the raw epoxy finishing technique in a little more detail.

You can access it from my home page. Just follow the Chapter 25 links.

Still no pictures though. The digital camera I have just doesn't do justice to how well the pinholes are filled.
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  #63  
Old 08-18-2005, 10:39 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Here are some pictures showing what the raw epoxy finishing technique does for you! Notice the SIZE of those craters in the micro, and the epoxy fully filled each one. Note how the rash is also filled. Any exposed fiberglass is now sealed and protected too!

After taking the 2 pics of pinholes, I modified my process some by using WEST microlight to fill larger craters before skim-coating with WEST. Looks like the plane is covered with calomine (spelling?) lotion.

The other two pics show the glossy strake surface after 5 skim coats. The next step is to block sand the cured WEST and go straight to high build primer. No pinholes! No need to do the pinhole dance (finding and filling pinholes.)

It was 110 degrees in the hangar. The coats were curing really fast, so the two-hour wait between coats was really only about 15 minutes. I got all 5 skims coats onto the tops of both strakes done in less than 2 hours.

I wouldn't really do this, but these state how I feel about this process. It is WONDERFUL!!! Can you tell by now that I really recommend it?????
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  #64  
Old 08-18-2005, 10:45 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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I should say that you don't normally get pinholes this large.

The craters were caused by VERY BAD technique on my part when I was first learning. I was trying the peak and valley method of spreading the dry micro with a notched trowel. Air got trapped into the valleys when I applied the second layer of micro.

Since then, I do the prefilling and big filling using the tools and processes explained on my website. I don't get pinholes this big anymore. Some are still big enough for filling with microlight.

But it's the hundreds of really small pinholes you don't see at first where the raw epoxy really helps to fill.
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  #65  
Old 08-18-2005, 02:45 PM
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Oh my freaking ......! Wayne, I'm convinced! Good job, keep going.

Does anyone know about surface shrink or collapse? I've seen on some paints where it looks great then gradually gets duller and duller due to prolonged cure. The correction to this is color sand and re-buff. Another concern is prolong wear and tear cracking. We've all seen it on jell coats on boats.
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  #66  
Old 08-18-2005, 03:23 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Of particular interest to us is "print-through". Some fillers, including those made from WEST, have a propensity to shrink up just a bit. If applied too thin, the weave of the cloth will start showing through the finished paint.

This is where skim coating can give you an advantage. It seals the micro, however thin it was applied. The cloth won't print through.

My personal feeling is that print-through is due to inadequate builder technique. Either the micro was spread too thin, or exposed fiberglass surfaces were not sealed correctly. Your final high build primer coat is supposed to be one uniform color without any of the micro or exposed glass showing through. You're supposed to use a primer/sealer coat immediately prior to final top coat. That primer/sealer coat is what keeps things from showing through. I have a feeling that those with print-through scimped on doing these things.

(When I say WEST shrinks, it's on the microscopic side. See below. Do these things and you won't print through. WEST and other structural/contouring epoxies won't crack like gelcoat does.)
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  #67  
Old 08-18-2005, 06:31 PM
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I've had my hands on over 5000 fresh paint jobs,and have seen a large part of them 1-2 months later.
the most common and confusing is "where did the shine go" after 24 hours?
well i tell you..in most paint shops the primer is catalyzed and left to sit over night then is sanded to 1500 wet,and mind you it looks good. then it is sprayed with paint and baked,still looks good.
but if you go to the mill specks of the primer and look at the mix you will see that it was sprayed on to thick and not thinned to what the manufacture wanted. so after the baking of the paint, 24 hours later they wet sand to 2000 and buff out the new formed peel or fog or shrink and give it a good coat of oily filler gunk(wax) and wala.....you get a shrinking mess that has been sealed.

there is no good fix for this,just hope there is lots of clear and it can be re-sanded in a week or so,but most clears dry so hard,it would be faster and cheaper to re spray the clear after a good sanding.
to help prevent this from being your night mare, tell the shop to let it set for a week after the final primer is put on ................BEFOR ANY SANDING IS DONE...........................
...............................GO BACK TO THE SHOP IN ONE WEEK.................
......................look at the sand paper they are useing.......................
.....and rinse out there buckets(there is always sand in them)..............

after you have seen the final sanding then and only then let them paint.

one more thing...make sure the primer is the type the paint manufacture wants under there, if the shop uses a cheaper type, some times you get crow foot ,pin pop,blush,shrink back......to name a few,but most of all the guarantee is out the window and the shop will fight you tooth and nail not to re-do the job, and the hole thing will need a good striping(not good on a glass plane) hope this helps
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  #68  
Old 08-19-2005, 09:42 AM
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Wayne,

This process is not quite done. The real pinholes show up during the primer coat and they are tiny. There is also the possibility of "ripple". In both cases small bits of oils from fingerprints, sweat drops and any other of a number of sources can cause these pinholes. The ripples are areas where the primer looks like it is "pulling" away from the area. Pinholes are no bigger than a "pin" point. Ripples can be as big as the contaminated area.

Clean, clean, clean and then clean again before the primer coat. After it is clean go over it several times with a "tack" cloth. Buy several and use them liberally, they are comparitively cheap. Then comes the wayward dust particle or the bug that waited in the paint booth untill just after the first coat has been laid down.

Spot puddy from the local auto refinishing and painting supply is a handy tube of what can be discribed as thick primer. It can be applied with a very small scraper blade. I made mine from the mixing sticks and sanded a blade accross the front. Dries real fast as well.

Don't rely on your favorite pro shop to clean the plane completely nor to address all of the pinholes. The better the prep you do the better job they will do. If you can't primer it yourself, then be there to inspect before the first paint coat goes on.

I shot mine twice with a ten year spread between the two. I tried to save the 3 to 4 grand on a paint job. Bought a nice HVLP set up with the savings. I used Imron the second time and while it not exactly a show contender it came out way better than many I have seen. And oh, no pinholes ripples or bugs.

Rick
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  #69  
Old 08-19-2005, 11:01 AM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Wayne, this process is not quite done. The real pinholes show up during the primer coat and they are tiny.

----> Pinholes are seemingly invisible. You're correct in that you WILL NOT see all of them in the dry micro, but they will magically appear when you apply the primer. This is exactly what the raw epoxy technique fixes. It fills pinholes and solves the problem BEFORE the primer is applied. Like I said on my website, I filled only 20-30 pinholes per wing. But..... almost all of those pinholes re-appeared in the dry micro areas that got exposed again when I sanded back through the WEST skim coats. I had only 3 pinholes on areas covered by the skim coats. And those 3 were grouped together in an area about the size of your pinky nail (they were from the same source). I'm doing the strakes now and I don't anticipate sanding through the WEST. So I'll know for sure if I spray primer and get zero pinholes.

small bits of oils from fingerprints, sweat drops and any other of a number of sources can cause these pinholes.
----> The raw epoxy will seal this and prevent it from corrupting the primer/paint. Plus, I sand the epoxy, wash the part with soap and water. Then apply the primer. No one is allowed to touch things until the primer is cured. (Except for the occasional hangarmate who drags his grubby fingers across the freshly-sprayed primer "to see if it's dry yet." Why do they DO that???)

After it is clean go over it several times with a "tack" cloth.
----> I do that too. It's part of the ritual each time I spray primer.

Spot puddy from the local auto refinishing and painting supply is a handy tube of what can be discribed as thick primer.
----> I was told to avoid the tube stuff. I use the two-part epoxy filler, EverCoat glazing compound, commonly referred to as Ice. Since it is two-part epoxy, it is guaranteed to cure even when applied as a tiny dot in a pinhole. The tube stuff is one part with a slow catalyst mixed in. While it looks cured and can be worked within 20 minutes, there is the possibility of tiny quantities not curing properly. Use the two-part epoxy stuff.

Don't rely on your favorite pro shop to clean the plane completely nor to address all of the pinholes.
----> My wings are in final primer right now. There is ONE pinhole that I had to fill. I've dared anyone at the airport to find more pinholes and no one has found any others. I attribute this to the how well the raw epoxy technique works. T
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  #70  
Old 08-19-2005, 12:25 PM
Glos Glos is offline
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Excellent!

You got it covered. As I said before, I wish I knew of this techique when I did mine. Comparitively speaking, I had maybe two dozen pinholes on the second round and hundreds the first time.

I can't say enough to those that have not gotten as far as Wayne, this work up front pays back several times over

Back to Wayne. Do you plan to shoot the final coat of paint or are you going to have this done? How much work do you have remaining? If you're this far along you might make it up this year yet.

Rick
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  #71  
Old 08-19-2005, 03:19 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Someone much wiser said, "A nice airplane can be ruined by a bad paint job. If in doubt, hire a professional."

My plan is to hire a professional.

After spraying the first coat of primer and watching it run, run, run, my plan is to hire the best damned professional I can afford!
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  #72  
Old 08-19-2005, 05:19 PM
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What's all this talk about pinholes? I've only ever seen a couple ... on the fuselage side where I didn't use plastic peel ply.

It's funny, Wayne. After all this time, here we are again ... running neck & neck on the final paint I'll be doing the paint myself. I was very pleased with the results the first time.
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  #73  
Old 08-19-2005, 10:40 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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Pinholes in the dry micro. You know, the white stuff that goes over the fiberglass that was plastic plied? I don't have pinholes in my glasswork either. No way to avoid it in the dry micro.
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  #74  
Old 08-19-2005, 11:42 PM
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Ah. OK, but I didnt see any pinholes there either. How are you mixing the micro?
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  #75  
Old 08-20-2005, 10:20 PM
Wayne Hicks Wayne Hicks is offline
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WEST epoxy and microballoons? Mixed dry? And you had no pinholes? Oh, please do tell how you managed that.
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