Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My blog is like watching primer dry

Finishing is becoming easier and more rewarding so I continue to muddle through but this remains my least favorite phase. I wanted to share the final approach to booster section greatness with some pics, info, and time stats:

Since I used only gravity on the fin reinforcement (no vacuum or shrink tape) I did my best to squeegee out the excess resin to optimize weight/strength. The resultant texture was very pronounced and 10^6 coats of primer never would have filled it. Instead I used the miraculous SuperFil to fill and obscure that fabric texture as well as ramping the motor retainer lip down.
Mixing/application time: 45 minutes
Curing time: overnight

Here I've just applied the two heavy coats of UV Smooth Prime:
Mixing/application time: 60 minutes
Drying time: overnight

This is my new favorite trick from Dave Triano... spray a light guide coat of matte black paint, let dry, and start sanding. This pre-coat takes no time to apply and dry and it's easily the best way to ensure your final sanded area is completely uniform. It also shows gaps that require subsequent SuperFil. Buy those ShadowAero videos right now!!
Sanding time: 90 minutes (even with 60 and 80 grit sandpaper dammit!)
The very smooth, uniform sanded result:

I applied yet another ramping layer of SuperFil to transition/smooth out that motor retainer lip. I also found some areas with pits too deep for primer and filled those too.
Mixing/application time: 20 minutes
Curing time: overnight

Here are the final two heavy layers of UV Smooth Prime
Mixing/application time: 40 minutes
Drying time: overnight

I'll be sanding that off tomorrow and vibrating my hand nerves so they'll be numb for hours afterward. Seriously... can I hire someone to sand for me? Anyone? It'll pay better than minimum wage.
I should also note that, if you're using car primer and paint, there's literally no need to use finer than about 80 grit sandpaper. In fact it's obvious that the resultant grooves improve paint adhesion and Napa's single-stage paint film is still astonishingly glossy. I'll probably apply a couple of layers of clear coat as well once the vinyl lettering is on.

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