Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Front outer skin sanded and priming begins

Over the past few days, I have managed to do some sanding, priming, sanding and more priming when the weather permits.

First I sanded the old paint off...

Before...(you can see the many areas of chipped paint)

Sanded down to bare metal with  60 grit
Knowing I had a lot of good dings to smooth out, I went with a Filling Primer first.  I then let the primer dry for an hour before sanding with 400 grit sandpaper.  (400 is less aggressive than the lower grits...most people would suggest 600 between layers of primer.  Knowing I had a lot to fill in and smooth out, I went for 600 since since I planned to prime and sand two more times)

The pictures may not show it very well, since grey on metal is hard to photograph, but A got amount of primer came off the skin when sanded smooth.  

After a thorough wipe down, it was time for the next coat of primer, this time the Rustoleum brand primer.

The Rustoleum primer went on really well.  After drying for two hours, I went to 800 grit sandpaper to get a very smooth surface on the skin.

On the back of the skin, I sanded the bare surface down with 60 grit paper.  This helped clean up the edges  of all the cut outs.

This roughened surface will be ideal for the Very High Bond tape when it is time to use it.  Here is how the front skin looks with the second coat of primer sanded...

Before calling it a night, I brought the inner front skin indoors and clamped it onto the frame.  With all the sanding work, the skins are more straight then curved, so this should help get some of that back.

This is one of those little quirks...the skin won't rest flush everywhere.

Clamping where I can to get that "bend" back in the skin.
I am going to mark on the inner skin where the frame makes contact with the skin.  The idea here is that where possible, if the frame allows for it, install servo brackets into the inner skin.  Like any good idea, it SOUNDS great but we'll see.  All of the panels are very close to each other so finding a spot to place any servo (and require linkages) can be quite a challenge!

I'm thinking one more coat of primer, while possibly overkill, will be a good idea.  After seeing all the wear and tear the skins took over two years, it can't hurt.  Once the weather clears out and gives me a sunny day or two, I can do that, then a coat or two of white.