After the last session, it was time to return the fuselage to the hangar. It will return to the paint booth for one more interior painting session when I have completed the remaining work, but for now there is other work to be done. My father’s neighbor Dave was a huge help in loaning me his trailer and truck for the trip. Thankfully he and a few other neighbors were also on hand to help me load the fuselage onto the trailer. The rain held off just long enough!
The next step was to clean out the paint booth. I removed everything that I could including the boards on the floor and then used pressurized air to remove the dirt on the floor. You can see how much I was able to move out the doorway. The location of the paint booth in a dusty barn isn’t ideal. A lot of dirt comes in on the soles of your feet. I have asked my buddy Chad to see if he can find me an old / free / broken sliding glass door than I can use for a better entrance way. Additionally, before painting the exterior of the booth I plan to convert it from a negative pressure system to a positive pressure system. Hopefully this will aid in keeping dust and dirt out.
After I got the place all cleaned up, I set my saw horses back up and began the process of preparing parts for painting. These parts were primed while ago before riveting. As a result I needed to abrade the surfaces and clean each part.
Here are some photos while the paint is still wet.
The following day, you can see the parts have dried nicely. I’m extremely happy with the results.
This was a good opportunity to check on the desiccant dryer I built. The ball valve at the bottom released water for the first time today. You can see the brick wet below with the spray.
Disassembling the dryer resulted in about 20% of the desiccant appearing pink and requiring “recharging”. The majority of the pink desiccant appears to be at the outer edges of the pipe. Most likely where condensation forms.
I also painted the underneath of the forward fuselage upper skin. I used rattle can grey, which is not an exact match for my paint. It is lighter and bluer in tint. However, this part will barely be seen except at very odd angles. Additionally, I will hit the visible parts again when I do the final interior painting of the remaining parts.