Fuselage 17 (5.0 hrs)

Time to finally start priming interior parts! Unfortunately, today was met with several hold-ups. I’ll come back to those further down.

In addition to building a proper, albeit ugly, paint booth, I’ve been studying up on proper paint techniques and procedures. Here is a set of videos on YouTube that speak about tools, techniques, and safety equipment.

I started by priming the outside of the old aileron skin I had laying around. 

Slight orange peel, but not terrible. I was trying to practice proper application techniques in preparation for spraying actual paint, but two things made this difficult. First, the stupid cheep orange air hose from Harbor Freight absolutely gushes oil. Now, keep in mind, this hose has never been used with an oil compressor or oil unit. The oil is literally seeping out of the cheap plastic! In the middle of the priming session, I stopped, switched filters, as the first one was saturated, and attempted to blow the oil out of the line. It made it better, but still didn’t solve the problem entirely. Secondly, my cheap Harbor Freight gun is no longer spraying an even pattern. Now, I can’t really fault a $19 gun, that thus far has served me well over two years. But, its going to be time for an upgrade to a professional (or semi professional) setup if I plan to paint the entire plane myself. 

I primed almost every part that will never see a topcoat of paint. Floor stiffeners, the undersides of the floors, and the like were all completed today. With the paint gun issues, and the oil in the line, I didn’t want to take a chance with any of the parts that would see paint.   

The new primer is fairly easy to work with. It takes a little longer to dry than AKZO, so I’ll report back on how tough it is.   

So after, my first day in my paint booth, I’ve learned several things. I’ve already covered the gun and hose, but the paint booth will also need a few adjustments. I need a set of shelves, as going in and out of the paint booth is difficult and problematic. I also probably need more airflow. I’ll need to give this careful consideration. Perhaps a third fan and more inlets. I will also open up the rest of the barn more to create maximum airflow. Even with a brand new mask and filters, I still feel a little light headed. I couldn’t smell anything through the mask, and it was of the appropriate type. I think the times that I took it off outside of the booth over the course of the day was enough.  All in all, I’m happy with the booth and my setup. More tweaks and practice to come.

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