Preparing Fuselage for Painting


With all the welding complete, it was time to paint the fuselage.  The preparation began with protecting the inside of all the tubes with a bath of hot linseed oil.  Small holes were drilled at various tube locations and hot linseed oil was injected into the tubes while also rotating the fuse on the rotisserie.  The hot linseed oil helps you determine if the oil has reached all the places in the tubular structure by feeling the tubes for heat. Excess oil was drained off and the 3/32 inch holes were closed with pop rivets.
I discovered during the build process that sandblasting was very messy so I left the fuse on the rotisserie and hired a flat bed tow truck to deliver it to Southwest Sandblasting in Grand Rapids. They used a fine bead media and cleaned off and blasted every tube, joint, tab, and nook and cranny of the fuselage.
From there, I had the fuse delivered to Cascoat for painting.  They specialize in an electro-static process where the paint and the metal are electrically coupled so that all surfaces can be evenly coated. They first cleaned the fuse with a bath of MEK and then two coats of Randolph two part epoxy primer followed by two coats of Ranthane two part epoxy 146 J3 OEM yellow finish coat.  Along with the fuse, I had them also paint the landing gear components, engine mount and numerous other individual parts.

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