Priming the Fuselage Frame page 2

Now for the sandblasting.  I purchased a 40 lb. pressurized sandblaster from Harbor Freight Tools.  My original idea was to use 2 compressors and switch back and forth using one while the other pumped up again.  Well this failed miserably.  I ended up sandblasting for one minute and then waiting five minutes for the compressors to recharge.  The sandblaster really needs about 60CFM at 100 PSI to continue sandblasting without stopping.  So I went to my local rental store and rented a tow behind, commercial diesel operated compressor. This baby puts out 200CFM. at 125 psi. As Tim "the tool man" Taylor would say: "aurgh, aurgh, aurgh"  The engine on the big compressor didn't even come out of idle mode for this job.  It was $75 for the weekend but worth every penny.

The sand I used was #4 sandblasting sand formulated especially for sandblasting.  The rental place carried it.  Regular old play sand or sand from the beach is too smooth to cut very well.

Here I am starting the sandblasting process at the tail:

If you look at the top longeron, closest to you in the picture, you can see where its been sandblasted and where it hasn't. The lighter gray to the left has been sandblasted and the darker to right has not been sandblasted.  Just take your time and get in every cluster and nook and cranny.  The sandblasting process leaves a nice clean surface that is kind of grainy rough so its perfect for paint adhesion. 

It took several hours and about 700 lbs. of sand to complete the fuselage.

Once completed, it was thoroughly blown off with an air hose and then wiped down real well with some Naptha.

The primer used is my old tried and true EP-420 epoxy in white.  This is a 2 part catalyst epoxy primer and is practically bullet proof once it cures.  The fuselage was primed with 3 to 4 coats of the Epoxy primer and allowed to cure for one week.

Here it is after priming:

Sandblast & Prime Fuselage

Completed: 05/14/06

Total Time:  20 hours

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