December 6, 2009

Painted the Seat Parts, Started Riveting - 4.5 Hrs.

I had a great day today. A big day for painting, that is. In spite of the bitter cold and wind howling outside, I warmed up my shop and painted all the seat parts and the tunnel cover with my JetFlex topcoat. It's times like this that I really appreciate this water-based paint. No fumes. No mask or breathing apparatus necessary. No overspray to worry about with the HVLP system. Just shoot it all right here in the shop and when it's done, clean everything up in the kitchen sink with warm soapy water.

Above, all the angles. Below, one of the seatbacks. I lightly scotchbrited all the parts first, just to scuff up the primer and remove any very small bumps or imperfections before shooting the topcoat on. I love this JetFlex paint! I've been diluting it 10% with distilled water and shooting with a bit more air pressure than you might normally use with HVLP for solvent-based paints. From what I've been reading, I should be using a 1.5 mm tip, but I don't have one. I'm using my 1.4 mm tip, so I'm trying to compensate. I'm very happy with the results. They're not perfect, but not bad. Most of this stuff will be covered with upholstery anyway.

Some of the parts were dry enough to start riveting them together, by the time I got everything cleaned up. So I went ahead. The material data sheet that came with the JetFlex says it takes up to two weeks to fully cure and harden. It's dry enough to rivet, obviously, after a little while, though. When it's fully cured, it's hard as a rock.

I finished riveting the tunnel cover and the hinges to the seatback support brackets. Obviously, I didn't paint the hinges. They are prone to paint chipping, based on what I've observed, and I'd rather see unpainted hinges. I can always go back and shoot this again if I ever change my mind. I kind of like the look of the rivet heads, too. My whole cabin will have this theme, since I'm painting everything before final assembly and riveting. Hopefully, I'll be able to rivet the seatbacks together tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to throwing some cushions in there and sitting in the airplane for the first time.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)