January 20, 2021
I live in Houston and I love to Scuba dive, so it stands to reason that this airplane is very likely to spend most of it's life in salty-wet places that are very unkind to metal structures. So I decided that I had to prime the whole plane. Now which primer?
I initially was going to go with DuPont Veri-Prime because it seemed popular. After much deliberation I finally decided to go with a two part epoxy primer from DuPont called Prime 'n Seal. I am not quite sure why I gave up on Veri-Prime, but it is probably due to the lady at the paint shop and a conversation I had with an RV-4 driver who used it.
The process is fairly simple although tedious. First I sand all the parts so that you give the primer something good to hold on to. Then I etch the parts with DuPont 225S (Alumiprep) and coat them with DuPont 226S (Alodine). Then after all the parts are good and dry I mix up some of the two part epoxy primer and spray with the little HVLP gun that I got at Harbor Freight. Let them sit overnight and they will be ready to work the next day.
The primer is really good stuff. You have to really work to get Emory cloth to cut through it, but it is rather tedious to apply. It took me a whole Saturday to sand, etch, coat and spray the parts for the right elevator. I may switch to Veri-Prime for the wings just to save some time.
Okay on the wing parts I have started using Sherwin Williams P60-G2 Vinyl Wash primer. This stuff is not nearly as tough as the Prime n Seal, but it is self-etching so all I have to do is clean the parts, mix and spray. Be sure to not put it on too thick as it doesn't stick well if it is too thick. I am not completely sure that I will stick with this stuff but it seems to be a little easier and it is what Van is putting on the inside of the QB kits. I do like that it is dry and ready to work within an hour or so and the epoxy stuff takes the better part of a day.
If I don't make up my mind on this primer stuff then I am likely to have 8 different kinds of primer on this bird by the time I am finished.
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