Priming Horizontal Stabilizer
1/1/2021 – Since it’s winter and I have a heated garage without a paint booth setup, I’m running the parts outside to spray and bring in to dry as well as in between coats. The weather right now is mid-30’s and rainy/snowy, so I’m having to be patient. I was able to get the first batch primed using SEM. Even with two thin coats that are applied (fog coat, then covering coat) and “just until hiding” occurs per the instructions, I went through quite a significant amount of primer. At roughly $20/can ($1.25 per ounce), that’s going to add up fast. Also, having been able to review the samples from my recent primer test and some more thought, I’m going to be going forward with the yellow zinc phosphate primer. With enough curing time it has become as tough as the SEM and Dupli-Color primers. Even more importantly, it will give me better corrosion protection. Plus, it’s half the cost. So these parts may be gray, but the remaining priming shall be yellow! Once I get to the fuselage I may move over to Azko or similar for the more accessible areas (for durability), but for now, I’m going to lean on convenience.
1/3/2021 – The weather cleared-up today and I was able to get to the remaining parts, aside from the skins. The stock spray nozzle that the Tempo cans come with isn’t the greatest and sprays in a circular pattern. I had much better spray pattern and finish with SEM, which has a fan nozzle, so I simply swapped nozzles. Night and day difference! Despite a stiff breeze, I got a fairly even coat over all these. Parts were first prepped with Scotch-Brite and cleaned with acetone.
On a side note, I saw SEM sells a pack of 25 “medium width fan nozzles” that look like the ones the SEM primer comes with. I reached out to them to verify that they’re the same, they are not apparently. I’ll probably order a pack anyway and give them a try. Also, ordered a portable painting tent. This will help cut down on wind issues and contain the over-spray (the gravel I was spraying over now has a yellow hue).
1/5/2021 – Primed one of the two skins today. I only had one partial can of Tempo left, awaiting delivery of four more. It’s been a bit of a slow-go due to figuring out how to do all this the first time around and what primer to use. Going forward I’ll be in a much better position to knock this stuff out pretty quickly. Winter certainly isn’t helping anything either.
The lighter spots in the first skin photo are areas that had some light scratches that were smoothed out. Everywhere else got a very light sanding with the maroon Scotch-Brite, then thorough cleaning with acetone. A single, light coat of primer was then applied.