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Thread: Stewart System Paint

  1. #121
    fobjob's Avatar
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    Bob, patches on top of what process? What solvent in your "solvent based finish"?

  2. #122

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    I just complete a PA-11 replica using Stuart system, using brushes and foam rollers. Satisfactory job but lots of work.

    Warning: If you use auto gas when, for the first time, you put fuel in your tanks and if there is a fuel leak, it will disolve the EkoFill and the top coat will fall off where fuel drops hit the inside of fuselage or wings. I talked to the Stuart experts and this fact is known to them. I live in Eastern Canada.

  3. #123
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdkl View Post
    .. fuel in your tanks and if there is a fuel leak, it will disolve the EkoFill and the top coat will fall off where fuel drops hit the inside of fuselage or wings....
    I thought that's shown on the Instruction DVD that you are supposed to spray insides of tank bay fabric with the top coats to seal them to prevent this????

  4. #124
    Beach Bum's Avatar
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    I'm a rookie but after painting over half my airplane I'm finally getting my hands around Stewart Systems top coat. What took me too long to learn:

    - Paint and cataylst, stir throughly THEN the water! If not, cottage cheese.
    - Never wash your parts with water or cleaner and then paint. Fisheye!
    - Better a lot thicker mix then a little thin. Paint runs away from seems, runs and takes a 1,000 coats to cover.
    - I found it better to mix a little thicker than instructed and use whatever air pressure it takes to spray nicely. Could be my gun.
    - Immediately after spraying on fabric it will have orange peel. The paint levels and tightens as it drys.

    flap.jpg

  5. #125
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    Regarding Auto fuel and leaks

    Auto fuel affects dope and polyfiber the same way it just take a little bit more saturation to cause a defect. Inconsequential splashed auto fuel or a small spill that does not sit around and soak into the back side of the fabric does does not cause problems. It's the heavy flowing saturating constant leaks that soak deep into the fabric that cause finish failures. 100LL has not show to have any effect. MOGAS that you used to be able to get from airports has not shown to have any effect. It's the additive packages that go into the car gas for hwy use that mess up paint jobs. All the solvents and cleaners in auto fuel that are designed to keep your cars fuel system clean are not good for paints. A pre-cover inspection should include a fuel system pressure test. Do not use auto fuel to do this regardless of what covering system you plan on using. Stewart Systems EkoPoly is solvent resistant and auto fuel from the out side does not effect the paint. Technically I believe auto fuel STC's are for MOGAS not fuel designed for hwy use, I could be wrong on that one though.

    Here is a short video I made today with an iPhone showing my technique spraying EkoPoly with my SATA 3000B gun. It goes over what to look for when applying the paint. My application technique is to have the gun working at it's best possible atomization and only make small changes when opening the fluid needle between coats. I control the amount of paint applied by speed. overlap, and distance from the work surface. If you learn how to make your paint gun work at it's optimum performance then you will have a much better paint job. Our instructions are only guidelines of where to start. Always research and practice first before painting airplane parts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uWMsSmW1K4


    Jason
    Last edited by jgerard; 09-29-2011 at 08:25 PM.

  6. #126
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The auto body shops are going water born and they are putting in circulating fans to evaporate the water not dry the paint like heat does.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  7. #127
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    I have just completed my wing using all of the Stewart's system products and process, and it all went very well including the paint.

    Some things I've learned
    1) Using a mid grade paint brush instead of the super cheap ones will aerate the glue much less
    2) I will not use the batting or felt on the leading edge agian, I don't feel it looks as nice and it just adds weight, but it can cover up some sheet metal issues.
    3) you must have a wing rotisserie, don't even start until you build or purchase one
    4) An inline air dryer is a must for the top coat system after I installed this the paint application went great
    5) I found sanding after the last two coats of ekofill works the best, and keeps it as this as possible. Start with 400 and finishing with 600.


    Questions
    Has anyone every used the white ekofill and then just cleared over it, so you can save some weight I feel like it would save 1 maybe two coats of the top coat paint
    Does Cub crafters do this with the grey on there light weight paint scheme on the Carbon Cub

    Sent from my HTC Evo using Tapatalk

  8. #128

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    Fob job - my patches are minor alterations. I glue a small patch right over the crack with Stewarts, then iron the wrinkles out, then erase the glue outside the patch area, and brush on Ekofill. Contrary to instructions, I wet-sand. The finish coat is usually colored butyrate. I have done this over Stits, dope, Aerothane, and unknown. I have never had adverse results.

  9. #129

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    I have covered my Sport Trainer using Stewart System, using good quality foam rollers. Hardly any bubles to remove with a brush. This was done a year and a half ago and the finish is satisfactory to good.

    I followed these instructions ( 3 paint for 1 catalist and 80% of the calalist for water by volume). Mix well paint and calalist and then add slowly the water. The mix is good for about an hour at around 70F. Spread the paint with the roller in all directions to ensure a good coverage and then finish with the roller in only one direction. Watch for bubles if any, use brush to remove them and continue. Keep an eye for runs (usually not a problem). The first few coats are light. wait until the paint is slightly sticky but no paint on finger, and put another coat the same way. Around 5-6 total. The last coat, more paint on the roller. Good lighting is very important to ensure proper coverage. With EKOFILL, I used foam brushes, starting with very light coats . Sand with 320 grit paper (dry) after 3-4 coats and before final color paint. Good luck with your project
    Last edited by gdkl; 02-10-2012 at 01:17 PM.

  10. #130
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    Mongo, I can't imagine you'd really gain anything going with clear... what do ya think they use for the base for all the color coats?? I'd just go with some white and love it!
    John

  11. #131
    mongo's Avatar
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    I know that if I had used white ecocoat for the final two coats, I would have needed one coat less of white top coat, I used the recommended 4 coats. I feel with clear I would only use two coats of top coat clear. That would save at least 3 quarts per plane and that around 8lbs.....
    I'm not looking for a show plane just a smooth and light paint job.


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  12. #132
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    You would be lighter using the white paint than clear coating over white primer. The lightest combination would be a silver colored paint job

    2 brushed coats of EkoFill to seal the weave, 1 sprayed coat for build up, 1.5 x-coats of Metallic silver paint. You would have full UV protection with a durable finish and be very light. This would save 2 x-coats of product over the normal procedure. It may save about 10-12lbs total on a cub sized airplane.

    A square foot of medium fabric normally weighs about .75 to .8 oz with a 2 inch tape across it and 3 x-coats of primer and 2 x-coats of color.

    if you cut out 2 x-coats of paint you might get down to .6 oz per square foot.

    figure about 90 square yards of fabric per plane = 810 square feet

    medium weight 102-3 ceconite is 3.2 oz per yard = .36 oz per square foot

    Our metallic silver paint is mostly clear resin with a tiny bit of aluminum, black tint, and mica. It covers extremely well and blocks sunlight extremely well and is very easy to spray and get full color saturation with a minimum of coats.

    Our paint is normally dries to about the thickness of a human hair ( 2 mil ) so it's pretty darn light to begin with. A cub should gain about 45 lbs covered and painted with our products. That's light for a cover job and paint job.


    Jason

  13. #133
    mongo's Avatar
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    Ok, so my next plane will be silver

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  14. #134

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    Good, then we will all have the same colored airplanes! This will be nice when you bust a hole in the fabric and your buddy has Stewarts Silver on tap. When we're all dead and or slurpin apple sauce and they look back on the roaring 20teens, they'll get nostalgic for that silver. There will be nostalgic metal signs made...It will be the yellow of our time.
    Er something.

  15. #135
    mongo's Avatar
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    I shall name her the silver fox

  16. #136

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    Crap, all the good names are taken. I'll go with silverfish.

  17. #137
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    I have an aircraft shop in Ontario - we work on pretty well anything that go on floats - lots of Cubs including building a 300 HP Northstar Cub. We have painted airplanes for over 20 years - both metal and fabric - with most "systems". We recently painted a new fabric job with the stewart system - we had alot of the problems talked about here - orange peel, solvent popping, etc - we had to paint most things twice and some as many as 4 times (still didn't turn out great). I am not here to complain but just so the others are not seen to be sh*t disturbing - we have painted airplanes for many years and we couldn't make it work - we watched the DVD over and over again and talked to the Canadian Distrubutor and the head office - we are not amateur aircraft painters but maybe that is the problem!
    Doug Ronan

  18. #138

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    A really light and straight forward system is silver butyrate over the ecofil. Everything about Stewarts up to and including the ecofil is a breeze and really superior to anything else on the market. Spraying butyrate on top is sort of like the best of both worlds. I do wish Stewarts would put the butyrate top coat option back on the STC.

    Andrew.

  19. #139
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    It always amazes me when so many people breeze right through the topcoat and some just fight it all the way.... if it was a product problem, I'd think it would happen to everyone.

  20. #140
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    I used the Stewart's System on my PA-12. It's been six months since spraying color on my tail feathers, and the elevators are now suddenly forming bubbles. HOWEVER - I'm blaming my application, because I did the elevators and stabilizers at the same time, and the stabilizers are not bubbling. I am blaming it on too much paint per coat, put on too fast. I remember having trouble with orange peel on the elevators, so laying the paint on kinda heavy (could get away with it because they were lying flat). It is disconcerting, however, that the problem would manifest months after the application - that seems really strange.

    I'm convinced that the Stewart System can give superb results, but that the gun and air supply setup MUST provide excellent atomization for success. I used a fairly inexpensive (~$100) gun, and it just did not lay down the fine droplets that were evident on the samples Jason sent me. Jason has said over and over, that a good gun and good air supply are mandatory. From my own experience of trying to "get by" with the gun I already had, I agree. This material simply doesn't wet out like solvent based coatings tend to, and cannot be flooded - it MUST be laid on in thin, uniform layers with very small (highly atomized) droplets of paint. At least that's my experience. To quote Bob Turner, "opinion"!
    Gordon

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  21. #141
    mongo's Avatar
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    I didn't have a big enough compressor so I rented a gas powered unit that was supposed to be 20cfm at 90 psi, and I can say it wasn't quite enough.

    Sent from my HTC Evo using Tapatalk

  22. #142
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    It's the paint gun that needs the air, not the paint. If your equipment is not properly set up from the compressor to the gun then you'll be sacrificing performance of the paint gun. I have spoken with a few guys that swear everything is as it should and it's just not atomizing like it should. I give them a few simple instructions on how to set up the air supply and test the gun and that usually fixes the problems.

    Jason

  23. #143
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    didn't have the best gun,didn't have the best air,didn't have the right temp's,didn't have the best booth,cut two coats out ,against jason's recommendations but if ya do as they suggest it comes out as advertized!!!
    if ya don't like it,just go back to the other methods and smell the rose's,maybe the ones your loved ones lay on ya'r grave!!!

    jr.
    can almost see real alaska from here

  24. #144
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    I've been using it over 10 years and every time it's screwed up on me, I can trace it back to ME.

  25. #145
    Larry G's Avatar
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    Iam just getting started building my plane so I got a ways to go before I paint. Just woundering has any one tried a airless sprayer like the ones painters use for fine finish wood work. To get it to atomiz Iam not talking about the wagner sprayers but the high dollar sprayers with high preasures. Just woundering it is what I use for my wood work with lacquer finish.

  26. #146
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    As a pure aside it appears the folks with the most painting experience have the most issues. It appears the coats are too heavy.
    John
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a well preserved body but rather to slide in sideways, well used up proclaiming "WOW What a Ride"

  27. #147
    Kub18's Avatar
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    Had my issues with the system when I got to the top coat and I've discussed them on this web site. I think the worst thing you can do is apply too much too fast, then you cause alot of extra re-work when you end up with solvent pop.
    Anything I experienced that may have been a product issue was quickly taken care of by Jason and the people at Stewart's. Support is second to none!
    Over all, I would use the product again without question, and I'm confident I could breeze through the top coat free of problems.
    Advise: Just be patient and apply as directed. If it seems like it's taking too long to tack up....wait for it! It will get there. I still feel it may be more prone to pop than other paints I've used, so don't rush it. Also, find some information on gun set up, the video instructions will get you close but you can fine tune it from there if you know what to look for.

    Just my thoughts.

  28. #148

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    So here's a question for you all before I go pioneering by myself. Has anyone tried different topcoats over Ekofill? Ranthane, Aerothane, or even PPG?

    I did some tail feathers a few years ago. Everything was by the book and the process went perfect. A month ago I noticed some minor flaking. Figured I maybe should have put a tape in that spot, no big deal. Today I look and there are more spots where the paint is peeling off, even on top of tapes. The plane hasn't even been flown in over a year. The Ekopoly just let go from the Ekofill. As I said, everything was done by the book. No peeling, bubbling or any other defects for over two years before it failed. I'm supposed to be doing the fuselage this spring and already I'm going to have to recover parts I did only a few years ago. Dope is looking good right now.

    So now I have a bunch of parts sitting here, done through the Ekofill and needing a top coat. No way am I trusting Ekopoly. If there's about a 50% chance of it failing, as this and other threads show, I might as well try something different. I keep coming across posts that say Ekopoly uses a mechanical bond, while solvent based paints use a chemical bond. Right now I'm leaning towards Ranthane in case I decide to go with Polyfiber for other parts. It's really a shame because the rest of the Stewart system is top notch.

  29. #149
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyndall View Post
    ..... I keep coming across posts that say Ekopoly uses a mechanical bond, while solvent based paints use a chemical bond. .....
    no,

    dope uses chemical bond... it called cohesion... paints and urethanes are by adhesion......

    but any time you get a 'solvent entrapment' in anything, the bond from the top coat/or between coats to the lower layer is not there over the whole surface, because it blocked/bonds to the entrapped item.....

  30. #150
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyndall View Post

    I did some tail feathers a few years ago. Everything was by the book and the process went perfect. A month ago I noticed some minor flaking. Figured I maybe should have put a tape in that spot, no big deal. Today I look and there are more spots where the paint is peeling off, even on top of tapes. The plane hasn't even been flown in over a year. The Ekopoly just let go from the Ekofill. As I said, everything was done by the book. No peeling, bubbling or any other defects for over two years before it failed. I'm supposed to be doing the fuselage this spring and already I'm going to have to recover parts I did only a few years ago. Dope is looking good right now.

    So now I have a bunch of parts sitting here, done through the Ekofill and needing a top coat. No way am I trusting Ekopoly. If there's about a 50% chance of it failing, as this and other threads show, I might as well try something different. I keep coming across posts that say Ekopoly uses a mechanical bond, while solvent based paints use a chemical bond. Right now I'm leaning towards Ranthane in case I decide to go with Polyfiber for other parts. It's really a shame because the rest of the Stewart system is top notch.
    I haven't seen any peeling issues with Stewarts top coat. Have seeen the bubbling and orange peel. What did Stewarts say about the peeling when you discussed it with them?
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers

  31. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    I haven't seen any peeling issues with Stewarts top coat. Have seeen the bubbling and orange peel. What did Stewarts say about the peeling when you discussed it with them?
    I haven't talked to them yet as I thought the first flaking was where a tape should have been. The complete failure was noticed yesterday.

    At this point I see no reason to. I followed the instructions and the video. Everything looked perfect for almost three years. There seems to be an equal number of people that had the system work vs. people that had to redo it a few times for it to be just acceptable. Very few that did it years ago to be able to gauge durability. A couple of months ago I would have been one of the people praising it. Now I'm just looking for a way out.

    A better question is why are so many people having problems? We keep hearing that "it's waterborne, it shoots different". Well, so was the glue and Ekofill and I don't see people having problems with them. Maybe there is a problem with solvent entrapment. Maybe the problem is actually the Ekofill. One things for sure, applying a urethane topcoat is the worst place to be having problems. What help is calling the manufacturer, years after following the instructions, for some things to "try", that may increase the odds of success from 50% to maybe 60%? It all starts with "cut the old fabric off...". Maybe I'll get four years next time before I have to spend time and money to do it over again. Believe it or not, I'd rather fly my plane than redoing the covering three or four times to get it right. The system is ruined by an extremely difficult topcoat. The Stewarts need to open up the STC to other topcoats until they can fix theirs. Singing the praises of Ekopoly to people that have had multiple failures with only this particular paint is not good.

    My original question asked if anyone tried a different topcoat. To switch to a more proven system I'd have to strip all the parts that are now sitting in Ekofill anyway. Only makes sense to try a different paint and see if it sticks. Short of it having a bad reaction with the Ekofill, I can't see any problems and the durability can't be any worse.

  32. #152
    Roger Peterson's Avatar
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    From reading the last 4 pages of problems, I have decided to not try Stewarts top coat. when their system first came out, did not their STC allow any top coat.
    I to would like to see the different topcoat area investigated. I hate to start from scratch if someone has already done some work in that area.
    Roger
    Based at O8XS. Sweeny Texas (Winter)
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  33. #153
    mongo's Avatar
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    I simply don't understand the issues, not that I wouldn't be angry if it happened to me.
    I have never painted before but I have been around painting quite a bit, that being said I have had zero issues except for a run which is my fault.
    It must be how quickly you apply it. I could see the ekofill grey though the top coat until the fourth and final coat, and I still think it could have used one more coat for the perfect finish. The paint turned out so much nicer than most butyrate paint jobs I have seen, it looks like an automotive paint job.

    Sent from my HTC Evo using Tapatalk

  34. #154
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Tyndal, I notice that you've posted twice, both about this, and still haven't talked to the factory. Why don't you talk to them first, before badmouthing them? They're awesome people, awesome product...I don't know why yours is having trouble.. I've used it for over 10 years and like I said before...all problems I had, I traced back to me. The only issue I had that was anything like what you're saying was because I didn't topcoat the ecofill soon, and it got some contamination in it.. again, my fault.

  35. #155
    Beach Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    Tyndal, I notice that you've posted twice, both about this, and still haven't talked to the factory. Why don't you talk to them first, before badmouthing them? They're awesome people, awesome product...I don't know why yours is having trouble.. I've used it for over 10 years and like I said before...all problems I had, I traced back to me. The only issue I had that was anything like what you're saying was because I didn't topcoat the ecofill soon, and it got some contamination in it.. again, my fault.
    They are awesome people and everything but the top coat is awesome. The top coat is very technical and not forgiving.

  36. #156

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    IMG_3160.JPG
    How's that for fish eye...ya...picky paint....but I will continue to use it...I agree with Hardtail...most problems can traced back to us...could the product improve...YES...however as I have said before...I will use it on my super cub...This ones an experimental...Did I use the best gun...NO...used a Wagner...worked great IMO .... Jason even stopped by my place...IMG_3154.JPGThey have always been willing to help... Hopefully...if I get my carbon fiber fuel tanks...might have it in valdez this year...

    Its my go plane...not my show plane.....

    Ron
    Kids are worth WHATEVER it takes!---Spence Rogers

  37. #157
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Tyndal, It sounds like you let it sit for a period of time before shooting the top coat. I believe that they say a maximum of 10 days or sand it again before the top coat. Did you leave it too long and not sand it enough? I had some peeling but only on a fiberglass nose bowl, built by persons unknown with materials unknown, around the edges. I figure that I didn't do a through enough sand and clean in that area. I let the fuselage sit all winter before spraying the top coat, then following Dan Stewart's instructions did the top coat. It is now going on two years without flying and it has shown no changes at all. I've done a lot of fabric work over the years and get very impatient when spraying. I hate doing it. I think mine came out great. I call it a 10 footer. From ten feet it looks great. I definitely would use the process again.
    N1PA

  38. #158
    Beach Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Tyndal, It sounds like you let it sit for a period of time before shooting the top coat. I believe that they say a maximum of 10 days or sand it again before the top coat. Did you leave it too long and not sand it enough? I had some peeling but only on a fiberglass nose bowl, built by persons unknown with materials unknown, around the edges. I figure that I didn't do a through enough sand and clean in that area. I let the fuselage sit all winter before spraying the top coat, then following Dan Stewart's instructions did the top coat. It is now going on two years without flying and it has shown no changes at all. I've done a lot of fabric work over the years and get very impatient when spraying. I hate doing it. I think mine came out great. I call it a 10 footer. From ten feet it looks great. I definitely would use the process again.
    I think it's 24 hours, not 10 days.

  39. #159
    Chuck Avon's Avatar
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    I have watched this thread and NO one has said any thing about the compressor there using they will contaminate a paint job if the water and OIL traps aren't right and Cleaned often. Also the hose needs to be clean and not used in the shop every day only for paint and only after cleaning the traps this will cut down the chance of compressor oil causing fish eyes

  40. #160
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J5Ron View Post
    IMG_3160.JPG
    How's that for fish eye...ya...picky paint........
    Ron
    sever contamination....

    you will get that also, if you sand a dirty part, without cleaning the contamination from it FIRST, then you got a fight on your hands..... as it gets rubbed down into and under the abrasive scratch marks..... very hard to get rid of then...

    they sell fish eye eliminator for paint, but I refuse to use them, because all the do is allow your paint to cover an area like this, but NOT BE BONDED well to the sub surfaces, do your prep work right, don't be lazy and you will NEVER have this issue

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