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Thread: Tube cleaning for recover

  1. #1
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Tube cleaning for recover

    I don't remember seeing a debate about this, maybe we can replace the 'Downwind Turn' discussion as the longest

    What is the best media/method to clean the tubing for recover? There are so many options out there, some more abrasive than others- maybe you guys can offer me the best to use.

    My engine is in the shop, should be done by the first of the year. New mount will be here in a couple weeks. I am a couple days away from my fuselage moving into the shop for the fabric strip off and begin the process to recover.

    The tubes have a very light showing of surface rust on the paint. If I rub with my finger, most of it comes right off. At annual I was told I had a couple of years before I needed to recover, after that it would begin pitting, but with the engine needing done I am going for it while I wait.

    I realize that many of you swear by powder coat, however, due to Covid and the border, that is not a possible option right now. I will prime as I go to prevent rust, then do a full second coat once I have all the welding/repair/modifications done. (putting shoulder harness attach points and the like in).

    Again, to keep it simple, how would you prepare your airframe for painting and cover?

    Thanks
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  2. #2
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Tube cleaning for recover

    Find someone to sand blast it, (you can do it yourself, itís super fun.)and then ep-420 epoxy primer and a ranthane top coat. You can paint it the final color and any exposed fittings will be painted to match


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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Search is your friend.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  4. #4
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Search is your friend.
    I don't have any friends since my plane is not flying
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Step one sand blast it. See whatís left. Never do work till you do that first. Sucks when you find out it all been sunk and rotten tubes. Then powder coat it! At advanced in big lake. Just like all paint isnít the same. all powder coating isnít the same. I would NEVER go back to paint/primer. It been ?? 26 years since I didnít powder coat fuselage


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    Iíve tried glass beads...they kinda suck (IMO)...I use sand (not sure what kind) and moderate how much it strips by just moving the nozzle distance away from the part if it looks to be excessively harsh. Iíve only done a couple of fuselages though, so listen to the many experts on here...Steve said search is your friend meaning g this topic has been discussed quite a bit.

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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Thank you Dan.

    I have been looking over threads, and yes, everyone talks about blasting their frames, but I don't find any discussions on which media they use.

    There are lots of options- from soda to highly abrasive sands- wondering what you all use, or if you head out to the beach and just grab a bucket and go.

    Thank you for your comments.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Steve Pierce

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    I don't remember seeing a debate about this, maybe we can replace the 'Downwind Turn' discussion as the longest

    What is the best media/method to clean the tubing for recover? There are so many options out there, some more abrasive than others- maybe you guys can offer me the best to use.

    My engine is in the shop, should be done by the first of the year. New mount will be here in a couple weeks. I am a couple days away from my fuselage moving into the shop for the fabric strip off and begin the process to recover.

    The tubes have a very light showing of surface rust on the paint. If I rub with my finger, most of it comes right off. At annual I was told I had a couple of years before I needed to recover, after that it would begin pitting, but with the engine needing done I am going for it while I wait.

    I realize that many of you swear by powder coat, however, due to Covid and the border, that is not a possible option right now. I will prime as I go to prevent rust, then do a full second coat once I have all the welding/repair/modifications done. (putting shoulder harness attach points and the like in).

    Again, to keep it simple, how would you prepare your airframe for painting and cover?

    Thanks
    Be careful when you choose a person to blast your fuselage. A person who does not know what they are doing can do many thousands of dollars of damage very quickly.
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    Be careful when you choose a person to blast your fuselage. A person who does not know what they are doing can do many thousands of dollars of damage very quickly.
    Yea, that person will be me. I don't have much option with the border being closed and not having a job, I will just have to do it myself... which is why I am asking the questions I am. I have been involved in cleaning tubes before, but trying to lean about any new technology or ideas.

    Thank you Steve, that was very informative. Incredible the experience, detail and in-depth knowledge available around here for about anything needed.

    my next set of questions will be about primers...

    Sorry, powder coating is not an option. I don't live near Anchorage, and getting to/from there is almost impossible now.

    Looks like I shall be ordering some silica.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  11. #11
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    If soda blasting is an option for you then I would certainly consider that, pretty gentle on the metal and the media (baking soda) coats the metal in the process and delays the oxidisation until you get to apply the final coating.

    We went with soda blasting and then a two pack primer, in the visible cabin area we over-sprayed that primer with "rattle can" matt black, thinking being that scratches etc can be sucessfully oversprayed as necessary.

    Hoping to fly in the spring, it will only have been 7 years.

    Kind regards

    Stew
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    If I remember right I used 30/60. Fortunately the coal plant is down the road and I bought a pallet of it. I want to say I used half a pallet around 50 bags. I could be wrong it was a few years ago and it was zero fun. Rented a decent size portable air compressor.

    https://www.ensioresources.com/patriot-blast

    Sure does help when you have someone feeding the bags into the blaster

    http://www.barrelblaster.com/blastmaster.htm


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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    George,you might search "primer fuselage site:supercub.org" in a Google search and you will find a lot of information. Then if there are further questions ask them on that thread and all the information will be in one place and lazy people like me won't have to post the same information over again. There is a lot of information on the subject posted here.
    Steve Pierce

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Yea, that person will be me. I don't have much option with the border being closed and not having a job, I will just have to do it myself... which is why I am asking the questions I am. I have been involved in cleaning tubes before, but trying to lean about any new technology or ideas.

    Thank you Steve, that was very informative. Incredible the experience, detail and in-depth knowledge available around here for about anything needed.

    my next set of questions will be about primers...

    Sorry, powder coating is not an option. I don't live near Anchorage, and getting to/from there is almost impossible now.

    Looks like I shall be ordering some silica.
    I just looked in the shop....looks like I used Silica which I purchased at the ACE hardware store....I used Epoxy primer by Polyfiber on my certified projects....I used Sherwin Williams MACROPOXY on my Experimental. Use enough to coat the entire tube....don't skimp here.

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    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    George,you might search "primer fuselage site:supercub.org" in a Google search and you will find a lot of information. Then if there are further questions ask them on that thread and all the information will be in one place and lazy people like me won't have to post the same information over again. There is a lot of information on the subject posted here.

    But....what about the newest blasting technology....your posts are old so the data must not be relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    But....what about the newest blasting technology....your posts are old so the data must not be relevant.
    So we update the thread, nothing has changed since my last post on blasting, priming and top coating with catalyzed polyurethane. When I go to find that piece of info I remember reading but can't quite find it is nice to have one continuous thread on the subject rather than weeding through multiple threads on the same subject. Plus many get tired of posting the same information over and over and leave taking their knowledge with them.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Thank you Steve, I will dig in to find the thread on priming...

    Tom, Why did it take so much? were you unable to recover and reuse?

    what is the 30/60??
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #18
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Thank you Steve, I will dig in to find the thread on priming...

    Tom, Why did it take so much? were you unable to recover and reuse?

    what is the 30/60??
    X-fine - 3060 Coal

    Typical Profile: 1.0-2.0 mils Used for cleaning of surfaces of light paint and rust removal application to create a smooth finish. Cleaning of light mill scale, light rust and light paint stripping.

    I'd imagine that is the grit. There has to be someone around doing sandblasting, You could find out where they get there material from. When I did my fuselage it started sleeting out and I only had the compressor for the day. So much for the weather forcasters. I did not set anything up to catch the material. Figured between sifting through the old stuff, and getting any of the paint or anything out was going to be a time waste. You throw a lot of sand at small tubes, there is a lot of waste. Wait until you paint it. You'll paint a tube 5 times and still miss a spot. Ha Ha. Lot's of overspray when painting too. I found out there is a guy local that will blast for a few hundred dollars. That's where I'm going from now on.

    Tom
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    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    Yeah, hire a pro blaster that you trust, it's cheaper in the end. Tom, you're right about painting the tubes, always miss some and have to go back. Last one I used a guy that blasted with soda to remove the paint and it left the metal nice and clean.
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  20. #20
    aktango58's Avatar
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    If I lived out there in civilization, I might be able to take the plane to a shop and have it blasted and powder coated. I live in a remote town, and the nearest blasting and powder coating facility is 800 miles driving which requires going through Canada.

    So I will do it myself. I have the air, and I will set up my shop with a blast area to recover what I can.

    Looking into paint available, will put on at least a spray can at the end of each day just to keep the metal from rusting while repairs are done. We have ocean air here.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    cubpilot2's Avatar
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    George
    Curious how extensive is your project to be? Is this a cub or Maule?
    You said you plan to recover and a few mods, or is it a complete restoration? Are you stripping it completely down to bare bones? If so then blast away.

    If not then sandblasting may not be the best approach, as sand media could find its way into places you wonít like. There are other options.
    Ed
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  22. #22
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubpilot2 View Post
    George
    Curious how extensive is your project to be? Is this a cub or Maule?
    You said you plan to recover and a few mods, or is it a complete restoration? Are you stripping it completely down to bare bones? If so then blast away.

    If not then sandblasting may not be the best approach, as sand media could find its way into places you won’t like. There are other options.
    Not intended to be a full restoration. Just trying to preserve the tubes that began to show surface rust.

    The engine is at the overhaul shop, but all the boot cowl and panel are staying on, and attached. I hope.

    Open to all ideas and options. I have seen the wire brush thing- and not opposed. What would you do?
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    If youíre going to take the time to do it, take the time to do it right.


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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    If you’re going to take the time to do it, take the time to do it right.


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    Most working planes get new fabric without pulling every instrument, radio and boot cowl off of the darn thing. Not all of us have the luxury, desire or need to do a complete frame up restoration for our Ariel pickup truck.

    I can do the tube cleaning and repaint correctly without pulling everything off. There is something to be said to avoid blast media deposits inside the panel and other nooks of the plane. Looking into all options is always a good idea.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    When I just had small areas to do I used a wire wheel on both the grinder and dremmel to get into tight places. Removing powder coating sucks and the best way I found to get rid of it is a torch and wire brush if your just doing small areas to weld in new tubes etc. A good HVLP gun that is dialed in right will do wonders for painting the tubes without a ton of over spray.

  26. #26
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    If you’re going to take the time to do it, take the time to do it right.


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    Also called "while we are at it" disease.

  27. #27
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Most working planes get new fabric without pulling every instrument, radio and boot cowl off of the darn thing. Not all of us have the luxury, desire or need to do a complete frame up restoration for our Ariel pickup truck.

    I can do the tube cleaning and repaint correctly without pulling everything off. There is something to be said to avoid blast media deposits inside the panel and other nooks of the plane. Looking into all options is always a good idea.
    What will suck is in two years you find a rotted longeron. It sure would be cheaper to do everything now, that is unless you like doing things twice, spending double the time and money.


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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    What will suck is in two years you find a rotted longeron. It sure would be cheaper to do everything now, that is unless you like doing things twice, spending double the time and money.


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    This is all true Tom. There have been many years and many planes that have had the fabric removed, but boot cowl and panel remain, inspected and put back together without rotted longhorns in a couple years. Most tube rot is in the tail. Maules have a couple known areas of trouble, if we see problems and need to replace tubes in those places I may continue to tear it apart.

    Please at least give me the credit for having enough sense to have people with more knowledge than myself help inspect prior to reassembly. If we do find issues, that may dictate further disassembly, but the history of this plane has been dry climates, and no float operations, it is also probably 20 years newer than many cubs you have worked on.

    Ok, back to cleaning tubes--- do you all sand blast off the glue, or MEK? Thinking chemical stripper would do less damage to tubes.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  29. #29
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Clean the tubes first, if you try to sand blast the glue youíll beat the area around the glue up while trying to get it off.


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    Depends which glue- poly-tak, super-seam will come off with MEK and elbow grease. If Stewart’s Ekobond glue, well, good luck. If you’re blasting, the easiest thing with any glue is burn it to a crisp first, then it’ll pop right off with the blasting.

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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    Also called "while we are at it" disease.
    that short 26 item want list is never close to what it ends up being as you find badness....

  32. #32
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    My “welder” talked me into blasting my fuselage. I was probably going to do it anyway. Problem is he wants me to have it blasted then bring it to him bare to finish the welding. He says if I treat it with phosphoric acid it won’t rust.

    This is the product I am thinking of using-
    http://www.ospho.com/directions.htm

    He has a Ford Model T hot rod project in his shop. It’s been there at least a year with bare metal that hasn’t rusted. He uses one of those propane heaters in his shop that puts out a lot of moisture but has had no issues with rust.

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    I'm a one time 'expert' on stripping a fuselage. Drill motor and wire brush mostly. Hand held wire brush where needed. Scotchbrite pads help. Used oxy/acetyl torch to burn off goo and zinc chromate primer where it was thick if the brushing was taking too long or was inaccessible. It turns to dust and flakes but tried not to over heat the metal. I think the whole deal was then spray washed with a solvent.

    Great A&P did two part Ditzler primer while I was out in the woods flying his plane and camping.

    Gary

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    I have used Boeing primer before, the Old DP-40 that still had lead, and Variprime over the years, now with the clean air act BS I cannot even get toluene locally. Top coat I liked was PPG Aquapon, it was used as a chemical resistant pant, now no longer made. The new thing is PPG high solids epoxy in Gloss white which I have to buy in Idaho. Most other top coats comes off with the glues used for fabric. I am also sticking with Polyfiber, and polytone, they are tried and true products that are easy to repair. When it comes to stripping the paint, I take it to a local guy, he uses a mix of different medias and he does a lot of airplane parts, most tail feathers are $20 each. I cannot do it for what he can. I dont have to do any clean and it saves the customer money. Good luck, Tim

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    Tango,
    Read through this thread and if anyone posted it and I missed it, sorry for the repeat but I will caution you on the use of silica sand. Good sand but bad dust, causes silicosis after x amount of exposure. If you have air supplied respiratory protection, no worries, go for it. We had a work comp nightmare years ago because caused by silica sand and exhaust pipe repairs. Silica dust infused with chromium oxide and lead dust from the avgas plus carbon. Long story, bad ending.

    My favorite sand is 30/60 Green Diamond green garnet sand. Aggressive enough on paint and such, leaves a nice smooth finish on the steel with a good tooth for primer or powder coat to hang on to. Non toxic. I do recommend air supplied protection but can do ok with an N100 respirator with the green diamond. Have fun!

    Oz
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