[79FT]: Building Things
|Mar 11, 2021
|[Chickenhouse Charger] Electrical Rebuild
|6781G, MA5 Charger, paint, fabric, polyfiber
The end in sight; fixing up all the chipping off paint was one of the remaining little things to fix on the Charger before she could take back to the air.
Regardless of history, I knew that she was painted with Polyfiber and Polytone (MEK test proved that).
Back in 2019, when I just got her, this was one of the things I have discussed with a couple of fabric folks, and a few folks from Polyfiber during Oshkosh. With variations, this approach is what seems to be the common theme unless one wants to do a drastic restore - either rejuvenate, or recover.
But first, she needed a bath after almost 2 years in the hangar :).
One wing donw, one to go
What a difference, eh?
I had a bunch of areas like this:
Chips and cracks
Large and small, mostly in the prop wash area where things drum the most.
The approach is not much to talk about. I called it Cleetus-style: a perfect redneck fix for chips in fabric that's purely functional and ugly as hell, and even has the perfect color of duct-tape.
First, I would chip out all the flaking paint, while not being too aggressive: one of the guys I talked to said that if you get to excited with chipping and peeling, you can peel the whole plane if the coatings are starting to lift.
Then, I would take a rag wet with MEK, and work those edges of remaining paint to melt and blend them in, creating somewhat of a "slope"...
And then, I would layer silver (Polyspray) on top of pink (Polybrush) until it was just the perfect level of ugly, and I would feel that I have enough Polyspray to prevent UV attacking the fabric... Doing a 60 watt bulb test to see if any light's coming thru was not really adequately possible for these cracks really, and I opted for layering silver thick enough to be sure I'll have a sufficient amount.
Perfect ugliness! "You're giving your plane leprosy", remarked my old buddy Jimmy C., accidentally bumping into me in my hangar when he was at the airport. "Yep", I said. Indeed.
Interestingly enough, roughly at the same time someone with a similar problem was soliciting advice on the Biplane Forum. I offered making him a short video about my process, and it turned out to be a much better illustration than what I got above.
A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he's flying, and about flying when he's with a woman.
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