Empennage - Paint

2004-12-04 - Come in out of the rain. (2.0 Hrs).

I was planning on painting all of the empennage pieces and the wings while waiting for the fuselage to show up. I didn't order the fuselage until I was just about finished with the wing. This would give me 8-10 weeks to do the painting. Unfortunately, I spent a little extra time finishing the right wingtip, and then the holidays started catching-up with me. Consequently, I am just starting to get around to painting the empennage parts.

First step was to take the right wing out to the storage rack in the back yard, and bring in all of the empennage pieces. The cover for the storage rack was not properly covered at the ends, and the dogs got inside and tore holes in the plastic that each part was sealed in. The bad news is that I have found quite a bit of corrosion on several parts.

Each piece was sealed in plastic, but those damn dogs...
Rust on the right elevator control horn. This actually cleaned-up just fine, and the powdercoat touch-up paint fixed things nicely.
Corrosion on the right elevator counterbalance arm.
The vertical stabilizer looks good.
The rudder is good, also.
Here was the problem. This is one end of the horizontal stabilizer. I wrapped the ends of several pieces with paper to protect them from damage. Unfortunately, when the dogs tore holes in the plastic, water got inside, and the paper soaked-up the water. This kept the part wet, and they started corrosion. Absolutely, positively, do not do this! And if you have dogs, just shoot them.
Corrosion on the end of the HS.
More corrosion.
And more corrosion.
Here's what happens when you pull the plastic off of a part that has sat for a year. The HS was cold, and the plastic came up, but the glue stayed behind.
I thought, no problem, I will just wipe that off with a little lacquer thinner.
Laquer thinner didn't quite do the job, and I had to use a scraper on it. This was a lot more work than I had anticipated.
So, here's the procedure. Get a heat gun, and heat the plastic before you try to pull it up.
Left side, no heat, right side, with heat.
The heat gun really makes this easy.
One thing that I noticed was a number of rivets that were not properly set. Here, you can see three rivets where the heads are just plain too short. The fourth rivet has already been drilled-out and replaced. I found several others on the HS, which I replaced. In my defense, Van's call-out for the rivets here is wrong, as many builders have noticed. I blindly followed the instructions.