Monday, November 12, 2012

Wing Skins Primed After Five Daze Of S&M

Wow!! What a week of self abuse at DOG Aviation … done with a painful smile of course.  Yesterday was what will likely prove to be the last warm, mid 60 degree day of the year … so the push was on all last week to prepare all the RV-12’s wing skins for priming to take advantage of the short lived burst of warm air.  The paint department stepped up and painted non-stop all day and into the evening Sunday to ensure the skins for both wings and all the miscellaneous parts were primed while the temperatures were favorable. Spray & Move … spray & move and when you think you should be near done, there is still plenty more to spay & move.

Although successful in getting all the wing skins primed and cured during the warm temperatures, doing that many large parts at once was a logistical nightmare and just crazy. But Mother Nature waits for nobody, so once again I was a man on a mission trying to beat the weather. Oh to be back in southern California where virtually everyday is a good spray day. Sadly, there was not enough time to dimple all of the components for the flaperons, but they are not needed to complete the wings … so they will be prepped and dimpled as to be ready for priming whenever the temperatures hit 60 degrees again. Truthfully, there just would not have been any room to store those parts for drying anyways.

I think my aluminum mistress may have a kinky side … she required suspension bondage during the dimpling process for six of the largest wing skins and again after the skins were primed. Of course, the skins are so large that storing all of them horizontally for drying was simply out of the question. The DOG Aviation procurement department picked up some bungee cords at the nearby Walmart aircraft supply store and hooked them over the rafters and garage door tracks.
                                    The fruit of all the effort … suspended like bats taking a daytime nap, all of the
                                    RV-12’s wing skins drying while hanging from rafters, garage door tracks and drying racks.

Using the C-frame virtually non-stop to beat the aluminum skins into submission (along with myself) while creating thousands of dimples became a painful masochistic ordeal and took its toll on my right arm, neck, back and right elbow in particular. The repetitive process of whacking the C-frame with a mallet virtually non-stop over three long loooooong work sessions got my right arm so sore I was forced to become ambidextrous and finish up the fourth day of dimpling wheeling the mallet with my left arm. What do they say about no pain, no gain … I know! Jan, where’s the bottle of Aleve?

The last five daze have been just that, a daze of pain along with pleasure by way of accomplishment. Feel it prudent to take a few days off to recuperate … perhaps a massage is on the horizon.