Thursday, September 26, 2013

JetFlex – Third Time A Charm … Almost

Today Mother Nature provided a perfect day for spray painting and the DOG Aviation paint department took full advantage of the good weather. Temperatures were in the low 70’s and the winds were between 0 to 5 MPH so the recently primed fuselage parts were successfully sprayed with Sherwin Williams JetFlex interior paint.

For this round of spray painting, the HVLP spray gun was outfitted with the recently purchased 1.8 mm spray gun tip in the hopes the JetFlex paint could be sprayed more evenly than on previous attempts.

Third time a charm … well almost.  Happy to report, the larger tip worked well and it was much easier keeping a wet edge on the paint. The tip does lay down a heavier spray to be sure, but that is OK because I would prefer only painting one coat as opposed to two for weight savings. Think with this spray tip I will be able to get by with only one coat as long as care is taken to make sure the spray pattern is well overlapped.

I did discover one problem using the larger tip. Because JetFlex forms a film quickly when it hits air, the larger tip created more paint buildup on the tip of the spray gun which would form a film that would blow off resulting in occasional small splats of paint getting on the work. Certainly disgruntling to say the least. The smaller spray tip would do the same thing but not nearly as often.

Various methods were tried to keep the occasional splats from occurring … wiping the tip with a finger did not solve the issue but made it slightly better, keeping the air on and modulating the liquid flow also extended the time, but splats still occurred. The only thing that seemed to be effective for the longest amount of time was scrubbing the spray gun tip with a toothbrush dunked in the water and ammonia cleaning solution.

Admittedly, painting is not my forte, so it is possible the gun is not quite set up correctly for the larger tip. Will try to do a little research on the issue and see if there is a setup solution. However, that said, thin JetFlex forms a skin almost instantly … so I think it is more of an issue with the paint.
The RV-12’s fuselage skins top coated with Sherwin Williams JetFlex Sandy Beige semi-gloss interior paint.
Painted quite a few parts today … practically everything hanging from the manila name tags in the background was painted today, along with the parts covering both benches and the three panels in the shipping crate.

Thus far, all the parts have been painted from one quart of Jet-Flex which is now empty except for an ounce or two.  A second quart was purchased and that should be way more than enough to finish the remaining parts and those included with the finishing kit which is now on order.