Chapter 25 – Bottom cowl micro

I started out today by sanding, shaping and leveling the added West 410 filler at the lower left aft corner of the fuselage for a smooth transition with the bottom cowling.

I then pulled the bottom cowling off to wash off any mold release agent and then sanded the areas that would be getting “micro” fill.  Here’s the right side cowling ready for “micro”.

And the left.

I then mixed up some “micro” fill (micro + West 410) and applied it to the areas that needed it.

The black carbon fiber areas showing are somewhat porous, but more along the lines of what I would consider pin holes… so I won’t be using micro to fill them, but rather 2-3 epoxy wipes along with the micro-filled areas of the cowling.

A bit later, after the micro fill on the bottom cowling, I then made up a batch of white paint and painted the nose gear strut, strut channel and nose wheel well.

I also painted the inside surfaces of the nose gear strut fairing and the nose wheel well doors.

One reason I wanted to start painting the inside surfaces and the nose gear strut (as well as the general bottom surfaces of the aircraft) was so that I could dial in the painting process.  You might be able to notice a fair bit of dust in the air that has conveniently settled on my white painted surfaces.  I’ll address this dust issue and also see how well it buffs out, if at all.

I’ll reiterate that a significant reason I started the finishing, priming and painting process on the bottom surfaces of the plane was to test out and dial in my finishing and painting methodologies.  Obviously on the bottom of the plane, which is exponentially less visible and/or viewed while the bird is sitting on the ramp, is a better place to repair or redo any finishing, priming or painting actions that don’t work out as originally planned.

One such area is high build primer.  The primer that is used in the Epifanes 2-part polyurethane system seams to have really good adhesion, but isn’t what I would consider a high build primer.  In my research in preparing for finishing the airplane to paint, I noted a number of builders that reported whipping up their own version of high build primer by simply adding a bit of micro to their respective primer.  Again, many builders, using a variety of different paint systems, reported on this method in the Central States Association newsletter.

So, what the heck?! I might as well give it a try eh?  And that’s exactly what I did on the exterior side of the landing brake surface… which still had some minor imperfections that needed filling before final primer/paint.  I used a cheap brush to apply it, and it was a bit wonky going on, but definitely not bad enough to try again.  I think I’ll try using a roller next time to see if it goes on a bit more uniformly.  Still, it appears to have filled the imperfections, and I’m excited to see how it looks after block sanding it out.

I then left the painted/primed items to cure overnight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.