This weekend I did a bit more sanding on the horizontal stabilizer plug, and then sprayed it with two passes of Poly-Lux 300-series gloss white polyester paint.
That stuff sure is nice paint. I'm not very experienced with spraying, and I'm not particularly concerned about surface texture, since I intend to sand it out again anyway. But by the middle of the first pass I'd pretty much figured out how to get a nice shiny wet surface. Sure, there's an orange-peel area, and a few fisheyes. And yes, there's some dust in it. But by and large it's a lot better than I expected considering my experience level with the materials and the techniques.
I did the sanding and spraying on Saturday morning, and then went home for a nap. That afternoon I went back up to the shop to see if it was cured yet, but it wasn't. Not too surprising; the thermometer on the shop thermostat showed that the temperature was only 67 degrees through most of the day. I did run the heater up to 70 degrees while I was doing the sanding, but I switched it off before spraying. According to the cure chart in the Poly-Lux literature, the cure time should have been about 3 hours at 67 degrees, but my thinning might have thrown that off a bit. I'd wanted to flip the part and paint the other side, but it was not to be, so that will have to wait for a couple of weeks.
Sunday, went to Yosemite where we were treated to drizzle and low overcasts. Our original intent was to meet a colleague and go rock climbing, but it turned out to be way too wet for that. It was a nice day anyway; the weather had kept the crowds down, the rain cascaded into waterfalls that have been dry all summer, and the low clouds added a new perspective to a place we'd come to think of as perpetually joined to a clear blue sky.
Here are a couple of photos of the horizontal plug:
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page updated 19 October 2004 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2004 HP Aircraft, LLC