Sunday here is characterized by softly falling rain, which announced itself at 0100 as crashing, pouring rain. Snug in our home, we can consider the benefits to the grounds, but the incoming rainstorm seriously disrupted our weekend plans for etching and priming the next batch of airplane parts. Due to the mild toxicity of the etchant and primer, we do that outdoors, under one of those 10′ x 10′ canopies you can buy at garden stores. We hang the parts from hooks created from sacrificed coat hangers, and have at them with a Graco-Croix CX9 turbine sprayer.
This batch of parts comprised the remaining horizontal stabilizer parts (including the skins) and the internal formers and other small parts for the fuselage tail cone, basically the body of the plane from behind the seats to the tail. We were up against a hard deadline: a storm arriving at midnight, and wet weather for the rest of the week. If we wanted to have parts to rivet, we were going to have to get a-priming. But the prep was extensive and onerous: there were thousands of holes to deburr, for instance. And we didn’t get started until after noontime. The Blogbrother flitted in from time to time and pitched in as your humble servant prepped the parts, including parts separation, deburring and some parts prep.
The project seemed to stretch off to a vanishing point in the far distance, while the storm system loomed ever closer. At about 2000 we still had some hope of spraying by the remaining natural light.
And then, the last inch of masking tape rolled off the center of the roll. We’d learned the lesson — mask the outside rivet holes — on the vertical stabilizer and rudder skins, where we had bad runs of paint through the holes. (We’re only priming the internals at this point. External priming will be done by the paint shop that paints the finished plane). At this hour, it was Walmart or nothing, so off to Walmart — where we ran into several delays, including Plaintiff II and a chatterbox of a lady from Russia who was very hard to end a conversation with, at least, politely. She and her family come from an hour away in Massachusetts to shop (6.25% sales tax difference, you would too). Her son was, in the way of youth everywhere, mortified by his mom’s gabbiness.
Hey, enjoy her while you’ve got her, malchik.
So it was 2130 and darker than your typical NAACP leader (heh) when we got back to the work in progress, to find the Blogbrother patiently working — he’d showed up with the exact two things we needed, a work light and another roll of blue painters’ tape.
With the tape we’d brought as well, both of us were able to work, as the saying goes, si-mon-taneously, and we were soon ready to spray, which we did. Then he wanted to hang around and wait for the parts to dry… we had stuff to so, so sent him away, and later, pulled the parts into the garage. Sometime today they’ll migrate to the workshop. It looks like they’ll be going through the house, if the rain doesn’t let up. Inspecting the parts today, they’re pretty good. There are a few places where we missed a flange or a hook masked a piece of structure from receiving an even coat — we’ll fix those with a rattle can later (there is no consequence to mixing colors or formulas of aircraft primer, the book says, and since this is internal structure mismatched colors are of no consequence).
We still owe you the TW3 from yesterday, which is waiting on us to finish the Saturday Matinee, which we also owe you. Maybe after we do a bike ride (on the Expresso, not in the steady rain). They’ll be backdated and appear above this post.
Thanks, ever, for reading and for commenting.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.