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Old 03-08-2006, 07:25 PM
RVF-84 RVF-84 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 26
Default Rattle Cans

Question: has anyone used rattle cans (SW 988, SEM, etc.), exclusively, to prime their plane? If so, I'm curious how many cans you went through. I know there are numerous variables, model, QB v. standard, how heavy your application, were the skins primed, etc, etc...

I mean in no way, shape, or form to instigate a primer war, think of me as Switzerland, I'm just looking for relative number of cans used over the course of building a standard build RV.

Thanks in advance.

Peter Lashley
RV-8 - Empennage still at Van's
N88PL - reserved
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:44 PM
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Capflyer Capflyer is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,093
Smile Napa 7220

I have been using the NAPA 7220 exclusively. I am half way through my third case (6 cans per case) and expect that the remaining three will be enough to finish with some leftover.

I am just about done with my fuselage as far as needing primer. My wings were SB and my fuselage was QB. I also did not prime every part. I concentrated on the ribs and surfaces that sat against other surfaces and where disimilar metals meet. It has also been used on parts that are being painted in the interior of the fuselage. For that I'm using the Rustoleum Professional Line gray enamal paint over the primer. The two work well together.

There should be no reason to need much more than the 18 cans unless you go SB on the fuselage. In that case add a couple of cans.

If you go the NAPA route, check if it's on sale or ask for a mechanics price. I found it on sale and it was half price so I picked up two cases that day.

For those of you that don't like the way I'm priming, please keep it to yourself. I'm not interested in defending my priming habits, I'm too busy building my airplane
Flying - RV8 Hot Rod "Drone Killer"
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:14 PM
DeltaRomeo DeltaRomeo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Highland Village, TX
Posts: 4,179

Yes, Peter.

Flash was primed with ~6 cans of MarHyde self etching primer. Lots on the tail, less on the wing, just a light dusting where parts touched on the fuse (standard built kit) get the picture . Very convienent and holding up fine...

Doug Reeves (your host)
  • Full time: since '07 (started it in '96).
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:40 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,611

I'd guess 4 - 6 cans - self-etching zinc cromate from West Marine. I had a QB, so I did the whole tail, then left the interior of the wings and fuselage like they came, and primed any non-alclad parts as they came along.

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:10 PM
jdmunzell jdmunzell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamilton, VA
Posts: 419
Default Oh Boy!! Here we go again...priming!

The timing of this thread couldn't be more appropiate for me. I have been using SW 988 spraycans exclusively, where everything inside the tail was primed. I forget how many cans I used for the tail, but just bought 10 cans to do the wings.

I have just finished drilling/clecoing the wing skeleton together, and just about to disassemble and deburr (...and prime??) all the ribs. I recently sold a 1960 Cessna 172 that I have owned for about 8 years. This aircraft spent the majority of her life in N. Texas/ Oklahoma/ Kansas/ Colorado. You get the picture... The inside of her unprimed, purely alcad wings and fuse were virtually spotless, and continually amazed the local mechanics at inspection time( I'm in Virginia now ). ...Not bad for a 46 yr. old girl! And that is without the Corrosion X treatment. I'm not so sure about the local airplanes of similar vintage though here in the mid-atlantic region, because I just don't know!

My neighbor up the street in Gaithersburg, MD seems pretty confident in the Alcad process. I am sure he isn't reading this as he is probably busy pounding rivets!...As I should be!!

So okay... I have seen with my own eyes what a 46 yr. old unprimed, metal Cessna looks like inside. Somebody convince me one way or another about priming.. and where. This could save an awful lot of work!


(Also under the DC ADIZ)
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:28 AM
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Rick6a Rick6a is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lake St. Louis, MO.
Posts: 2,346
Default Pointless Prattle & Priming.

Originally Posted by jdmunzell
So okay... I have seen with my own eyes what a 46 yr. old unprimed, metal Cessna looks like inside. Somebody convince me one way or another about priming.. and where. This could save an awful lot of work!
Opinions? Jeff

I get your drift. My unprimed 1966 Cessna which I have owned for 18 years continues to hold up remarkably well, albeit the majority of its life hangared under a midwestern roof. Still, based upon my up close and personal first hand experiences with the extreme corrosion control methods demanded on the (military aircraft) production factory floor, when I built the 6A, I made the decision to epoxy prime EVERYTHING, including the bottom of all the platenuts. In the interests of cost, weight, and lung preservation, I am approaching the RV-8 project a bit differently. As an example, I have decided that generally speaking, rather than 100% prime an interior skin surface, this time primer is only applied to mating surfaces of parts that come into direct contact with one another. It can't hurt and unless I miss my guess, priming may tend to enhance future resale value, especially if the potential buyer lives near or around coastal areas. Bottom line...there simply is no right or wrong answer and a lot of wind is needlessly blown to convince people of the righteousness of one method over another. Everybody draws a line in the sand in a different place.

Rick Galati RV-6A "Darla" 112 hours

Last edited by Rick6a : 03-09-2006 at 08:48 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:43 AM
jdmunzell jdmunzell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamilton, VA
Posts: 419
Default oops..

I know...I know.. it's Alclad, not Alcad.

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Old 03-09-2006, 09:58 AM
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scard scard is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Posts: 3,231
Default rattle can

Cool. A fresh primer debate . I vote rattle can at this point. I've exercised the full spectrum of priming methods and I haven't even finished one airplane yet!
I did the empennage and wings with the full acid etch, alodine, and epoxy prime. On the majority of the fuselage, I just scuffed really good and epoxy primed. Now, in fuselage completion and moving into finishing kit, I am convinced that basic rattle can is the way to go.
Scott Card
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:32 AM
flymustangs flymustangs is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 122
Default Minimum tempature

For the people that are using rattle cans, what minimum temperature have you applied these successfully? The NAPA 7220 says room temerature (70 degrees) for best results. No mention of a minimum tempature.

I would prefer to paint outside, but 70 degree days are aways off yet.

Ken Simmons
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Old 03-09-2006, 11:45 AM
Jekyll Jekyll is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 625

I used Vari Prime on my empannage and the little bit of wing work on my QB. I just switched to U-POL Acid 8 from the auto paint store and find it seems to bond better than the Vari Prime. Boy-o-boy, do I like the rattle can especially for small items! I can shake the can for 2 minutes, prime and I'm done, with no clean up.

Pennsylvania is cold now so my winter technique for small parts is to take the warm part and warm primer outside to the porch, spay, wait 1 minute and then take the item back to the warm garage to dry. I don't seem to get any vapors in my house or garage this way and the temperature seems OK. I'm getting great adhesion.

It looks like I'll be using 4 to 6 cans on my QB fuselage.


Last edited by Jekyll : 03-09-2006 at 11:48 AM.
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