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  #1  
Old 08-10-2022, 10:27 AM
Strikhedonia Strikhedonia is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
Posts: 126
Default Cabin top pulled rivets finishing

One thing I noticed when I got home from picking up my plane from the painters is that the pulled rivets on the cabin top were left exposed. Walking around Airventure all of the 10s had finished these pulled rivets leaving a smooth finish over the transition. I have gone back and forth with the painter and they are holding firm that it was not their responsibility. Blerg.

So are couple questions, first with paint over the pulled rivets will I need to worry about water penetration over time? I would think the pulled rivet would be waterproof but that is just my gut feeling. Second, is a layer of glass laid down over the pulled rivets before epoxy/micro to smooth the transition the typical way to finish the transition?

It would be a big job to sand back the paint and smooth over the rivets but I am leaning that way. Any advice or suggestions would greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2022, 11:36 AM
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Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
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Location: Landing field "12VA"
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Personally, I don't think you will ever be happy with the appearance until those pulled rivet heads are buried under an adequately done composite transition. Be sure to sand the base metal with 60 grit for adhesion of the epoxy.

I would tend to agree with your painter that such a level of composite prep is part of the build, not part of an ordinary paint job, but I wasn't there to hear what was discussed when you dropped it off.

This canopy to aft deck skin transition takes a fair amount of material and a lot of sculpting/sanding time to get right. I thought I had done a beautiful job on mine until the paint went on and a transition contour line appeared in the finish... too late now but it would have been nice to spot beforehand and do a little more filling and sanding.

Along the fuselage sides where I wiped micro over the rivet heads for a feathered transition to sheet metal sides, I had some issues with the micro chipping off as I sanded it to a fine edge. This was clearly from inadequate tooth on the metal skins, using too fine a sandpaper for prep in those places. Word to the wise.
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2022, 11:46 AM
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Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
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A lot of work goes into getting this perfect. Apparently, more work than I did, because mine's not as smooth as I'd like. You can see it in places, but you absolutely cannot feel it with fingertips.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2022, 01:39 PM
Electrogunner Electrogunner is offline
 
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Not sure if I have ever seen a 10 with the transitions not glassed over. That said it is a lot of work to do right and to look good. That should have been done during the build and not left up to the painter IMHO. I know, not what you wanted to hear.
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2022, 01:45 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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Unless you specifically asked them to do it, I don't think it is their fault. It's an airplane and there are 100's of other exposed rivets that they were not expected to fill and sand. Can't really see how they should have assumed these specific rivets were to be filled. I filled mine, but it is not a small job. I also filled the rivets on the sides as well. The rivets used in that area are not waterproof. The paint MAY make them waterproof depending upon how thick it was sparyed on.

I would think long and hard about filling it now. Matching and blending the new paint is hard, even for the pro's. Don't even consider doing this yourself. If you do decide to do it, I would consider an auto painter that does collision work. I speculate that aircraft painters do mostly full paint jobs and may lack the fine art of color matching and blending. Collision guys do that every day and the good ones do it VERY well. If the painter saved the extra paint then matching is no issue.

Larry
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Last edited by lr172 : 08-10-2022 at 02:01 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2022, 04:14 PM
Strikhedonia Strikhedonia is offline
 
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Thanks everyone, bummed I didn't catch it beforehand but hey this just takes me back to my build where there were times I had to do a job twice.

Now to mess up my nice paint job, finishing it correctly and then on to repainting (Larry the painters are confident they can make it match, fingers crossed)...
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2022, 07:28 PM
Theopanos Theopanos is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: San Jose, California
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Default Smooth transitions

From what I saw and heard at Oshkosh '22, there are 2 schools of thought on metal/fiberglass transitions-wingtips included too. Some people fill them until there's not a perceptible step between fiberglass and aluminum. Other people leave the step transition, with the theory that it's lighter and we're not building a fiberglass airplane anyway. Vic Syracuse said it's better for inspections to not add fiberglass over the seams on wing and empennage tips, it makes for easier removal of fiberglass parts for inspection, even if you have to drill out the rivets.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2022, 08:55 AM
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Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
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Vic has a point, and closing in my control surfaces was more work than I bargained for with little provable benefit in return (beyond my idea of cosmetics). There was some unexpected rework involved, and some issues mentioned already with adhesion / durability of the composite to aluminum bond.

That said, in 24 years of RV ownership, I've yet to need to remove a control surface fiberglass cap to inspect anything, and have difficulty imagining why I would need to.
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