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Finally got back on the job this week. Bought the paint for the half tonneau ($200!) on Thursday and got after it today.

I decided not to use any filler on the panel, in keeping with my "messy as they probably were" aesthetic. Hit the rough spots with the Dremel, gave it a final bit of scuff, blew air on it, then wiped it down with acetone and a tack rag.

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Primer is a 2k epoxy. The paint shop gave me this stuff in a spray can—just enough to cover the half tonneau. I suited up against the isocyanates.

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I painted just outside the garage, then left it in the sun for an hour and flipped it to do the other side. Couple hours later and its in the garage again. I'll wet sand it tomorrow with a 400 grit block before mixing down 8 ounces the base coat, loading it into LBGC5641 —and trying my luck.

Weather's supposed to be like today—75, partly cloudy, not too humid or windy.

I'll hang the panel with wire and S hooks from a Krause folding ladder in the driveway. That should give me good access to all sides.

If I'm lucky I'll be able to clear coat it on Tuesday or so.

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That's true about Finishline guns - they're usually pretty good.  I had a beloved DeVilbis for many years and now don't have a glue where it got to - Chris may have it but by now it's OLD!   My one try with a HVLP gun (borrowed from a friend in Beaufort) was equally a disaster.  I just couldn't get the hang of it - Same goes for water-borne paints.  Give me something with thinners and fixers any time!

I second the cardboard test cards, though.  If you can't get the pattern you want on cardboard, it ain't gonna get any better on metal.

All this is precisely why I farmed out the paint on Pearl, BTW.......

I still use a De Vilbis JGA 502 that I've had for close to 40 years now- just painted a friend's buggy with it 2(?) weeks ago, shooting  a 2 component urethane.  I tried something a little different and got the  best finish yet with that type of material- this is in a mutual friend's garage/workshop.  I mixed different thinners for the 2nd and final coats.   We wet down the floor a little bit to keep the fan (and me while moving around) from stirring up dust.20210623_145452

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Last edited by ALB

Not to diverge too much into paint, but since I sold my painting setup in RI before we retired out here, I had to re-equip for the speedster spraying.

As some of you may remember, I bought a Fuji 2804-T75G Mini-Mite 4 Platinum  turbine HPLV system. No compressor, oil/water traps etc. It's a shoebox size lightweight turbine blower that works great with the HPLV gun that comes with it. It was perfect for my situation and is comfortably stored for when I need it.

I had gotten used to my DeVilbiss gun and 60 gallon compressor, but with just a little practice, I felt like I could do as good of a job with the Fuji (again, skill limited outcomes, not equipment limits).

Just throwing it in there for folks who are considering equipment.

I'm a house/construction painter with lots of spray experience- everything from catalyzed furniture lacquer to interior and exterior latexes/architectural coatings to various 2, 3 and even (in one case) 4 component epoxies (trust me, you never want to have to spray coal tar epoxy!), with (over the years) a fair bit of after hours dabbling in various automotive enamels and urethanes/polyurethanes.  Although I'm fairly well versed with most spray systems- conventional, airless, electrostatic and even hvlp, I still prefer a conventional cup gun for automotive enamels and urethanes.  Conventional and airless are what I know best.  I have used an electrostatic (what a pain in the a$$!) and have limited hvlp experience- I understand it's different now, but when it first came out any nice materials I saw sprayed with hvlp had to be cut-polished to get rid of the orange peel and maximize the gloss/finish.  It just didn't seem to atomize the material all that well (again, like the electrostatic, it was one of the first hvlp's out there) so I never bothered to pursue it.

I don't spray stuff like that all that often (3 buggies in the last 5? years) and at the tender age of 64 I only do it for friends, so I'll stick with what I know.  I'm like Mike, that if I bought an hvlp unit and played with it a while I'm sure I could get acceptable results, but I'm not that into it...

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I can paint cars fairly well but don't let me use an airless sprayer as that's another story. My first home I bought we gutted the walls and re-rocked it. Rented an airless sprayer to save time and get a primer coat on the walls and ceilings, I started in a closet so I could get the hang of it  ... I pulled the trigger, the paint line fitting popped out of the gun shooting the entire closet in primer and most of me, in two seconds....

@ALB, beautiful job! Those thinners seemed to do the trick.

I've sprayed urethanes/polyurethanes a few times over the years; being an industrial paint, they are a little more difficult to work with and get a really nice, automotive quality finish.  It's just not what that type of coating was originally designed to do.  I've always followed mixing volume instructions precisely using the proper temp thinner for conditions (almost always medium for anything around room temp, iIrc) and never failed to produce decent finishes (the guys were always happy and thought it looked great) but after the 2nd or 3rd time thought it could be a wee bit better.  This time around I talked Nelson into letting me buy a liter of slow thinner as well as the medium (the gentleman at the autobody supply store didn't think the slow thinner was necessary) and, working in balmy 78- 80° weather, I mixed the first coat with the recommended amount of medium speed thinner, mixed 20-25% slow thinner into 2nd coat and 3rd coat was close to 50% medium/50% slow thinner (and a splash more thinner than recommended overall as well).  It gave the top coat just that little bit longer to flow and outgas before skinning over and produced (what I consider) the nicest finish yet!  And that's my brother in the background...

20210623_145515

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So it turns out that if you spray 2-part clear coat at 23 pounds per square inch pressure from a nice spray gun directly at a 10-ounce sheet of bent 5052 aluminum that is suspended from two holes along its top edge, what will happen is the spray pressure from the gun will swing the work farther away as you work down, and the swinging action of this sheet of material will cause the spray distance to vary significantly enough to cause trouble.

@edsnova posted:

So it turns out that if you spray 2-part clear coat at 23 pounds per square inch pressure from a nice spray gun directly at a 10-ounce sheet of bent 5052 aluminum that is suspended from two holes along its top edge, what will happen is the spray pressure from the gun will swing the work farther away as you work down, and the swinging action of this sheet of material will cause the spray distance to vary significantly enough to cause trouble.

Had the same issue spraying MC gas tanks. Ending up draping them over a door/fender stand instead.
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These things are handy for all sorts of stuff. I have a 2’x4’ piece of 1/2” Arboron that I set on top and it’s heavy enough to make a pretty stable work bench. 

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Last edited by dlearl476

@ALB

So what happened with the slower thinner vis a vis reducing orange peel?  

Do you think that it self leveled during the slower cure or is something else afoot?

You get serious orange peel when something isn't right, usually either not enough pressure (the paint won't atomize properly and will look in extreme cases somewhat rough or 'pebbly' and too much pressure can cause this as well), not slowing down enough while spraying to put enough on (more important during the final coats to combat the wavy but glossy orange peel look) , the material isn't thinned enough or a combination there of.   I think that the slower thinner probably helped it level out, but what I also noticed working with this material is that the overspray that lands on places already coated didn't always melt in the way I thought it should.  I don't have access to a booth so everything counts.  I'm probably just being picky, and as I said before, no one else has noticed, but I think it made a difference.  We're going out with Nelson and his car tomorrow so I'll let you know what I think after the weekend, and maybe have a few pics as well... Al   

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Spent about three hours messing with it. First I sliced off the runs with a blade. Then I wrapped a wet paint stick with wet 400 grit and ground the drips down close to flat. Then I worked those areas with 800.

Then I wet sanded the whole panel with 800, 2 passes. Cleaned the whole thing with glass cleaner.

Two passes with 1000, two more with 1500 and one more with 2000. Cleaned it between sandings and looked for trouble spots.

Then I compounded with a "rough" sponge pad, 2 passes. Cleaned again with glass cleaner. Then one more with a medium pad. Cleaned.

Once over with a fine pad with polishing compound. Then a buffing wheel to finish.

It's not close to perfect. I'll probably have to re-shoot the drip spot at least.

But it's not terrible.

@edsnova posted:

Spent about three hours messing with it. First I sliced off the runs with a blade. Then I wrapped a wet paint stick with wet 400 grit and ground the drips down close to flat. Then I worked those areas with 800.

Then I wet sanded the whole panel with 800, 2 passes. Cleaned the whole thing with glass cleaner.

Two passes with 1000, two more with 1500 and one more with 2000. Cleaned it between sandings and looked for trouble spots.

Then I compounded with a "rough" sponge pad, 2 passes. Cleaned again with glass cleaner. Then one more with a medium pad. Cleaned.

Once over with a fine pad with polishing compound. Then a buffing wheel to finish.

It's not close to perfect. I'll probably have to re-shoot the drip spot at least.

But it's not terrible.

My bodywork teacher told me that color sanding/cut and buff was good inspiration for getting your gun set right the first time.  A**hole.

When I did my class project (Mercedes Hood and Rear hatch) I messed up getting the gun back together right and my first clear coat had some globs in it. He had me just lay on a few extra coats, extra thick, to leave enough material to wet sand it out.

Worked great except the finish product turned out nicer than the OEM finish in the rest of the car.

Last edited by dlearl476

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