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Cleaning up steel tailfeathers

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Premium Member
Aug 18, 2006
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Okay, so I've inherited a Firebolt project that basically has the vast majority of the welding on the fuselage done; here is is stored in the upper reaches of my hangar:


The metal structure of the rudder and elevators (not shown in the pic - removed for storage and on the bench)appears to have been done some time ago when the project started (2000) and they are showing some rust. They were painted with what looks like Zinc Chromate (green primer shown on the vertical stabilizer in the pic) but I thought that any aircraft structure that is going to be covered with Stits Polyfiber should not use MEK-based Zinc Chromate. Since there is rust that I'd like to treat sooner than later, Iwas consideringhaving the local powdercoating place sandblast and re-prime these pieces. Does anyone have any suggestions for what primer should be used, or any opinions about sandblasting to prep for repainting? Does it work-harden the welds?

Colleen, San Diego CA

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