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Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 9th 20, 05:54 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Shaun Wheeler
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Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

Looking for advice on a refinish. I don't have Bob Ireland's excellent contacts in the sailplane business so I'm working at a disadvantage. He owns one of the few remaining (total of 7) flyable examples.

I've read about people bundling sailplanes up to get them repainted in South America but can't see any details on how they went about it or what the price was. I know this isn't like painting a metal powered aircraft so that rules out the closest aircraft paint shops to where I live.

So far my options seem to be drag it out West or back East (I live in Tennessee) to get it done. I do have a shop but I've never repainted anything fiberglass bigger than a motorcycle and that was almost 30 years ago.

If Bob would make me a deal on his I'd come buy it but I'd be willing to bet he's planning on flying it this next season

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.

The factory moulds for these are long gone. I don't know of anybody who's made templates.

What's the best fix short of find another used sailplane to stick in the trailer?
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  #2  
Old January 9th 20, 02:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Papa3[_2_]
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Posts: 748
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 12:54:02 AM UTC-5, Shaun Wheeler wrote:
Looking for advice on a refinish. I don't have Bob Ireland's excellent contacts in the sailplane business so I'm working at a disadvantage. He owns one of the few remaining (total of 7) flyable examples.

I've read about people bundling sailplanes up to get them repainted in South America but can't see any details on how they went about it or what the price was. I know this isn't like painting a metal powered aircraft so that rules out the closest aircraft paint shops to where I live.

So far my options seem to be drag it out West or back East (I live in Tennessee) to get it done. I do have a shop but I've never repainted anything fiberglass bigger than a motorcycle and that was almost 30 years ago.

If Bob would make me a deal on his I'd come buy it but I'd be willing to bet he's planning on flying it this next season

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.

The factory moulds for these are long gone. I don't know of anybody who's made templates.

What's the best fix short of find another used sailplane to stick in the trailer?


  #3  
Old January 10th 20, 12:41 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Kuykendall
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Posts: 1,343
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

I'd suggest seeking out Tony Condon or Steven Leonard and picking their brains. Between them they have a lot of practical experience doing worklike refinish projects with relatively simple tools and processes. Also, Bryan Evans can give you some good pointers, he probably built your ship in Zimmerman's shop.

Of course, it all depends on what the current condition is and what you're trying to achieve. But assuming that you have a lot of cracking and checking gelcoat, typical basic steps a

[Warning: I am not an expert. I have done this exactly once. It turned out OK.]

* Sanding all the bad gelcoat off, probably all the way down to (but not into!) the fiberglass (this part I've done on several gliders back when I was young)

* Inspecting the inevitable un-logged repairs to make sure they are not dangerous

* Spraying the glider with a primer/filler such as Duratec (we use their vinylester primer on the HP-24s; good stuff)

* Sanding the primer/filler smooth and wave-free up to 220 grit (you want it that rough so the finish paint has some texture to stick to)

* Getting your favorite car painter to spray it with a seal coat and three wet coats of Toyota White acrylic urethane. They'll tell you they can do it with a fog coat and two light coats, because they're spring-loaded to try to conserve expensive paint while keeping orange peel and finish work down to a minimum. But the difference is that a Camry or Lexus doesn't need laminar flow. Get those three wet coats and pay extra if you have to, tell them it's OK if there are a few runs.

* Wet sanding the urethane 800 grit almost to the bottom of the orange peel, then on up through the grades to 2500, using primarily diagonal strokes and progressively smaller sanding blocks. On the leading edge you'll carefully use a diagonal half-strop motion, always working with one grade finer grit than the rest of the wing. It's too easy to sand right through the finish paint on the leading edge.

* Buffing and polishing with a rotary polisher, taking care to angle it so you always sweep off of trailing edges, never onto them. You can tear up a control surface or surface cover really badly that way.

* Always judging your work under sunlight, never under fluorescent lights. Fluorescent photons are the cruelest, they show every tiny flaw.

--Bob K.
  #4  
Old January 10th 20, 02:53 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Richard Pfiffner[_2_]
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Posts: 299
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 9:54:02 PM UTC-8, Shaun Wheeler wrote:
Looking for advice on a refinish. I don't have Bob Ireland's excellent contacts in the sailplane business so I'm working at a disadvantage. He owns one of the few remaining (total of 7) flyable examples.

I've read about people bundling sailplanes up to get them repainted in South America but can't see any details on how they went about it or what the price was. I know this isn't like painting a metal powered aircraft so that rules out the closest aircraft paint shops to where I live.

So far my options seem to be drag it out West or back East (I live in Tennessee) to get it done. I do have a shop but I've never repainted anything fiberglass bigger than a motorcycle and that was almost 30 years ago.

If Bob would make me a deal on his I'd come buy it but I'd be willing to bet he's planning on flying it this next season

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.

The factory moulds for these are long gone. I don't know of anybody who's made templates.

What's the best fix short of find another used sailplane to stick in the trailer?


http://www.craggyaero.com/ventus.htm

Richard
www.craggyaero.com
  #5  
Old January 10th 20, 03:37 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 41
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 11:54:02 PM UTC-6, Shaun Wheeler wrote:
Looking for advice on a refinish. I don't have Bob Ireland's excellent contacts in the sailplane business so I'm working at a disadvantage. He owns one of the few remaining (total of 7) flyable examples.

I've read about people bundling sailplanes up to get them repainted in South America but can't see any details on how they went about it or what the price was. I know this isn't like painting a metal powered aircraft so that rules out the closest aircraft paint shops to where I live.

So far my options seem to be drag it out West or back East (I live in Tennessee) to get it done. I do have a shop but I've never repainted anything fiberglass bigger than a motorcycle and that was almost 30 years ago.

If Bob would make me a deal on his I'd come buy it but I'd be willing to bet he's planning on flying it this next season

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.

The factory moulds for these are long gone. I don't know of anybody who's made templates.

What's the best fix short of find another used sailplane to stick in the trailer?


Brian Evans is back east now in Tennessee near Chilhowee, so you might want to look him up. As Bob said, he probably had a hand in building your glider. Also Richard's video history of the refinish process is great. Good Luck.
  #6  
Old January 11th 20, 10:58 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,547
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 12:54:02 AM UTC-5, Shaun Wheeler wrote:

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.


I guess you want to do the refinish it as a sentimental labor of love, or preserve history, or just for the hell of it. If you don't feel that way, maybe you should sell it (now and as-is) to someone who does feel that way.

What are you hoping it will be worth resale after you spend $25K on it? Are there any buyers?

  #7  
Old January 12th 20, 01:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jonathan St. Cloud
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Posts: 1,449
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 9:48:37 PM UTC-8, Shaun Wheeler wrote:
On Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 4:58:48 PM UTC-6, son_of_flubber wrote:
On Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 12:54:02 AM UTC-5, Shaun Wheeler wrote:

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.


I guess you want to do the refinish it as a sentimental labor of love, or preserve history, or just for the hell of it. If you don't feel that way, maybe you should sell it (now and as-is) to someone who does feel that way.

What are you hoping it will be worth resale after you spend $25K on it? Are there any buyers?


In the worlds of one of most famous American aviators, Larry Walters, "A man can't just sit around."

I don't hunt anymore, not really that into fishing and I don't play golf. I'm single and my kids are all grown. I don't drink, smoke, or gamble and, well, it just didn't seem right that I didn't have any vices. So I thought to myself, what better way to kill time than running a sander stripping gelcoat?

I knew at the price I could end up with a halfway decent rebuildable covered trailer with some pieces parts of an aging limited production sailplane that I *might* be able to sell to somebody else who needs to do a repair. But.....value?

The only one for sale right now on W&W is asking 12K. The paint is in slightly better shape, but not much. I don't realistically expect to get the 39:1 it had the day it left the factory but it'll probably do better than some of the fabric and dope versions out there.

I suppose if somebody made me an offer on it before I take a sander to it I'd sure give it some thought.


I hope you stay healthy. Doesn't sound like you have any vices to give up if you get sick. Stay healthy and active.
  #8  
Old February 26th 21, 10:55 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jerry Boone
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Posts: 1
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 6:41:23 PM UTC-6, Bob Kuykendall wrote:
I'd suggest seeking out Tony Condon or Steven Leonard and picking their brains. Between them they have a lot of practical experience doing worklike refinish projects with relatively simple tools and processes. Also, Bryan Evans can give you some good pointers, he probably built your ship in Zimmerman's shop.

Of course, it all depends on what the current condition is and what you're trying to achieve. But assuming that you have a lot of cracking and checking gelcoat, typical basic steps a

[Warning: I am not an expert. I have done this exactly once. It turned out OK.]

* Sanding all the bad gelcoat off, probably all the way down to (but not into!) the fiberglass (this part I've done on several gliders back when I was young)

* Inspecting the inevitable un-logged repairs to make sure they are not dangerous

* Spraying the glider with a primer/filler such as Duratec (we use their vinylester primer on the HP-24s; good stuff)

* Sanding the primer/filler smooth and wave-free up to 220 grit (you want it that rough so the finish paint has some texture to stick to)

* Getting your favorite car painter to spray it with a seal coat and three wet coats of Toyota White acrylic urethane. They'll tell you they can do it with a fog coat and two light coats, because they're spring-loaded to try to conserve expensive paint while keeping orange peel and finish work down to a minimum. But the difference is that a Camry or Lexus doesn't need laminar flow. Get those three wet coats and pay extra if you have to, tell them it's OK if there are a few runs.

* Wet sanding the urethane 800 grit almost to the bottom of the orange peel, then on up through the grades to 2500, using primarily diagonal strokes and progressively smaller sanding blocks. On the leading edge you'll carefully use a diagonal half-strop motion, always working with one grade finer grit than the rest of the wing. It's too easy to sand right through the finish paint on the leading edge.

* Buffing and polishing with a rotary polisher, taking care to angle it so you always sweep off of trailing edges, never onto them. You can tear up a control surface or surface cover really badly that way.

* Always judging your work under sunlight, never under fluorescent lights.. Fluorescent photons are the cruelest, they show every tiny flaw.

--Bob K.


Excellent recap, Bob. I enjoy refinishing gliders, and vehicles. I'm on my 4th glider now. It can be tiring. Gelcoat is the most demanding by far. I find it helpful to take a year or more off between these projects to "forget" the sweat equity it demands. I especially like your "un-logged repairs" comment, too true.

Jerry Boone
@Sunflower
Zuni 22DZ & 859GS, Duster 38JS
  #9  
Old February 27th 21, 12:32 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Hank Nixon
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Posts: 48
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

On Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 12:48:37 AM UTC-5, wrote:
On Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 4:58:48 PM UTC-6, son_of_flubber wrote:
On Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 12:54:02 AM UTC-5, Shaun Wheeler wrote:

It's not that I can't manage to come up with 25 grand to paint it, I'm just a little hesitant when I see sailplanes that are current and inspected for less.


I guess you want to do the refinish it as a sentimental labor of love, or preserve history, or just for the hell of it. If you don't feel that way, maybe you should sell it (now and as-is) to someone who does feel that way.

What are you hoping it will be worth resale after you spend $25K on it? Are there any buyers?

In the worlds of one of most famous American aviators, Larry Walters, "A man can't just sit around."

I don't hunt anymore, not really that into fishing and I don't play golf. I'm single and my kids are all grown. I don't drink, smoke, or gamble and, well, it just didn't seem right that I didn't have any vices. So I thought to myself, what better way to kill time than running a sander stripping gelcoat?

I knew at the price I could end up with a halfway decent rebuildable covered trailer with some pieces parts of an aging limited production sailplane that I *might* be able to sell to somebody else who needs to do a repair. But.....value? Don't

The only one for sale right now on W&W is asking 12K. The paint is in slightly better shape, but not much. I don't realistically expect to get the 39:1 it had the day it left the factory but it'll probably do better than some of the fabric and dope versions out there.

I suppose if somebody made me an offer on it before I take a sander to it I'd sure give it some thought.


Expect to spend between 400 and 500 hours on your project. We can do a ship that size in 400 hours, but we've done it a few times and know the tricks. That is hours with tools in hand doing work. Unless you are fairly young you will not be able to do more than 3-4 productive hours a day.
About 1/2 way through the second day you will be thinking "there must be an easier way". Sadly the only easier way is to get someone else to do the work, if you can find them.
When you are done you will have a glider worth maybe $20,000.
Good luck
UH
  #10  
Old March 4th 21, 11:14 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Michael Fadden
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Posts: 6
Default Sailplane Refinishing Advice - 1973 Berkshire Concept 70

I have an ASW 15 that was painted with PPG Concept many years ago before I bought it. Cracks and chips have formed on the tail section revealing the old finish. Pretty ugly. It appears that the gelcoat was simply painted over. There's nothing in the log books detailing the paint job. I don't have the money for a full refinish nor would it make financial sense. How feasible is it to repair - sand and repaint paint over gelcoat? Actually, the entire fuselage could use some TLC - trailer rash etc. The upper wing surfaces are pretty good. I freely admit his kind of work is beyond me and I don't have a place to do any prep work.

Also, I have a Pegasus. Both, while not currently listed anywhere, are available. I don't need two gliders.

Mike
 




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