Finishing Kit

February 4, 2012

Bulkhead Covers, Paint Prep - 4.5 hrs.

I mentioned a while back how easy it is at this stage of the build to get sidetracked in many different directions. I have tried hard to avoid this temptation because it's hard to keep track of so many details when you have too much going on at once. I don't need the mental strain. Plus, I hate loose ends. I like to get things finished and then move on. However, there are times when it just makes good sense to divert your attention to something you hadn't really planned on at this point. From the standpoint of efficiency and good use of my time, for example. So...

As I prepared to shoot some JetFlex paint on the remainder of my canopy frame, it occurred to me that there are some other interior items that need paint as well, and it would make good sense to do them all at once in one painting session. So today I pulled the bulkhead covers out of my inventory. These cover the big F-704 bulkhead inside the cabin. So I pulled the vinyl off and deburred them, clecoed them in place, and drilled them to the bulkhead. Here's the one on the left side:

These are going to look really nice when they're riveted in place later on. I'm going to wait, though, because I may want to run some wiring through this area, and maybe even install something on these covers before riveting them in place. Some builders install headset jacks, lights, or even just a nutplate or two to give you options in the future. Speaking of paint, though, can you see what's glaringly obvious in these pictures?

In case you missed it, the gold-anodized flanges on this bulkhead, pretty as they are, stick out like a sore thumb and need to be painted as well as the covers. I can't have my cabin all nicely painted and NOT take care of this detail. This is one of the unexpected things that results from my decision early on to paint pieces before riveting them together. So suddenly, a little paint job is turning into something much bigger than I bargained for at this point. So even though I hate to get sidetraked, I decided to press on and just get it done. So after the usual scuffing, cleaning, and priming of the bulkhead covers, I spent the remainder of my time this session working on the tedious task of carefully taping and masking off the whole area, leaving just the flanges exposed for paint. This is just what I had hoped to avoid by painting first, but this detail escaped me at the time. I hope you don't mind that I didn't take pictures. Tape and masking paper isn't pretty or worth taking pictures of. I'll have some pics of the finished job very soon.

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