August 3, 2007

Scrub-a-Dub-Dub, ribs in a tub - 1.5 hrs.

Today I began preparing the ribs for priming. I didn't have much time today, but managed to get about a third of them done.

Here's my scrubbing operation set up. Plastic sheet over an old picnic table, red scrub bucket, and supplies on hand. I protected myself with rubber gloves, eye protection, and respirator. On the left is a big pile of ribs, waiting to be scrubbed.

By the way, here's the cleaning and etching stuff that I'm using. Up until now, I've been using Randy Lervold's method. It's simple and inexpensive, using naphtha (plain old Coleman Lantern fuel) and scotchbrite pads to give the metal a good etching and cleaning before priming. It works great! But as I contemplated all the surface area on all these ribs, I realized it could take me a week just to get them all scrubbed and cleaned. I've spent enough time on these ribs, and I wanted to save some time. So I was reading about chemical cleaners last month and I got this stuff from Aircraft Spruce. I haven't used the usual Alumiprep and Alodine like a lot of guys are doing so I don't have a basis for comparison, but I liked what I read about this stuff. You can read about it in the catalog or on their website. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has tried both methods. Now that I have used it, I would definitely recommend this. I'll be using it again. You dilute it one part to 2 parts water, and either soak or scrub the metal. It only takes a few minutes and the aluminum comes out squeeeeeky clean. I had the garden hose nearby with a spray nozzle, and rinsed each piece as I finished scrubbing it, and then hung it up to dry. The blue sharpie marks that I used to identify each rib dissolved almost instantly in this stuff. Naphtha didn't do that! At least not as fast. So I carefully laid out a small batch of 4 or 5 pieces at a time, keeping track of their order. As soon as it was dry enough to re-mark, I had the sharpie ready and marked each one again.

Rib number L6 gets a good scrubbin'. I slightly elevated one end of the scrub bucket, and used this little wood-handled brush to go after it. One end, then the other, flip over and do the other side, then a good rinse with the spray hose. Simple and fairly fast. 2 or 3 minutes on each rib.

My fancy drying spot was nothing more than a line tied between this tree and the top of the fence. Hooks were made from an old clothes hanger. In the warm summer breeze, these squeeky clean ribs dried in no time. Then the next batch was hung up, and so on. No skin from my hands or fingers touched them from this point on, only latex-gloved hands, until priming was finished. No fingerprints wanted!

Tomorrow is Saturday, and I expect a big session to get this finished, and hopefully prime them all.

<< Previous | Home | Next >>

Contact me: swayze "at" (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)