Continuing with my R&R theme this week, I did manage to reassemble the paint gun and it actually works! Now for the reason why:
My friend down the street recently added to his personal fleet of vehicles and decided to get rid of the oldest one. 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee he was using as a work truck. It developed some peeling and failing clearcoat on the hood and we decided the Jeep would sell better with a normal looking hood. He got a $700 quote from the body shop to repaint the hood and I (naturally!) said I could do that! I have recently had a problem with the paint chipping around the edges of the top on my Corvette. So we worked a deal - he buys the materials for both his hood and my top and I'll paint them. So out with paint stripper for the hood to get rid of the old clearcoat and paint. Next up is sanding to get down to bare metal and a coat of epoxy primer.
My top unfortunately took a little longer. I'm going into broken record mode here - another case of fixing someone else's improper repairs:
The paint chipping on the top extended all the way to the fiberglass base so I knew I'd have to do some fixing but when I got the top coat sanded off (didn't use stripper - just in case ) I found - broken record here - improper filler used by someone previously attempting to same repair. The filler failed and I had paint cracks and chips around the entire perimeter of the top.
A little history here for clarification. Of course all Corvettes have fiberglass body panels and originally they were all hand laid. At some point the factory switched to a more automated process but starting with the C4 series in 1984 they started using a process called SMC, or Sheet Molded Compound. With normal glass layups there must be some kind of layer eliminating oxygen from the resin for the resin to fully cure, so normally a laminating resin (polyester)(without wax) must have gel coat (with wax) applied overtop to cure the resin, or the resin must have wax in it. The wax rises to the surface (amine blush, same as with epoxies) as the resin cures.The difference is that the resin in SMC is infused with wax but the wax remains infused in the layup after curing. This poses a difference in repair techniques with the newer Vettes. In essence repairs must be done with epoxies, not polyester resins. And the previous repair was done with Bondo as a filler. Bondo uses polyester as its base. To be fair, most body shops can't (or won't) take the extra time for epoxy repairs - 4 to 6 hours from fill to sand vs. 15 minutes with bondo. But enough rambling, on with the West Systems and 407, , let it sit overnight and a little final filler:
the top filler is normal spot putty, which can be used over epoxy, then sanding, priming, blocking, and today:
the lighting was bad for photos for the Vette top, it looks much better. I did get a sag in the clearcoat on the Jeep hood, really pissed about that but can't do much about it now . Still, total repair cost: Under $200!
I'm working on an update with some work on the galley and various bits and pieces but output slowed drastically in the last almost two weeks and we've had some big news and changes in our lives: we lost our MIL yesterday to pancreatic cancer . We got the news of the diagnosis less than two weeks ago so my wife rushed out there to stay with her. The diagnosis was Stage 4 with 1 to 4 months to live so they opted for hospice. Well, it must have been much more advanced than they thought.
We had planned that I would get things here ready for an extended absence and follow her, but between my wife's arrival and now the NM gov declared a quarantine for air travel so that drastically limited my ability to get there. I've had to hover close to the phone as a result to help put out fires and deal with problems. I'll probably have to make a road trip out west later this week because phase 2 - helping out with and settling the FIL in to his new reality is going to be an even bigger challenge. We'll see.
It is rather ironic that one of the reasons I decided to retire last year was that I had a bad feeling that we were going to lose one or more of the parents this year and I needed to be closer than half-a-world away. Here it's happened and due to circumstances I'm still dealing with this long distance. at least I can get there - if I was still working i'd be trapped in Japan essentially unable to come home (without some severe restrictions anyway).