Monday, October 15, 2018

Filler Work - Triumph Spitfire Restoration: Passenger's Door (still)

Another one of the posts where there was more work that pictures. So, to the video (which covers two garage visits):


Most of my time I spent sanding. And when I say most of my time...I mean most of my time. It only takes a few minutes to put a layer of filler on, give it 15-20 minutes to dry...then more sanding. I'm frankly surprised that it didn't bother me too much. I wouldn't call it therapeutic, but it wasn't too bad. Maybe I missed my calling...or nah.

So when we had left off last time I had a few spots that I wanted to come back to with filler and hadn't touched the boot lid. Being a weeknight, I didn't have a bunch of time to get work done, but I tried to make the most of it. I got filler on those few spots, let it cure and got to sanding...and sanding. And more sanding.

One other thing, as I mentioned in my previous video, I hated the mixing board that I had so I picked up a different one up at Amazon that I like a lot. It's made by Clean Sheets Mfg and is a standard 8 1/2" x 11" sheet on a slightly larger, compressed fiber-board backing. You just tear off used sheets like from a legal pad when you're done with it and throw it away. Simple and efficient. The individual sheets are coated with some sort of shiny stuff that keeps it slick, making it much easier to mix the filler than the smooth plastic of my other board, which mysteriously disappeared before the end of the night. It comes with 100 sheets and ran me $17.

Mixing board "the good"

As time went on, I slowly came to the realization that I needed to further narrow my work focus on just the door if I wanted to meet the timing gates of the epoxy. I went into a bit in detail in the video, but I want to cover it again here. I may be repeating myself from previous posts, so please bear with me.

The epoxy primer has a 7-day window in which to put something over top of it. It doesn't matter what the something is: another coat of epoxy, filler, build primer, base coat, etc. It is essentially like glue in this window; it sticks to everything and everything sticks to it. If you fall outside this 7-day window (as I did when putting the Raptor Liner on), you need to scuff it up with a red pad, then hit it with another coat and your 7-day window restarts. If you going on with paint (or, in my case, the Raptor Liner), you can spray a reduced coat of epoxy, wait 2-hours, and then put down the paint. If I was doing filler, though, like this time, I would put down full-strength paint, and I did two coats. While 7-days is a pretty long window, since I only get over there two times a week, it's easy for me to fall outside the window and then waste time and resources.

All that being said, I did sand the boot lid a bit (see the video), but ultimately let it go to focus on the door. I finished sanding it and by the end of the night, got it in another two wet coats of epoxy primer.

All coated up.

I left for the night (a Thursday) and was able to come back on Saturday for a full-day visit. I put the door up on the stand and tried to take a picture down its long axis to see if it still looked like the craters of the moon. It didn't, so there was definitely some progress!

Still not perfect, but definitely much better! If you can't tell, trust me :)

Along with the mixing board, I purchased some Evercoat Polyester Glazing Putty that is used to correct minor imperfections and get the surface really straight. I picked this up at Amazon as well and it's quite a bit more expensive ($32 for 1kg) than "regular" filler, which is not too cheap in itself (~$58 for 0.8 gal). I'm not sure that I got the correct stuff here (I discuss it in the video a bit) as I thought I was going to get something much thinner, but in the end it seemed to work well and did spread and sand differently than the regular filler did and I was happy with the final product, so I'll stick with the process. It does seem more dense for the same amount as the regular filler, so maybe there something in its makeup (more polyester?) that provides a smoother finish in the end.

I covered the entire door in it and, starting with 80-grit (I originally started with 120-grit, but soon switched to 80-grit to get my initial contour) I sanded it down. And sanded...and sanded. Are you noticing a pattern here?

Only the bottom in polyester here. I used the tape line again to maintain the crease line.

Believe it or not, this took most of the day, though I did need to cut it a bit short for family commitments. Once I was done with the polyester filler to my satisfaction (and I really am pretty happy with it and fixed the little low spots that I was going to leave initially), I got two more coats of epoxy on it and left for the day. I got some more of that cratering that I had experienced a few coats ago, but it wasn't as bad. In any case, the next step (within 7-days, of course) is to start with the build primer.

Upon recommendation of SPI themselves, I'm using the regular build primer vice the high-build stuff. Unlike the epoxy, which lays down pretty thin and is sprayed with a 1.4mm tip, the build primer lays down thick, with a 1.8mm to 2.5mm tip (I'm using a 1.8mm tip but may have to go larger - we'll see). As with the body filler, you are supposed to sand away most of the primer as it fills the slight imperfections in the surface and SPI said that, cost-wise, you're better off sanding away the regular build vice the high build. But, more on that when I actually get to that point. Until then...

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