Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Open question to group regarding finishing the cabin frame for the 750 (STOL/CRUZER).
At the moment, my inclination is to have the frame powder coated.
Has anybody experienced any problems or issues with getting this done on their frames? In other words, what should I be on the lookout for when selecting a shop to powder coat my cabin frame, if anything?
Also, for the Cruzer folks: what did you do about finishing the counter-weights (steel plate) for balancing the elevator?
Thanks in advance for the input!
P.S. -- Thought/opinions on best color or type of finish (gloss, satin, matte.. hammertone, even!) are welcomed.
I would not have the cabin frame powder coated except by someone that I know and trust and who, preferably, are an FAA repair station. Small inconsequential parts might require less scrutiny.
Ken's advice is probably the most sound, I have powder coated many of my 701 parts and we have had this discussion before but I will give my take (by an amature homebuilder. this is my opinion only) I do my own powder coating, surface prep needs to be perfect for adhesion and metal protection, Powder with a cure temperature no higher than 350 degrees F so as not to change the metal properties which also requires good temperature control of the cure oven, relatively thin film thickness to help lower the chance of the powder cracking due to vibration and flexing. Years ago at a polyfiber forum at Arlington we got into a discussion about powder coating cub frames and there was talk that there were some corrosion issues in cub frames that were powder coated and it was thought that insufficient surface prep was the cause, but the damage was also not discovered because the powder had in those instances remained intact and hidden the damage. these were planes sent to Alaska.
Thanks Dan. Good point to ask the powder coater specifically how they prep the metal, how the bake/cure the powder and if/how they adjust the process for 4130 chome-moly steel.
I had my cockpit cage powder coated by a professional coating shop. They did a great job and I trust their work. After the work was done, I coated the inside with linseed oil per Tony Bingellas (sp?) books. The other fellows are correct though. An incorrectly done job could actually be dangerous in the long run. I had mine done in satin black and that is the colour that I would do again.
Which book He has several. I remember my dad doing that on his Motor mount but I think it would have to be done before powder coating the way my dad did it, drill tiny hole in the tubes, injected linseed oil, shook the tube to try and coat every where inside, then heated the tube with a torch to cook the linseed. Plug the holes with tiny screws.
Thanks Joe. Especially appreciate the reminder to coat the inside of the tubing to protect it (I'm sure that was after the powder coating was completed.)
I had a local race car chassis builder coat mine, he was very aware of temperature concerns while working with 4130. I Chose a light grey color to match my panel, I think the cabin frame is less noticable while flying when they are lighter colored, but it really comes down to personal preference.