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What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, EDO

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What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, EDO

Unread postby harmonii60 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:43 am

I did some searching and could not find a definitive place on the site that deals with the type of paint to use on my floats.

Can Urethane based paint be used? What's the best for chemical exposure (fuel) and wear?

Thanks in advance!

-Harmon
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby KlausNW » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:11 pm

Silver Lacquer

You can paint them with any paint designed to cover aluminum but.... Lacquer is quick and easy to repaint over. Floats rub against dock bumpers and beaches. Every year the paint on your floats will have a bunch of blemishes and repainting with urethane or whatever will be very expensive, timely and harsh on the aluminum. Lacquer is a simple tape off the plane, scotch brite, very quick wipe down with lacquer thinner and paint. Hour later pull off all the paper, tape and put back in the water looking like new floats.

Check out any floatplane operator who flies 400 hours or more a year per plane, they use Silver Lacquer.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby harmonii60 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:49 pm

I am familiar with Lacquer as a long time woodworker, it's major plus is adding finish blends/bonds to the previous finish. I used it on violins and really fine antiques, but it's soft.

So what about fuel resistance? I tried to use enamel once and it solves with fuel, gets soft and shows footprints :)

Does lacquer hold up to fuel?

Thanks!
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby KlausNW » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:15 pm

That is the point,
What paint doesn't stain from fuel, algae, dock rash, foot traffic, repairs, bird droppings and everything else the floats will be exposed too each season?

One of the fishing trips got a little out of hand and the guys really scratched up the floats with the net and anchor chain. Although they where very careless, it only took one day's labor to prep and paint both floats and make them look sparklin'.

:D
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby Stevesbrother » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Thanks Klaus
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby Float Pilot » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:14 am

I go nuts every year repainting my darn floats. Last year I used some lead based fuel tank sealant as paint on teh bottoms of my floats. It sorta worked. At least i had less fouling. Since I operate out of a semi-salty lake with all sorts of yucky stuff in the water, I have a real problem with corrosion happening under the paint. Even though I strip, acid etch and alodine the aluminum before painting.
The best all around stuff is the following:

RANDOLPH SPECIAL PRODUCTS

FLOAT LACQUER


Use:
Float lacquer is a time-honored silver coating for aircraft floats. Although it can be applied by brush, it is more suitable for spraying. Float lacquer is a classic, low-tech way of coating floats. Although its service life is far less than today’s polyurethanes, its ease of application and repair make it a useful product. Apply over epoxy-primed metal or directly over old float lacquer.

Packaging: Quarts, gallons, five gallon pails, 55 gallon drums.
Shelf life: One year in unopened containers.
Coverage: 225 square feet per gallon.
Mixing: Stir thoroughly before use. Insure all the silver is in suspension.
Thinning: Thin one to one with 286 Nitrate Thinner.
Application:
Stripped or bare aluminum: Use phosphoric acid etch and conversion coating. (See acids in the Ceconite Procedure Manual 101.) Prime with epoxy primer. When dry, scuff with an ultra-fine scotchbrite pad. Clean well, then spray three coats of 1:1 thinned float lacquer.

Old float lacquer: Clean well, scuff with an ultra-fine scotchbrite pad and spray float lacquer as required for cosmetics. Can be brushed, although spraying results in a better coating.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby BGH » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:34 am

On my cap floats I just went to a local auto parts store - picked up 3 or 4 cans of aluminum spray paint;scrape any loose or flaicking paint,mask off areas I didn't want to paint & spray on a couple of coats & all good for another year.

Daryl
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby Stevesbrother » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:42 am

Has anybody used Hullspeed paint. Dave just told me about Hull speed he puts it on his floats and claims it works well. They claim a 10% improvement in speed and fuel economy Large drag reduction and easy to clean Made in Saratoga Springs NY. Website www.hullspeed.us. Dave says his floats are cleaner and clean easier and he's getting off the water quicker. I'm on their website now and they have a floatplane page Claim decreased drag,shorten takeoff distance,ease of cleaning and deter bottom growth. This is of course just for bottoms but that's the most important part !
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:54 am

I called Kenmore when I bought my last set of EDO 1400s and they told me about the paint that they had, but were good enough to tell me to buy locally as the HazMet fee to ship it too me would be extreme, but they did give me all the details.

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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:27 am

Hullspeed/Floatspeed has it on their Citabria EDO 2000 and on his 206 at Island Bobs. And Bob did his 1320s also. All of them painted up to the water line.

Glenn
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby kbbell » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:39 pm

I have silver lacquer on my C170B/Edo 2000s. Easy to scuff and re-coat.

I always thought that the Aqua 2400s, that color-matched my Maule M5, looked like clown pants. They were bead-blasted, then sprayed with 2 coats of Corlar 2.1 HTA self-etching aluminum epoxy mastic from DuPont Industrial Coatings. It takes a lot of thinning and an excellent respirator, but the silver looks great and after 4 years it appears that they won't need repainting for a long time.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby Stevesbrother » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:56 am

Thanks Glen. I need to get over to island bobs. I want to check out the 7gcbc on floats I think I've got all the parts but would like to see a setup. Think I'll try the float speed it's pricey but might be worth it .
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby RKittine » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:52 am

Glenn / Steve,

If the weather is good on Tuesday, I am planning in on flying into Dick's and would stop at Island Bob's too. Any chance you will be around?

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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby Stevesbrother » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:32 pm

Sorry Bob. I'm off working - be home Thursday thru Saturday then Europe for 2 weeks.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby harmonii60 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:41 pm

RKittine wrote:I called Kenmore when I bought my last set of EDO 1400s and they told me about the paint that they had, but were good enough to tell me to buy locally as the HazMet fee to ship it too me would be extreme, but they did give me all the details.

Bob


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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:09 am

I don't remember what the brand was, but I am sure if you call Kenmore's parts department, they will provide you with the same information. I bought the paint from a Marine Paint supplier.

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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby harmonii60 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:10 am

Thanks BOB, It looks like silver lacquer is the way to go. But I'll give them a call to see what their recommendation is.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:53 pm

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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:34 pm

Mine were painted with 2 part poly auto paint in 03 and sit in the water 7 months a year, still look great.

Glenn
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby 46cubby » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:51 pm

harmonii60 wrote:I am familiar with Lacquer as a long time woodworker, it's major plus is adding finish blends/bonds to the previous finish. I used it on violins and really fine antiques, but it's soft.

So what about fuel resistance? I tried to use enamel once and it solves with fuel, gets soft and shows footprints :)

Does lacquer hold up to fuel?

Thanks!

The Float lac is not the same as the Nitro cellulose lacquer we use in instrument making. I still shoot nitro and every week I turn down some luthier from California that can no longer legally use it.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby 46cubby » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:57 pm

Seaplanes North sells it in Anchorage they are great guys to deal with. Also Kenmore sells spray cans of it I was told. I get lac through the mail in Qts. anything 1 Qt. or less is considered shippable with an ORM-D sticker. I get from Luthiers mercantile and others until I drove south and hauled back five 5 gallon drums of it! Enough to build every guitar for the rest of my life !
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby harmonii60 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:29 am

Right, I understand now it's acrylic lacquer versus nitrocellulose, and thus should be much harder. At least once a year I spill a small bit of fuel though, so hoping someone can say it's OK with a bit of exposure to fuel.
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby harmonii60 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:35 pm

OK, I called EDO and talked with Stephen as usual, (great people there BTW). Stephen is QA manager for new floats, and he explained the prep, Thought I would document it here for all:

Strip: He didn't have much to offer here, but from talking to others, use aircraft stripper, neutralize with baking soda and water when done, try not to soak the seams.

Acid Etch: (AlumaPrep) and rinse with water

Chemically prep: using Alodyne (MIL C 5541)

Epoxy Prime: BMS 10-11 Primer spec.

Paint: Lacquer; type: 595 color: 17178, PPL32 type 1, superseded with A-A3165 (hopefully I got those numbers right)
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Re: What is best type of paint to use on Aluminum Floats, E

Unread postby kbbell » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:58 am

Corlar is just one step and is resistant to abrasion, corrosion, chemicals and water. It has a nice bond to aluminum, it doesn't come off in sheets like Imron. Using lacquer, each step may be a little easier, but there are so many steps.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... Xj24wtuzrA

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