After a lot of sanding, the DR was once again down to bare aluminum, and I picked up Awlgrip Wash Primer, topcoat, converter, and reducer on Wednesday. Today (turkey day) was 74 degrees, so I shot primer early. An hour later, I laid a tack layer down, followed by a cover coat 45 minutes later.
After a couple of hours, the whole process produced no hits, no runs, and no errors. After a month, and a lot of grief, it's finally done and ready to start rigging.
Many, many, moons ago, I had a trucking company, and we painted all of our Peterbilts with Imron. Barefeet is painted with Imron. It's a tricky product, but once applied, it's very durable and withstands a lot of abuse. I also painted the outside of the DR with Imron, and had no problems at all.
The Imron issue cost us a good 30 to 40 hours of labor that could have been better spent doing just about anything else on the boat.
I understand that any manufacturer can have problems with a product run, as no process is perfect. What pisses me off is that an old line company like DuPont will not stand behind it's product. That seems to be the way things are these days. It is what it is, but they have lost a customer forever because of it.
I hate to say this but I was tempted when you first mentioned that paint to comment on a bad experience I had with Imron quite a few years ago using it on an Aluminum cab GMC cabover tractor but I didn't because I had been told at the time it was our process and not the paint that caused the problem, it sounds to me like the paint company is still using the same dodge
This is an update, of sorts. It's more accurately a tale of all that can go wrong, and a warning about a certain brand of paint. It's long, but hopefully I added a little humor as well. Humor has been pretty scarce of late.
For almost a month, I've been trying to get the inside of the DR painted. For the record, I have pretty extensive experience using Imron in the past. Here's the story, right through today.
In the beginning....
The surface was powder blasted, washed and prepped prior to application of two coats of zinc chromate aviation primer to give a 2-3 mil cover. Primed surface was prepped with denatured alcohol, then tacked with tack rags, prior to the Imron application.
Paint was applied in a closed booth, at 72 degrees, with 52% humidity.
Product.... all Imron
33-24861 S1 base
Mixed base and activator at 4/1 ratio, added 8% reducer, and 3oz of accelerator for a two quart pot. Three ounces of 189s results is what is considered a 'hot' pot. (fast set)
A thin tack coat was applied, followed by 10-15 minutes drying time. A second coat was then applied, in medium thickness, to achieve full coverage.
Everything was good, so I left the booth to clean the gun and have a sip of Jefferson's Ocean. I inspected the paint after 30 minutes, and it looked perfect. A subsequent inspection, 30 minutes later, was much less pleasing.
The paint had avalanched, and was a complete disater. For those not familiar with this term, an avalanche is when paint begins to slide at the top of a vertical surface, and picks up more product as gravity pulls it south.
A run will stop as paint begins to set up. An avalanche is the result of paint that is not going to set, and won't stop until it all reaches a horizontal surface, where it puddles in pools of slimy hazardous waste.
It took the Imron 48 hours to 'kick'. Everyone I consulted said that this had to be the result of operator error (a mixing miscalculation). I finally conceded that they must be right, and got down to the nasty task of grinding all of the Imron off, then starting over from the primer up.
Finally, this past Friday, the stars aligned and it was time to paint again. Carefully, meticulously, alchemy took place and the witch's brew was mixed. Eureka, a reeking caudlron of toxic chemicals was ready to despoil my beloved Runabout once again.
Same conditions, same mixtures, same appliation process. I was elated when I finished and viewed what I believed to be the nicest paint job I had ever done. I quickly cleaned the gun and pot, skipped the Jefferson's, and ran back to the booth to make sure all was good.
And good it was, albeit briefly.
About 50 minutes after the application was completed, I observed the avalanche beginning again. Slowly at first, then more quickly, the paint began it's inexorable journey to regions lacking all verticality.
At some point, while observing this deja vu train wreck, the saying that only crazy people repeat the exact same process in hopes of a different outcome crossed my mind. It may have been due to the Imron fumes so noxious that even a respirator doesn't stop them all.
So, today, Monday, I took all the products to the dealer, who still inststed that I was assuredly responsible. He mixed a batch and sprayed a test, and proclaimed that he was proven correct when it looked perfect. An hour later, he didn't have as much to say, as his test avalanched as well.
As best anyone can determine, it appears that I got hold of a can of bad 9T00-A activator. Golly gee, I'm at a loss for words to fully express what a relief that is.
In their magnanimity, DuPont is willing to replace the defective product, as well as the otherwise good product that was wasted in the fiasco. They will do nothing about all the time, labor, and materials that were wasted.
The moral of this story..... I wouldn't recommend Imron to a mortal enemy. Never again will I use it. Awlgrip is my new friend.
Per Syd's request, here are a couple of photos of the floors, top and bottom. I've also included a photo of the finished transom, complete with the polished stainless insert.
Jon, the stainless guru is going to fab a pair of lifting points that will attach to the transom and another pair that will go on the front deck, port and starboard, with backing plates. When he gets them done, we'll have a look before mounting them. If they don't look right, slings it will be.
Labeling the apparatus on the stern of Barefeet as davits might be a little misleading. They're really more cranes than davits, as they will boom out for the pick, then raise it and boom back in so that it is immediately above the swim platform. It requires four lifting points, with yokes to each crane leg's single cable.
It's going to get really cold down here for the next ten days, and that's certainly not conducive to painting without a heated booth. We're installing a Rube Goldburg heating system now, so we should be able to paint the interior next week.
I know a lot of you guys live where "really cold" has an entirely different meaning than down here in the South, but anything near freezing here is a calamity, bordering on an outright damn emergency. You'd die of laughter if you ever witnessed the vehicular mayhem that takes place in the event of ice or, God forbid, SNOW.
Being a Northern transplant, I was left speechless when a State Trooper responded to my question about snow removal with the statement "God put it here; He'll take it back when He's ready.".
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Hawkeyes, the anticipation of a finished product is killing me. To say that I can't wait is a major understatement. We have all the pieces and parts, down to the primer and paint; we just need to get them all put together.
BBJon, you may well be right. My stainless guy, who built the davits, thinks he can fabricate a total of four lifting points. While me may well be able to do that in a manner that would safely lift the boat, I'm not going to screw up the clean look of the boat to do it. Slings are indeed a pain in the butt, but that's far preferable to screwing the appearance up.
Finally, as soon as we get the boat back to my shop, we're going to pull all of the teak off, with the exception of the transom, to get everything clean and ready for another coat of etching primer and a couple of coats of Imron. I'll get some photos of the back structure of the floorboards and post them.
Thanks to all of you for the nice comments and helpful suggestions. It's very much appreciated.