The last time I posted about the forward hatch was three years ago. Make sure to take a look at Forward Hatch to see where we left off. Since then I have built up the base and sanded it down again several times, trying to get the desired look and strength. Recently, I felt comfortable enough with it that I felt like it could be faired and painted.
I’ve noticed that when fairing I tend to go light on the epoxy and end up having to mix up another batch which extends the project to two times as long as it should take. This time I mixed up a big healthy batch of thickened epoxy with 407 fairing filler and system three colloidal silica. The system three you can buy on Amazon for a lot cheaper than West System colloidal silica. In this instance it really helped prevent sagging and dripping since the surface I was working on was overhead.
After prepping the surface by sanding and cleaning with Xylol I laid the epoxy on thick with a popsicle stick.
In the end it looked like this:
A week later I came out and began the long process of sanding it down to a perfectly fair surface to get it ready for painting. I started off by sanding all of the flat surfaces with the orbital sander/vacuum set up. For the corners I had to switch to hand sanding and I also used a small plastic mixing cup wrapped with sandpaper to get the perfect radius.
Many hours later the surface was perfectly smooth. I cleaned it several times with Xylol until the rag came up clean and then applied a base coat of Petit Easy Cabin Coat off white paint. I cannot wait to get out there again to put down a few more coats and be done with this project!