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Thread: Stewart Systems for Painting Aircraft

  1. #1

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    Stewart Systems for Painting Aircraft

    Has anyone tried the Stewart System for painting? I have heard positives and negatives about it and would like to learn more from someone who has had any type of experience with it.

  2. #2
    Matt Gonitzke's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle of painting a glider with it, and I'm pretty happy with it so far. What kind of aircraft are you painting? My glider has a little bit of everything (wood, fiberglass, metal, and fabric) so I've had to prep all of those different surfaces. Any specific questions? Here are the tails that I finished the other night. Overall I'm very pleased with how they turned out. There are a few flaws, but all my fault.
    IMG_0228.jpg

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    I have some experience with all the under top coat products. In three words : Easy, easy , easy. Love the "no headache" smell.
    Not to top coat stage yet.
    Jim

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    It is a Glasair Sportsman 2 plus 2, so composite fueselage and the wings and tailfeathers are aluminum.

    Are you guys spraying it with HVLP, and if so what is your air supply set-up like?

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    Be very careful with a true HVLP ( the ones that use a garden hose and true low pressure) they do not atomize the paint well enough to get the finish right.


    the rest of the system is great, plus they now have an (eco-cyrl) catalyzed polyurethane, vary much like the old DuPont Imron. except it is water born, and uses no thinner, and is haz-mat shipping free.
    Last edited by Tom Downey; 09-22-2012 at 01:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Downey View Post
    Be very careful with a true HVLP ( the ones that use a garden hose and true low pressure) they do not atomize the paint well enough to get the finish right.


    the rest of the system is great, plus they now have an (eco-cyrl) catalyzed polyurethane, vary much like the old DuPont Imron. except it is water born, and uses no thinner, and is haz-mat shipping free.
    Tom, how many airplanes have you finished with Stewart?

    Everything I read says the undercoats go on very well, but the top coat material is much more finicky than other products.

  7. #7
    Matt Gonitzke's Avatar
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    I'd agree that it's more finicky than other paint I've painted with, i.e. auto paint, but once you get the hang of it, it's not so bad. A good water trap is extremely important...if there is any condensation getting into the gun, it'll thin the paint more and make a mess. Don't ask how I know this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Gonitzke View Post
    I'd agree that it's more finicky than other paint I've painted with, i.e. auto paint, but once you get the hang of it, it's not so bad. A good water trap is extremely important...if there is any condensation getting into the gun, it'll thin the paint more and make a mess. Don't ask how I know this.
    Other than the glider, what is your experience with Stuarts? What type surfaces have you painted - fabric, metal, composite?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    Tom, how many airplanes have you finished with Stewart?

    1 complete, and bits and pieces of 4 more

    Everything I read says the undercoats go on very well, but the top coat material is much more finicky than other products.
    The system is a very easy system to work, and it doesn't stink, plus there are no haz-mat charges on shipping.
    The lack of a thinner and haz-mat charges make it the cheapest system, It has it's advantages.

    I still prefer the Airtech system, it is faster, and faster is better when you are working by the clock hours for your customers. There is no brushing with Airtech, once the fabric is on, 3 cross coats of primer, sand once and shoot top coat. yer done.

  10. #10
    Matt Gonitzke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    Other than the glider, what is your experience with Stuarts? What type surfaces have you painted - fabric, metal, composite?
    This is it so far. Right now most of what I have done is fabric...there were some small metal parts, too. The wings are mostly wood, which has been varnished, primed with Stewart's primer, and will be painted over the next couple of days.

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