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What finish should I expect from an auto body shop?

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TRFfan

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I want to get my rocket painted at an auto body shop to get a good finish and I wanted to have a polished final result (about 2 micrometers). Will an auto body shop be able to get this finish?
 

timbucktoo

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They will but depending on detail it won't be cheap. If it's for the little one you are building you might try someone who does customized airbrushing.
 

XolveJohn

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Car painting is a different world. You can get better results from spray cans if you heat them up with hot water.

Or research the science of painting, airbrushes are a good investment, if you don't mind cleaning them, water acrylic based paints are easy to clean, not sure if the best finish.

I used to work on electrostatic paint sprayers, how cars are painted when made. It is a dust, with a charge put on it, the car has the opposite charge, so it sticks
evenly. Then all you need is a giant IR oven. Probably not good for rockets. Plus they are usually not metal, so cannot hook to power supply.

Study enamel and laquer. I myself prefer old fashioned oil based paints. And always use gray primer.
 

jderimig

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I want to get my rocket painted at an auto body shop to get a good finish and I wanted to have a polished final result (about 2 micrometers). Will an auto body shop be able to get this finish?
Yes, and if you are not picky about the color have them spray it while they are already doing another job. It may be surprisingly cheap. Find a small shop, the proprietor may do it for a case of beer.
 

mpitfield

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I am just in the process with talking to an auto-body shop to spray matte clear on an already base coat painted rocket that I plan to fly at LDRS. I use an HVLP and automotive lacquer, however my paint area got too cold to finish spraying and it is too large to warm up in time to spray and allow the paint to cure well enough for transport down to LDRS. So I called around and found a shop that is entertaining the idea of simply renting out their booth to me on an hourly basis.

This was actually this shop owner's idea, which I can tell you from calling around is unusual. Initially he blew me off like everyone else, but then I got into a conversation about what I was painting and he found it interesting, so I think he is more curious than anything. I am meeting with him later this week and if all goes well I should have an on-going professional environmentally controlled spray booth to use. Plus he said his full-time sprayer would be interested in talking to me so maybe I will pick up some tips and learn how to spray a bit better.

The caveat is that I bring my own guns, consumables, clean-up materials, respirator, spray suit, etc. all of which which I already own. Still will all the gear, it would be relatively expensive to do this, however I plan to bring a few rockets to paint, so the economy of scale should kick in and make it reasonable.

I say call around, you might get lucky.
 

TRFfan

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I am just in the process with talking to an auto-body shop to spray matte clear on an already base coat painted rocket that I plan to fly at LDRS. I use an HVLP and automotive lacquer, however my paint area got too cold to finish spraying and it is too large to warm up in time to spray and allow the paint to cure well enough for transport down to LDRS. So I called around and found a shop that is entertaining the idea of simply renting out their booth to me on an hourly basis.

This was actually this shop owner's idea, which I can tell you from calling around is unusual. Initially he blew me off like everyone else, but then I got into a conversation about what I was painting and he found it interesting, so I think he is more curious than anything. I am meeting with him later this week and if all goes well I should have an on-going professional environmentally controlled spray booth to use. Plus he said his full-time sprayer would be interested in talking to me so maybe I will pick up some tips and learn how to spray a bit better.

The caveat is that I bring my own guns, consumables, clean-up materials, respirator, spray suit, etc. all of which which I already own. Still will all the gear, it would be relatively expensive to do this, however I plan to bring a few rockets to paint, so the economy of scale should kick in and make it reasonable.

I say call around, you might get lucky.
Actually i was looking to get it painted by a professional, my spraying skills are not too good and i need a really good finish on this rocket to get altitude on it.
 

rharshberger

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Actually i was looking to get it painted by a professional, my spraying skills are not too good and i need a really good finish on this rocket to get altitude on it.
Paint adds weight, polish and wax it, iirc from other posts you are using a composite airframe and fins, correct.
 
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dixontj93060

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rharshberger

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Oh ok. Any suggestions on how to do that (polishing and waxing)?
PM Nathan or Micromeister both have a fair knowledge of polishing techniques. It will involve wet sanding with upto 2000grit wet/dry paper, rubbing and polishing compounds and then a coat of wax (there are even some friction reducing waxes available iirc). It can be a trade off between paints weight and the optimum weight for the rocket to hit max altitude, if your rocket doesn't weigh enough paint can add needed mass, if it weighs too much then leaving off the paint can save mass and allow it to reach a higher altitude. A paintless rocket finish will require lots of work because the imperfections must be filled then polished smooth, the surface of the epoxy on the composite airframe basically becomes the finish for the rocket.
 

tomsteve

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I want to get my rocket painted at an auto body shop to get a good finish and I wanted to have a polished final result (about 2 micrometers). Will an auto body shop be able to get this finish?
im not sure what the "polished final result(about 2 mirometers)" refers to, but if youre talkin about thickness, welp, i dont thing that can be accomplished perfectly without robots doing the spraying.
one thing id suggest is when lookin for a shop to do the painting, look some sort lf restoration shop over a collision shop.
 
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BuiltFromTrash

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"Polished final result (about 2 micrometers)" refers to the surface finish. You want it really smooth. Definitely need some informed help there. Also make sure if you do paint it, that you buy the right paint.
 

OverTheTop

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I had my 1/2 scale Nike Smoke painted at a friend's panel shop. They knew that the fiberglass might out-gas a little at the higher oven temperature, so it was done at a lower setting than used for vehicles normally. There were a couple of minor pinholes in the end, but for free I am not going to be fussy.

Finish was pretty good, but not the polished finish you are after. I guess that just takes some polishing! I didn't do an extensive sanding before submitting it to paint.

InTheOven.jpg
 

Rob702Martinez

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Send it to me. I enjoy painting and being creative. Actually, wouldn't mind offering it everyone who needs/wants something painted.





 

K'Tesh

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@Rich... You mentioned Nathan, but didn't toss a link...

@TRFfan Here you go... Everything you ever wanted to know about paint, but was afraid to find out:

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...-The-Magg-(or-How-I-Spent-My-Summer-Vacation)

Oh, and as to your original question... I'd expect the finish from an auto body shop should be nearly perfect (so long as you don't go where my dad did to get his VW Rabbit repainted (a mosquito was embedded in the paint)).
 
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rharshberger

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@Rich... You mentioned Nathan, but didn't toss a link...

@TRFfan Here you go... Everything you ever wanted to know about paint, but was afraid to find out:

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...-The-Magg-(or-How-I-Spent-My-Summer-Vacation)

Oh, and as to your original question... I'd expect the finish from an auto body shop should be nearly perfect (so long as you don't go where my dad did to get his VW Rabbit repainted (a mosquito was embedded in the paint)).
Nathan has so many great polished rockets that PMing him for advice is probably the best idea.
 

Nathan

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I put a lot of paint on my rockets. At least 2 primer coats, several color coats then 4 or 5 clear coats (although about half of the clear gets wet sanded off). If altitude is your goal, I don't really know if my highly polished finish is enough to offset the added weight of all that paint. I don't do it for performance, I just like shiny rockets.
 

ozwald

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Send it to me. I enjoy painting and being creative. Actually, wouldn't mind offering it everyone who needs/wants something painted.





Holy Crap. Nice work!!! Nice hangers also, never thought about etriers (or close) to hang rockets. Cool stuff
 

TRFfan

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PM Nathan or Micromeister both have a fair knowledge of polishing techniques. It will involve wet sanding with upto 2000grit wet/dry paper, rubbing and polishing compounds and then a coat of wax (there are even some friction reducing waxes available iirc). It can be a trade off between paints weight and the optimum weight for the rocket to hit max altitude, if your rocket doesn't weigh enough paint can add needed mass, if it weighs too much then leaving off the paint can save mass and allow it to reach a higher altitude. A paintless rocket finish will require lots of work because the imperfections must be filled then polished smooth, the surface of the epoxy on the composite airframe basically becomes the finish for the rocket.
@Rich... You mentioned Nathan, but didn't toss a link...

@TRFfan Here you go... Everything you ever wanted to know about paint, but was afraid to find out:

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...-The-Magg-(or-How-I-Spent-My-Summer-Vacation)

Oh, and as to your original question... I'd expect the finish from an auto body shop should be nearly perfect (so long as you don't go where my dad did to get his VW Rabbit repainted (a mosquito was embedded in the paint)).
Nathan has so many great polished rockets that PMing him for advice is probably the best idea.
I put a lot of paint on my rockets. At least 2 primer coats, several color coats then 4 or 5 clear coats (although about half of the clear gets wet sanded off). If altitude is your goal, I don't really know if my highly polished finish is enough to offset the added weight of all that paint. I don't do it for performance, I just like shiny rockets.
Yeah but i think the layers of paint would measure about ~1-2 mm, which would make me lose about 3000 ft of altitude.
 

blackjack2564

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Yeah but i think the layers of paint would measure about ~1-2 mm, which would make me lose about 3000 ft of altitude.

Polish for smoothness NOT how "pretty".

Polish ALL the paint off till you are back to tube skin. Paint only fills the imperfections in tube, no addition to diameter. Polish the tube along with the paint

Tube & fins show sanding-grinding-machining imperfections, by small amount of paint filling the low area's, makes for a rounder tube, less low/high spots!


100_8996.jpg 100_9338.jpg


This surface is far superior to high gloss, lay this tube next to highest gloss tube around & the "sliding your finger over the surface" will show.

Start with [wet all] 320-400-600- green 3m sanding scrubber. All that's needed.

Above parts are finished/ready to fly.....ugly but gets the job done.
 
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TRFfan

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Polish for smoothness NOT how "pretty".

Polish ALL the paint off till you are back to tube skin. Paint only fills the imperfections in tube, no addition to diameter. Polish the tube along with the paint

Tube & fins show sanding-grinding-machining imperfections, by small amount of paint filling the low area's, makes for a rounder tube, less low/high spots!


View attachment 313339 View attachment 313340


This surface is far superior to high gloss, lay this tube next to highest gloss tube around & the "sliding your finger over the surface" will show.

Start with [wet all] 320-400-600- green 3m sanding scrubber. All that's needed.

Above parts are finished/ready to fly.....ugly but gets the job done.
oh ok thanks.
 
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