Today, the weather in Dallas was PERFECT, so I got out the Harbor Freight soda blaster and worked on the light surface corrosion inside the vertical stabilizer. Only took about 45 minutes and a lot of dust, but the inside looked great after. Later I took it down to the airport and sprayed the inside with Zinc Chromate Primer (after flushing with water and drying of course).

I also “Dry fit” the OLD cargo floor and front wall to evaluate using aluminum to replace each and the use of Oratex as a side wall covering. I came to the conclusion that I may want to go with the original cargo canvas material, because if I cover the entire cargo area with Oratex, then getting into the aft fuselage may be difficult. I may use a local upholstery company to remake the cargo envelope.

I watched a video on YouTube about using this material used to protect new floors as a great thickness of cardboard to make patterns. Well I gout out my floorboards and made patterns. I plan this week to go to a local meta sales store and see if I can buy aluminum plate that is waste from drop cuts.

Considering everything from diamond plate, to smooth aluminum with anti skid material. Also considering either powder coating or cadmium plating. Stay tuned.

Will Ware

Will Ware

I live in Rockwall Texas and I’m rebuilding a 108-1. I’m a Captain at Southwest Airlines but I LUV taildraggers.


Marcus Sab

Marcus Sab · October 31, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Hi Will,

Great progress.

I’m considering cleaning up inside my vert stab too. It has been coated with a thin layer of brown something which may be anti corrosion or just oil mist from the exhaust that migrated up in there. Is your unit a purpose built soda blaster or just a sand blaster charged with soda? I have a sand blaster already so I’m considering just using that. How different can they be?

There’s a guy posting on Back Country Pilot who made checkerplate floorboards and they look great.

Did you end up using the BB128 pulleys?

    Will Ware

    Will Ware · March 1, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    SO sorry it took me so long to respond. No the soda blaster was from Harbor Freight and it works great however it is messy as all get out! As I understand SODA will not remove any of the aluminum, where SAND blasting may burn through light aluminum.

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