Question Best way to finish new PA-12 floor board?

  • Erik Rhode
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14 Apr 2024 06:57 #4257 by Erik Rhode
Replied by Erik Rhode on topic Best way to finish new PA-12 floor board?
Hi Steve,
Thanks for the reply. I replied to your message yesterday, but it looks like something went wrong as it isn't showing up here now. Good info on the Stitts varnish. She shop doing the work is a Poly Fiber shop, so He might even have some of that on hand. I'll check with him this week. I'll check out the tough vinyl too, that sounds like it might be a good option for what I'm doing.

TX to Alaska definitely qualifies as an epic flight in my book! I'd love to do something like that some day. The previous owner of my plane did a lot of cool things and went to a lot of cool places in it, and I am hoping that I can do some too. It has a few good mods done already, PA-18 gear and tail feathers, Cleveland brakes, VG's, 82" McCauley prop, and an O-320. Along with fabric and paint on this project, it'll be getting all new lights, 24-gallon Dakota Cub tanks with wig root gauges, skylight, and Steve's brake cylinders to replace the constantly-leaking Scott cylinders. Flaps would be great, but I just can't justify the cost. I'm pretty comfortable with slipping, and don't foresee attempting any landings on 200' sand bars in my future. Hopefully this old girl will be back in the air by fall!

Thanks again for the info!

Erik

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13 Apr 2024 12:08 #4256 by STEVE ELLS
Replied by STEVE ELLS on topic Best way to finish new PA-12 floor board?
Hi Erik;
Welcome aboard. Thanks for joining us.
I'm Steve; I will be the first contact here at the Piper Flyer to address forum questions.
I was once the happy owner of a 1947 PA 12, N 3155M. She was stock. I sold her before I had any disposable income to fixt her up. So no flaps, 0-235 Lycoming engine, small tires, etc. 
Our most epic flight was from Rockport, TX to Soldotna, Alaska. We headed west to visit family and friends and family in California, Oregon and Washington in May, 1981. We flew to Abbotsford for Canadian customs, spend a night in my tent at the airport in Williams Lake (BC) then flew up "The Trench" to Watson Lake, Yukon before turning west to spend the night in Whitehorse. 
The next day we flew into Alaska and did customs at Tok, before turning southwest to follow highway 1 to Anchorage and across Turnagain Arm to Soldotna. 50 flight hours. That little Lycoming never missed a beat.

I checked with the wood expert here at my airport and he uses Stits Epoxy Varnish VA-400. It's mixed with the Stits expoxy varnish catalyst (VA-410).
The Stits produces are very good quality. You can use other products; this one is specially formulated to use with other Stits covering products. 
There's a video (www.stits.com/store/epoxy-varnish-ev-400-2-1-2-quart-kit.html) that illustrates how to best use it.
Check with your mechanic, or the folks that are doing the fabric work, to see if there's a need to use the Stits product. 
If not, any good quality epoxy varnish will do. 
I installed a tough vinyl (very tough stuff) over the floorboards in my Comanche. I got it from SCS Interior products.
Let me know how this project is going.

I'm sure you know there are a large book full of approved updates and improvements that can turn that PA 12 into a very desirable "bush" airplane.
Best,
Steve
 

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12 Apr 2024 07:11 #4255 by Erik Rhode
Best way to finish new PA-12 floor board? was created by Erik Rhode
Hi All,
I just found out about Piper Flyer magazine and subscribed last week.  This is my first post here.  I am a newer pilot, got my PPL ticket in 2020.  I did all of my flight training in a 1948 PA-12, and loved it.  I'd been keeping my eye out for one since then, and a 1947 came up for sale right at our airport a year ago.  It was a good flying airplane, but was going to need attention before long, and was priced fairly to reflect that.  My plan was to fly it for a while, and decide if I wanted to put a lot of time an money into fixing it up, or sell it and move on to something else.  I really love the plane, so am going forward with the fixing part.  It is currently stripped to the bare frame.  Originally the intent was to re-cover and paint, but of course it is snowballing into a much larger (and more expensive) project with each passing day.  There are a lot of upgrades happening, so I am doing a ton of online research.  I am lucky to share a hangar with a retired 40-year airline A&P, so we are able to do a lot of things ourselves.  Paint and fabric are going to be done by a shop with lots of experience with that, hopefully the fuselage will be getting picked up next week.  I'll probably be back here with more questions as time goes on, please bear with me and forgive my ignorance.  

The floor boards on this plane were pretty trashed.  I removed them, and am replacing with 1/4" birch plywood.  Any thoughts on what to use to seal and finish the plywood with?  Water resistance is my main concern.  Ideally, I'd seal it with something and then paint it black with something that will hold up to years of traffic.  I'm also open to covering it with something, but I just don't know what to be looking for.  It previously had a cheap rubber mat covering the old painted plywood.  Any suggestions on what might work best will be greatly appreciated.  

Photo of the plane in it's current state below.

 
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