Chapter 25: Techniques, Tips, and Tricks


Cheese Grating


If you time it just right, you can use a technique called "cheese grating" to significantly reduce the time and effort required to sand off the micro.  Here's how you do it.  Apply the dry micro, wait 1-2 hours for the micro to "green", then sand the micro with 36 grit.  "Greening" is the less-than-technical term for micro that has begun to cure.  You'll know when the micro is greening because it gets rubbery. If you're using WEST, the micro will "green" about 1-2 hours after you apply it.  The micro is hard enough to be stable, but soft enough that it sands off soooooooooo easily.  It comes off in large quantities, like dragging a block of cheese over a cheese grater.  (Hence, the name "cheese grating".)  When Nick Ugolini first told me about cheese grating, I was skeptical.  But after trying it, all I can say is "Wow!"   Instead of waiting a day for full cure, I was sanding within 2 hours of application. What took an hour to sand off takes only a few minutes. 


As an example, take a look at the pictures from when I cheese grated my ailerons.  It took 10 minutes to big fill the aileron.  I waited two hours for the micro to green.  Then it took only 5 minutes to cheese grate the micro down to the high spots.  The second picture shows the large curls of micro that come off the sanding block.  So, 2 hours 15 minutes as opposed to two days to apply the dry micro, letting it cure overnight, then spending the time to sand the micro (hard-cured) off.


Cheese grating also works to sand off the micro in pre-fill areas.  The last picture shows an example of  cheese grating the prefilled areas on the nose hatch, nose top, canard cover, and forward canopy deck.





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