Because Owning And Flying Your Beechcraft Can Be Done Safely AND For Less Money!
  Chrome Step & Wing Walk Refurbishment

 

Courtesy of BeechTalker Ron G. See the full BeechTalk thread HERE

 


 

Paul McCracken suggested that I use Advance Chrome Connection in Ft. Worth, Texas (see http://www.advancechromeplating.com/).

 

(CSOB1 Note: they may not be in business anymore, however, find a reputable chrome shop in your area to work with)

 

They were great to work with and to my surprise they were very experienced with the Bonanza step! They quoted $125 plus shipping and tax to do the job, which was very reasonable. They polished the entire assembly, cleaned it, nickel plated it, and then applied a mirror-like chrome finish on top of the nickel. The result was beautiful.

To provide the anti-slip surface I chose not to use wing-walk paint, but to use anti-slip self-adhesive tape instead. This is sold by several hardware stores in 4” widths. You can buy as little as a foot from Ace Hardware. At Lowe’s Home Improvement and at Home Depot I found an even more interesting product which I ultimately used. It is a self adhesive anti-slip stair tread that includes a ¼ inch yellow reflective stripe. It is Safety Walk Reflective Tread, 3M Part Number 7768NA. The yellow stripe in this product makes the tread much easier to see in the dark. I cut a template for the step and then cut the corresponding shape from the tread so that the reflective stripe would run the length of the step.

I am pleased to say that the anti-slip material comes with a very strong adhesive! I wiped the top of the step with a tissue dampened with alcohol before applying the self-adhesive tread material. It grabbed the smooth chrome finish strongly. It has been two years now and the material still looks great! If you can get a tube of 3M Safety Walk Edge Sealing Compound you can further secure the edge from wind and water. Some Ace Hardware stores carry this product, and you can also obtain it from an Internet retailer. I did not use this product, but only mention it as a suggestion. Mine is doing fine without it.

I scanned the anti-slip piece of material before I attached it to the top of the step so that I could the image as a template in the future when it becomes necessary to replace the anti-slip surface. The part was scanned in black and white, so although you can see the yellow stripe in the image, it appears as a lighter shade of grey. Perhaps this template will save you some time!

 

Another Step pirep from Jeff C. of Beech Talk is as follows:

 

I've found that the you can buy a very good anti slip pad in the aviation department of Home Depot, Ace etc. It is usually black and used for floors and stairs IIRC. 3M calls theirs Safety Walk Tape. It is often available pre-cut or in rolls where you can cut the length you need. The pad is commercial quality, with a very good adhesive backing. I've used it on several different steps. It is also available with a small reflective yellow stripe (~1/4") along one side that really improves the step's visibility at night. I much prefer it over the completely blacked out steps.

To install clean the flat surface of the step really well with MEK or Actone. Get all of the old material off. Cut a portion slightly larger than you need so that it overlaps all the edges. Install, press down firmly all over. Trim with exacto knife to the step edges. Works wonderfully.

 

 


 

Thanks Ron!

 

 

 


 

Wing Walk Refurbishment

Good Stuff from Aircraft Spruce for this project!

 

 

Narrative courtesy of BeechTalker Jeff C. See the full BeechTalk thread HERE with an assist from Max G.

 

 

 

 

"One quart did the trick and I think I've got about half of it left actually...
 
If you have a pretty good surface now I would thin it. If you have a really thin layer of material with scabbed out places I would use the paint as-is. Jeff's walk had serious wear down to bare metal and several "scabbed"/missing spots which needed a fill layer.

The biggest problem we had was the temperature of the hangar being in the 40's. We heated the paint and attempted to heat the aluminum walk as we progressed with the application. If you can place your plane in a heated hangar and paint the walk the next day in the hangar it will be much easier. Another solution is to use an electric blanket on the walk overnight.

Tips:

Taping is important. If your walk has turned gray make sure the tape doesn't overlap or there will be a gray line at the edge. Taping the small radius curve at the front/outside is tedious and requires a small bit of skill. Remove the two wing bolt covers and paint them individually. Tape the edges of the wing bolt fittings after removing the covers. Take this opportunity to clean the wing bolt cavity and its drain. Tape one width of Saran wrap at the outer edge for protection from flecks of paint that might get on the original paint. If a speck of wing walk paint gets on the painted surface and dries it can be removed with a fingernail before it cures, so check carefully when finished.

Total time for this project is two to three hours (unless you're training a Jeff, then it will take a lot more :D )
 
I've found that the you can buy a very good anti slip pad in the aviation department of Home Depot, Ace etc. It is usually black and used for floors and stairs IIRC. 3M calls theirs Safety Walk Tape. It is often available pre-cut or in rolls where you can cut the length you need. The pad is commercial quality, with a very good adhesive backing. I've used it on several different steps. It is also available with a small reflective yellow stripe (~1/4") along one side that really improves the step's visibility at night. I much prefer it over the completely blacked out steps.

To install clean the flat surface of the step really well with MEK or Actone. Get all of the old material off. Cut a portion slightly larger than you need so that it overlaps all the edges. Install, press down firmly all over. Trim with exacto knife to the step edges. Works wonderfully."

 


 

I got so excited when I saw Jeff's project completion, I gave my wing walk a "spiff up"!

 

 

Go for it!

 


 

 

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