Dish Resurfacing Project

Resurfacing started: June 1, 2018, Espanola, NM

The raw material I selected for this project consists of 17 sheets of Aluminum alloy 3003, 4 feet wide x 12 feet long x 0.032 inch thick.

June 2, 2018:

Fig. 1: Initial cutting of material into 2 foot x 2 foot squares

Fig. 2: Tool layout and initial 2'x2' square installation for center panel 1 (shown are the portable air compressor, pneumatic rivet gun, battery operated drill, construction materials)

Fig: 3: Pop rivet detail 1 (shows 1/8" dia hole drilled for blind pop rivet attachment of a 2'x2' square and rivets used in this project)

Fig: 4: Pop rivet detail 2 (shows pneumatic rivet gun installing a blind pop rivet through the Al sheet, through the mesh, and into the underlying 1" dia aluminum surface-support tubing; "blind" denotes riveting is done via access to only one side of the material)

Fig: 5: Pop rivet detail 3 (close up showing rivet installed)

Fig: 6: Pop rivet detail 4 (rivet installed)

Fig: 7: Center panel 1 completed (first panel resurfaced)

Fig: 8: Center panel 1 completed (different view, 7 panels more to resurface)


June 3, 2018

Fig: 9: Center panel 2 partially completed (Shows Joe K5SO trying to attach a few more 2x2 sheets in between fast-moving wind/rain storms this day)


June 9, 2018

Fig: 10: 66% resurfaced


June 15, 2018

Status: Aluminum resurfacing 100% completed ...awaiting IR diffusive paint and primer to arrive. We cannot leave the surface as bare aluminum because depending upon sun position and dish pointing direction dangerous levels of solar IR energy are sometimes reflected toward the feed assembly from the unpainted aluminum surface. Reflected IR energy from the upainted surface can rapidly melt cable insulation and damage components!


June 21, 2018

Dish is primed and drying ...primed with two-part epoxy primer (Triangle Coatings, Aquapoxy Primer), sprayed on. When dry two coats of enamel IR dispersive paint will be applied, which will complete the resurfacing project.

Status: Resurfacing_project_is completed...allowing to cure keeping direct sunshine off the surface as best I can until it cures for a day or so. The performance/characterization checks to ensure the parabolic surface and focal point didn't change.