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Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:54 AM
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grosbeak
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Default Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

While repairing a badly damaged wing I've had several opportunities to patch holed sheeting. Here's my process.

1. Mark a simple geometric shape around the damaged area




2. Trim away the excess balsa, beveling the cut in the process




3. Using the side of a pencil lead, shade the opening onto a piece of paper




4. Take a minute to check the required grain direction for your patch

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

5. Trace the outline onto the patch




6. Cut out the patch




7. Bevel the bottom edges of the patch



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Old 09-22-2012, 12:02 PM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

8. Glue the patch in place




9. Secure the patch while it's curing






10. Once it's cured, sand the patch flush if necessary.

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:34 PM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

Hmmm, thanks for the tip on using the bevel. I always put support strips on the bottom of the existing sheeting instead. I like your idea better.

What do you use for glue? I personally would use yellow glue for something like that so that it would be easy to sand and blend with the top sheeting afterwards.

Thanks again for the tip,

Bob
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:15 PM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

A steam iron will pull those scratches out of the rest of the sheeting too.

Frank
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:41 PM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

Bob - I use Lee Valley cabinetmaker's glue 2002 GF with their dripless glue bottle. I've used it for years and it's easy to work with.

Frank - Thanks for the tip!
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:46 PM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

Grosbeak, Thanks for that. I order from Lee Valley once in a while...
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

Next steps...

Mix some Deluxe Materials Model Lite filler with water to create a paste just a little thicker than water.



Apply some filler to a palette knife and dab it into the cracks.



Flatten it out with the palette knife.



Note that this mixture sets well and is very easy to sand, so applying a little extra is no big deal.

A couple of other products I'm using, both from Lee Valley Tools:

35K09.10 - Set of 12 Palette Knives in Case
99W73.38 - Sanding Sponge Assortment, pkg. of 10
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:34 AM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

I do mine much the same except for the last step. I like to sand with a T bar and fine paper till the cracks fill in with saw dust. Then touch it with thin CA using an aplicator nozzle and imediately wipe with a paper towel. Sometimes this process has to be repeated several times to build it up level. It is a little more time consuming than using filler. But it is much stronger. Especially if one side of your patch in next to a rib where a bevel cant be cut. This side can be glued with med CA and the other sides done as described above.

Great job with the description and pics Grosbeak!


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Old 10-01-2012, 06:29 AM
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Default RE: Patching damaged sheeting - a brief tutorial

As mentioned, this filler is very easy to sand.



It did a great job filling the gap on the patch, and it fills small scratches very well too.

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