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Wing leading edge sheet

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Old 01-25-2018, 08:02 PM
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jabowil-RCU
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Default Wing leading edge sheet

I have just started building an old kit (76” Lazy Ace) and am having difficulty with attaching the wing upper leading edge sheeting. Getting the sheet glued to the curved ribs seems pretty difficult. Any recommendations on best way to do this would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:35 AM
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When I sheet a wing, I always start by placing a bead of glue on the leading edge of the wing only, secure it down with a length of aluminum angle stock that is clamped into place. The aluminum angle stock ensures that the clamping load is straight and even. After the glue on the leading edge dries, place glue under the remaining ribs and bend the sheeting over and clamp. Depending on the curve and wood hardness of your sheeting you may have to wet the sheeting down with a sponge. In any event, with the leading edge glued down first, I find that the rest of the glue up is easy. Hope this makes sense and helps.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:54 AM
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][attach]2252261
Vincents' advice is spot on, that is how I did on my Ace wings.

I have built at least 3 of the Lazy Aces, in the late 80's, first was powered a K&B 61, 2 Webra 90 and 3 a Zenoah 23 gas engine. All were great flyers and you could modify them just a little to look like another airplanes. Here are a couple picture of my last ace, the DeJeger home built airplane.

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Last edited by jwrich; 01-26-2018 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:57 AM
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Ok that makes sense. May give that method a try. Been a long time since I built a balsa kit. Had this one in the attic since 80s.
Thank You.
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:26 AM
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Another trick I learned from reading these forums is to temporarily set the sheet on the frame with glue (wood glue, not CA), remove it, put more glue on both sides, set them apart until the glue dries, wet the sheeting after glue dries to make it flexible, then IRON the sheet on the frame with a monokote-type iron at high temp setting. That will stick it on instantly.

I think this idea is not incompatible with gluing the sheet to the leading edge first either. You could do both tricks.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:41 PM
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Be sure to leave the wing pinned down or in whatever jig you built it in. Sheeting the wing while it is loose almost guarantees a twist.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:49 AM
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I do the same as VincentJ. I do the LE joint first. I draw a line underneath sheet indicating the rib position. I add glue along that line and the top of the rib. Here I am allowing the wing sheet to adjust to the curve of the rib.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:51 AM
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Glued in place.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:09 AM
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Thanks for the help. I have glued the leading edge in place. Now to glue to the ribs. I have not heard about gluing then ironing. Sounds interesting. How long do you wait before rewetting the glue and ironing down?
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the picture JWRICH. Did you secure the wing with rubber bands or bolts?
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:39 AM
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With old kits it is sometimes a case of work with what you have but for wing sheeting you might want to consider the harness of the wood. I have had some balsa that looked more like mahogany it was so hard. It didn't want to bend even after being soaked in water/ammonia. Don't go so soft that you put your finger through it picking up the plane (been there) but softer wood will curve around the leading edge more easily.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:43 AM
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The first Ace, I did use rubber bands. The others I used bolts from the bottom. You will love flying this airplane.

Rich
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jabowil-RCU View Post
Thanks for the help. I have glued the leading edge in place. Now to glue to the ribs. I have not heard about gluing then ironing. Sounds interesting. How long do you wait before rewetting the glue and ironing down?
You do it as soon as the glue is rubbery. If you wait until the next day it won't work. However; considering you have already glued the LE on, I wouldn't use this method. I've done it many times like that and you have to be able to dry the glue with a heat gun on both the wing and the leading edge sheeting. As soon as the glue is rubbery, you then iron it on. I recommend wetting the leading edge and waiting 15 minutes or so, then rewet and very gingerly and slowly push it down until it contacts the ribs. If everything looks jakey, let it back up and run a bead of glue on each rib and also the spar, push the sheeting back down, and pin everything in place with a bunch of T pins. Push them in at different angles, less chance of the sheeting riding up on the T pin that way. You can also add some bean bags or something to help hold it in place while you are pinning. Use Titebond glue or any aliphatic resin. I won't recommend thick CA here. You have too much glue to lay down before you push the sheeting down.

My Lazy Ace is still going after 20 years. Running A G26. Seems about the right motor. Had a 90 in it which was nowhere near enough. Then put in a US 41 and nearly ripped the wings off.

enjoy it

carl
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:57 AM
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It may be a bit late for the OP, but I've found that if you glue the front of the sheet to the leading edge, wait for it to dry, then spray the sheet with regular old Windex, the sheeting will curl on it's own, and will only take a little bit of coaxing to lay down where you want it. I just use masking tape strips to hold it in position while the glue dries.
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:31 PM
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I always wet the underside (only) of the sheeting with Windex with ammonia, rubber band or clamp it to the wing while it dries, then pin down the wing and install the sheeting. It just about falls into place on its own.
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:01 PM
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Flyboy, while wetting the wood on the underside will work, it works better wetting the outside of the curve. This causes the wood to expand and push it around the the dry side. I found this in woodworking. If I laid a 2x4 on the damp cement shop floor, by the next day it would be bent upwards on the ends because it expanded and pushed. Try this. Also a heat gun will cause it to try and pull in.
If it's wet enough you can bend it (Almost) either way. Depending on grain.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:49 AM
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Good & timely thread! I’m just about to start sheeting the wing center section of my first large build. I have another question: the wing has dihedral built into the underside. I’m considering sheeting tip to tip with single sheets, rather than butting joints over the center rib. Curious what folks with experience think of this idea?
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:19 PM
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Not a fan of that idea myself. You don't want to create stresses there.
Perhaps if you don't like the sight of the seam, use some balsa filler to smooth it.

Just my opinion.
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Old 02-10-2018, 08:36 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I had a feeling it wasn’t a great idea, but couldn’t put my finger on why. Butting sheets & filling any seam will be easier anyway.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:21 AM
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Old telephone books and copies of MA make good weights for holding down the sheeting. I prefer to wet the sheet then lay it on the wing with no glue, and then weigh it down. to dry in place. Next I use CA glue to attach to the leading edge, wet the sheeting again and then use wood glue on the ribs until the last inch on the trailing edge where I use Med CA again. I have also made weight bags using QT size freezer bags filled with sand and enough water added to make the sand moist. The water keeps the sand from slipping down to one end of the bag and allows it to be molded around things. All kinds of ways to do it.
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