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  1. #1
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    Solartex rips in beautifully straight strips (parallel to the edge of the roll). But that isn't an option with Koverall or Silk. And cutting straight strips of either also seems impossible or at least it has been for me so far. Does anyone have a handy dandy technique for cutting strips (to use as rib tapes)?

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    For tapes, I use natural Solartex ironed over Koverall. It saves a LOT of time-consuming cutting. But you could "paint" the Koverall with BalsaRite, which should make cutting it with a sharp blade much easier. I don't know if you could rip that.

    Aren't you covering your wing with silk afterwards? Won't ribtapes over the Koverall complicate the silking?

    Martin

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    If you apply a coat of dope first, it will stiffen the fabric, then you can use a straight edge and a SHARP blade.

    Les

  4. #4
    Teus's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    This is an option that works fine for me:



    And this also:


  5. #5
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    ORIGINAL: Nieuport nut
    Aren't you covering your wing with silk afterwards? Won't ribtapes over the Koverall complicate the silking?
    Yeap, Everything about this is complicated! I really need to invent almost a whole new method. First the wing is covered with Koverall (to pull to the wire TE), then the beige ("bamboo") Habotai silk is applied over the Koverall with PolyC in order to simulate the color and translucency of German CDL. After one or more (still experimenting) of PolyC, on the Koverall/silk I would need to create the rib stitching/rip tapes. But since I'm not painting anything, the color has to be right to start with. What I'm thinking at the moment is to use torn strips of Linen Solartex for the base under the stitching and then to cover with strips of silk. But I haven't been able to cut the silk.

    I'm currently awaiting the result of an experiment where I put a piece of the silk down on wax paper and coated it with PolyC. But we'll have to see if such a strip would adhere to the wing.

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    How about a laser:-)

  7. #7
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?


    ORIGINAL: cocobear

    How about a laser:-)
    I left my light saber in my other spacesuit.

  8. #8
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    A rotary cutting machine?

    Rotary Cutting Machine

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    You could easily try what I do with light fiberglass cloth. I use cheap hairspray to stiffen the cloth and then use a rotary cutter on a cutting mat. Makes it stiff enough to not move or fray but doesn't interfere with sticking the cloth down to the airframe.

  10. #10
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    I think we have a winner! That hairspray trick works very neatly! The silk is substantial enough to cut and yet still porous enough to adhere well. By the way, this is what's best about RCU, this sort of open back and forth on specific scale modeling topics. You don't see so much of this on RCSB.

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    This will not work with silk, but for koverall build a frame and staple a piece of koverall on all sides and then shrink it.
    When you need to cut shapes or strips it will lay better. It is also what full scale do when using ceconite.

  12. #12
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    So it looks like what might work for the rib-stitching is 1/8" wide torn strips of Solartex Linen ironed down to the Koverall/Silk after the first application coat of PolyC. Then after doing (either real or simulated) the Z-shaped Albatros stitching, I'd apply a strip of, say, 1/4" wide bamboo silk (also with PolyC) then give it all a couple more coats of PolyC.

  13. #13
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    I think I have to admit (to myself) that doing actual stitching is FAR MORE effort than is reasonable given what it adds to the model overall. I'll finish this up with a piece of silk as a test, but I can't imagine doing this for all the wing panels. It's just too much. Way, way too much.
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    I use this for solartex. Might work on others

    Cut piece wide enough to wrap across wing chord and enough length to make 15-20 widths. Mark out your strip widths, (1/4...5/8) with a pencil/ pen tick mark..

    Now roll the solartex up making a tube about 2" diameter. Lay it on your cutting board so you can see the width marks on top.

    Take a metal ruler and lay perpendicular to your tube and "flatten it" down. Align ruler to you tick marks. Now take the circle roller cutter and begin roll along the ruler edge to cut off your first rib stitch. Move ruler down to next mark and cut again. In a few minutes you can have 20 made.

    When you unroll the strip, it's very straight. Any slight deviations in the edges straightness can be adjusted as you iron it on the rib.

    I use this in my 1/4 scale WW-1.
    R, Mike


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  15. #15
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    Up in post #4 in the lower photo Teus shows a rotary cutter and cutting mat. I have used one of these for years for cutting fiberglass and silk. A good straight edge and this tool will amaze anyone that tries it. They're not cheap but good tools seldom are. The brand I have and see most often here in the states is Olfa and can be found in sewing supply stores like Jo-Anns and I believe Michaels crafts carry them as well.
    Doc
    Happy landings, Doc Hou Tx
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  16. #16
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    I think I've seen the Olfa cutters for sale in Japan too. Right now though a one-sided razor blade and a metal straight edge are doing the trick (on the silk treated with hairspray). The question at this point is how to simulate the Z-shaped Albatros rib stitching. Doing actual stitching isn't going to happen. So now I'm busy experimenting with faking it.

  17. #17
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    I actually appropriated mine from the little woman, she heard me fussing (cussing) while trying to cut some 1/2 oz glass cloth one day and said to me here try this and handed me the mat and cutter, that was several years ago and she never got them back.
    Doc
    Happy landings, Doc Hou Tx
    The second rule of modeling is there is no such thing as an insignificant savings in weight

  18. #18
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    I had always assumed a razor blade was sharper than these wheels. Here's the first prototype for a simulated Z-stitch. The thread is "doped" onto the solartex strip with PolyC (though watered down white glue would work just the same). Then the strip is peeled up and applied to the rib, then the silk strip is applied over it with more PolyC. I'd have to get a whole production line going of these. [X(] I'd need about 4 dozen 11" long strips.

    BTW, I'm no stranger to sewing shops. In fact, I was just in one today searching for the curved needle. It was a little shop in my little Japanese town and the owner/shopkeeper was probably about 80, and seemed very eager to talk to me in Japanese. I think we exchanged at least ten bows before I made it out of the shop.
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  19. #19
    geezeraviation's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    The wheel is quite sharp and using it on a mat keeps it that way a long time the big benefit is it rolls along what your cutting never pulling as it cuts, you really have to see it work to know how good it is.
    Doc
    Happy landings, Doc Hou Tx
    The second rule of modeling is there is no such thing as an insignificant savings in weight

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?



    would dimensional fabric paint work?

    obsessed Stuka D3 nut

  21. #21
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?



    Joanes Fabrics has Fiskars razor rotory cutters that work quite well on the same self healing mats we use.  Beware, however, their self healing mats are horribly expensive.


  22. #22
    geezeraviation's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    My mat has Olfa and various grid marks and inch measurements along one edge silk screened on it and I recall the missus mumbling about paying about 40 bucks for the mat and cutter and this was in the late 90s about 97 I think. Ive seen mats for prices in the high 20s and blades for the cutter are in the teens for a pair. Not unreasoonable for something that works well. Though it's been a while since I looked.
    Doc
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    The second rule of modeling is there is no such thing as an insignificant savings in weight

  23. #23

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    The stitching will get faster with practice, try another panel, you might be surprised, Besides, finishing isn't a race.

    Dave

  24. #24
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?


    ORIGINAL: cocobear

    The stitching will get faster with practice, try another panel, you might be surprised, Besides, finishing isn't a race.

    Dave
    With the British style stitching I did on my Snipe (that actually went up and down through the wing as per full scale) I was able pick up the pace and even watch TV as I did it. I didn't take me more than a couple of evenings for a good looking result. But these Z-shaped stitches have me stumped. The problem is that I can't just push the curved needle under a strip of solartex or the stitch just squishes it up. I need something more substantial. At the moment, I'm actually going through the top bit of the balsa rib cap and that does the trick but makes it REALLY hard to get the needle through. Really hard. And painful. In fact, it takes so much force that I'm afraid of breaking something in the wing, which would be a real disaster.

    How did you do the stitching on your Albi?

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    RE: Clever ways to cut strips of fabric?

    The Zs were stitched to another piece of fabric strip, that was stitched to the rib like the British stitching. Without that I can see it being hell.


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