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  1. #1

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    MonoKote will not shrink

    I purchased a 25' roll of Transparent Red MonoKote and started covering a Sig Kadet model of mine. I tack the edges of the material down and when I used a heat gun to shrink the material it just appeared to loosen up with many more wrinkles than I started with.
    I have never had this happen before. Has anyone else had a problem similar problem with shrink material?

  2. #2
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Yes, the new Monokote does not shrink like the old stuff did. What you need to do is pull it as tight as you can while tacking it down so that you only need a small amout of shrinkage to tighten it up. It also requires more heat then it used to.

  3. #3

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink


    ORIGINAL: DVI

    I purchased a 25' roll of Transparent Red MonoKote and started covering a Sig Kadet model of mine. I tack the edges of the material down and when I used a heat gun to shrink the material it just appeared to loosen up with many more wrinkles than I started with.
    I have never had this happen before. Has anyone else had a problem similar problem with shrink material?
    Not too long ago, I had a roll of White Monobunk do the same thing. I had to just use small pieces of it for patching. MK is very different now from what it used to be. You can get some good and some bad.

    One of the builders at one of the flying fields I go to who built and covered many, many very nice planes had used MK for years, and he stopped using it completely a few years back. I remember him stating just how bad the last MK he used was. Some folks are still getting good MK. I must be on the list who got the bad quality MK.


  4. #4
    DGrant's Avatar
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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink


    ORIGINAL: DVI

    I purchased a 25' roll of Transparent Red MonoKote and started covering a Sig Kadet model of mine. I tack the edges of the material down and when I used a heat gun to shrink the material it just appeared to loosen up with many more wrinkles than I started with.
    I have never had this happen before. Has anyone else had a problem similar problem with shrink material?
    It sounds like it simply needs more heat. I heat sometimes to the melting point then back off. Maybe your heat gun is getting weak, or not getting as hot as it should. I've had heat-guns go out slowly, where they just won't get hot enough. It takes a good bit of heat to shrink film... I'd try cranking your iron up, find the point that it melts the film, then back off a touch. I've heard stories about Monokote changing over the years... I'm not quite sure I believe them though, as I've never had any trouble.. and I've recently bought and used new Monokote for a few projects.

    Sometimes with film covering, it takes what it takes... as there are variables that come into play, such as environment(we are dealing with heat-sensitive material), the structure being covered(open bay or solid), even down to the tools being used... and I'm not saying anybody else is wrong, or that I'm right here.. but these are all possibilities you might consider.. I wish you well.

  5. #5

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Alot of the flyers at my club have convinced me that there is a GRAIN in the monokote, it's not always easy to see but it appears to be true. I had better results with pulling it and tacking as tight as possible. ( working with the grain )

    And yes MK is not what it used to be. Ultra Kote worked better at lower heat on my last plane. Moving to Solartex next time.

  6. #6

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    The new Monokote is expensive junk. It will not shrink aat all. If you do put heat to it, it just wrinkles, and burns. The sad part is TopFlite won't acknoweledge they have a problem, but rather try to blame the end user for unsatisfactory results.

  7. #7

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Top flight is owned by Great Pain. Direct your displeasure over the product to them. Not that they will answer you or even give a dam but you can try. After 45 years of using the stuff I've had it and have moved to Ultrakote.
    They have killed Coverite, Monokote, most of the kit makers and everything else that they ever got their hands on. Perhaps that is why most of their stuff is little more then toys at rediculous prices anymore.
    Dennis

  8. #8

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    About 5 yrs ago they changed the formula for the monocote and hasn't worked right since. Try the stuff from HobbyKing. Works every bit as good as Ultracote. Seals and shrinks at low temp. I just covered a Byron 1/3 scale Christen Eagle right on the foam and it turned out great.
    Gord
    Dreamed I was a muffler. Woke up exhausted.

  9. #9

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Makes me glad I bought that big lot of, what, 40 rolls? or was it 80? of monokote of ebay several years ago.

  10. #10

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Go Ultra! Mono tends to stink now. JMHO


    Pete

  11. #11

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Solortex is the best. For me Mk was always a pain to work with. 21st Century is good and the Tex. Haven`t covered anything in years, I mostly paint now but I still have a few iron on covered planes. A few years ago I did the rudder of my H9 T6 and used Tex to cover it back. It was as easy as ever with all the curves. Don`t know why people still use that MK stuff, its the worst. The 21st Century was far better, much stronger and easier to work with.
    91-Zulu

  12. #12

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink


    ORIGINAL: 91zulu

    Solortex is the best. For me Mk was always a pain to work with. 21st Century is good and the Tex. Haven`t covered anything in years, I mostly paint now but I still have a few iron on covered planes. A few years ago I did the rudder of my H9 T6 and used Tex to cover it back. It was as easy as ever with all the curves. Don`t know why people still use that MK stuff, its the worst. The 21st Century was far better, much stronger and easier to work with.

    Yes I think Solartex rules when it comes to heat shrink. Love the stuff and to me worth the money. But anything that isn't scale I'd use Ultra. Haven't tried 21st Century yet so I can't comment on it.


    Pete

  13. #13
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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink


    ORIGINAL: speedracerntrixie

    Yes, the new Monokote does not shrink like the old stuff did. What you need to do is pull it as tight as you can while tacking it down so that you only need a small amout of shrinkage to tighten it up. It also requires more heat then it used to.
    Agree, the recent Manokote is nowhere near as good as the old stuff, much harder to work with IMO. For film, Ultrakote (Oracover) is the way to go now. Great shrinkage and very forgiving. Only you have to change your technique slightly: loose the heat gun and learn to use the iron for shrinking, because the seams will pull apart if you hit them with high heat.
    Keep your eyes in the skies and your future should follow.

  14. #14
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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    I'm smiling - I've only used Ultracote - only been building a couple of years. Why am I smiling? If a builder has used Monokote over the years they spell it Ultrakote.

    AlwaysBring2 made a grain comment. Ultracote has a noticeable grain (orange peel) too. There are 3 temps for Ultracote - (1) initiate adhesive, (2) full adhesive / start stretching and (3) shrinking. These are my terms only. The grain disappears between (2) and (3). The 3 temps are easily managed with an iron (not exactly sure). I don't use a gun to shrink.

    But what got may attention - DVI said that his film stretched but didn't then shrink. Seems that Monokote goes thru the same 3 phases - just that shrinking takes a heck of a lot of heat - near "burning / melting" heat - to get it to shrink.



  15. #15

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Have been using monokote for awhile now. I agree that it seems to take more heat than earlier stuff but I still get good results from it. It seems to be stronger than Ultracote
    and once tightened it seem to wrinkle less when in the sun. I get the best results using a iron and forgetting about the heat gun. Monokote does not appear to be
    as transparent as Ultracote which I like.Maybe some who have had trouble with it just aren't applying enough heat.

  16. #16
    FILE IFR 's Avatar
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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    I have some rolls of MoneyKote that are 20+ years old, and some new rolls a couple of years old... There is a difference in workability, and it's not for the better. []
    Mike * Intercepting The Localizer* AMA# 365566
    Bud Nosen C-310 Club #32 * J.P.O. Member 2302

  17. #17

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Last time I used MonoKote was 8 years ago, and got good results. Was it an EPA thing that caused them to change it? Or was it a PROFIT thing?? With Great Planes, I'd bet it was the latter. [X(]

    Tried 21st Century fabric this year, hated it so much that I learned to use the fabric-and-dope method instead. Will probably never stray from it, as my results were astonishingly good! I even changed my RCU handle, I liked it so much.
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  18. #18

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    I mainly use Monokote and have had good results, but I also I have used Ultracote with good results. Ultracote is definitely more forgiving and easier to work with were as Monokote takes more time and technique to apply. The advantages of Monokote are the seams don't pull, the seams are not as noticeable, Monokote is more opaque, and Monokote just has a nicer look. Ultracote is much faster to apply, I would say it takes twice as long to apply Monokote vs Ultracote. Monokote requires heating, shrinking and pulling for a tight wrinkle free finish. Utlracote just requires you to put it on then shrink nice and tight. I just finished my Herr Pt-17 with Monokote and the fuselage was covered with only 2 pieces of Monokote but it took a lot of stretching and pulling. The wings are covered with one piece of Monokote on the bottom and one piece on top. Monokote is a great product but it is a shame that Top Flite will not address its customers complaints. I know that most builders I fly with are using Ultracote and my LHS are carrying less and less Monokote and more Ultracote. I like the ability to just drive down to my LHS to buy covering, so if they get rid of Monokote, I might have to switch over to Ultracote.
    I wonder how the builders of Great Planes ARFs apply their Monokote? The Great Planes ARF's I have seen look great.
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  19. #19

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    I keep wondering how long it will be before TopFlite, Great Pains or whomever owns Monocote now, to see a big enough finaicial loss via lost sales to admit they have a problem. I also can't help but think companies like Hobbico monitor forums like this and RCU in general. I guess the silver lining to the monokote mess is I have learned to 'glass and paint my planes.

  20. #20

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    I think we make up such a small amount of business for Monokote that it does not matter.

  21. #21

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    RE: MonoKote will not shrink

    Hmm... interesting thread.

    My favorite covering material used to be Coverite 21st Century fil, but I am convinced it has changed and become Black Baron (note the much lower working temps of the new rolls of 21st Century).

    And now I read that Monokote now seemingly "won't shrink"... which was the complaint about the old 21st Century film.
    The 21st Century film WOULD shrink... it just took a longer exposure time to heat.

    Wonder if the goofballs at Hobbico/Great Planes/Tower have pulled a switcheroo and lack the integrity to inform us?

    After being absent from the hobby for 7 years, seems like the Hobbico/Great Planes/Tower marriages has gone down the tubes tremendously in the meantime.




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