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  1. #1

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    How do you get that smooth finished look

    I have built two kits so far and starting to get the hang of covering. Half science, and half magic.
    I am still trying to get that smooth, finished appearance.I still keep getting the wood grain coming through the monokote.
    I currently sand with 320 grit and put a coat of balsa rite on, then sand again with 320 grit again.
    So far I have mixed results.
    What do all of you do to get a smooth looking appearance?

  2. #2
    Charlie P.'s Avatar
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    Use dark covering colors.
    Charlie P. (NY) "Gravity is weak but persistant".

    AMA 747089/IMAA 30723

  3. #3
    MajorTomski's Avatar
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    Don't iron the covering to the sheeted wood. Attach it only to the outer edges. Try to locate the Harry Higley book "There Are No Secrets" Lots of help in that one well worth every penny
    Spitfire Brotherhood #6
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  4. #4

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    Don't use the Balsarite. It's great stuff but if you're covering with MonoKote you don't need it and it will give you lots of headaches like not being able to get a smooth finish. I do use Balsarite (film version) on firewalls, wing saddles and other problem areas for a little extra adhesion but if you put it on everywhere you are asking for a bad finish.

    Then when you sand, use a sanding bar. If you sand with a loose piece of paper it can dig deeper where the wood is softer, accentuating the grain. Using a sanding bar will remove the high spots and level the wood no matter what the grain.

    Dave

  5. #5

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    I came across a post somewhere that shows the most awesome covering job I have ever seen. I'll try and find it but I remember the guy said he used a mixture of Elmers white glue and water mixed 50/50. Brush on, let dry completely and finish sand then cover.

    Randy

  6. #6

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    Here's a pic of the plane that used the elmers/water method

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attachmentNew.php?attachmentid=3961223


    Quote from the owner of this plane:

    "My Kaos has been covered several times over the years, but it is currently covered in Monokote. The secret to the finish is that i "paint" the wood with elmers white glue cut 50% with water, then sand it smooth & cover over that. Comes out looking like glass everytime."

  7. #7
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    Waxing......... OOPS wrong forum[X(]
    Sent from my Dry-Erase-Board

  8. #8

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    If you want no grain and also want to iron down completely use glue and water base, I have had good luck doing the method described in the Harry Higgley book "No Secrets"  Sealing the edges and shrinking with a heat gun.  However either method calls for placing finished strips around the edges.

    A couple pictures of my Something Extra

  9. #9

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look


  10. #10
    SeamusG's Avatar
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    What MajorT said in spades!

  11. #11
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    GREAT INFORMATION !!!
    Spitfire Brotherhood #96, Ultra Sport Brotherhood #20

  12. #12

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    Ok,
    I did some experimenting, and I thought I would share my results.
    I tried doing the thinned Elmers white glue method with marginal results.
    I also tried several coats of krylon primer, sanding between coats. The results where about the same as the Elmers glue method.
    The person at my local hobby shop steared me to some Sig Sanding sealer.
    I used two coats, sanding between coats.
    This made for a very smooth look when applying monakote.
    It worked very well.

  13. #13
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    The finish depends completely on the prep. Sand it all smooth, then use a finer grit paper. I go all the way to 400. And I use T bars on the wings to avoid high spots and low spots.
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  14. #14

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    I use Deft brand lacquer based sanding sealer. Build up a few coats and then lightly sand with fine paper between coats until the grain is covered. It drys extremely fast and you can apply several coats and sand in a single afternoon. Sands quickly and easily and comes off very powdery. I use this method for film covering, fabric and dope, or fiberglass. Comes in cans for brushing (my favorite- builds up quicker) or in spray cans. Clean up with lacquer thinner. Hope this is helpful.

    jim

  15. #15
    AllTheGoodNamesAreTaken's Avatar
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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look


    ORIGINAL: jsevey

    I use Deft brand lacquer based sanding sealer. Build up a few coats and then lightly sand with fine paper between coats until the grain is covered. It drys extremely fast and you can apply several coats and sand in a single afternoon. Sands quickly and easily and comes off very powdery. I use this method for film covering, fabric and dope, or fiberglass. Comes in cans for brushing (my favorite- builds up quicker) or in spray cans. Clean up with lacquer thinner. Hope this is helpful.

    jim
    +1 on the Deft sanding sealer!
    Don\'\'t just stand there, go get some glue!

  16. #16

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look


    ORIGINAL: jsevey

    I use Deft brand lacquer based sanding sealer. Build up a few coats and then lightly sand with fine paper between coats until the grain is covered. It drys extremely fast and you can apply several coats and sand in a single afternoon. Sands quickly and easily and comes off very powdery. I use this method for film covering, fabric and dope, or fiberglass. Comes in cans for brushing (my favorite- builds up quicker) or in spray cans. Clean up with lacquer thinner. Hope this is helpful.

    jim
    Have you used this method on balsa covered foam wings? I would be scared the lacquer would find a crack in the sheeting and melt the core.
    The two most useless things on Earth are altitude above you, and runway behind you.

  17. #17

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    RE: How do you get that smooth finished look

    That sounds like the way to do it.
    Where do you get the Deft brand lacquer based sanding sealer?
    I did not see this at my LHS. Can you get this at a hardware store?


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