RCU Review: Minnflyer on: How To Sheeting Repair

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    Contributed by: Mike Buzzeo | Published: April 2003 | Views: 26047 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    By Mike Buzzeo (MinnFlyer)


    If you've never had to cut into a sheeted area of your airplane, consider yourself lucky. But at some point in time, you will probably find it necessary to do so. You may have damaged a piece that needs replacing, or maybe you've just finished sheeting your wing and then realized you have just entombed your wedding ring inside the leading edge. Don't feel bad, that's one of those bonehead things that almost all of us have done at some time or other (Okay, it wasn't my wedding ring, it was a razor blade, but it still had to come out!). Whatever your individual predicament, here's a step-by-step procedure for Balsa Surgery.


    Let's say that you need to remove a section of sheeting at the "X".

    The first thing to do is to locate the ribs. Plan your cut so that it will cross over at least 1 rib, if you need to cut very close to a second rib, you would be better off cutting past that one also so that you have ample room to get at the underside of the remaining sheeting.

    If the sheeting is already covered, you will want to remove an area of covering slightly larger than the hole you plane to cut (Note: If you're not too particular, you could just leave the covering on and skip the wood filler step near the end).


    The next step is to get out your trusty razor blade or hobby knife, and slice through the sheeting (Be brave!). Then, carefully remove the sheeting from the rib(s) and either: 1.) Remove the foreign object (i.e., Wedding Ring, Razor Blade, Dentures, or whatever else you may have left in there) or, 2.) If you are replacing a damaged section, make a copy of the removed piece from a new piece of sheeting.


    Now comes the fun part. Get some scraps of sheeting and cut them to whatever sizes you need, and glue them UNDER the original sheeting to make a "bed" for the patch. These scraps will align the patch to the existing sheeting, and the ribs will conform the sheeting to its original shape.


    Now you can glue the sheet to its new bed, and fill the cracks with balsa filler. Once the filler has dried, just sand, and add a patch of covering. Good luck!

    Comments on RCU Review: Minnflyer on: How To Sheeting Repair

    Posted by: KingCrash on 05/22/2008
    Nicely done.
    Posted by: Cliffhanger on 06/19/2008
    Just what i needed. I was just about to throw my Delta in the waste bin. Kudos to Mike You have saved my plane.. Cliff
    Posted by: mrbigg on 06/19/2008
    Posted by: Gooseman240 on 06/13/2009
    Will this method work for a Nexstar right behind the nose wheel on the fuselage? or can you direct me to someplace I can review the work needed?
    Posted by: MinnFlyer on 06/13/2009
    It will work just about anywhere
    Posted by: rcs36 on 12/21/2010
    What glue do you use? Epoxy on the ribs and CA the outer edges? Thanks for the example.
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