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Most fun this winter

Old 04-01-2003, 04:41 PM
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Mr_Ed
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Default Most fun this winter

Yesterday afternoon, I had the best time modeling so far this winter. It has finally warmed up enough so I could spend the the afternoon in the garage. All told, I put the first coat of clear dope on a new airframe in preparation for covering, applied silk to the wing of another new plane and patched a hole in the fabric covering of a third. Just maybe, I'll have a couple new aircraft all painted and ready to go by the time the weather settles down this spring.

I know some people don't care for silk and dope. They seem to think it's too odorous, costs too much or is too heavy. But to me, this is the only way to do it right. The odor doesn't bother me as long as I do it in the garage or outside where there's plenty of ventilation. I buy all my silk through Thai Silks, so it is actually cheaper than the plastic films. And, if done properly, is no heavier than most of the films. As an added bonus, silk and dope is a lot more durable and maintenance free than the plastics.

PLUS - - - IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A PLASTIC TOY !!!

Just my thoughts. Everyone please have a nice day.

Mr Ed
Old 04-01-2003, 09:38 PM
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Art S.
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Default Most fun this winter

Hi,

Do you have contact information for Thai silk? Such would be really appreciated.

Art Schroeder
Old 04-01-2003, 11:53 PM
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k7dfw
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Default Thai Silks

http://*****.com/12sg



.
Old 04-02-2003, 03:24 AM
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Default Ahhhhhhhh the smell

Mr. Ed... greetings from north east Kansas... Basehor- just south of Leavenworth.. Recall recovering 1946 T-Craft with my dad in 1956... have done some models... still have scratch old timer and the wing ( many single ch crashes) nylon and dope.. Do you have a contact for dope ? One of my friends looking for some.. Would like to run onto one or two oldtimers sometime and convert to R/C... Thanks Don
Old 04-02-2003, 04:00 PM
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Mr_Ed
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Default Most fun this winter

You can order Thai silk at www.thaisilks.com/. Most of my models are 48" to 60" wingspan. Look for the Habotai silks. I prefer the 021F 5mm or 021G 6mm. If you're building something larger, use 8mm or 10mm, it's stronger.

As for dope, I use Randolph's clear, thinner, retarder and base colors. I buy clear butyrate, thinner and retarder by the gallon from our local aircraft supply store. For the base colors, white, yellow,etc., I buy these in quarts also from the aircraft supply store. The trim colors are usually "Sig" butyrate dope from my LHS. I've never had any trouble with mixing these two brands. Also, I think Brodak's advertises their dope as Randolph's repackaged into smaller quantities.
Old 04-07-2003, 11:07 PM
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astropuppy
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Default Most fun this winter

For thinner I use Dupont 3608 S(the letter) available from auto supply stores for about $12/gallon. For clear I buy from a aircraft supply store at the local airport in 5 gallon cans. For color I buy from Bodak, he ships 1/2 pints; read NO hazard materials charges. This way I never pay extra for shipping, greatly reduinmg overall cost.
Old 04-08-2003, 07:42 PM
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Default Most fun this winter

Mr Ed,

What's your technique for applying silk-dope covering? For tissue covering I've begun to use Uhu stick glue-- it really works well. Would that work with silk?

Is there a way to "stretch" the silk?

Does the type of dope matter? Would "Aerogloss" work?

Thanks
Old 04-09-2003, 10:38 AM
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Mike Denest
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Default Silk n' Dope

Do not use glue stick to attach the silk. Brush several coats of dope on the surfaces that will make contact with the silk. Lightly sand the surfaces to knock off the "fuzz". Apply the silk wet with the grain runing spanwise on the wing. How do you see the grain? Hold it up in the light and you will see it. Whilt the silk is wet, gently strecth it out just enough to remove the wrinkles then brush a coat of dope on the contact areas. The silk will shrink as it dries so you want to be careful not to induce any warps in the structure. When you cover a wing, dope each side of the panel to prevent warps. Thin the dope 60-40 if you brush and 70-30 if you spray. Build up just enough to fill the weave then go to the color coats. Oh yeah, do this in a well ventilated room or your wife will hang you! :spinnyeye
Old 04-11-2003, 02:53 PM
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Default Most fun this winter

Astropuppy: saw your recomendation for Dupont 3608S thinner. I bought a gallon and am trying it out now. So far, it looks like you have a winner. It sure beats $18/gal for the thinner I've been using.

George H: What Mike Denet says is correct. However, for a complete step-by- step how-to, get a Sig Manufacturing catalog. They have an artical that is very good and easy to read.
Old 04-11-2003, 09:31 PM
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Default Most fun this winter

It also helps to have a sprayer handy to re-wet the silk if it starts to dry while you're working. I have one that's sold as a plant mister.....you pump it up with air, then just squeeze the trigger.

I also concur with the advice re wives and dope fumes!!
Old 04-11-2003, 10:01 PM
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astropuppy
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Default Most fun this winter

MR_Ed

Can't take credit, got the idea from some C/L guys I know. Dupont 3608S thinner is dope thinner minus MEK. Let me know how it works out for you. Also, I use straight Acetone for clean up. It's cheaper yet.
Old 04-17-2003, 08:28 AM
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Default Most fun this winter

Brodak dope is made by Randolph, but is formulated slightly differently. It has much higher solids content than Sig and dries very quickly. You can sand Brodak after a day, but Sig generally needs to dry several days before sanding. Aerogloss is still on the market, but the formula has changed a couple of times and I have heard of numerous compatibility problems. Should you want the best info on using Brodak dope, go to and check out Windy's videos on dope finishes. Awesome work.
Old 03-26-2007, 09:04 PM
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Default RE: Most fun this winter

If the upload works I can show my Four Star 60 part way through silking with 8 mm Habotai silk from Thai Silks. The colors came that way--they only offer them in 8 mm. But 8 mm is light and strong, so it will suit a very wide range of planes, from .09 - .90, at least. The lack of shrinkage does make it a challenge--put on wet, stick it down at one end, pull, stick at the other end, then stretch side to side. Jim
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:15 PM
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Default RE: Most fun this winter

Yes! This is the first time I've been able to upload since switching to a Mac. Safari, apparently, won't work; Firefox will.

Since this photo I've silked all the rest, using red for the fuse. I covered the balsa cowling in one piece, but had to make a few small snips to get it around all the compound curves; used sanding sealer to get an almost metal-like finish. The fuselage was a little tricky and has a touch of the wrinkles. But my experience is that it takes two weeks for nitrate to do most of its shrinking, so I may end up OK.

Brodak nitrate is highly plasticised and doesn't shrink much at all. I use Randolf tautening nitrate. Top coat will be Sig butyrate for fuel proofing.

Sorry, not a vintage plane (but definitely a vintage covering method!).

Jim
Old 03-27-2007, 03:59 PM
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astropuppy
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Default RE: Most fun this winter

Where/How did you buy the Randolf tautening nitrate? I can't find it except by mail order and harzardious material shipping kills the deal.
Old 03-27-2007, 08:44 PM
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Default RE: Most fun this winter

I got mine from Wick's Aircraft Supply. I only bought a quart--no hazmat fee. But it was only enough for a couple of planes. Some guys get gallons at airports. Jim

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