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Silk

Old 01-08-2012, 08:36 AM
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Walther
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Default Silk

What do I need to look for if I buy silk for a 36" WS kit? Can I use any silk? I have never used it but I think the looks of it would be much better on this plane then plastic.
Old 01-08-2012, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: Silk

Hobby silk like sig or k&s works best but are expensive. Some people use http://www.thaisilks.com/ it does not shrink as much but cheaper.
Old 01-08-2012, 09:39 AM
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Default RE: Silk

http://www.airfieldmodels.com/inform...wing/index.htm
Old 01-08-2012, 10:07 AM
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Default RE: Silk


ORIGINAL: Walther
What do I need to look for if I buy silk for a 36'' WS kit? Can I use any silk? I have never used it but I think the looks of it would be much better on this plane then plastic.
If you want the look of fabric you might consider SolarTex. Iron-on, heat-shrink, pre-colored or uncolored-paintable.
http://shop.balsausa.com/category_s/119.htm

Covering with silk requires a bit of prep., and filling the weave with dope/paint.... can be a real chore.
Old 01-08-2012, 01:55 PM
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sideng
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Default RE: Silk

Consider buying silk from Dharma Trading, get the 5mm. It's much cheaper than hobby silk and works great.
Old 01-09-2012, 12:50 PM
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Walther
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Default RE: Silk

I would like to thank all that have responded! I have built and covered full scale airplanes so I know what you are talking about.

Thanks much!
Old 01-09-2012, 04:16 PM
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Azcat59
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Default RE: Silk

I've had good luck with the silk fromThai Silks (see link in earlier post above). Either the 'Paj 5mm" or the "Paj 4.5mm" work well....probably the latter for your smaller airplane. Put it on wet, don't stretch it, just pull enough to get the wrinkles out, and let it dry, then dope it. It can warp a lightly built wing if stretched too much when initially putting it on. I've had a love affair with silk covered planes since about 1950 or so......so good luck!

Clair Sieverling
Old 01-11-2012, 11:31 AM
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Walther
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Default RE: Silk

What type of dope should I use?
Old 01-11-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default RE: Silk

I use nitrate dope to adhere the silk and for the doping to fill the weave. Make sure you do not get the Non-Tautening type for this however. And be aware that you need to dope the framework, every piece of wood that the silk will touch, and sand lightly, several times BEFORE you put the silk on. Then you lay the silk on the wing (for instance) and leave an inch or two all around the edge. Spray the silk until it is wet, which will make it stick to the wood (like a wet T shirt). Pull out, but don't stretch, any wrinkles. Then dope around the perimeter with thinned dope, rubbing it in as you dope, about 6 inches at a time. Let it dry, and then use an old-fashioned double edge razor blade to trim the excess around the edges.....it works better than a single edge, and you cannot just sand off the excess as you would with fiberglass. Now, when you dope the tightened silk, dope first around the edges but do NOT dope the entire swath that you doped to adhere the silk, or you will allow the tight silk to pull itself back from the edge, and you will have a large wrinkle......just dope half of the swath at a time. then when it is dry (10 minutes or so) go back and dope the other half. Now you are ready to dope the center of the wing. Using dope that is thinned down by at least one-third, dope with what we used to call "a dry brush", i.e. swipe the brush across the rim of the dope bottle or can, then make a very fast brush across the silk. You will not be able to fill the grain all on the first coat....if you try to put the dope on too heavy it will soak through and puddle on the inside, leaving a blemish that you will never get rid of. After a couple of coats using this technique you should pretty well see that there are few if any pin holes left, and then you can lay the dope on heavily. This is all much easier than it sounds when typed out. Now, since nitrate is not fuel proof, if you are using glow power, you will need to paint over the nitrate with butyrate, Klass-Kote epoxy paint, Rustoleum, or other spray paint that is fuel proof.

You may accomplish all of the above using butyrate dope all the way through if you wish, but if you do, you must use butyrate for the final color coats, and not the other paints listed above.

Sorry for the long "tutorial" but I guess somebody should both encourage you, but warn you of the pitfalls that can exist. A silk finish is a thing of beauty, and it will never loosen up with weather changes, etc.

Oh....one thing I forgot....the silk has a "grain" to it, and you must put it on with the grain running spanwise, not chordwise. You can tell which direction by the folded over and ironed edge that you should see on each side of your piece of silk out of the package...that edge should run spanwise, or lengthwise on a fuselage.

Clair Sieverling
Old 01-14-2012, 01:43 PM
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Walther
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Default RE: Silk

59; thanks much. I have a model that I built in 78 or 79 I think? called the Miss Vintage. I would like to recover it with silk as I feel it would look much better. I will put the old open rocker Saito 30 back on.
Old 01-14-2012, 03:16 PM
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Azcat59
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Default RE: Silk

Walther, I have built three of the Miss Vintage designs from RCM magazine over the past 35 years or so. Sold two and still have one, all three covered with silk. All three with red silk, the last one I had to dye the silk I had with Rit dye, and it worked out well. Looks good up in the air with the sun shining through all that pretty wood structure! Nice flying little airplane. Good luck!

Clair
Old 01-15-2012, 07:13 AM
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LesUyeda
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Default RE: Silk

"Looks good up in the air with the sun shining through all that pretty wood structure! "

And it does force one to do a good job on the jointery.

Les
Old 01-15-2012, 07:14 AM
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Walther
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Default RE: Silk

59; Where did you get your red silk?
Old 01-15-2012, 09:05 AM
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Azcat59
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Default RE: Silk

We used to be able to buy silk in colors, and going WAY BACK to the late fifties, we could buy silk scarves in any color and they worked fine. But if you want colors now I think you will have to dye it as I did. Rit dye, mix in a bucket of hot water, dip the silk in it, then drape it off the edge of a table or bench to let it drain and dry and you will be good to go. It didn't seem to affect its ability to shrink once applied to the airframe.

Clair
Old 01-15-2012, 12:16 PM
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Walther
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Default RE: Silk

Thank you sir! To bad not many people what to build anymore.

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