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Stits Lite fabric covering, Pros and Cons

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Stits Lite fabric covering, Pros and Cons

Old 11-04-2014, 09:36 AM
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I DON'T KNOW IF WORLD TEX IS STILL AROUND. BUT I HAVE A 90" ACE TAYLORCRAFT THAT OVER 20yrs. LOOKS LIKE NEW. I LIKE THE STILTS NOWN.
Old 11-04-2014, 09:44 AM
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Ok i have ???. I was going to cover my stinson 108 tail feathers. And find that my poly tac gumed up some. Haven't used it for a while . Any help on still using this.
Old 11-04-2014, 11:57 AM
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You have to keep the Poly Tak cans sealed very, very air tight or the solvents evaporate over time. Salvaging it depends on how gummed up it is. I have brought Poly Tak back to life by diluting it with MEK (or Poly Fiber Reducer) however it is not easy to get the 2 mixed back together. The biggest problem is trying to stir the MEK in. Its not easy to stir in the Poly Tak can and, if the Poly Tak is really gummed up, you can't pour it into a separate container for easier mixing.

You can try pouring a bunch of MEK in the can, capping it tightly and letting it sit for a day or two and then see if it softened the Poly Tak enough to at least mix into the upper layers. If so, then add more MEK, cap, let sit, and repeat until you can mix all the way to the bottom.

Oh, and I normally dilute the Poly-Tak slightly with MEK as even when new it is fairly thick and dries extremely quickly. A little judicious thinning makes it easier to brush on without globs and improves the working time. Just don't over do it.

Probably easier to order a new batch unless money is an issue.

You can also use any of the other covering adhesives like SIG Stix-It or Balsa Rite for Covering.

Last edited by RBACONS; 11-04-2014 at 12:00 PM.
Old 11-04-2014, 02:10 PM
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THANKS FOR THE INFO RBACONS. MOST TIMES I HAVE SEVERAL BIRDS TO COVER AT THE SAME TIME. INCLUDING A FRIEND. I WILL GIVE IT A SHOT. ILL PLACE A ORDER WITH BUSA FOR A COUPLE OF CANS. JUST UPSET I AM STUCK NOW TO WATCHING T.V... THANKS HANK
Old 11-04-2014, 02:10 PM
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I like to thin down my Poly-Tak 2 parts Poly-Tak to one reducer for the first brush coat over the open airframe. Then I thin it down about 4 or 5 to one depending on temperature and work the Poly-Tak up through the fabric. The full size instructions caution about thinning the Poly-Tak to much but we are not building man carrying aircraft so play with the ratios to find what works for you. Un-thinned Poly-Tak with the Poly Fiber results in securing the fabric edge safely in a 350 mph prop blast. Much more than is required for our use.

I have successfully thinned Poly-Tak with MEK, Poly-Fiber retarder-reducer RR-8500 and Poly-Fiber reducer R65-75. The relationship I have noticed is below.

MEK in all temperatures gives a quick drying about the same as un-thinned Poly-Tak

R65-75 Reducer in all temperatures slows down the drying time allowing more working time.

RR-8500 Reducer-Retarder gives the slowest drying time and longest work time.

That being said the time is still pretty quick so you cannot interrupt your covering job.

Dennis
Old 11-06-2014, 01:44 PM
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I will have to take a closer look at the Koveral now, I haven't noticed a grain in it when I covered my Cub. I do like using it though with the Stix-it.

When it comes to the poly stuff, which costs more, that or Dope? I still have a bunch to learn when it comes to finishing, spraying didn't look too good, brushing is a PITA and leaves streaks in white. If there is a good alternative to dope that doesn't cost more, that would be great. I have a Citabria in the box that will also be covered in Koverall with a red and white finish. The red finishes nice, the white not so much. Thinking the silver base will do the trick.
Old 11-06-2014, 02:53 PM
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I use Min-Wax polyacrylic for adhering stits and filling the grain. I lay the stits on the framework and then brush polyacrylic on the edges, usually 2 full wet coats. I then brush on polyacylic to fill the grain, usually 4 - 6 coats. Then its on to color. I have sprayed latex house paint on some models; others, I have used Rustoleum rattle cans. I should mention that if I am covering sheeted surfaces I first brush on coat of lacquer to prevent warping from the water based polyacrylic. Other than the lacquer there are no fumes to worry about and polyacrylic is reasonable price wise and readily available at Menards or Home Depot.
Old 11-06-2014, 05:52 PM
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I use the polycrylic to glass with. Works great.
Old 11-08-2014, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by acdii
I will have to take a closer look at the Koveral now, I haven't noticed a grain in it when I covered my Cub. I do like using it though with the Stix-it.

When it comes to the poly stuff, which costs more, that or Dope? I still have a bunch to learn when it comes to finishing, spraying didn't look too good, brushing is a PITA and leaves streaks in white. If there is a good alternative to dope that doesn't cost more, that would be great. I have a Citabria in the box that will also be covered in Koverall with a red and white finish. The red finishes nice, the white not so much. Thinking the silver base will do the trick.
I'm in the process of testing using plain old lacquer from the big box store. This will only be used to fill the weave of the cloth but I did use it to adhere the cloth on my test panels. It seemed to work about the same as dope. The lacquer isn't fuel proof so the color coats or the final coat needs to be fuel proof. My test panels used Koverall and dress lining from JoAnne Fabrics, So far the test has just been sticking the cloth to the frame, shrinking tight and filling the grain with the lacquer. The Koveral took less lacquer ro fill the grain. No surprise there. So far the cloth has stayed tight with no sag. Again no surprise. Both the Koveral and dress lining performed the same here. From past experience most any paint will go over the lacquer especially if you use a lacquer based auto primer.

Ken
Old 11-09-2014, 05:42 PM
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Nitrate us usually used to adhere and fill, and is not fuel proof either. I will keep lacquer in mind on my next fabric plane, easier to obtain than nitrate. I worked on the Cub window frame yesterday, and after 3 coats of Nitrate and sanding, it took one coat of white to be nearly covered. A second coat will look perfect, so now I know, I didn't do enough fill coat with clear, and used butyrate instead of Nitrate on my prior covering, so it didnt fill as well. Use nitrate for the fill coats, and the color coat goes on much better.
Old 11-09-2014, 06:02 PM
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You can add talcum power to the nitrate dope to aid in filling the cloth and it also helps reduce the weight I belive.

Dennis
Old 09-25-2022, 06:37 PM
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Thread bump out of the deads...

I'm figuring out Stits Light for a bipe which fuselage is in metalic tubular construction. I am wondering if the round tubular stringers would have sufficient contact area for Stits Light to be glued correctly ?

There aren't so many models out t here (Paolo Severin Bücker 133 Jungmeister 1/3) so I don't know what people used to cover it, be it Solartex Antique or else.

Last edited by baron-noir; 09-25-2022 at 06:40 PM.
Old 09-26-2022, 12:29 AM
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Typically you would cover the fuse in 4 pieces, bottom/sides/top, and overlap the covering at each joint. The overlaps would be covered with pinked tape to hide the seams. If you're concerned, you can wrap the covering 180 degrees around the tubes for extra gluing surface.
Old 09-26-2022, 08:26 AM
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It's a good idea to wrap the fabric around the tube for more surface contact, thanks. I think I have just seen a video about that for a real light aircraft covering. But that would be possible only on the seams, but not on the various stringers.
Old 09-27-2022, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kenh3497
Just to muddy the water a bit....

Nobody has mentioned Sig Koverall. It is similar to the Stitts in that it has no adhesive like Solartex. I've never put the Stitts and Koverall side by side but it sounds like the Stitts has a slightly tighter weave. It is slightly heavier but that may be made up in less "dope" being used to fill the weave. My opinion, yard for yard, Solartex will be heaver than Stitts or Koverall as you have glue on every square inch of the Solartex. Stitts or Koverall do not have any glue so you only add glue where it is needed.

Ken
Originally Posted by baron-noir
Thread bump out of the deads...

I'm figuring out Stits Light for a bipe which fuselage is in metalic tubular construction. I am wondering if the round tubular stringers would have sufficient contact area for Stits Light to be glued correctly ?

There aren't so many models out t here (Paolo Severin Bücker 133 Jungmeister 1/3) so I don't know what people used to cover it, be it Solartex Antique or else.
It generally sticks well to wider areas, like leading edges and trailing edges, and wingtips, and model wing ribs are usually wide enough for it to work there, too. Otherwise, you stitch the ribs, like you would on a full-scale, after the fabric is stretched. On a fuselage the longerons are usually big enough, but stitching may help in some areas.

I'm interested in how Stits and Koverall compare. I haven't built anything in 14 years, and am now working on a BUSA 1/4 scale J-3 built as an L-4. My plans for the moment are to use Koverall, as that is what I have experience with and what I used on all my scale models of WWI and Golden Age planes and another L-4 I built.. Solartex no longer exists as a brand, but I've been told by friends still in the hobby that Oratex is very similar to work with and has a better adhesive than Solartex did. I used Solartex years ago to re-cover several ARF's I had that were originally in MonoKote. I like the type covering, but it doesn't quite lend prototypical detail like Stits or Koverall do.

These were done in Koverall, using nitrate dope to fill and seal, then painted with spraybombs or brush:










Old 09-27-2022, 04:57 AM
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I have used Koverall as well on a couple cubs using SIG dopes. Easy to work with and looks good when done.

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