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Solartex covering

Old 10-24-2014, 12:07 PM
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cotman
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Default Solartex covering

Building a AMR kit and going to cover it with solartex. Years ago I used solartex and I remember having to use (I think it was called) stikit to cover all the wood parts before covering. Do you still have to use that stuff or have they improved solartex glue. Covering over lite ply and balsa mostly
Old 10-24-2014, 01:52 PM
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scale only 4 me
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I never had a problem with it sticking straight to balsa or ply,, just dust it off well after sanding
Old 10-24-2014, 04:58 PM
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Gray Beard
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I never bothered with it either, the trick to getting any covering to stick is to clean off all the balsa dust then there is no problem. If you want to you can just spray the surfaces with lacquer hair spray and it sticks better but why bother. I spray with air then use a tack cloth to remove the dust.
Old 10-24-2014, 05:33 PM
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DavidAgar
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I have to agree, I am putting on the wood as we speak.....Good Luck, Dave
Old 10-25-2014, 03:06 AM
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Rodney
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I've never had a problem putting Solartex on clean wood, no additional glue required. In fact, it adhers much better than most coverings.
Old 10-25-2014, 05:09 AM
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TomCrump
 
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I'm in agreement with the rest. No adhesive is required.

To make myself feel better, I do as Gray Beard suggests, and spray on a light coat of lacquer based hair spray.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:15 AM
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Steve Percifield
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I've used Solartex for over 25 years and never had to add any extra adhesive. And still have 2 planes that old that I fly. I suspect you are remembering another brand of cloth covering. It's very good stuff...
Old 10-25-2014, 05:20 AM
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TomCrump
 
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The "other brand" would most likey be Coverite.

I always used Balsarite when I applied it.
Old 10-25-2014, 09:25 AM
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Never bothered with it.on cover it one guy smartly said use aqua hair spray.yes it helped.but my last plane was just applied to well sanded and clean balsa.just do not have dust on it make surfaces are clean.sorry solartex.
Old 10-25-2014, 10:26 AM
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Gray Beard
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
The "other brand" would most likey be Coverite.

I always used Balsarite when I applied it.
First time I used Century 21 covering I wished I would have used something. The stuff went on well but pulled a lot, Big Lot, when it shrunk. Never have had a problem with any of the TEX coverings though.
Another thing is the future, the guy that built my pattern plane used something on the sheeting before covering back in 89 and now I can't get the old covering off, not even with high heat. I finally gave up and tossed it in the corner for a winter project when I have nothing better to do. A little hair spray is OK if there is any doubt.
Old 10-25-2014, 10:30 AM
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Like most everyone else stated, no problems getting it to adhere beautifully to clean, dust-free wood. I find it even sticks relatively well to fiberglass (such as when using wing center-line reinforcement tape). I find I have to use a SLIGHTLY higher temperature setting for the initial tack-down, than the directions suggest (but maybe that is just an inaccurate covering iron thermometer). I find that covering the wing, then leaving it alone for 24 - 48 hours is best . . . that is when most any of the bubbles that are going to surface will appear. I then go over it a final time to eliminate those air pockets/bubbles. Then you should be good to go with painting or any other work you wish to complete.

Additionally:

- If I am going to paint over this covering, I like to run thin CA at the seams and quickly wipe it up to permanently seal up the edges.
- I have found that when I make relief cuts to go around curved surfaces (such as around a wingtip) that sealing the overlapping layers of covering with CA has another unanticipated benefit: The overlapping layers become hard (similar to fiberglass and epoxy), and I am able to sand the overlapping layers relatively smooth, making a much less visible seam - largely hidden after paint. Just don't get too aggressive and sand through your bottom layer.

By far, my favorite covering material to use!

Last edited by Iron Dog; 10-25-2014 at 11:44 AM.
Old 10-25-2014, 01:18 PM
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All good info here, the only thing I might add is to reinforce what was already said about applying it to clean, dust free wood. Running a vacuum over your project just isn't enough, it's a good start, but to get the wood clean use some compressed air after vacuuming, you will see much more dust get blown off! I have used it on nearly all of my projects and I've never had a problem with it lifting...
Old 10-25-2014, 02:29 PM
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Gray Beard
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Also, about cutting it to go around a compound curve, I have never had to, you can just turn the iron heat up a lot higher and keep the iron just over the top of the covering and pull it around any curve without leaving any wrinkles. I have also never had bubbles, it's a cloth weave and gas escapes it as it goes on.
I usually cover during the summer months and do something I call curing. After the covering is fully shrunk I take the plane out in the direct sun and heat and let it sit outside for over an hour. This will cause the covering to sag. I do this with plastic covering too. Then I take it back in the shop and shrink it again. I do this several times until it no longer sags. Then I can paint or add decals or do the trim work.
Winter this doesn't work so well, like at all. We only have a few months of cold weather so this works well for me.
Old 10-25-2014, 03:26 PM
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Not so sure you're not thinking of Sig's "Cover-All" it's a heat shrinkable rayon product and you have to use "Stix-It" to adhere it to the frame, after which you can use a heat gun or iron to shrink it. If you're doing a gasser you can use "Nitrate Dope" as the sealer but glow would require "Butyrate Dope". I am covering a John Tanzer F4B in Coverall. You might want to consider it. Just my two cents! It's also a whole lot cheaper than solar-tex.
Happy Flying!
Loopman
Old 10-25-2014, 04:16 PM
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Tony Iannucelli
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Solartex is the best covering, notwithstanding a slight weight penalty. But on warbirds and scalers, you just can't beat it. Clean off the dust, nothing else needed, we all agree.

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Old 10-25-2014, 06:32 PM
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I like both-Koverall does a nicer job but is more work-seams hide well and of course you can paint any color -but what I like in this texas sun it never droops!!!
Old 10-26-2014, 03:02 AM
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For any "tex" covering, including Koverite and Stitts, I don't see seams as a problem.

These coverings are mostly used on scale models. on scale models, I add rib and perimiter tapes, that cover the seams.

A friend sells these http://www.pink-it.net/new_pink-it_2012_003.htm, but there are other products on the market, too.

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