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newbie question: covering iron

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newbie question: covering iron

Old 04-02-2006, 09:17 AM
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jigeye
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Default newbie question: covering iron

New to sport. Question about covering iron { may be a dumb question but I"m new} I need to re-iron a couple of places on my plane that has monocote. {don't laff} Can you use a regular clothes iron and put a piece of cloth over it? If so, what setting?
Old 04-02-2006, 10:03 AM
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RCKen
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

Jigeye,
Yes, you can use a regular clothes iron. But it's just going to be a little bit hard to handle. In fact, the first covering job I did was done with a travel iron that I have. As for the temperature, for monokote the temp should be 275°. You probably won't have any way of measuring the temp so the best thing to do is set the iron at a lower temp and see if it will iron down the monokote. If not then increase the temp and try again. Keep that up until you find the temp that will iron down the monokote.

Hope this helps

Ken
Old 04-02-2006, 12:47 PM
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Campy
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

I suggest 2 things that will make life easier for you.

1. A Coverite thermometer. This will allow you to adjust the temperature on the iron.

2. A regular covering iron. I strongly suggest the Coverite one since it holds the set temperature to within 3 degrees. Other irons can have the temperature vary as much as 15 degrees from the temperature you set.

Yes, you can use a regular iron (for clothes). Set it for dry heat, and if you don't have a way to check the temperature do as RCKen suggested. You will find the regular iron to be awkward and cumbersome though.
Old 04-02-2006, 06:45 PM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

If you're going to stay in R/C, do yourself a favor. Go ahead and buy a real covering iron. I recommend the Coverite.

Dr.1
Old 04-03-2006, 01:28 PM
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Bax
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

To properly stick down Monokote and get a good, wrinkle-free finish, your sealing iron needs to be at 335-350 degrees F. You want the iron as hot as possible without causing the surface of the Monokote to be dulled. When the surface is dulled, you're a bit too hot. You basically need to operate at just below the melting point of the material. When the finish dulls, it's starting to melt.

This will give you max shrink and best adhesion.
Old 04-03-2006, 02:30 PM
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RCKen
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

Bax,
is the temp that high?? If it is I am sorry about my last post. For some reason I have the figure of 275° stuck in my head.

Ken
Old 04-03-2006, 03:05 PM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

Good advice, Bax. RCKen, Ultracote and *tex coverings will stick well at 275, but not 'kote.

Dr.1
Old 04-03-2006, 03:20 PM
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RCKen
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

Ok, I didn't want to sit here and think I was loosing my mind, so I pulled out a new roll of monokote and read the instructions. They do say to set the iron at 275°. So I guess I can keep my sanity!!

Ken
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:50 PM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

The instructions may say it, but it won't be stuck well, and it sure as you-know-what won't shrink at that temp. But thanks for checking.

Dr.1
Old 04-04-2006, 04:36 PM
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Bax
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

ORIGINAL: RCKen

Ok, I didn't want to sit here and think I was loosing my mind, so I pulled out a new roll of monokote and read the instructions. They do say to set the iron at 275°. So I guess I can keep my sanity!!

Ken
Hmmm....OK....well....

I've been using MonoKote since about the first year it came out. The instructions then basically had you heat the iron until the stuff melted and then you backed-down the temp until it didn't melt or lose its gloss. That was the temp to use, and I've never deviated from that. At those temps, the covering sticks and shrinks extremely well. Many of today's irons and heat guns won't go that high. My heat gun will blow a hole through Monokote at about 6 inches if you don't keep it moving.

I'm still using the Polytherm heat gun I bought in the 70's, along with my Sealector iron, purchased at about the same time. My iron does have the model-friendly shoe on it that came out once Seal, Inc. discovered that modelers liked an iron with the pointier shoe. The original irons were rather blunt and hard to use in corners. That iron can get up to nearly 400 degrees if I let it....hot enough to melt Monokote with a touch.

I guess I haven't seen the instructions in years....I just use the stuff.

I'll pass this on to the Monokote product people.
Old 07-12-2007, 08:37 AM
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Capt. Bill
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Default RE: newbie question: covering iron

I built my first plane with Monokote back in 1971. The guy who taught me to fly turned me on to the Sealector iron and I still have two of them, both came with that green tefon coated blunt shoe. There were not originally made for Monokote but things like sealing food packaging plastic. One old iron I have has a "P" stamped on it and it did not get hot enough to apply Monokote but worked great for Solarfilm. The Top Flite web site has an FAQ that says a clothing iron is not recommended but the orignal instructions showed using a light travel iron. The only temperature instructions on the sheet are to set the iron just below the melting point of the plastic. I added a scan of the first page of the old original instruction sheet.
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