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Covering

Old 01-25-2002, 03:57 AM
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Hello All.

I have been lurking here for a while but haven't seen anything related to this question so I'll ask.

I am still very moist when it comes to building, but when I get to the covering, how do you get it into the space (small though it should be) between the trailing edges and the moveable control surfaces. From what I have read, you should pin the hinges with a toothpick that gets epoxied in, but if you do that before the covering goes on, you have no way to get th film in between the edges and you expose the wood to unburned fuel. If you pin the hinge after the covering, you see the ends of the toothpick (ugggh ). Is the covering between the control surfaces something I should be worried about? If so, what is the tip to getting the Monokote down in there. I have the ailerons cut and hinged and the gap is about 1/32". I haven't built the stabs yet.

Please advise and tell me if I'm being anal about this...

Ed
Old 01-25-2002, 04:04 AM
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Default Covering

I had trouble with this the first time i covered a plane.
it seems the easiest way to get the covering to go over the te is to slot/drill for hinges after covering the plane. thats the way they do it on arfs and it's worked for me a couple times.

and no, you're not being anal about this because you don't want fuel to soak into the wood which weakens and adds weight.

rob o'
Old 01-25-2002, 04:10 AM
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How about just going ahead and covering the wing with the control surfaces already attached?

Just push the aileron down when covering the top and then push it up when covering the bottom.

Cover both the wing and aileron in one go and this way you get the covbering done quicker and also seal the hinge gaps all in one go.

I have a 4*60 that has been covered this way and the joins look very good and of course the gaps are now sealed.

The only downside is having to clean out the hinge line at the end of the day as because they are sealed the fuel/oil can collect in there.
Old 01-25-2002, 04:35 AM
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Default Covering

Easy really. Just go ahead and put the hinges in, pin them and fill the little holes with spackle and sand to a smooth finish. Now cover the LE of the aileron and the TE of the wing with a strip on covering. Now glue them in and when you cover just run the covering up and just over the strip you all ready put on. Make
sense????

Big oops, maybe next time I will prove read. Do the covering first like I said up above, then put the hinges in and fill the holes and sand. Don't worry about sanding the covering a wee bit as it will be covered up later when you put the rest of the covering on.
Old 01-26-2002, 08:16 PM
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Thanx to all who offered solutions. I'm going to go with Grbrt. I think that's sounds about the best and covers everything.

Here goes nuthin'!

Ed
Old 02-03-2002, 03:05 PM
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I use a method similar to Art's, but I hinge all the surfaces without gluing before I cover. I hold the hinges in with straight pins (but you could just as well predrill for, and use toothpicks for this) This gives me a chance to thouroughly check out all of the controls and correct any binding or re route linkages as necessary.

Then I pull out all the hinges and cover everything. I fly in the snow and mud, so I make sure that the covering is water tight and NO wood is exposed anywhere. I make an effort to precover all of the little nooks and crannies, around the ailron linkages, the rudder cutout, the aileron roots, et c.

After I am done covering, I insert the pins (toothpicks) into the precut holes, from the bottom. Before I insert them, I clip them to length with the wire nippers. The pin heads come out looking like little rivets from the bottom and are invisible from the top. If you don't like the appearance of the pin heads, you can counter sink them flush with the bottom surface and cover them with dots of covering made with a dime store paper punch.
Old 02-03-2002, 03:52 PM
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Default Covering

You arent being A... retentive on this......many a perfectionist builder has wrestled with this question........I use Robart hinges.I do all the hinge fitting,ensuring free movement etc.....but not glueing.I then do all the covering(method and type of covering are all treated the same)Then glue the hinges in place using one of the water based hinge glues,then clean any excess glue out of the hinges or gap between the wing and movable surface,with water..Rudders and elevators are done the same way.This way I avoid using CA or epoxy glues which i find harder to work with for hinging,and pinning which I cant seem to do without puncturing the surface.Its important to put in backup blocks for the hinge to lock into,and prevent the glue being forced through the hole into the wing.
See the current hinging thread in the giant scale column for lots more info.....
All the above works for me on planes I have built up to 90".Im not saying its the only way,just one that works.....
Old 02-03-2002, 05:22 PM
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Default Oh Well...

Well,

I covered the wings last night and did not get the results I wanted (cosmetically, anyway) but the ailerons do work and have full travel. I'll keep trying the methods that are posted here, until I figger out how to get it perfect.

How the heck do you keep those tiny wrinkles from forming on compound curves, seeing as I have only two hands? Does a lower heat setting on the iron help? I am covering in red and white and I now have some red smears on parts of the white areas, so I think I may have had the iron too hot because it appears to have melted some of the red into the sock on the iron.

I do like the idea of pins or toothpicks cut to shape before glueing. I had a bear of a time filing down the little crowns of epoxy that formed as I pushed the toothpicks into the holes. I wiped as much as I could off, but some still balled up. The learing curve is high, but I think it should fly well enough...

Thanx again for your continued advise!

Ed
Old 02-03-2002, 06:38 PM
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I use acetone to clean all the coloring smears after I finish covering.
Old 02-03-2002, 09:53 PM
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Oooooh.. I thought I was stuck with the smearing. Thank you very much! I guess the iron was not as hot as I thought if this occurs normally....


Ed
Old 02-04-2002, 02:27 AM
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The smearing is totally normal, and you should expect it if you are doing a good job of sealing down the seams. When you wipe it down acetone, you will get a bit more smearing until you have picked up all of the oozed out adhesive.

Then wipe the plane down with denatured alcohol to get it compeletely free of grease, including your greasy finger prints. (Acetone extracts fat from your skin, really, it says so in the MSDS, and leaves it on the surface of the plane) then apply your decals or stickers if you want.

As a final step, give it two coats of Turtle Wax and your plane will gleam. (the turtle wax gleam is good for 3-5 flying sessions, then wipe down with denatured alcohol and Turtle Wax it again)

When ever you get a cut or tear in the covering, wipe the damaged area down with denatured alcohol and then cut a nice oval shaped patch and iron it down. If it is a large tear over an open area, you will have to cut back the covering to the nearest structural members and cut a patch to fit the whole area.

Also, pick up a role of 3M "crystal clear" packing tape, and carefully overlay the bottom of the wing and stabilizer tips with it. This will go a long way toward saving these areas from the inevitable tip scrapes you will have as you learn to land, especially if crosswinds are common at your field.

You can install this just the same as pressure sensitive decals, by first spraying the covering with any spray cleaner like windex or 409, then sliding the tape into place and squeegeeing out the spray cleaner with a scrap stick of balsa, or the edge of a credit card.

The itty bitty wrinkles on compound curves are probably there to stay, only practice will help you learn where they are likely to occur, and how to avoid them. It does help to have five hands when you are covering, one to hole the airplane, two to tug on the covering, one to hold the iron or heat gun, and one to hold your beer.

Don't sweat it, each covering job gets a little bit better, and each airplane teaches you more about how to be a great builder.

Cheers,
Old 02-04-2002, 02:39 AM
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Oh, and when you do get epoxy on the surface of the covering, denatured alcohol will take it off before it cured, and acetone will take it off after it cures. Acetone will also take up any CA you spill, and it will debond any mistakes you make with CA.

Denatured alcohol is pretty safe as long as you don't drink it.

Acetone fumes are not good for your brain cells; personally I wear my carbon filter respirator when I use it, but the ditzy blonde next door has been soaking her fingernails in it for years (finger nail polish remover)...come to think of it, that explains many things....
Old 02-04-2002, 03:18 AM
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Christopher,

Thanx for the great tips! I'll put them to use on this project and print them so I don't forget on the next one. My head is like a lumber room... (Thing wanted-always buried) I figured this plane wouldn't be a showcase item, but I am definately learning alot. You can tell whic sid eof the aircraft I did any particular procedure first because the second is improved.

This forum is a great resource and is making my attempts alot less stressfull.

Thanx again to all who have offered their expertise!

Ed
Old 02-04-2002, 04:03 PM
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Default Covering

I found my covering jobs really improved when I started using a heat gun. You just can't get the quality with an iron alone. Especially for those large flat area's. Just start out by tacking it down like you normally would. Make sure it's pretty tight. seal all the edges but leave a 2 inch spot unsealed to let the air out. Now hit it with the heat gun and watch it all get nice and snug and pretty with no iron marks and no wrinkles.

Forget it with neon's though... They are imposible no matter what you use. I had the best luck with a hot iron covered with a t-shirt.... but I still got some wrinkles I couldn't get out and when I tried to get them out with the gun.. the material just scortched... Oh well... live and learn.
Old 02-04-2002, 04:36 PM
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I agree with Pual, a heat gun will definately help smooth things out regardless of covering brands.

For fluorescent colors, if you use Ultracote, you can get an excellent finish. Even the Moneycote guys would agree that Ultracote fluorescents are easy to work with...if you could get them to try it! Well, ok...they wouldn't admit it to anyone, but deep down inside, they would know.

Also, even a hairdryer will shrink Ultracote a little bit in a pinch, but the heat gun works much better.

Tim
Old 02-04-2002, 04:46 PM
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ahhh... I see... I should have read the warning on the Monokote neon... I don't remember the exact wording.. but something about it being tough to work with... I'll try ultracote next time. My LHS just started carring a better selection of ultracote....
Old 02-05-2002, 01:14 AM
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Just remember to keep it in the shade when it isn't in the air!

Tim

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