Fabric Process

Fabric and covering. Fabric, dopes, paint and everything associated with the coverings on our planes.
MikeB
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Fabric Process

Post by MikeB » Mon Apr 29, 2013 19:02

The wings are already covered and signed off on my new Chief project but the wording is rather vague regarding the process used (came out of an estate sale). Anyway, looking through the inspection holes it appear the process used left a blue color.....Dacproofer?? Randolph?? or ???? Superflite 1??

Thanks,
Mike

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by Paul Agaliotis » Mon Apr 29, 2013 19:40

Mike,
Randolph dopes has a blue tinted dope,so you can see where you've been. It's used in the Nitrate only. If the cover looks good I would leave it on. There's only a few areas that you need to be concerned with and you can cut a hole if you need to.
If you can keep the costs down and make it a flyer, you could probably trade it for a Champ project. Just kidding.
Paul
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MikeB
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by MikeB » Tue Apr 30, 2013 05:50

Thanks Paul,
The wings have been rebuilt and never installed on the plane so that part of the job is at least finished.
Had I read the 337 a little closer I probably could have figured the fabric process out. The 337 dated 12/02 reads in part: "removed wing fabric, inspected spars per ACA SL 406 (rev A) and AD 2000-25-02. Cleaned and varnished spars, checked drag wires for proper tightness. Replaced wing leading edge metal with new from Safe-Air Repair. Recovered wings per procedure manual 101 using ceconite 102. Finished color Tennesse red Randothane".

As I mentioned the previous owner passed away shortly after the wings were covered and signed off. My understanding is that he rebuilt several aircraft over the years. What I can see of it, the workmanship looks good, except some of the inspection holes are not in the right places but I can handle putting in new inspection rings and holes. I just like to see these fine old aircraft flying instead of wasting away in pieces in someone's garage.

Mike

MikeB
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by MikeB » Mon Sep 09, 2013 17:16

Related to the above: while the wings are recovered and signed off, the paint finish quality is less I'd like. I've never worked with a 'dope' finish (apparently Randothane in this case). Is it possible to scuff the finish and repaint or polish it out? Obviously I don't want to pull the fabric and redo the wings. I haven't decided on a finish for everything else (fuselage, tail feathers, etc.) I've always used Superflite but have been less than happy with the cold weather paint cracking and I'm not a fan of the MEK heavy glue although they now say that Superflite 7 (new) 'resists cold weather cracking' and you can thin with acetone rather than MEK. Still looking at alternatives at this point. I do like the finish coat look on Superflite and it resists fuel stains, etc.

Anyway...any suggestions on the wings?? The rest of the job is coming along pretty well.

Mike

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by Paul Agaliotis » Mon Sep 09, 2013 17:43

Mike,
The butyrate finish is easy to work with. If you have a major blemish you can get it out with thinner. It sands real well and can be topcoated with just about anything. I use the dope process on my planes and topcoat with urethane enamel. It's not as thick as Superflite and holds up well. As for the cold weather stuff, I live in CA and it's just not a problem here.
Paul
Mailing Adress : Paul Agaliotis 2060 E. San Martin, San Martin,Calif. 95046

MikeB
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by MikeB » Mon Sep 09, 2013 18:48

Fabric flexing is a problem up here in the 'north woods'. My first Champ had been painted with Imron. I'm sure it looked nice for a couple of years but by the time I got it the paint was pretty much cracked up. Imron (or type) is harder than woodpecker lips so it keeps the finsh and a warmer climate it's probably no problem. How about sanding and reshooting Randothane?? Will that bring out a decent color (happens to be red).? Assuming I shoot it better than the last guy.

Mike

Al Hatz
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by Al Hatz » Mon Sep 09, 2013 19:00

Finished color Tennesse red Randothane"
I assume they meant Ranthane which is Randolph's urethane.
Either way I don't see a problem sanding down the urethane and re-shooting it or sanding down the butyrate, if that's what it is and re-shooting it. If it's butyrate on the top coat I just happen to have a couple gallons of Tennessee Red I'd like to sell.

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by Paul Agaliotis » Mon Sep 09, 2013 19:48

Al,
I just had to order some for a Decathlon that I did a tank job on. What were you looking to get for the red.
Paul
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jepropst
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by jepropst » Tue Sep 10, 2013 02:29

Mike, you might want to give Jim and Dondi Miller a call at Aircraft Technical Support http://www.aircrafttechsupport.com/ . If the plane was from your area, it is highly likely that they provided the materials. If you have the tail number and the approximate date of the recovery, they may have records of the exact material that was used.
John Propst
313 Hickory Grove Ln
Elizabeth, WV 26143
cell 304 588 3690
j.e.propst@ieee.org
N3129E 2WV3

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hangerash
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by hangerash » Tue Sep 10, 2013 02:42

Mike,

The wings on my Champ were covered by ACA and when I took the fabric off I was amazed at how rubbery and flexible it was (it felt like PolyFiber). When I went to the factory in Rochester, WI last December I inquired about how they were finished. I was told they used a lot of flex agent in Superflite. You could fold a piece from the wing in half without cracking and it was seven years old.

Richard
Richard

MikeB
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by MikeB » Tue Sep 10, 2013 06:12

I've used Superflite on two Champs and my L16. Like I said I like the process as it amounts to two cross coats of primer and the final paint (sun block is in the primer itself). It is probably heavy compared to some others but I can put up with the weight for the nice finish. The process does use a measured amount of flex agent ($$$$). Talking to Molly at SF she told me I could put in 'extra' flex agent to prevent cracking but I hate to mess with an already measured (and known) process as it could come to haunt you later on. Basically one of the nice things about SF is that the finish looks the same whether over metal or fabric which some of the others don't unless playing around with a flattening agent to match the paint on both surfaces. Anyway, if I decide to use SF again I guess I'll have to investigate adding extra flex agent for cold weather operation as I want to fly the Chief on skis once I finish it.

Mike

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hangerash
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by hangerash » Tue Sep 10, 2013 06:39

The people at ACA are very friendly and willing to share. You might consider calling them and ask how much flex agent they put in. I was under the impression they didn't skimp and may have doubled or tripled the amount.
Richard

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by Paul Agaliotis » Tue Sep 10, 2013 13:30

Richard,
I talked to ACA and they use Superflite materials but apply them differently, so they say. The tapes seem to be a problem for them. They have a type of flypaper applied and the finish cracks next to the tape and sometimes cuts the fabric at the tape edge. My guess it's too stiff there. The last repair I did we had to get the materials, recomended by ACA, from Nevada. California made most of the products prohibited for use here, they were automotive products as I recall.
Paul
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MikeB
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by MikeB » Tue Sep 10, 2013 14:57

I seem to remember that ACA was using a 'blend' of PPG at one time. I know I peeled the label off a Superflite can and it was PPG. Kind of makes sense. PPG probably mades the Superflite product to their specifications. I tried using acetone rather than MEK to to thin the glue and attach the tapes per their instructions. It does work but takes a long time to 'flash off' and stick down unlike the MEK.

Mike

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Fabric Process

Post by Paul Agaliotis » Tue Sep 10, 2013 15:08

Mike,
On the trip back to CA we stopped in Klamath Falls and bought some MEK. Just can't get it here, I guess it's bad for the three peckerd toads and Hippies. Don't let Feinstein find out about this.
Paul
Mailing Adress : Paul Agaliotis 2060 E. San Martin, San Martin,Calif. 95046

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