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Thread: Ecofill Problems

  1. #1

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    Ecofill Problems

    Has anyone else had trouble with ecofill not spraying right. I have had problems with it ether spraying to dry and has a very sandy texture or to wet and runs all over the place, could not find anything in between. I have sprayed 12 coats and sanded all of them trying to get a good finish but no luck. I sanded the fuselage smooth and sprayed the top coat which turned out nice excepted in between the pinked tapes. I was not able to sand out the gritty finish there and it left a halo along all the tapes and made the fabric look like $h!t and only visible once the yellow was on. Am I the only person who has had problems with the ecofill? I got a smooth finish on the tail feathers but I had to spray them flat or I had the same problems. I have herd of people having problems with the top coat but not ecofill and can't figure out what went wrong for me. I have talked with Jason and Dan at stewarts but they have not heard of any problems with ecofill. Dan thought maybe my Sata 4000 RP was not atomizing right but Jason did not think that was it. I did not have any problems with the top coat spraying bad only the ecofill. I'm interested to know if this has happened to anyone else and how they fixed it. I cut the fabric off and ordered some dope to redo the job but I would like to get this figured out before use it again.

  2. #2

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    Ouch! I have not sprayed the stuff, but my buddy has done wings, tail feathers, and interior in a J-3. I will ask, but I think he just followed the directions meticulously. I have brushed the stuff, and you have to be semi-careful to avoid runs.

    For big stuff, I am going to stick to dope, but that green glue is ten times stronger than the stuff we use with dope!

  3. #3
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have sprayed it without problems. Did you mix via weight? I did everything flat or at a slight angle but not vertical.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  4. #4

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    Ecofill is straight out the bottle. I could get ok results flat but that is not practical for a fuselage or wing. Jason told me it should not matter, they were very helpful but could not help me much.

  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I guess I am thinking of mixing the top coat. I did a couple of wings and no problems with runs. They were on a rotisserie and and tipped it about 45 degrees.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  6. #6

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    I have had runs and a "sandpaper" type finish with the Ekofill when I first starting using it. However, after buying one of the recommended Finishline guns that Stewart's sells I have had no problems with the Ekofill. I follow their directions to a T and the grey finish always turns out well.

    I just shot a vertical tail section repair and got one run with Ekofill, I dabbed at it lightly with a paper towel and the finish flowed over the area and all evidence of my run disappeared.

    I have seen some rough areas that were due to exuberant sanding on the early coats of Ekofill that lifted the nap of the fabric.

    Gosh, I hope you persevere. The Stewart's products are so much less hazardous and seem to be working fine for me that I would never go back to frying brain cells and exposing my innards to chemical poisoning with the solvent processes.

    Good luck,

    Vickie

  7. #7

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    Just finished my first wing and had no problem with the Ecofill at all. As it was my first attempt, I worked very slowly and made sure that I did everything according to the instructions and videos. Very pleased with that phase of the process.

    Dennis

  8. #8

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    I don't know I bought a new Sata gun to use with the Stewart's system and had great results with the top coat. I thought I would be able to sand everything smooth but the sand paper could not get between the pinks on the tapes. It was not visible and felt smooth untill I sprayed the yellow. I'm just frustrated that I'm out 3200 bucks and 70 hours time.

  9. #9
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Did you iron down the edges of the tapes after they were glued on? Did you iron down the edges of the tapes after you brushed on the Ekofil? Then did you iron down the edges of the tapes after you sprayed on the Ekofil? I don't know of any sandpaper that will get between all of the pinks on the tapes. Definitely not in 70 hours. Maybe you should use the straight edged tapes without the pinks? I hate to say this but it almost sounds as though you are being a bit too anal about this. My rudder had a big run in it after finishing the final yellow coat so, after it had sat for a few months, I talked myself into repainting it. I sanded the whole rudder and sprayed on two more X coats of yellow. This time it came out looking like a mirror. Absolutely smooth and glossy. Almost made me want to repaint the whole plane. Not really. The weight of the extra paint was very noticeable. I had a balance weight on the rudder to make it easy to rotate while painting. After the two X coats went on it would not balance any more. The tail end went straight down. Just perhaps you should spay the color on the tapes first and let it dry. Then sand the edges before painting the whole thing. I would talk to the Stewarts about this idea.
    N1PA

  10. #10
    btracy's Avatar
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    Use Red Scotch-Brite. You and go right over the tapes and not worry about cutting into the fibers.

  11. #11

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    Normally you don't need to sand between pinks but the ecofill looked like 80 grit sandpaper after I sprayed it. So when the yellow went on there was lines top and bottom of every tape were the sandpaper missed. If you paid me to cover your airplane and this is what I gave you I think you would be mad at me. It was far from the worst I have ever seen but not something I would want people to judge my work by. I have plenty of product left now and will have to play with it when I get the plane finished. I figured I would have problems with the top coat as that seems to be the more problem area for people but I found that easy to work with. I still don't know what I did wrong but I will keep trying to figure it out, just not on airplanes until I do. Do most here think it takes longer to cover with this system than say poly fiber or dope, it took me 70 hours to cover the tail feathers and fuselage up through color. Anyone have comparable time?and I am still open to ideas to try bad paint ,maybe a 1.5 tip, different gun.

  12. #12

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    I tried sanding the topcoat but I would have had to build up the paint to hide the tapes for it to go away, as much as I wanted to try and salvage the cover I don't think it was worth the extra time and materials for an unknown result. It also would have been real heavy and probably cracked like thick paint dose.

  13. #13

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    I find that the Stewart Systems takes less labor than the other systems. This seems to be in part due to less ironing, quicker to glue the fabric onto the structure and a whole lot less time cleaning up. The Ekofill spray to paint time is also decreased due to the quicker drying.

    In any case, PA-22, I hope you will try the process again, it sounds like you have the hard part, the painting, figured out!

    Vickie

  14. #14
    evroosevelt's Avatar
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    Vickie:
    Why is there less ironing with Stewarts System?
    Thanks
    EV

  15. #15
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    The only time I've seen ecofill do that, the guy was trying to "flood it on" too quick, and then when it ran, he wasn't backing off the feed, but instead he was pulling the gun further away, thus ending up with a surface like you're talking about. His took some work to sand out, but it was possible to get it nice again. He never did get it right. I've seen it go on a bit rough when sprayed dry, but it usually sands out pretty well.

  16. #16

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    I had similar problem with ekofil on one wing, after the 2 brushed coat i decided to sand with red scotch bright (wrong)
    it cuts the fabric fibers , it was looking fine until i sprayed my first coat, it look like sandpaper ,you need enough ekofil before you begin to sand so you don`t sand into the fabric.
    If it`s not the case for you i would try a different spray gun!

    Good luck!

    Frenchy

  17. #17

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    I am spraying within 6" of the fabric so it should not dry before it hits the fabric but that is what is happening, problem is if i open the feed up a little more it runs and there is nothing between the 2 unless it is laying flat. I will say the grey ecofill sands great and i was able to work with that but the white ecofill dose not spray or sand the same. I think if I would have painted it white it would have be fine, you would not been able to see the lines. I will try a different gun today on some sample panels and anything else I can think of.

  18. #18
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    I don't think I saw it mentioned, but, it could be the little glue balls near the tapes. If you cause them, you have to erase them off. They with definitely show through ecofil and more so through finished paint.

    I tried to "sand" them down, post ecofil and just ended up napping up fabric as vicki mentioned. Every time I had a problem with any Stewarts, it was because I didn't prep enough, or complete the prior step to the end. In other words, completeness pays off in detail.

  19. #19

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    No the problem was the ecofill because I had to sand the entire fuselage smooth, I had the same gritty texture over everything. Why I could not get it to spray smooth without runs is what I need to figure out. I sprayed an sanded 12 coats 6 grey and 6 white and not one was worth using as a base. I either had to sand the runs out or the grit off I just could not get a nice smooth base to put the top coat over. I know what is wrong I just don't know what to do to fix it. Is everyone spraying things flat or have you had good results with things being vertical. I'm only having problems with the vertical stuff but I can't spay everything flat and was told its ok to spray it that way.

  20. #20
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm out of ideas too. Sounds odd. I hope there is no dust in your booth. Fresh ecofil?

    I had a buddy screwing up his warbird wings. Redid them twice. Turns out it was the baby powder on his latex gloves. That wasn't Stewart's, but lesson is the same. What's in the environment?

    Im also curious about first application. Did you brush and stipple? Or, did you roll as some do now? I rolled my tail feathers and didn't have access to a 3/16 nap roller. Because I had more nap, the roller added some structure to the ecofil. Millions of little bumps. I shoulda stippled it, but didn't know better at the time. Anyway, it probably makes the bird faster like a golfball.

    I put that out there for anyone searching/researching ecofil.

  21. #21

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    I used a foam brush and tipped it 90 degrees two coats, and that turned out fine. Dan Stewart told me that the grittiness is from the ecofill drying before it gets to the fabric so I increased the fluid control but then I get runs. I would think that there would be a happy medium in there but I have yet to find it. I have a gallon of ecofill and some scraps i will play with. I order some dope to redo the job with for now but I will keep playing with this stuff on samples to see what i need to do make it work.

  22. #22
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PA-22/20-160 View Post
    I used a foam brush and tipped it 90 degrees two coats, and that turned out fine. Dan Stewart told me that the grittiness is from the ecofill drying before it gets to the fabric so I increased the fluid control but then I get runs. I would think that there would be a happy medium in there but I have yet to find it. I have a gallon of ecofill and some scraps i will play with. I order some dope to redo the job with for now but I will keep playing with this stuff on samples to see what i need to do make it work.
    I would try lowering air and only enough material that it YOUR gun can atomize properly... Just like trying to gas weld with too small a tip...sure you can up the pressure, but at some point it's not desirable

  23. #23
    SpainCub's Avatar
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    You guys are killing me... I was all convinced and ready to buy into the Stewart process, now I am back to square one... Reconsidering the issues with the Eco-Fill, sitting half way acrosss the world is not the best spot to be at if I run into problems with a new system... Any pics of the results you are getting?
    http://spaincub.wordpress.com

  24. #24

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    Mike I gave that a try on the second coat my sata RP likes 34psi but I backed down to 25psi still no luck. I will try my older cheap guns with a 1.4 and 1.8 tip and see if that will work.

  25. #25

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    Spain cub I don't want anyone not to try it because of me. It sound like I'm one of very few who have had problems with ecofill I don't know why yet. I had great luck with everything else and the parts I was able to sand smooth tuned out great. I would use it again if i can figure out how to spray a smooth coat with no runs consistently.

  26. #26
    Iflylower's Avatar
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    I used my finishline 1.3 for all ecofil and primer and a Sata for all paint excepting tail feathers.

    Worked good for me. Ecofil was also the easiest stage in my case. They all look good in sanded ecofil.

  27. #27

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    My comment about the Stewarts System taking less ironing thus less time is due to the tape edges stick down better. I believe this is due to the wiping action when wiping off excess glue. The glue is spread all of the way through the fabric weave on the little triangles and then the little edges are all pushed down. The other glues allow the tape edges to lift or curl up. These can be ironed down, but it is time-consuming and I find it takes a few ironing the edges to get them all perfect. The tape edges on the Stewarts system, however, stick well and I run an iron over them only once. I also don't have to worry about the glue becoming soft and allowing the tape to deform and shrink in width.

    Running a shop and charging for labor makes me conscious of little time-saving techniques. Cleaning up equipment goes faster with the Stewart system. I also don't have any heartache about tossing out two or three 69 cent 1" brushes at the end of the day, or the Dixie cup I used for the glue... No cleaning, very little labor, no extra chemicals, minimize costs.

    Someone mentioned sanding with red scotchbrite. I started doing that and have had good results as long as I was gentle on the first sanding. I still use the open-coat sandpaper for the final sanding prior to paint.

    I admire your attitude, PA22, for not flaming or ranting and being open to suggestions. Thank you for the interesting discussion. You sound like the kind of person who will figure out anything that you set your mind to figuring out!

    Vickie

  28. #28
    SpainCub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PA-22/20-160 View Post
    Spain cub I don't want anyone not to try it because of me. It sound like I'm one of very few who have had problems with ecofill I don't know why yet. I had great luck with everything else and the parts I was able to sand smooth tuned out great. I would use it again if i can figure out how to spray a smooth coat with no runs consistently.

    Thanks...
    http://spaincub.wordpress.com

  29. #29
    AntiCub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamarack View Post
    My comment about the Stewarts System taking less ironing thus less time is due to the tape edges stick down better. I believe this is due to the wiping action when wiping off excess glue. The glue is spread all of the way through the fabric weave on the little triangles and then the little edges are all pushed down. The other glues allow the tape edges to lift or curl up. These can be ironed down, but it is time-consuming and I find it takes a few ironing the edges to get them all perfect. The tape edges on the Stewarts system, however, stick well and I run an iron over them only once. I also don't have to worry about the glue becoming soft and allowing the tape to deform and shrink in width.

    Running a shop and charging for labor makes me conscious of little time-saving techniques. Cleaning up equipment goes faster with the Stewart system. I also don't have any heartache about tossing out two or three 69 cent 1" brushes at the end of the day, or the Dixie cup I used for the glue... No cleaning, very little labor, no extra chemicals, minimize costs.

    Someone mentioned sanding with red scotchbrite. I started doing that and have had good results as long as I was gentle on the first sanding. I still use the open-coat sandpaper for the final sanding prior to paint.

    I admire your attitude, PA22, for not flaming or ranting and being open to suggestions. Thank you for the interesting discussion. You sound like the kind of person who will figure out anything that you set your mind to figuring out!

    Vickie
    I've also noticed that with polyfiber/stitts if you spray the pink or even silver on a little too heavy is dissolves the layers below, causing the tape edges to unstick. I had to do touch up work with an iron after nearly every sprayed coat before the color coats with stitts. It came out very nice in the end, but very very time consuming. Also, while spraying my wings, despite using gloves, carbon respirator and decent ventilation, I had a massive headache for about 2 days after each spraying session.

    Despite being a bit pickier about technique, I'll definitly be using Stewarts for my next project. I'll be using it this coming week to spray some trim over the Stitts.

    Phil

  30. #30

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    After playing with the sata 4000rp for awhile and the ecofill I did find that if I turned the fluid control out 1 to 1-1/8 turns out and 28 to 29 psi I could get the ecofill to spray good. If I moved from those setting it went south fast. I need to play with a fresh sample as I had multiple coats on my sample and that 1st coat after you brush seems to be the most difficult with this set up. I will have to wait to test as im going to start spraying the fuselage with dope to day but I will report back when I get a chance to test it out some more.

  31. #31
    jgerard's Avatar
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    I was talking with a customer about not over sanding the fabric after the first brushed coat because it will fuzz up the weave of the fabric and leave a rough surface when you spray the EkoFill that looks like someone threw sand on the surface. Is there any chance that is what happened? The brushed coats should only be IN the weave so there is nothing to sand on top of the weave. The only way to get rid of the fuzzed up fabric weave is to spray and sand until you have sheared off the tiny hairs and are left with a smooth surface.

    To test your spay technique shoot EkoFill on some scrap metal or shiny surface poster board to see if your results are any different than the fabric surfaces you covered.

    Jason

  32. #32

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    No it not from sanding, my sata just dose not like to spray ecofill. I have no problem if I'm spraying something flat, but if you put it vertical it will run on me. If I turn the fluid control in to stop the runs it sprays like sand, I think it's drying before it gets to the fabric. I was able to get an ok test Panel but I have not had time to test over a larger area to see if I can consistently do it. I will play with this system some more when I finish this plane, I'm finally back to were I was a month ago. Very strange as most people like ecofill and have problems with the top coat and I found the top coat easy to work with and turned out very nice.

  33. #33
    Tim's Avatar
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    Here's another Ecofill problem. After I brush on the first coat in looks good. The second brushed on coat pulls apart almost like fish eye length ways. If I get that sanded smooth when I spray on a coat it does the same thing but worse. When I first spray it on it looks good, it takes a few minutes and then pulls apart.

    Tim

  34. #34

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    Maybe contamination, could compresser oil be getting in the line? Did you clean the fabric with alcohol before spraying to remove any airborne contamination. Just a couple thoughts.


    Chuck

  35. #35
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Here's another Ecofill problem. After I brush on the first coat in looks good. The second brushed on coat pulls apart almost like fish eye length ways. If I get that sanded smooth when I spray on a coat it does the same thing but worse. When I first spray it on it looks good, it takes a few minutes and then pulls apart.

    Tim
    contaminated brush maybe???

  36. #36
    Flying Miss Daisy's Avatar
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    I have a Sata as well. I use it at about 28 PSI to 30 PSI. If I remeber the Sata instructions they ask that you not spray in excess of 30 PSI.
    John
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a well preserved body but rather to slide in sideways, well used up proclaiming "WOW What a Ride"

  37. #37

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    My Sata is the RP model, normal air pressure for the RP is 30-34psi

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