Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 72

Thread: Stewarts System durability and longivity

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like

    Stewarts System durability and longivity

    I am working on a exp 18 that will be exposed 365 days in the Alaskan climate without any hangar. I am looking for first hand experience with the Stewarts System covering process durability in these conditions. How does it perform with the temperature changes,uv,fading chalking,cracking and ringworm etc. Does it last in (in years) in comparison with other covering systems?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    697
    Post Thanks / Like
    I hope so...did mine with it...couple buddies did theirs as well with mixed feelings and results.

    Time will tell....

  3. #3
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    In the woods
    Posts
    898
    Post Thanks / Like
    Temp changes haven't been an issue, 22 below this morning. Going on the 5 th year and looks like new, no cracking, hazing, fading etc. The paint is very flexible, much more so than some others, hangared mostly though so take that into account.

  4. #4
    d.grimm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    toledo, oh
    Posts
    474
    Post Thanks / Like
    I took the inspection plate cut outs, stuck them on the
    shed roof 4 years ago and you can stil wad them up in your
    hand with no cracks or wrinkles. Northern Ohio.
    Dave

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    7,906
    Post Thanks / Like
    I am using it for minor repairs, some of which have sat outside in the Southern California sun for over 3 years. Top coats were dope, and in one case the aircraft got repainted with some slick auto stuff over everything, and so far no problems.

    I find the glue quite strong. I will not soon be trying the finish coats - they are expensive, have a limited shelf life, and require more attention to detail than I care to exert.

    While I believe the glue is actually stronger than Stitts, I have had failures on gear legs and on the top of a Stearman wing outboard of the gas tank. I just tried a combination of Weldwood contact cement and super glue, and so far the joint has not failed. Magic.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    212
    Post Thanks / Like
    Dukeair, I PM'd you with my e-mail.
    60below

  7. #7
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Marion, MT
    Posts
    911
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've got samples from '99 and you can still wad them up into a little ball and no cracking. Wish I could say the same about any of the other systems.
    John

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Rimouski,Quebec
    Posts
    142
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mine was fine when hangared, put the plane on float and leave it outside with rain for a week, you don`t want to see that. The paint doesn`t like humidity. I`m not the only one with that problem. Put an inspection plate cut out, stuck them in a glass of water for two days and see what happen.


  9. #9
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    In the woods
    Posts
    898
    Post Thanks / Like
    What happened? I've had a panel outside for 4 years and it looks like new.

  10. #10
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
    Mine was fine when hangared, put the plane on float and leave it outside with rain for a week, you don`t want to see that. The paint doesn`t like humidity. I`m not the only one with that problem. Put an inspection plate cut out, stuck them in a glass of water for two days and see what happen.

    I have seen the bubbling in high humidity with the old paint. The Stewart's told me the new paint will not do this.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  11. #11
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by 60below View Post
    Dukeair, I PM'd you with my e-mail.
    Chuck, Can you share your experience here? Your airplanes probably sees the extremes.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  12. #12
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    chugiak AK
    Posts
    11,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    I also wonder...... if low pressure drops help pop finish from entrapped air/water??


  13. #13
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    I think it is actually entrapped moisture that didn't completely evaporate before the top coat was applied.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    697
    Post Thanks / Like
    Like I said...mixed results...and that in turn is the frustrating issue. Mine only has about five or six hours of flight time...all winter. However it has been painted for around five. I am happy with it.

    Another buddy, between he and his son have two j5s...used Stewarts. They have mixed results, and now five years later have areas that are holding up perfectly, and then some areas that have severe blistering.

    A third another friend in Gakona did his cub, and when he was pulling tapes on the fuse, noticed some peeling...hmm...shot a little air at low pressure over the top coat and the top coat would blow off...had to strip the fuse and redo. New paint...no problem the second time...that cub five years later still looks good.
    mixed results...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.jpg 
Views:	182 
Size:	1.41 MB 
ID:	18894  

  15. #15
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    In the woods
    Posts
    898
    Post Thanks / Like
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Meyers.JPG 
Views:	191 
Size:	1.61 MB 
ID:	18895I've done several recovers with Stewarts, I had a quarter sized paint blister on a Colt tail once that sits outside all year and I'm sure that was related to surface contamination, you have to be sure the surface is free of all oils and grease, even the oils in your hands can cause problems but this is really not anything unique to Stewarts. That was my fault, not an inherent problem with the paint. I've seen so much more blistering, caking, cracking, crazing and peeling with poorly done Poly jobs, but again that's not inherent to their system either. My experience is that Stewart's done well is the toughest paint I've ever seen.
    Last edited by Bearhawk Builder; 02-07-2015 at 12:47 PM.
    Thanks LMartin thanked for this post
    Likes LMartin liked this post

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    697
    Post Thanks / Like
    I can only offer limited agreement. My friends used only the best of equipment...spray booth....kept thing very clean etc. Me....did it in my three car shop....wood heat....not as clean as it could have been because of wood heat....sprayed with a wagner....etc...mine came out better then two of the three...

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    212
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi Steve, Okay, since you have asked, I'll give you my experience with Stewart's System. By the way we really appreciated your presentation at the Supercub seminar two weeks ago. Too bad you're not here today--reported -42 in town this morning. My cub is sitting at the airport in that.

    We began my cub rebuild in the fall of 2007 by going through the fuselage from the tubes up. I was working at a local FBO with excellent, highly experienced help. No complaint there at all, period.
    We were all new to Stewart's. We rolled the fuselage out in the summer of '08, reattached everything and flew it about 30 hours before the end of hunting season. We did the wings, tail, and control surfaces the next winter while the fuselage sat outside. It survived fine. All was completed in June of '09 and it looked great. However, about five years after the fuselage recover (2013) the paint along the upper longerons began to crack and that hasn't stopped since. I remove the curling topcoat (actually everything comes off down to the brushed crosscoat of ecofill) and brush ecofill on the area to attempt to seal the edges of the bare spot from moisture. I will get around to color eventually, maybe. The paint on the wings is fine on the fabric areas not underlain by metal. The paint on the tops of the leading edges is cracking and bubbling at a high rate. We had the wettest summer in Fairbanks history last year and my wings show it. The moisture got through the cracks and under the paint and it bubbled like crazy so that I had to lift off large areas of bubbling to smooth the leading edge. I'm convinced that the metal underneath is the problem as I have had very little cracking in other areas. The metal parts like the cowling, inspection covers, fairings, are NOT peeling. We were EXTREMELY ATTENTIVE to the instructions and followed them to the letter. It was a pleasure to work with and the glue is fantastic, as others have stated. I do not fault Stewarts System or the professional help I had; nobody assured me that it would survive in our conditions and I don't blame them. Nobody really knew. I have heard that the new paint is better. I guess all I can say about that is that it's a big gamble in money and labor to be the one to try it in our conditions.
    60below

  18. #18
    supercrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Smith Pond near Millinocket, Me
    Posts
    621
    Post Thanks / Like
    Does the Stewart STC require only their paint for final finish, or is any other available?

  19. #19
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks Chuck, informative post. Saw you at the seminar and met your son but never got a chance to visit with you. 80 here right now and that is fine by me. Your 20 below while I was there was the coldest I have ever experience. At least there was no wind. I have tried the Stewarts but I am not consisitant enough to get the same results every time. I love the glue but keep going back to my tried and true Polyfiber which I am comfortable with. I do hate the MEK and would love to get away from it. Time will tell.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  20. #20
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by supercrow View Post
    Does the Stewart STC require only their paint for final finish, or is any other available?
    hey require you to use their paint but they told me there are no compatibility issues. I wasn't happy with the texture I got on a set of Dakota Cub slotted Pacer/Tri-Pacer wings I did in Stewarts so my daughters and I sanded them and shot Randthane over them. Looks great but got the bubbling at OSH last year on the leading edge under the slot. We flew to a restaurant a couple of Sunday ago and Cathy noticed some bubbles in the slot again.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  21. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    7,906
    Post Thanks / Like
    On my minor repairs, I have not seen problems with blistering. I brush on Ecofil, then spray butyrate. And no, you really cannot put butyrate on top, but there is some latitude when the repair is minor.

    About 15 years ago, all the fabric suppliers revised their processes to require only their top coat. Prior to that, you could use any paint you wanted for color. I don't think anybody had problems using automotive paint on Stitts or Butyrate, but a shop sprayed some catalyzed boat paint on an antique, and the paint peeled off in flight. That got somebody's attention. Too bad.

  22. #22
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    chugiak AK
    Posts
    11,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    About 15 years ago, all the fabric suppliers revised their processes to require only their top coat. ...
    they talked the FAA into REQUIRING it... when Consolidated bought Randolph & Stitts

    bunch of bs, the OLD Imron before the reformulated it to meet the low VOC regulations was great, if put on thin!

  23. #23
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    You can still do it. Cub Crafters still does it. Quote the old procedures manual. Only way they can make it illegal is to issue an AD against it. Owner of Consolidated Coatings (Randolph and Polyfiber) told me that himself.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  24. #24
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    chugiak AK
    Posts
    11,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    You can still do it. Cub Crafters still does it. Quote the old procedures manual. Only way they can make it illegal is to issue an AD against it. Owner of Consolidated Coatings (Randolph and Polyfiber) told me that himself.
    cub crafters is a manufacturer.. they can do what they want and ad it to their official type Spec....

    now can you magically get Imron to give me the 2/3 of the gallon of base paint back... because to "meet" the low VOC reg they took 1/3 of the OLD base paint and added same amount 1/3 clear & 1/3 thinner to give me the same amount of unmixed paint... which just means more thickness, and cracking once it has aged...

    thanks...

  25. #25
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Graham, TX
    Posts
    21,958
    Post Thanks / Like
    Cub Crafter and Aviat use PPG Delfleet and it covers well and seems to hold up well. I am happy with Rand thane myself.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  26. #26

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Rimouski,Quebec
    Posts
    142
    Post Thanks / Like
    I think stewart paint has the ability to absorb water, i don`t have any bubbling in winter, the problem come back every summer after a few days of rains only on top parts where the water sits. I have tried wax , not really good. Next summer i will try neverwet on my elevator. That is where the water stay longer because it sit flat when on floats, this is where i get the worst bubbling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZrjXSsfxMQ

  27. #27

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    7,906
    Post Thanks / Like
    I agree with Steve Pierce above. My Cub has a Stitts 337 from 1969, when any finish was allowed by the STC. When I recover, the 337 is now a major repair under that STC, not the new one. My FSDO agrees.

    I believe, but am not sure, that you can still do that, if you have a Stitts or Ceconite manual and the accompanying authorization to use the old STC, by writing a new 337 as a major alteration. I have done that for Ceconite, but lately I just stick to Butyrate. I like the look of Randthane, but I am simply not that good with a spray gun. I love my Acrylic enamel, but I cannot buy it any more for a reasonable price.

  28. #28
    knucles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    nevada
    Posts
    126
    Post Thanks / Like
    Stewarts systens instructor is putting on a course for 3 days at the end of February in Las Vegas nevada.
    We had the course full but have had a couple drop out now.
    If anyone else would like to come , you are welcome.
    There is a cost and all of it goes to the instructor. I am just hosting it in my hanger .
    There are lots of rooms next door in the casino hotels .
    if interested contact me and I will send you the detailed letter.

    Martinheisler@hotmail.com

  29. #29

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,859
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by knucles View Post
    Stewarts systens instructor is putting on a course for 3 days at the end of February in Las Vegas nevada.
    Yeah, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Wouldn't be able to share any answers with the crowd. Bummer!

    John Scott

  30. #30
    knucles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    nevada
    Posts
    126
    Post Thanks / Like
    We are sworn to secrecy . We pretty much just stick to the everyday routine of girls , drinking and gambling .

  31. #31

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,859
    Post Thanks / Like
    I think you mention girls, drinking and gambling to throw us pilots off the scent. We probably have a better chance of getting Victoria to tell us her secrete than finding out the Stewarts guy says in Vegas.

    John Scott

  32. #32
    skipster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Altamont NY
    Posts
    203
    Post Thanks / Like
    All of these problems are EXACTLY why I stick to the tried and true Stits with Ranthane color coat. Too much time, labor and expense involved to mess around with Stewarts. While I certainly like the idea behind it, (no toxic chemicals), I'll let other people be the Guinea pigs. My opinion.

  33. #33
    Cub junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    My Moms basement
    Posts
    2,170
    Post Thanks / Like
    After reading pros and cons on Stewarts I can't help but feel sorry for the guy that hears "we solved the problem with the finish coat" or "the new paint is much better" after he spent lots of time and money using their product. My fabric and finish experience is limited to Poly Fiber products. Always something to learn.

  34. #34
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Marion, MT
    Posts
    911
    Post Thanks / Like
    I can show you failed Polyfiber and other system jobs as well....topcoats, glue, UV block coats... It's like anything else that's "new".... you're going to hear the ones that didn't have success, (for whatever reason) screaming more loudly than the vast majority that DID have success. I always tell people that using that system is like flying a tail dragger....it's not that difficult, but it certainly is different, and if you keep trying to use it like the system that you're used to, you're not going to have that pleasant of a ride. Land your taildragger the same way you do a 172, and it's not going to give you quite the same result...it takes different technique and thoughts to do it correctly. If you can pay attention and learn different habits, it works fine. I have to remind myself of that almost every time I use it, and I've been using it since the mid 90's. I've had some problems, but when I get HONEST about it, I can trace them back to me.
    John

  35. #35

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    212
    Post Thanks / Like
    No screaming intended. Or whining. Or complaining. Airplane sits outside in temperatures down to fifty below. My amateur opinion is that's the problem. It's hard to compare a Fairbanks winter to one in most other places. The original question was from someone somewhere in Alaska.
    60below

  36. #36
    BES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Esbjerg, Denmark
    Posts
    449
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by 60below View Post
    The paint on the wings is fine on the fabric areas not underlain by metal. The paint on the tops of the leading edges is cracking and bubbling at a high rate. We had the wettest summer in Fairbanks history last year and my wings show it. The moisture got through the cracks and under the paint and it bubbled like crazy so that I had to lift off large areas of bubbling to smooth the leading edge. I'm convinced that the metal underneath is the problem as I have had very little cracking in other areas. .
    You might consider the posibility of the metal underneath the fabric having been a heat sink, causing the water in the paint to be reluctant to evaporate in these areas. The result might be a not sufficiently cured primer on top of the metal parts being coated with the topcoat, trapping the solvent (water) underneath. The primer-to-paint interphase would have a shaky cohesion at best, leading to the possibility of pealing. Also, if the water (the primer solvent, in this case) is trapped beneath the topcoat, the migrating softeners (flex agents) in the primer may act as a sponge, causing the blistering.

    This may be caused by failing to let the substrate reach a sufficient temperature before applying paint (taking a wing from a cool workshop into a warmer paint booth) - or from letting the temperature in the working area drop after the primer was applied and seemed dry to the touch. One needs to keep up the substrate temperature when working with water borne paints. Otherwise, a poor water resistance might be the outcome.

  37. #37

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    49
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for all of the replies to my questions. You all have provided a lot of information to think about

  38. #38
    Fat Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Nome
    Posts
    99
    Post Thanks / Like
    I'm in the same boat as dukeair. I'm rebuilding the wings on my Tcraft. My plane lives out side in Alaska all year long. I've used Dope and Poly fiber for 20 years and have never had the top coat blister or peel off. In my experience with those two products if you make a mistake it becomes evident very soon after spraying. I love the idea of getting away from the nasty chemicals but it seems like after reading this post and ones like on other sites its a gamble and comes at the cost of possibly having major problems in the future.

    I'm bummed out. I was hoping there was going to be a more positive light shown on this covering system.

  39. #39

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Platinum
    Posts
    317
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hoping for a bit of advice. My son recently bought a PA22/20 that was painted with Stewart’s system before 2013. That was the first time I saw the aircraft in person. It was a 20’ paint job. A friend purchased in in 2018 and flew it from Arkansas to Alaska where it lived in my hanger for a couple years. The paint was okay at that time. When my friend was able I flew it to Dillingham where he picked it up. It’s lived outside in Anchor Point for a couple years now. We agree to purchase it a few days ago hoping we could somehow deal with the paint that is peeling off the top side of the wings in big sheets without having to recover the wings right away. We discovered the paint was not applied properly over polyfiber which was through silver. No scuffing of the silver is evident. No primer, just a thick coat of rubbery Stewart’s top coat. I’m wondering if anyone has advice on what it might take to peel off that top coat? When we pick it up I’m honestly hoping for rain… maybe the rain with help rip off the paint? I really don’t want to try and pressure wash it off. Maybe use that steam thing auto detainers use? Any ideas?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks JeffP thanked for this post

  40. #40
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Marion, MT
    Posts
    911
    Post Thanks / Like
    First off, without a field approval, the fabric isn't legal. Period. Can't mix systems since 2000. Truthfully, you'll have about the same amount of time and effort to pull the fabric and start over and do it right.
    John
    Likes supercrow, ak49flyer liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. Stewarts system fabric course
    By knucles in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-19-2014, 12:39 AM
  2. stewarts system - in the freezer
    By cgoldy in forum Experimental Cubs
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 12-19-2010, 12:18 AM
  3. Stewarts System - Long Term
    By PA18project in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-15-2010, 09:07 AM
  4. Stewarts Fabric System
    By J5Ron in forum In The News
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-15-2009, 12:02 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •