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Thread: Stewarts System durability and longivity

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    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
    Yeah knew that. My question is how can I strip the wrong paint and complete the polyfiber process correctly…


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  2. #42

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    Seriously. Recovering is way easier and less frustrating than trying to strip/sand and repaint, and you’ll have a much better finished product if you recover. Not what you wanted to hear maybe, but it’s true...
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  3. #43

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    ive worked with dope, poly, stewart, and various RC iron on fabrics which is basically the same thing as this new orotex i believe.
    heres my pros and cons list ranked best to worst with a few excuses for my opinion. im not including my opnion on orotex other then i simplydont trust it. if iron on fabric hardly works on RC planes why would i trust it with my ass strapprd to it, so im not even including it on these rankings.
    time prooven
    1. dope 50-100yr old proccess depending on how you look at it
    2. poly (not sure when it came out but its on planes older then 30 yrs which means its proven)
    3. stewart (already has lots of mixed results in a wide range of time frames)

    climate sensitvity during application
    1. poly
    2. dope (2 times more sentitive to climate)
    3. stewart (ive seen some disastrous and expensive results due to humidity and mix ratios being a tiny bit off

    sandability
    1. dope
    2. poly is cloesly tied with dope
    3. stewart (this stuff was like sanding rocks)

    non ethynol fuel resistance
    1. dope
    2. poly (again these are tied
    3. stewart systems (it had a tendancy to swell when left in the presence of wet fuel, which in turn made it easily peel)

    hazeing resistance to rags
    1. ranthane (dope)
    2. poly (another tie with dope)
    3. stewart. (dry micro fiber rags will haze stewart if the mix is not PERFECT, use whire cotton towels instead.)

    rejuvination
    1. dope
    2. poly
    3. stewart (i dont beleive this is even an option)

    repairability
    1. dope
    2. poly
    3, stewart

    shop/cost/time ratio
    1. poly (due to its less picky enviromntal propeties
    2. dope (basically a tie with poly)
    3. stewart (i know several people that after having used stewart will never use is again, including me)

    ease of prep work
    1. poly (its slightly less picky with surface impurites then dope
    2. dope
    3. stewart (again fails miserably)

    feild repairabllity
    1. dope
    2. poly
    3. i dont think stewart can even compete in this one lololol.

    my preferences in this order
    1. dope, it doesnt make me headaches like poly does
    2. poly.
    13. <not a typo....... stewart. it has lots of complaints. it cant lay claim to being time proven in a solidly positive manor. is not easily field repairable. it takes longer to apply and generally gets very sub par results. stewart systems is more of an attempt to reinvent the wheel of fabric paint at the expense of the wrong customers (pilots vs tent manufactures) in the silly name on being water based (if their still using that as a selling perk) which is pure novilty due to the fact theirs still 1,000's of chemicals in it. if it was legal i'd use house paint long before stewart.

    i used dope on my cub on my cub, didnt skimp on UV blocker and i know its fabric will last about 30 yrs.... and that in its self is pricless.
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  4. #44

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    Nice breakdown. Only change I would make is repairability - Stewarts can be easily repaired. You cannot blend the finish as with dope, but then you really can't do that with Poly Tone or Aerothane either.

    I kind of like the Stewarts system through Ekofill, but I will never go near their top coat. I do not have that kind of skill.

    My Decathlon is 1992 Butyrate. I have been polishing it for part of its annual, and where I rub the 3M compound, I can see my face grinning back. Pre-Consolidated Randolph, which probably cannot be bought today.

    My personal Cub is 1976 Stitts with 1981 auto acrylic enamel. Likewise I can see my reflection, but it is starting to crack along the stringers.

  5. #45

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    Have never recovered anything on my 1954 170!
    Tim

  6. #46

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    In Wasilla, Ak I painted my murphy rebel in 2012 and it was beautiful. Had it hangared. Fast forward 6 yrs, now in willow, no hangar, -28, paint on metal began to pop and blister; you could peel it off in sheets! Fabric on the flaperons was fine. My guess is the metal contracted in the cold and popped the paint off. Interestingly, ALL of the metal that lost paint was .020. All other areas with thicknesses ranging from .025-.065 remained as they were. My guess is less contraction with the thicker metal.
    when I spoke with the Stewart folks they said I must not have prepped it properly. I was very careful, followed their not so simple instructions to the letter. If I ever repaint I’ll probably use Delfleet but it’s so dang expensive I might just fly a hobo plane.
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  7. #47
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    I could write a book on waterborne paint failures but the two main causes are poor prep work and trapped humidity. All it takes is a humid day to double the dry times and if it doesn't dry correctly it's a time bomb. Personally waterborne paint offends me for a number of reasons I won't dive into and I don't recommend it. Might also add that if it's too thick a failure is also possible.
    For me a good old urethane with uv blocker or even enamel has stood the test of time.
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Formandfunction View Post
    I could write a book on waterborne paint failures but the two main causes are poor prep work and trapped humidity. All it takes is a humid day to double the dry times and if it doesn't dry correctly it's a time bomb. Personally waterborne paint offends me for a number of reasons I won't dive into and I don't recommend it. Might also add that if it's too thick a failure is also possible.
    For me a good old urethane with uv blocker or even enamel has stood the test of time.
    Trapped humidity or moisture is no different than trapped solvents; both will cause issues and solvent pops in the next coat. I teach and cover with Stewart Systems in 60-80% humidity all the time and yes, I have to watch my cure time between coats to avoid issues of trapped moisture. When working with EkoFill (uv) it MUST be dry before additional cross coats and topcoating. That is easily determined by observing the sanding; dusty sanding is dry and balled up sanding isn't dry. Filling the weave with EkoBond (3 to 1 glue to distilled water) before application of the EkoFill prevents any problems with delamination of the EkoFill from the fabric and prevents issues of water inside a wing causing concerns. As to top coats peeling; that can happen with any system if the prep work isn't good or if there are contaminants present; putting our topcoat on EkoFill that isn't dry will cause problems; not something that can be rushed. I'm sorry waterbourn systems "offend" you but they are here to stay in many different coating systems; not just aircraft fabric.

    Stewarts Systems is a catalyzed 2 part system and is only different in that it doesn't use MEK or other solvents to carry the paint. Yes, it is different to shoot and there is a learning curve. We have been working with many A&P schools that are switching from solvent based systems to our system due to the obvious issues of toxicity. As many of us have seen, purchasing some solvents in some areas of the country has become difficult and many solvents have been reformulated due to EPA restrictions. I suspect the time will come when some of the needed solvents will no longer be available and waterborne paints will become more and more prevalent; not much any of us can do about that. Learning to use any newer painting and covering systems is like any new tool or techniques; it takes time but adds to the rebuilders knowledge base and ability to repair what comes into there shop.

    Marty 57
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  9. #49

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    I have recovered 3 cubs with Stewart’s and have already recovered 2 of them due to blisters. I recovered my cub (#3), the wings came out beautiful and I hung them up in the hanger for almost a year till I finished the rest of the rebuild. I assembled the aircraft and put it outside to work on other projects. It rained for two weeks and the wings looked like they had raindrops all over them, they were blisters. Stewart’s told me that when I recovered mine (2014) that they had some problems with the paint and they would give me a discount on new product. I will have to recover mine if I want top dollar and you can bet it won’t be Stewart’s. I figure I will catch hell from all the Stewart’s believer's but they can do what they want, My experience has been awful and has cost me thousands of $ and hundreds of hours

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK56 View Post
    I have recovered 3 cubs with Stewart’s and have already recovered 2 of them due to blisters. I recovered my cub (#3), the wings came out beautiful and I hung them up in the hanger for almost a year till I finished the rest of the rebuild. I assembled the aircraft and put it outside to work on other projects. It rained for two weeks and the wings looked like they had raindrops all over them, they were blisters. Stewart’s told me that when I recovered mine (2014) that they had some problems with the paint and they would give me a discount on new product. I will have to recover mine if I want top dollar and you can bet it won’t be Stewart’s. I figure I will catch hell from all the Stewart’s believer's but they can do what they want, My experience has been awful and has cost me thousands of $ and hundreds of hours
    I had a local stewarts "guru" cover and paint a set of tail feathers for me. They spent a month in his hangar drying before installed on my pacer. 3 days after having it outside at the airport they started blistering and wrinkling up. The only way to fix them right is strip and recover a brand new cover and paint job I paid a stupid amount of money to have done. You can bet that I will be doing it myself this time and will use poly products that will actually hold up to AK for years, not days and can be easily repaired when needed.

  11. #51
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Maybe it's time for trained and certified shops to do the painting. Let them deal with the callbacks. Every day I see a few locals that have had problems for some reason.

    Gary

  12. #52

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    Airtech coatings and be done with it. Will outlast most of us, even left out side in AK, and still look great.
    Last edited by AKjurnees; 08-06-2022 at 05:06 PM.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Trapped humidity or moisture is no different than trapped solvents; both will cause issues and solvent pops in the next coat. I teach and cover with Stewart Systems in 60-80% humidity all the time and yes, I have to watch my cure time between coats to avoid issues of trapped moisture. When working with EkoFill (uv) it MUST be dry before additional cross coats and topcoating. That is easily determined by observing the sanding; dusty sanding is dry and balled up sanding isn't dry. Filling the weave with EkoBond (3 to 1 glue to distilled water) before application of the EkoFill prevents any problems with delamination of the EkoFill from the fabric and prevents issues of water inside a wing causing concerns. As to top coats peeling; that can happen with any system if the prep work isn't good or if there are contaminants present; putting our topcoat on EkoFill that isn't dry will cause problems; not something that can be rushed. I'm sorry waterbourn systems "offend" you but they are here to stay in many different coating systems; not just aircraft fabric.

    Stewarts Systems is a catalyzed 2 part system and is only different in that it doesn't use MEK or other solvents to carry the paint. Yes, it is different to shoot and there is a learning curve. We have been working with many A&P schools that are switching from solvent based systems to our system due to the obvious issues of toxicity. As many of us have seen, purchasing some solvents in some areas of the country has become difficult and many solvents have been reformulated due to EPA restrictions. I suspect the time will come when some of the needed solvents will no longer be available and waterborne paints will become more and more prevalent; not much any of us can do about that. Learning to use any newer painting and covering systems is like any new tool or techniques; it takes time but adds to the rebuilders knowledge base and ability to repair what comes into there shop.

    Marty 57
    I understand you have skin in the game but waterborne is extremely toxic and only mildly better than solvent. It's also not magic or a new special material. In fact it's mostly fiberglass resin or other extremely common paint materials used in all sorts of things. I can't tell you the exact makeup of your product but I know it's resin. Bottom line is it's hard to work with and has a higher failure rate. I'm staring at a failure as I write this that didn't last ten years. It's just brittle and has low adhesion. Those are facts
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  14. #54

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    Around 2019 I think Stewart’s added the step Marty mentioned with the 3:1 glue/water mix to fill the weave. Do this before the UV coats and you get excellent adhesion. If anyone on here knows if a situation where this new step was done and still had trouble, I’d be interested to know about it.
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Formandfunction View Post
    I understand you have skin in the game but waterborne is extremely toxic and only mildly better than solvent. It's also not magic or a new special material. In fact it's mostly fiberglass resin or other extremely common paint materials used in all sorts of things. I can't tell you the exact makeup of your product but I know it's resin. Bottom line is it's hard to work with and has a higher failure rate. I'm staring at a failure as I write this that didn't last ten years. It's just brittle and has low adhesion. Those are facts
    Your above comments, Sir, show me that you have no real knowledge of Stewart Systems and are simply out to bash the product. Our system is not a resin; where do you get that idea? Fiberglass resin is not even remotely similar to a our paint. Waterborne systems are highly toxic you say ..... how is that even possible? You admit above that you have no idea of the makeup of the product but make claims about its chemistry. As an STC'd finishing system, it passes or exceeded all FAA certification for adhesion, flexibility, and longevity. Your above comments are simply incorrect and false.
    Marty57
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  16. #56

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    Popcorn, anyone?

    if it is non-toxic, how come my buddy wore a full body suit and face mask? You ought to be able to spray it with a bandanna around your nose.

    Is there absolutely nothing in that finish coat that can hurt your lungs except for particulate matter?
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  17. #57
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Post the various component MSDS sheets and let the users decide re toxicity

    Gary
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  18. #58
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    I am pretty happy with the flap I did on a Pawnee with Stewart’s system. Coming up on two years ago. You can’t just jump into the Stewart’s System. It’s nothing like any of the other systems. You need to do some practice and don’t be afraid to call tech support.

  19. #59
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Popcorn, anyone?

    if it is non-toxic, how come my buddy wore a full body suit and face mask? You ought to be able to spray it with a bandanna around your nose.

    Is there absolutely nothing in that finish coat that can hurt your lungs except for particulate matter?
    Just to clear things up Bob, your friend painted Stewart Systems EkoPoly Premium with me, in my shop, without either of us wearing anything other than regular clothes; both in short sleeves as I recall. The mask is to prevent inhalation of particulate matter; no one wants to paint the inside of their lungs with any paint.
    Marty57
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  20. #60

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    Well, that is a definite plus. Can you release the components that catalyze it?

    I have had no blistering on the Eko-fill under dope or Poly Tone. Of course I do not live in Alaska, and all the Cubs live in hangars.

    As stated above, I do not have the personality traits necessary to spray the Stewart top coat - my loss, I guess. I kinda wish I had half of Ed's neatness, precision, and tenacity. His Cub is flying, and has a good ten foot finish.

  21. #61
    andy@stewartsystems.aero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Popcorn, anyone?

    if it is non-toxic, how come my buddy wore a full body suit and face mask? You ought to be able to spray it with a bandanna around your nose.

    Is there absolutely nothing in that finish coat that can hurt your lungs except for particulate matter?

    I cannot speak to why you friend felt the need to wear that gear. What we recommend is simply a charcoal or organic vapor respirator. If you breath paint you are painting your lungs. It should be common sense that this would not be a good idea. Stewart systems is by far the safest conventional covering system on the market, that is indisputable. That being said, we would not recommend drinking it, with the exception of the thinner, I drink that daily. If anyone would like the SDS sheets, please email us and we will send them. That being said, I generally do wear a paint suit when I spray for two reasons, one it mitigates dust, and two, I like to keep my natural color. The overspray does stick…. As far as it being hazardous, all of my kids spray all of our products. As the owner, I am keenly aware of every raw material that goes into our products and I rest easy knowing that myself and my family use them. As far as any issues with blisters and such, I have seen these issues a few times. Nearly all, if not all of them have been in Alaska. It is still a small minority of the aircraft using our products in Alaska. The fact that we do not see this issue in the lower 48 leads me to believe that environment is the key factor. The fact that it happens on a small minority of aircraft indicates that is not an overall issue with the system but that there is unique circumstances to the ones that have experienced it. We did update the manual in 2017 and again in 2019 making it mandatory to seal the weave of the fabric with Ekobond to eliminate moisture exposure to Ekofill on the inside. As far as I can tell that seems to have mostly if not entirely eliminated it. It is also possible that a key factor is applying the products in an environment that is too cold beyond our temperature range, or not allowing EkoFill to fully dry before applying topcoat. EkoFill needs to be warm and dry before painting. I would like to hear feedback if anyone has experienced blisters with the Ekobond sealed weave. We have several shops in Alaska that we communicate with regularly use our products on many aircraft one after another and are not having any issues, so we know there is not an issue with the products or process if done correctly. If there are any issues that any of you experience with our system we certainly would like to be aware of it right away so we can isolate what factors may be involved. We have never been able to duplicate this issue in Ohio. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at andy at stewartsystem dot com. (forum doesn’t allow me to post email…)

    Andy
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  22. #62
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I've heard about the potential for "back door" ingress moisture causing blisters. I've not owned a Stewart's covered plane so can't respond. I know those that have and have had issues. I do have the glue and silver experimentally attaching several inspection cover rings, and they are still holding hands over Polytone.

    Parking outdoors successfully in Alaska with a properly prepared and applied plane would go a long ways to convince the cautious. Offer that data with documentation and pics as apparently that's already available. I'd not spend $30-50K on a basic cover job without some insurance for a 20 year TBO. This isn't 5-year cotton or linen fabric before recover days anymore.

    Gary
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  23. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy@stewartsystems.aero View Post
    I cannot speak to why you friend felt the need to wear that gear. What we recommend is simply a charcoal or organic vapor respirator. If you breath paint you are painting your lungs. It should be common sense that this would not be a good idea. Stewart systems is by far the safest conventional covering system on the market, that is indisputable. That being said, we would not recommend drinking it, with the exception of the thinner, I drink that daily. If anyone would like the SDS sheets, please email us and we will send them. That being said, I generally do wear a paint suit when I spray for two reasons, one it mitigates dust, and two, I like to keep my natural color. The overspray does stick…. As far as it being hazardous, all of my kids spray all of our products. As the owner, I am keenly aware of every raw material that goes into our products and I rest easy knowing that myself and my family use them. As far as any issues with blisters and such, I have seen these issues a few times. Nearly all, if not all of them have been in Alaska. It is still a small minority of the aircraft using our products in Alaska. The fact that we do not see this issue in the lower 48 leads me to believe that environment is the key factor. The fact that it happens on a small minority of aircraft indicates that is not an overall issue with the system but that there is unique circumstances to the ones that have experienced it. We did update the manual in 2017 and again in 2019 making it mandatory to seal the weave of the fabric with Ekobond to eliminate moisture exposure to Ekofill on the inside. As far as I can tell that seems to have mostly if not entirely eliminated it. It is also possible that a key factor is applying the products in an environment that is too cold beyond our temperature range, or not allowing EkoFill to fully dry before applying topcoat. EkoFill needs to be warm and dry before painting. I would like to hear feedback if anyone has experienced blisters with the Ekobond sealed weave. We have several shops in Alaska that we communicate with regularly use our products on many aircraft one after another and are not having any issues, so we know there is not an issue with the products or process if done correctly. If there are any issues that any of you experience with our system we certainly would like to be aware of it right away so we can isolate what factors may be involved. We have never been able to duplicate this issue in Ohio. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at andy at stewartsystem dot com. (forum doesn’t allow me to post email…)

    Andy
    I wouldn't expect much less from product owner than to defend the product. The place that did mine use your products almost exclusively and are in contact with your company on a regular basis and HAVE talked to you about issues so to say that you have never heard of them from shops up here is a false statement. This shop has painted a lot of planes with your product and its a crap shoot. Same conditions in temp controlled hangar, one job looks great, another will blister and be a pain in the a$$.

    While you are on here, what is your recommendation to repair a blistered up wrinkle job that in warm sunshine looks good and cooler temps in the shade it will blister up and you can chase the bubbles around the surface with your finger?

  24. #64
    Formandfunction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Your above comments, Sir, show me that you have no real knowledge of Stewart Systems and are simply out to bash the product. Our system is not a resin; where do you get that idea? Fiberglass resin is not even remotely similar to a our paint. Waterborne systems are highly toxic you say ..... how is that even possible? You admit above that you have no idea of the makeup of the product but make claims about its chemistry. As an STC'd finishing system, it passes or exceeded all FAA certification for adhesion, flexibility, and longevity. Your above comments are simply incorrect and false.
    Marty57
    Waterborne paint is more than 50% polyester resin,every single one made and nobody denied it. Poly is a mechanical bond,not chemical. I suspect that's the root of the adhesion problems. If your products are different I would love to see your data sheet and I honestly hope your stuff gets better and better with time.

  25. #65
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Formandfunction View Post
    Waterborne paint is more than 50% polyester resin,every single one made and nobody denied it. Poly is a mechanical bond,not chemical. I suspect that's the root of the adhesion problems. If your products are different I would love to see your data sheet and I honestly hope your stuff gets better and better with time.
    As the owner of Stewarts Systems pointed out in his post, you are welcome to email him for the data sheets on the product. When the process is followed correctly, there have been no adhesion problems reported to us. Many of the tech calls I receive bring out that the proper procedure has not been followed; something necessary with any covering system His email address is andy at stewartsystems dot aero.

    As for repairing the blisters you have encountered, determination needs to be made as to where the failure has occurred. Removing the blister is the first step. When the blister is removed, what is visible; bare fabric, green EkoBond, primer (if used) or gray EkoFill? A photo sent to us of the blister removed area and the back side of the paint from the blister will allow us to determine what caused the problem and how to proceed with a repair.

    Marty57
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  26. #66
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    Presumably the above discussion applies to certified (?) / certificated (?) aircraft. Can a builder /painter of an experimental aircraft apply another manufacturer's topcoat after the ekofill without running into problems (as discussed above) or running afoul of the FAA?

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    Sometimes we get sneaky and think of "minor alterations." I can tell you that dope, rattle can, and Aerothane go really well on small repairs. Again, this is not Alaska.

  28. #68

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    I'm building a Bearhawk Patrol, and have never covered an aircraft before. When I was researching processes, Andy at Stewarts answered my questions promptly. Polyfiber didn't answer, but I like their manual...just could not get any response from there help line. Then I looked for a class during covid, Stewarts held one taught by Hardtailjohn. Polyfiber did not. A Stewarts class is three whole days, and you will paint.....safely. Its a bargain. Take there class.

    I have had outstanding success installing fabric with there glue. I have installed a compressor, lines, regulator, filter and hoses IAW Stewarts recommendations. I am following there installation manual to a tee. I still hope to pain before it gets cold. After reading this thread I'm still planning on using their paint.

    Seal the weave of the fabric with diluted Ekobond Cement. Some of there old videos have excellent content but shows a process that does not. I recommend Stewarts put effort to modifying these videos with the updated sealing process.
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  29. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcone1381 View Post
    Seal the weave of the fabric with diluted Ekobond Cement. Some of there old videos have excellent content but shows a process that does not. I recommend Stewarts put effort to modifying these videos with the updated sealing process.
    Good point on the videos. I had been tasked with your very comment and I have been working on updating the videos. The link below below will take you to our video library. I posted a video on filling the weave back in August, 2020 that I think is very helpful in showing the process as it relates to our Revision 4 Manual. I have posted a number of new videos in response to questions I have received as Tech calls. I'm more than happy to address other issues with new videos. I will be doing a new painting video with our currently recommended paint gun (the paint gun featured in our older videos is no longer available).

    A also teach the three day seminars, as does John in Montana. I recently did a seminar here in California (May) and one in Minnesota (June). Prior to that was Alaska in February of 2020; note the obvious break. I will be teaching another seminar here in California; tentatively scheduled in late October. I also take tech calls; I'll help in any ways I can.

    https://stewartsystems.aero/videos/

    Marty57

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    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  30. #70
    aflyer's Avatar
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    That's funny, I had no trouble getting Polyfiber on the line during the first year of covid, and always got an actual expert to talk to as well. As a beginner, they were a big help to me.

    John
    If it ain't broke - improve it

  31. #71

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    May 2008
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    I had no trouble getting Stewarts Tech support during Covid when I covered my plane....they were prompt and very helpful. I had a little trouble with spraying the top coat...but I'm so smart I had to make a mess before calling for help....after some coaching (I was doing it wrong) (cause I know better)lol....anyways, after getting set straight the paint was rather nice to spray. I am an impatient painter and don't always wait long enough....also...when I want to paint, I want to paint so temperature and humidy (for the most part) were not going to stop me....until I made extra work for myself. Follow the directions, and make sure they are the latest directions. and call for help early.
    Likes Hardtailjohn liked this post

  32. #72
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    Around 2019 I think Stewart’s added the step Marty mentioned with the 3:1 glue/water mix to fill the weave. Do this before the UV coats and you get excellent adhesion. If anyone on here knows if a situation where this new step was done and still had trouble, I’d be interested to know about it.
    Actually, they went "back" to that step. It had been eliminated when Stewarts bought the system. I haven't seen any failures when it's used as well. We did it that way for a long time.
    John
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