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Thread: My Oratex experience

  1. #41

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    Have you looked at using a printed/vinyl graphic rather than paint??

  2. #42

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    Yes
    I am not painting the Oratex
    just stripes - for now

  3. #43
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    Clay bar to the rescue.

    Quote Originally Posted by bda View Post
    I thought I would pass on to those that are thinking about Oratex:

    I used electrical tape to mock up a paint scheme and it left permanent marks (stains?) in the Oratex coating.
    I have tried every solvent I can think of and they will not come out.
    alcohol
    citrisolve
    wd-40
    magic eraser
    oratex cleaner
    3m adhesive remover
    acetone
    mek
    and others

    So DO NOT PUT ELECTRICAL TAPE ON ORATEX.

    on the bright side, Oratex can handle a lot of different chemicals.
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  4. #44
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  5. #45
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    Oratex and vinyl stripes done in 12 days 2 guys 8 hr days

  6. #46

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    There is a spray cleaner called Greased Lightning. Seems to be a cross between Windex and paint stripper. I use it for gas stains on paint. Work fast. Test first.
    What's a go-around?
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  7. #47
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    GNTW, great looking plane. You must be pleased.
    Speedo

  8. #48

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    I'm planning an exp. build and have been researching fabric, paint and vinyl. My intent is oratex with vinyl emblems wanting to save labor and weight. Speaking to BAF they stated the vinyl should be breathable to avoid potential bubbling over time. Additionally the graphic shop stated their vinyl lifespan at 5-7 years. The vinyl lifespan concerns me as does potential bubbling. Any others with experience on the subject or a recommendation for a vinyl shop in anchorage ak?

  9. #49

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    On RC models, bubbles are something that happens only on installation. Pop with a pin, and the hole is barely noticeable on a 4 foot model. Probably invisible at full scale. My concern would be lifespan and pressing hard enough on unsupported fabric. Is breathable vinyl possible? Shiny on one side and adhesive on the other.
    I wonder if using solid color Monkote would work as trim. Much thinner and lighter. To use Monokote as trim you have to heat tack in a million places before an overall ironing. Otherwise it will shrink before it even touches the substrate. This is done routinely on models, Mono over Mono as trim. Would it stick to woven oratex? Monokote sticks pretty well to 400grit sanded wood.
    What's a go-around?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by vj88 View Post
    the graphic shop stated their vinyl lifespan at 5-7 years. The vinyl lifespan concerns me
    and that's why I only use vinyl for NNumbers (and I've had a few on different airplanes that I had to replace after only a few years...)

    the failure mode is they curl up from the edges... I will post a couple pictures of OLD vinyl failures locally(chugiak), not sure how old they are... (need to remember to take pictures)

    I doubt you save weight using vinyl.....

  11. #51
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    I have done 6 rebuild doing 2 super cubs this winter and that is all I use is vinyl numbers and strips.all are on aerothane paint .my cub was done 20 years ago with poly tone and vinyl stripes still looks great has 3000 hrs flying I all weather conditions up to - 35f.shows a little wear good for long time yet.one cub with aerothane all Mose as old less hrs .the 12we did with oretec is first one.
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  12. #52

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    I have put Vinyl auto striping on my test piece w Oratex, and left out in the weather, 6 months so far - no lift no bubbles

    Oratex makes their own “vinyl” striping and graphics, comes from Germany, and very expensive, but they will do custom.
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  13. #53
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    Is anyone doing Oratex "commercially"... As in, If I needed my wings rebuilt and recovered, are folks out there using Oratex?
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  14. #54
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    I'm sure any good all around fabrics guy would take it on, one who wanted to see what all the buzz was about. They could get educated on the stuff, on your nickel, why wouldn't they? Others, more conservative, may take a pass.
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  15. #55

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    There is a guy here in Alaska, Birchwood I have heard, that is covering w Oratex.

    After my experience, I would not hesitate to tell some one they could do it themselves.

    but,

    I would not pay someone to learn on my airplane. It is just too different from “regular” fabric precess.

  16. #56
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    ..others, more conservative, may take a pass.
    pass!!!!
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  17. #57
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    Mike, I remember you talking awhile back about someone that covered with Oratex and it was in rags the next season? I ask because I'll be recovering my cub in the near future and am considering Oratex but leaning towards Stitts. Would you elaborate on your observations of the Oratex?

    Thanks
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  18. #58
    mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herc View Post
    Mike, I remember you talking awhile back about someone that covered with Oratex and it was in rags the next season?
    Thanks
    i don't remember saying that.......

    but I much prefer stitts or dope, ZERO chance of me using this

  19. #59
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    My apologies. It's been a couple years, must have been someone else.

  20. #60
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    I can for sure see how someone who makes a living using traditional covering techniques, would not take on a Oratex job, why rock the boat? I also know there are shops out there, maybe a bit hungrier, that may be a bit more open to new techniques and material, that would welcome the chance to do an Oratex job. Maybe even at a discount, as it would be understood there would be a learning curve.

    My only personal fabric experience is 100% Stits/Polyfiber/Polytone, 5 planes, and I'm real happy with it. My current 13 year old plane, kept hangared, 2500 hr TT, still looks great with no issues. But I'm also a weight weenie, and saving maybe 15 to 30 (I've heard all kinds of numbers) pounds would for sure make me strongly consider the O option next time. I also don't really care about the cosmetics, more about ease of repair, light of a weight as possible, and longevity, in that order.

    My only first hand knowledge of the stuff is that Hal Stockman, winner of the STOL Oshkosh event this year, and a long time experiential builder and pilot, and a fellow weight weenie, used it, and just said that after a bit of a learning curve (as compared to his previous Stits work) he liked it, and FOR SURE it paid off in the weight department.
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  21. #61
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    There is an IA in Wasilla that uses Oratex on his working Cub and installs it. Also an installer I know that does it for a living (has heat gun will travel). While I know both of them, I receive no compensation or perks of any kind by sending business there way. If anybody wishes to contact them, send me a pm.
    "Always looking up"
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  22. #62

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    Just an update,
    Have 2 years or so on the Oratex fabric.
    Had a bad fuel leak along the way, no damage, but there is a distinct blue stain from avgas, it seems to be fading tho.
    Everything is holding up very well. I did have a few small spots where I did not heat the tape enough to trigger the glue, and they lifted a little, but easy to fix with the heat gun.
    After the initial install, when I wheeled the plane out in the cold the fabric was too loose, it seems that it will only shrink so tight. So I "froze" the airframe and reshrunk when cold as the frame was smaller, it has stayed tight in all temps since then.
    I had a persistant oil leak for the first 10 hours or so, so the belly got pretty oily, no effect.
    I have also had some pretty hard "dings" that left an impression in the fabric that I thought I would have to shrink out, but they tightened up on their own - still not sure how that works. Very sure that one of those would have gone through "regular fabric"

    All in all I am very happy with it.
    It does not have that fancy airplane shine, but I don't wash my plane enough to care about that.
    It is VERY tough.
    I am going to do some mods in the near future that will require cutting and regluing, I will update after thatClick image for larger version. 

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  23. #63
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    I wonder if, instead of waxing Oratex, you used Aerospace 303? Maybe someone has tried this, Lars?

  24. #64

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    Nanook, I will try it when I get home.

    The beauty of Oratex is the ability to repair it with out mek and paint/silver/dope etc. You just paint the glue on, let it dry, then heat it up until the reaction happens, and then shrink.
    But
    If there is something weird on there, it can be hard to clean well enough to get the glue to stick. I have heard that the Ceramic coatings are really hard to get off.

    A word to the wise: do not think you will save some money by cutting Tapes out of your scrap fabric. Looks like crap. The Oratex tapes are really good now, and nearly disappear when done correctly. You can hide alot of ugly with them.
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  25. #65
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    A word to the wise: do not think you will save some money by cutting Tapes out of your scrap fabric. Looks like crap. The Oratex tapes are really good now, and nearly disappear when done correctly. You can hide alot of ugly with them.[/QUOTE]

    I made tapes once for one elevator and will never do it again. Far too much work and a horrible outcome.
    "Always looking up"
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  26. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    I wonder if, instead of waxing Oratex, you used Aerospace 303? Maybe someone has tried this, Lars?
    No data to back this up but, like Armorall, Aerospace 303 has silicone as an ingredient I’m fairly certain. If you ever want a prayer of ever repairing your (insert covering system here, including Oratex) and hope to have the patches stick and remain where you put them, DO NOT spray that stuff on your covering. Silicone is a wicked evil substance to remove once it’s on a surface when it MUST be removed for these purposes. Ever tried to paint where any RTV has been? Takes monumental effort to escape the fisheyes caused by the contamination that’s impossible to even see.

    That’s my nickels worth. Inflation has stricken the 2 cent info supply.
    Cheers, Oz
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  27. #67
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    Hey Oz, where are you seeing that 303 contains silicone?

    Likewise, people ask, does 303 Aerospace Protectant contain silicone?
    Unlike many products, 303 Aerospace Protectant does not contain silicone, oils, waxes, glycerin or petroleum distillates. Clear Vinyl Protection: 303 Aerospace Protectant provides effective UV protection for clear vinyl and leaves an optically enhanced finish for clearer vision.
    Quote off the internet from some expert...
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  28. #68

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    Nook, I humbly stand corrected, and in some sort of defense, I did say “no data to back this up” but should have dug into it a bit further before posting. I’ve used several products, like Armorall, that left me wishing I had tried something else. Like the time I used it on the seat on my snow machine back in high school. There are lessons we only have to learn once, that was one such…….
    I truly hope that the 303 is a good and better solution than the Oratex wax. It’s definitely a great product. In any case, I would still caution to do a test patch on a surface that’s been treated so you know the compatibility of the glue and the protectant and how easy it is to clean off etc.

    Cheers, Oz

  29. #69
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    Silicone removal can be a bear. If in doubt whether or not silicone is present I alway treat the surface with “Polycracker” first. Saves the messy removal of fish eyeing paint. You can get that at your paint store.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of
    that comes from bad judgment. will rodgers

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  30. #70
    nanook's Avatar
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    Yeah Oz, I am impressed with 303s UV blocking properties but have never tried it on aircraft fabric topcoats. Mostly used on Royalex canoes and hypalon inflatable boats, works well on tires also...
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  31. #71

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    [QUOTE=gpepperd;825472]Silicone removal can be a bear. If in doubt whether or not silicone is present I alway treat the surface with “Polycracker” first. Saves the messy removal of fish eyeing paint. You can get that at your paint store.[QUOTE)

    I’ve fought the silicone/fisheye mess off and on for a long time. It truly is tough.
    Thanks so much for this info, I greatly appreciate this solution and also appreciate you and everyone else here that give so much to anyone seeking knowledge on so many subjects.
    Thanks Mr. Pepperd. Sent you a PM as well.

    Nook, it’s definitely good stuff, and your bringing it up has caused me to realize that it’s time for me to snag a new bottle as mine is about empty. Love it on tire sidewalls, bushwheels best friend and a myriad of other items also. Looks like it’ll get a test on this beast I’m working on after I get the Oratex on it.

    Cheers, Oz
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  32. #72
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    I have an Oretex test kit here somewhere…I’ll glue and shrink it to a frame, put 303 on and set it out in the sun for a bit.
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  33. #73

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    I have to say, I love the stuff. But not necessarily for all of the reasons many do. Yes it is lighter, yes it's non toxic, yes it is durable and it saves time...

    My experience, it shapes extremely well with heat, it grips the air frame way, way better than polytack, but here's the kicker... I love it because it takes urethane paints like nothing else in terms of fabric. Simply looks amazing.

    I know you guys have almost totally shunned toxic products, I get it. I've spent much of my life painting, Lars thinks I'm nutz you probably do too, but I've spent a lifetime developing the skill, hell I even like sanding.... so ya, I'm a bit goofy i know.

    I've been shooting an aircam with an elaborate scheme and of all the surface material types on the ac the otex looks the best.....hands down.

    If you like hot rod quality glossy finishes oratex will perform and be significantly less weight than any other painted fabric.

    Oh... and yes for any nervous Nellie's.... yes I exercise proper ppe protocols.
    Last edited by rsrguy3; 08-10-2022 at 05:54 PM.
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  34. #74
    Yooper Cub rotto789's Avatar
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    I am considering using Oratex 6000 on my new Javron build, while I was at Airventure Oshkosh I visited the nice people at the Oratex booth on the advise of my good friend Rick Pap, his Carbon cub was the red one they had on display. I had quite a few questions for the sales people and most were answered within reason. after a rather lengthy discussion about the product I then asked the big question: How much to cover a super cub? I know material pricing is changing rapidly in most if not all industries these days, mine included (General Contractor) but wow, I think my jaw hit the floor when she told me how much: about a 30% increase over some of the higher quotes I read on this thread from 2019 and not the 5K one. I am still considering the product for its huge time saving qualities and for its weight savings, but man, the price for building an aircraft is getting out of hand. I still like to look for the best value along with quality and convenience, but these days it is getting very difficult. There is no doubt that Oratex is a great product that is a proven performer. I do not know current pricing on any of the other fabric systems out there as of this date (I used Poly fiber my last build 2012) but I would guess they have all increased substantially.
    Just my observation,

    Rick

  35. #75
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    @rotto789

    I just finished the last of my tail feathers yesterday (start the fuselage soon), I never seriously looked at legacy covering due to the faster speed and NO painting of the Oratex which as you pointed out makes for a faster completion time. I also like the idea the toughness of Oratex. When you add up the cost of fabric, paint, paint application tools (gun etc…) paint booth and of course time, I doubt there is my price difference.

    If you are looking for a show plane, I think legacy covering + paint is the way to go. I was looking for a tough covering, fast completion when I made my choice.
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  36. #76
    Yooper Cub rotto789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    @rotto789

    I just finished the last of my tail feathers yesterday (start the fuselage soon), I never seriously looked at legacy covering due to the faster speed and NO painting of the Oratex which as you pointed out makes for a faster completion time. I also like the idea the toughness of Oratex. When you add up the cost of fabric, paint, paint application tools (gun etc…) paint booth and of course time, I doubt there is my price difference.

    If you are looking for a show plane, I think legacy covering + paint is the way to go. I was looking for a tough covering, fast completion when I made my choice.
    Great points and definitely something to consider when choosing a fabric covering system, I am not looking for a show plane, however, I am a detail oriented person and want the end result to be as near perfect as possible. Utility along with a great finished product is my end goal and we all know that the better the end result the better the resale value for when the day comes we cant fly anymore.

    I already have all the tools and equipment necessary to cover and paint using the traditional fabric systems from my current cub, so no price consideration needed for those items. there will be needed specialty tools for the Oratex system which I will have to purchase, so some consideration there. I am not opposed to paying the extra money, its just a hard pill to swallow given the current circumstances.

    I am also not getting any younger, and want to get the next build flying sooner that later, don't get me wrong, I do thoroughly enjoy the build process but time is against me and I'd like to be up and flying within a max of two years after starting my project. the other problem is, life gets in the way

    Rick

  37. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by rsrguy3 View Post
    I have to say, I love the stuff. But not necessarily for all of the reasons many do. Yes it is lighter, yes it's non toxic, yes it is durable and it saves time...

    My experience, it shapes extremely well with heat, it grips the air frame way, way better than polytack, but here's the kicker... I love it because it takes urethane paints like nothing else in terms of fabric. Simply looks amazing.

    I know you guys have almost totally shunned toxic products, I get it. I've spent much of my life painting, Lars thinks I'm nutz you probably do too, but I've spent a lifetime developing the skill, hell I even like sanding.... so ya, I'm a bit goofy i know.

    I've been shooting an aircam with an elaborate scheme and of all the surface material types on the ac the otex looks the best.....hands down.

    If you like hot rod quality glossy finishes oratex will perform and be significantly less weight than any other painted fabric.

    Oh... and yes for any nervous Nellie's.... yes I exercise proper ppe protocols.

    rsr, I have at least one question. I’m no pro painter so any help is appreciated. My build (Exp. PA-12) is coming together, my Oratex is in the shop waiting for that day. I’ve had mixed results with vinyl in the past so I’ve resigned myself to the thought that I’m going to do some painting. Heck, it’s a given anyway because I have to paint the cowling and other sheet metal parts, small parts and so on so no big deal.
    Question is this….For the Otex at the very least, you mentioned urethane paint. That’s a fairly broad brush so what is your go-to brand, type, etc? Any advice or quirks on types, what not to do, anything that makes for better outcomes and so on much appreciated. I know those answers can get complicated, generalities will work, anything helps so thank you in advance.

    I’ve often thought that if a guy could use some of the newer paints and especially paint colors the automotive industry is kicking out and apply them to fabric covering, it would be a beautiful thing. Seems you’ve found that answer. Well done!

    Thanks again!
    Oz

  38. #78

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    So there's a bit to unpack here. I've used a alot of aerothane, It shoots well and is flexible as well as durable....(I don't mind repairs either). Superflight is excellent as well. I’ve also heard good things about airtech. All are formulated for fabric.

    Lars mentioned Stuart paint so that must mean it works with otex. I personally don't care for it or some of the negative things the folks there think about those of us that don't care for it. It's been insinuated that those of us that dislike its special application requirements are trogladites, ludites and generally old school hicks incapable of change.. I have used stews, I had an excellent finish, but l won't use it again, I shouldn't have to use the force to get paint to flow out... Anyway I don't let my fear of chemicals or my wife dictate what material I shoot so I shoot traditional solvent urethane paint formulated for ragwings.

    Most of the aircams being shot these days are 2 stage high end ppg stuff, and they've been lasting well from what I'm hearing. My hunch is it would likely work well with otex... might even weigh less than shooting aerothane or sf as the base coat can cover well with one good coat unless your trying to shoot a terrible hard to cover color like yellow.

    Come to think of it I'd like to see a yellow otex cub with a light coat of cub yellow aerothane, that would look amazing and still shave a lot of #'s...
    Last edited by rsrguy3; 08-11-2022 at 11:05 PM.
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