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Thread: Fabric pros and cons.

  1. #81

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    So which system is easier to fix if I get a hole or tear In it.

  2. #82
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    This looks like a step was skipped before the top finish coat was applied. It also looks like the top coat was not the Stewarts top coat chemical. It peeled like a poorly applied enamel.
    N1PA

  3. #83
    cubdrvr's Avatar
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    Doesn't anyone use AirTech? I've done a couple cubs and Pawnee's with that stuff and no issues. Prime, paint, and done. Minimal to no sanding. My current cub was covered in 2000
    and looks like new.....and you can clean it with MEK if you want.
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zook View Post
    So which system is easier to fix if I get a hole or tear In it.
    Dope, just clean the patch area, brush on some nitrate (sticks better than butyrate) dope, stick on the patch fabric, brush it smooth...done. Before you consider this remember..butyrate goes over nitrate but nitrate doesn't go over butyrate without making a mess. You can get away with it if the dope is old and very dried.

    Dope can be brushed on without any spraying, but will require a lot of sanding for a spray like smooth finish. Some of the finest air show winners have been dope without any other top covering coats. Lot's of elbow grease.

    Dope fumes will penetrate your living area. Stewarts fumes do also to a minimal extent. I can verify from living with someone who has a sensitive nose and will complain about smells at a pin drop, there were no objections when I did the Stewarts job.

    I'm not recommending dope over any of the others, only describing some of it's features. Dope really isn't used much anymore. Whichever method you choose, you will do fine. Just be certain to read the instructions and follow it's procedures.

    Another thing to think about is whether or not you will incur hazardous materiel shipping costs.
    N1PA
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  5. #85
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    Dope burns very quickly when things go bad. Poly fiber is stupid easy to use, apply, get a good finish and a breeze to repair. I have used the stewarts glue and ecofil on a few patches as well and its pretty easy to work with but getting a good top coat seems to be a challenge for a lot of people. My IA had a lot of trouble with it till he went to larger air hoses and high flow fittings. After that he said it was a breeze to shoot and he shoots a lot of it!
    Personally, I am sticking with the poly fiber system.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    This discussion is turning into a Ford vs Chevy thing. I’ve obviously stepped on some toes expressing my opinion so I’ll leave it at that.
    Doug

    If you're referring to me, no, it's not a "Ford vs Chevy thing". The only thing I have an issue with is your statement "But for every happy Stewart’s customer there’s someone with less than ideal results," which is pure BS!!! That's saying that half the customers aren't happy....I'd argue that number with anyone!

    I've seen peeling before, I've seen blisters, and yes, we already said some auto-gas will mess it up. I'm not arguing any of that. We've worked hard on getting those issues rectified, but can't make it bullet proof for everyone. I'm still trying though. I'm glad you said you would like to learn it! It's a different "mind set" for lack of a better term, and some just don't want to work within that parameter.

    As far as the absolute most forgiving system...I totally agree....dope! If you mess up a dope finish, you're really working at it. That being said, it's flamable, and I've personally witnessed the aftermath of 2 wrecks that the ME said the occupant would have lived, had they not burned to death. I'm not gonna go there. Next would be Polyfiber and Polytone, totally fire proof, but it's not a really robust finish, and you're still dealing with LOTS of MEK.
    Like was said before on this thread, those "melt" into each other, which is a characteristic of a solvent borne system. Waterborne depends on a mechanical "tooth" adhesion, and if you don't have that, it doesn't work all that well. That's one of the primary hurdles of anyone trying to learn to work with waterbornes. Remember Dodge, when they started to shift to a waterborne clearcoat? They had mess after mess, because they hadn't gotten the tooth adhesion correct... the booth techs were still applying it like a solvent borne and it wasn't holding up. A lot has been learned in the last 30+ years!
    John
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  7. #87
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Unfortunately all it takes is one guy whos been using a certain system with good results to try Stewart’s and have a bad experience and he will never try it again and say how terrible it is. Bad news always travels faster


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  8. #88
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akavidflyer View Post
    Dope burns very quickly when things go bad. Poly fiber is stupid easy to use, apply, get a good finish and a breeze to repair. I have used the stewarts glue and ecofil on a few patches as well and its pretty easy to work with but getting a good top coat seems to be a challenge for a lot of people. My IA had a lot of trouble with it till he went to larger air hoses and high flow fittings. After that he said it was a breeze to shoot and he shoots a lot of it!
    Personally, I am sticking with the poly fiber system.
    The gas in your plane burns better....


    Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    John,

    My personal experience with Stewarts:

    Two years ago my hangar partner purchased a cub, beautiful plane, rebuilt in 2014 by a very reputable builder, covered with Stewarts.
    Only issue was a previously leaking fuel valve, fuel had run down inside of fabric and followed lower longeron back a couple feet. painted fabric around fuel affected area was stained and blistered.
    A local Stewarts "expert" was contacted to assess repair. Said when he was done the repair would be unnoticeable. Well, it was noticable and ended up at a paint shop where they sanded out the patched area and shot it with color matched urethane and blended the edges.

    Recently the plane was flipped over, during recovery process I taped some padding to the fuselage. When I later removed the tape, with it came all of the coatings right down to the fabric. My original plan was to preserve fuselage fabric, that went out the window for how does one repair areas of peeling paint??! When's the rest going to fail?

    Lastly, while I was stripping fabric from wings, the resulting pile on the floor showed two distinct colors of orange, that which was removed from the top of the wing, and that from the bottom. Under normal circumstances one does not view the top and bottom of the wing simultaneously, so not a big ussue. but the color fade was alarming for a hangared cub.

    Im not bashing on Stewarts, In fact I said id learn to use it if I were in the business of covering planes for a living. However, I dont cover planes for a living so my exposure to harsh chemicals is limited, more so, because I take appropriate protective measures.
    The thought of eating a cover job because paint peeled - FOR WHATEVER REASON, is unacceptable to me.
    Therefor I will stick with a process that I am familiar with. Time tested, durable, easy to source, easy to patch, forgiving and east to apply.

    Again, my 2c

    Doug
    Unfortunately I have had every issue you posted about with most every system out there. No dog in this fight but though it was worth noting.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  10. #90

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    Ive done dope, I’ve done Poly Fiber, I’ve done repairs with Stewart’s, I’ve done Airtech. For my airplane, it will be dope. Easy to apply, easy to repair. When done right, it is about as light as you can go with fabric.


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  11. #91

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    John,
    My remarks about Stewart’s covering system were inappropriate and irresponsible.
    Thank you for your contribution to creating a more user friendly product.
    Im an ol dog new trick guy and, by nature, suspicious of anything new. Especially something that involves mixing water with paint
    Re peeling paint issues; I’ve consulted some happy Stewart’s folks whom I have a lot of respect for. Consensus is, a step was overlooked or mishandled during paint process. My concern; one misstep can ruin an entire covering job.
    That point should be hammered home to anyone who chooses this rout.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Doug
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  12. #92
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Bravo to Oliver for his attitude in the previous post (91). I've only used Stits and Stewarts. I had some trouble with both, and in both cases I think it was my own fault. My first go-round with Stewarts I got some water bubbles. I attribute that to putting finish coats on too heavily. More recently I've had excellent results with Stewarts.
    Gordon

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    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)
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  13. #93
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    My concern; one misstep can ruin an entire covering job.
    That point should be hammered home to anyone ...
    Oliver, I really appreciate this comment. While I'm a total newbie in this area compared to most of the folks on this forum, I believe your statement to be absolutely TRUE about ALL of the covering systems, including painted or polished aluminum...

    Trust me, I could screw up ANY of them! There's just something about painting a smooth surface that messes with my slightly OCD mind. My wife has learned this, and will not even allow me to paint lawn furniture, much less anything "important" to her.

    Part of my budget for any "build" would have to be outsourcing the paint job, at least!
    Jim Parker
    2007 Rans S-6ES

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zook View Post
    So which system is easier to fix if I get a hole or tear In it.
    I have patched many holes in the belly and the bottom and top of my horizontal stabilizer (rocks, one clear through) on my Poly-Tone covered plane with great results. Other then the final finish, but's that's probably because I brush applied 12 year old paint! But mechanically, all the patches were quick and easy to apply, and stay secure.
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  15. #95

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    You can also invent your own covering system, here’s a quote from a well known aerobatic plane builder:

    “Many folks have asked, and continue to ask about the system I used to cover my airplane and our experimental airplanes in the shop. the new revision is as follows:


    Superflite heavy fabric, it accepts the glue better than ceconite. if requested double covered with a layer of medium to first compression rib before laying down full layer. see my build thread for pics and description. round lace cord, polyfiber hidden knot. 3" tapes on ribs.

    3M 30-NF Adhesive to glue fabric to airframe basically following stewarts system instructions with a few other little tricks.

    Weave sealed with straight 30-NF rolled on open areas using a 6" foam paint roller. wipe off excess using blue shop towels.

    PPG Delfleet Evolution Primer F3970 mixed 3:1 with F3971 Hardener and then 1/2 part F3331 Reducer and 1 part DX814 Flex Agent.

    Top coat with Sherwin Williams Acryglo base clear system.”
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  16. #96
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    You can also invent your own covering system, here’s a quote from a well known aerobatic plane builder:
    Only if your airplane is licensed in a non certified category. Also remember Steve Wittman died when his self designed fabric system departed the airplane in flight.
    N1PA
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  17. #97

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    I wonder why the round cord? The rest sounds a bit like Airtec. I bet he uses external breathing air.
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  18. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I wonder why the round cord? The rest sounds a bit like Airtec. I bet he uses external breathing air.
    Granted, this guy is building/maintaining exp planes used in hard acro competition and subject to high hp prop blast.
    To Skywagons point: yes, experimental. Any deviation in an STC’d covering process used on certified planes voids the STC.

    Re round vs flat cord, same guy:

    “A note about rib stitching or rib lacing as polyfiber likes to call it now. We use the standard 43.13 knots above the fabric tying method with round cord. Place the knots on the bottom of lower stuff and tail, top of upper parts and right side of vertical parts (unless it is a cub, champ, Bird biplane then use left of vertical). I have done many tests on cord and knots. The above the surface knot is always tighter than the hidden one because the connector string is an important part is the lacing system and it is usually loose in the hidden knot method. The hidden one is not needed as the string is small unlike the huge string used in WWII on staggerwings where the hidden knot was developed. Most people can't find the knots on the jobs we do here. We don't use flat cord for 2 reasons. First, it is a pain in the neck to keep from having twists in it and second is that it is only 2/3rds as strong as round! Yep flatter is weaker!”
    Last edited by Oliver; 11-27-2020 at 12:23 PM.
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  19. #99
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Re round vs flat cord, same guy:

    The hidden one is not needed as the string is small unlike the huge string used in WWII on staggerwings where the hidden knot was developed. Most people can't find the knots on the jobs we do here. We don't use flat cord for 2 reasons. First, it is a pain in the neck to keep from having twists in it and second is that it is only 2/3rds as strong as round! Yep flatter is weaker!”
    As long as the cord is stronger than the original cotton cord, it's strong enough for me. I used the flat cord on my latest job and liked it. I was able to minimize the bump with it. Yes it is a little more effort to keep the twists out, but is worth it. A technique is developed. I buried the twist inside the wing, rather easy really. Also I tried the "Staggerwing knot" and had no trouble keeping the connector string taught. I would use the flat chord and "Staggerwing knot" again.
    N1PA
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  20. #100

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    I’m not advocating any of the above - creating your own system, round vs flat etc..
    Interesting to what others have done/are doing. Take away wherever you wish.

    I have been very fortunate and had the opportunity to watch two master coverers at work.
    Lots of tips and tricks are developed over time, some good some not so good.
    I have also had the opportunity to strip fabric from wrecked planes. I am pretty methodic as I go, always interesting to study how others have tackled tricky areas when glueing, taping etc..
    Also areas that have failed during the life of the plane.
    One can also learn a lot from studying finished work up close, say at a fly in. Personally, I’m always drawn to two areas when observing a finished plane, fuselage where it meets vert stab and wing tip bows. One can tell a lot about builder from how neatly they’ve tackled these areas.

    It would be fun to start another thread dedicated to covering, tip, tricks.
    Most systems begin with adhering fabric as a foundation. It’s usually here where cosmetic and structural errors can be addressed and avoided.

    Doug
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  21. #101
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    John,

    Im an ol dog new trick guy and, by nature, suspicious of anything new. Especially something that involves mixing water with paint
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Doug
    Doug, thank you. Anytime you're ready to try a "new trick", I'd be honored to be the one to help you! Come on out here and stay a few days and I'd be glad to walk you through it!!
    John

  22. #102
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdrvr View Post
    Doesn't anyone use AirTech?
    If I was going to use a solvent borne system, that's most likely the one I'd head to.
    John

  23. #103

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    John,
    Thank you,
    very generous offer, love to meet some time!
    doug
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  24. #104

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    I did not know you could still get the skinny round cord from PolyFiber. That is what I used in 1969 through about 1980.
    The stuff I got in 2003 was thicker.

    I just did a wing using flat, and the "palm tree/island" Stits trick, and really liked it. Did not pay attention to twist, and not one stitch had a twist showing.

    The wing I repaired had been done that way, and all was nice and tight before I cut them loose. I am sold.
    I am not at all sure the string connecting stitches adds any more strength than the reinforcing tape.

    On that reinforcing tape, I had a really difficult time with the newer polyester stuff, until I discovered - once it is stuck on straight, you need to dope it and let the dope (Poly Brush) dry before attempting any hole-poking or stitching.

  25. #105
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdrvr View Post
    Doesn't anyone use AirTech? I've done a couple cubs and Pawnee's with that stuff and no issues. Prime, paint, and done. Minimal to no sanding. My current cub was covered in 2000
    and looks like new.....and you can clean it with MEK if you want.
    I too have done a couple of Cubs in Airtech. I really like the glue, and the primer sands very nice (can be wet sanded). Topcoat is very durable, and high gloss. Acetone based which is MUCH less toxic than MEK.
    Acetone MSDS is one page. MEK MSDS is something like 17 pages.

    Here are some thoughts from an earlier post https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...l=1#post580725

    I like Airtech.....just my opinion..... but certainly worth a look I think

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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  26. #106
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    I used Airtech on three different airplanes, it looks good easy to use (that's the good). Here is the bad, over time it will crack, especially over hard surfaces such as places you might push on an airplane. Maybe it has gotten more flex agent over the years but the airplane I did 20 years, then 16 years then 12 years ago all had the same problem after about 5-6 years and all my airplanes lived in hangers. Pretty easy life on my airplane but if you push on a horizontal etc. expect it to crack, have a rock hit the bottom of the H.S. expect a big ring worm looking thing. I went with Polyfiber on Bushwacker this last time but did not like all the steps to get to paint. I went with Superflight on the newest cub I just finished, I feel like it was pretty much the same process as AirTech, will see how it holds up over time.

  27. #107
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that there are many references to Stitts but only one or two of Ceconite. I'm far from being any kind of expert on fabric, but that means I like simple. With the Ceconite system you glue the fabric on, brush on nitrate, then spray on silver and color butyrate dope.

    Web
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  28. #108

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    I think the Airtech top coat is catalyzed urethane, and needs to be sprayed with external air to your nose.

    The topcoat is gorgeous when sprayed by pros, which is what we did, over Poly Tone white (legally). Pros are very expensive - the landing gear alone, completely covered and sanded, was $1600 (they charged shop rates for drying time). We chose a more reasonable shop for one wing and spots on the fuselage. $4500, and they made no attempt to blend.

    But the airplane turned out well.

  29. #109
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Maulguy (Greg)
    I agree with what you have said. Airtech is a high solids system. If you apply it per the instructions it can be thick and lack flexibility. After several years it can become brittle. The instructions recommend 3 coats of primer and three coats of topcoat. A "coat" is left to right then up and down. This is sometimes referred to a cross coat.
    It is effectively two passes per "coat". (I know you know all this....it is for those who may not have your experience)

    I applied 1.5 coats of primer (one crosscoat plus one more pass) and then sanded that primer pretty aggressively. I then used one coat of topcoat. Put one pass on (say the up and down pattern) wait about 15 or 20 minutes for that to get tacky, then one more (pretty heavy) pass (say left to right) and that is all. So 1.5 coats of primer and one coat of paint. That keeps it much thinner and I have not seen the cracking issues you have seen.

    The downside to this is the finish it not quite as stunning as can be achieved by using more primer and paint, and there is the possibility that the primer will be too thin over the glue area and the topcoat will bleed through the primer, reactivate the glue and cause small pinholes. I believe there are pictures and more info on my thread "Building a Javron Cub".

    All that said I am very pleased with the finish on my Cub. There are certainly nicer cubs with better paint jobs but I am happy with mine. Most folks are quite surprised when I tell them it only has one coat of paint.

    Hope this helps

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  30. #110
    jimboflying's Avatar
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    Bill,
    in this system what blocks the UV from getting to the fabric?

  31. #111
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    UV protection is in the primer. If you are going to be tied down outside year round you might want to go with more primer. The reality is, at least in the lower 48, these airplanes don’t spend very much time outside in the sun. We fly them and we stick them back in the hanger. Just my opinion, but under the circumstances I think the UV protection is not that big of a deal. However, if you are outside in Alaska year round, or anywhere else tied down year round outside, then UV protection is more important.

    Just my opinion and all that

    Bill
    Very Blessed.
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  32. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimboflying View Post
    Bill,
    in this system what blocks the UV from getting to the fabric?
    sortve a good article all the way through for the original poster. http://www.overallaircraft.com/Article%201%20page%205%20Ceconite%20Systems.htm
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  33. #113

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    So I talked to the mechanic next door to our hanger. He rebuilt a plane for himself and used dope. He would recommend we do that. It can be brushed or sprayed. It does sound like a fairly simple system. Any Comments?

  34. #114
    cubdrvr's Avatar
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    All that said I am very pleased with the finish on my Cub. There are certainly nicer cubs with better paint jobs but I am happy with mine. Most folks are quite surprised when I tell them it only has one coat of paint.

    Hope this helps

    Bill[/QUOTE]

    I did mine just as you did Bill..........keeps it lighter.....and the process is bulletproof. Not sure how it would stand up
    years outside.......mine is hangared........and hate to say more now than it used to be.
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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  35. #115
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    Been reading through the thread; here's my $.02. I've been teaching covering and painting for Stewarts Systems now for about 4 year, very limited experience with the other systems. Every system out there will give you a great finish; all have a learning curve. There are pros and cons with every system. Like picking a type of aircraft to purchase, you have to determine your "mission" first. For me, it was first and foremost something I could shoot at home without the issues of chemicals. MEK was out of the equation from the start for me so that eliminated many systems out there. Painting and covering had to be done right off the kitchen, without causing an issue inside. I wanted to be able to work on fabric in the house, if possible, another consideration. It needed to be save with my grandkids around while I worked. As I looked at my needs and the systems out there, I decided to attend a three day seminar taught by Mark Williams about 5 years ago, held in N. Las Vegas. I learned and went home and practiced. Fast forward and three years later I was teaching covering at Airventure and seminars around the country. For me, the system meet my needs. Is it foolproof? Is any system? Like I said, all the systems can produce a superior finish. I'm working out of a three car garage off my kitchen. I don't have a $15,000 spray booth. My spray booth is made from pipes from a Costco carport tent, some fittings and tarps for a craft show booth, a fan from Lowes, and filters for a professional spray set up. These are all things that should be taken into consideration when deciding on what system to use. If you follow the manual for Stewart Systems, you will get a finish that will last for for the same length of the as the other systems, will be as 100LL fuel proof as any, and easy to repair. Will it work with auto gas? Good luck with auto gas and any system today; every region uses different chemicals in their fuel so who knows. I have a fabric sample that has been in 100LL for two years with no issues. The same sample batch went into auto gas in Ohio, again no issue. Another sample went into California Auto gas and it curled up like a dead bug shedding it's skin! Both were Ethanol based fuel, something I would not use in my aircraft but wanted to test. There is obviously something nasty in CA gas. Can a system be auto gas proof in all regions of the country? I doubt it. No manufacturer can test for every possible combination of chemicals in auto gas today. Stewart Systems top coat seems good regardless of the region so I paint inside of fuel bays as possible.

    Whatever system you choose, it needs to meet your needs and than you are going to have to practice, make some mistakes, and than perfect your process in your shop. Here's some examples of my work, at home, and you will see how using Stewart Systems has worked for me.

    Marty 57

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    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  36. #116
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    Been reading through the thread; here's my $.02. I've been teaching covering and painting for Stewarts Systems now for about 4 year,
    remind us again, how many full planes you have covered.....

    and with which processes/brands of covering systems?

    and how long they have been outdoors in service again????

    and how the different brands held up under use..?

  37. #117
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    remind us again, how many full planes you have covered.....

    and with which processes/brands of covering systems?

    and how long they have been outdoors in service again????

    and how the different brands held up under use..?
    Working on my 4th with Stewart Systems; so that Silver Metallic wing is not the product of a lifelong professional painter. Stewart Systems aircraft have been outdoors now for 15+ years; John can better address that question. My comments are not a comparison to any other system; simply how I came to choose Stewart Systems.

    Mike, remember the original question of the thread? "We are hoping to cover it this winter and was wanting some input on what you all would use for fabric and why." I think I addressed the original question pretty well. This is simply why I use Stewart Systems and is not a jab at any other system out there. I'm not sure why it's relevant to the question how many planes I've covered. I'll go up against anyone in covering if you have any questions about my abilities. If a builder here has only covered one plane, and was successful, should they not give their opinion as to what system to use?

    Marty57
    N367PS
    Psalm 36:7 "High and low among men find refuge in the shadow of His wing"
    www.marty2plus2.com

  38. #118
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zook View Post
    So I talked to the mechanic next door to our hanger. He rebuilt a plane for himself and used dope. He would recommend we do that. It can be brushed or sprayed. It does sound like a fairly simple system. Any Comments?
    What type of fabric did he use the dope on? Cotton, Irish Linen or Dacron and why? Who's brand of Dacron?
    Which dope did he use? Nitrate or Butyrate or a combination if the two?
    Did he need or use a blush remover or a retarder to prevent it from dying too quickly? High humidity makes dope blush, which needs to be corrected or it will keep working it's way to the surface.
    Who's dope process did he use Ceconite's or the FAA's? https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...-1B_w-chg1.pdf Chapter 2.
    What chemical did he use for the first stick coat? Wrong one, then the entire following layers can peel off down to the bare fabric.
    Spraying dope requires a lot of coats for buildup. Most of it flies around in the air sticking to every place it lands. Brushing builds up with fewer coats but also requires a lot of sanding, if you want a smooth finish. If you don't care, skip the sanding. It's not required, though I suspect you will regret it later. You will spend as many hours wet sanding as you do applying the dope. Patching where you sanded through the fabric because you didn't notice a small bump with a screw underneath. There is a minimal sanding requirement with Stewarts in comparison.
    I knew a fellow who repainted his airplane every year or so with silver house paint and a paint roller. It worked. It met the FAA's requirement of a taught, well filled finish. Some of the Ceconite processes when done, produce a not very well filled finish. These have a tendency to collect dirt between each pore of the weave.
    What are the temperature and humidity conditions where this project is to be done?
    Will any of the work be done at your home or all at the hangar?
    Did he have any blushing issues or was he blessed?
    Why did he choose dope over any other process?
    Has he ever used any other processes?
    Is this the only recovering job he has ever done outside of what he was taught in A&P school?
    Did he use dope because he is reluctant to try a more up to date system? Some of us old timers are reluctant to change even when a system may be easier to use or better for our health.
    Why did he choose dope over any other process?
    What did he use to stick the fabric to the structure? It would be a shame when after you have your fabric stuck down and shrunk to have the edges lift off because of the coats of fabric filling chemical soaks through and lifts the "glue". This has happened.
    Will this plane always be stored in a hangar or tied outside in the sun?
    A dope finish when kept in the sun continues to shrink and dry out over time. The pigments of a dark finish gets sucked off, faded, chalked by the sun. When it has some life behind it stored outside, it often cracks around the edges or gets some ring worm cracks. Particularly when someone happens to push in the wrong place. This exposes the fabric to the elements.
    Are you in an area where there is always a lot of dust in the air or bugs which like to land on the wet finish before it drys?

    I know, a lot of questions. I am an old timer stuck in his ways. For my health, I chose to teach myself a new trick and went with Stewarts system after 50+ years of dope. No regrets, easy to learn and use. Less labor and fewer small issues. I hate spray painting and am not particularity good at it. Stewarts was forgiving for me. I believe it will be more durable than any dope system. When a person is learning from scratch, all the methods will have a similar learning curve. You are not wanting a process that is easy, you want a process that will last and for you to be proud of. A low maintenance process. Dope isn't low maintenance when compared to other systems. At least it isn't if you are planning to fly a lot. Don't worry about ease of repair. You can most always use duct tape to get you home.




    Which ever system you end up using be certain to read and understand the instruction manual. In all the systems the working of the fabric attachment to the structure is basically the same, even though the "glues" are different.
    N1PA
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  39. #119

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    Get ready to start laughing at questions from a first timer.

    -Do Non Poly Fiber covering systems have a manual as simple and easy to follow as Poly Fiber? (If not, then they should create one. If they had one that created the same message/enviroment for covering, then they would sell more product.)

    -Is it possible for a retard like me to use an MEK based system without self inflicted harm, or shortening my life span with a shop that is +100' from any other living space? I mean can I learn to use it safely, and are the safety directives easy to follow rather than laborious, and if I follow the easy simple safety directions will I live without it effecting my lifespan?

  40. #120

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    I couldn't watch the Stewart System videos. Figured they alone would shorten my life.

    I too am frightened by MEK, but have sprayed Stits intermittently since 1969, not knowing it was MEK, and I am still here. Some are more susceptible.

    my buddy finished painting his Stewart Cub, and I have to admit, it turned out ok. Most of it is not "wet look", but it looks good.

    I like Dacron/nitrate/butyrate, using Super Seam cement. Not sure I have seen the problems alluded to two posts above.

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