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Thread: Drain holes and pencil soldering irons?

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    Drain holes and pencil soldering irons?

    I have become a fan of opening up drain holes (and in the case of Champs, ribstitch rivet holes) with a pencil tip soldering iron.
    So far I have only done it on Stits process.
    Is it safe to do on nitrate/butyrate processes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I have become a fan of opening up drain holes (and in the case of Champs, ribstitch rivet holes) with a pencil tip soldering iron.
    So far I have only done it on Stits process.
    Is it safe to do on nitrate/butyrate processes?
    My light cub was covered with that process. I did it as you have been doing.
    My light cub still has original fabric. Original cover 1994. Used from -50 to + 80. Was hangered when back from those jobs. It was flying 1400 hours/ month average time.
    Sandy

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    I am cautious about the flammability of nitrate. Should I use caution, and cut them with an X-acto blade?

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    Bob, slightly off your topic, but I've opened drain holes on AirTech system, with Ranthane urethane with soldering iron [I'm not a fan of these systems for working aeroplanes, hard to repair]. I've noticed this is what Aviat does on Huskies too, no reinforcing grommets. This doesn't resolve your valid concern about the flammability of nitrate though. Maybe try a couple with a Fire Watch protocol? Or do up a small test panel?

    Thanks. cubscout

  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    It works but be cautious. We got some flames patching an ADF antenna hole on a Clipper 20 plus years ago. Also had a runaway iron while covering Rare Bear's elevators and had the same.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticairalaska View Post
    My light cub was covered with that process. I did it as you have been doing.
    My light cub still has original fabric. Original cover 1994. Used from -50 to + 80. Was hangered when back from those jobs. It was flying 1400 hours/ month average time.
    Sandy
    1400 hrs, A MONTH?!!! Just thought that deserved a comment... . That's 46.666 hrs a day, just saying.

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    Thanks Steve. X-acto it is. Doing it today; hopefully spray painting this afternoon.

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    It works but be cautious. We got some flames patching an ADF antenna hole on a Clipper 20 plus years ago. Also had a runaway iron while covering Rare Bear's elevators and had the same.
    Wow! You guys use some seriously powerful soldering irons. I was taught the soldering iron trick clear back in A&P school. All I've ever gotten was a puff of smoke as the iron pops through the fabric. All you need is 15 or 20 watt iron.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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    That's what I have - looks like a kid's woodburner set. I will try it on some nitrate this AM. Not my airplane, and inside a shop, so safety is paramount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    1400 hrs, A MONTH?!!! Just thought that deserved a comment... . That's 46.666 hrs a day, just saying.
    that was my average for a number of years. all 91 survey work.
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    I always had a wet sponge prior and after.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticairalaska View Post
    that was my average for a number of years. all 91 survey work.
    Is that what you billed or logged? I have never seen a clock which recorded more than 24 hours a day.
    N1PA

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    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Is that what you billed or logged? I have never seen a clock which recorded more than 24 hours a day.
    I've heard of log book padding but never anything quite so egregious as this claim. (The longest month in any year is only 744 hours.)
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    I've heard of log book padding but never anything quite so egregious as this claim. (The longest month in any year is only 744 hours.)
    In the old days it was called P-51 time. (Parker 51 pen.)
    N1PA

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    nanook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    1400 hrs, A MONTH?!!! Just thought that deserved a comment... . That's 46.666 hrs a day, just saying.
    I think he meant 140hrs a month...
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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    When do you have time to do that after 1400 hours in a month?
    Quote Originally Posted by arcticairalaska View Post
    I always had a wet sponge prior and after.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    courierguy's Avatar
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    At 1400 a YEAR, it works out to "only" 3.8 hrs a day. Every day, all year, holidays and bad weather included, still impressive as heck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I am cautious about the flammability of nitrate. Should I use caution, and cut them with an X-acto blade?
    Maybe ignorance is bliss, but that's how I opened up all the holes on my SC clone. Never gave it a second thought and never had any issues. It's covered with Ceconite and painted with nitrate/butyrate/polyurethane paint.

    -Cub Builder

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Same here with non-Stits coverings. Used standard small electrical soldering station. Makes for a nice sealed edge.

    Gary

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    Thanks. Too late - I wimped out & cut them.

  21. #21
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Got to clean the soldering tip with a cloth and appropriate low vapor dope solvent while still warm unless the lingering smell pleases

    Gary

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