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Thread: Fabric (Stuart Systems)

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    sub3's Avatar
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    Fabric (Stuart Systems)

    Ready to cover my wide body Javron PA-18, looking for a fabric guru in the Minneapolis, MN area to glean from.. I need a few pointers/help with starting the control surfaces. PM please.
    Last edited by sub3; 11-14-2022 at 08:07 PM.

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    give the glue some time to dry before putting the heat to it. cut some strips and give it some different(longer) time intervals for the glue to dry so you can see how it works before ironing them together. youll see you dont have to/want to rush it.
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    Wipe off your excess glue or it will show through your finish coat.
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    i wasnt good at doing some of the sharper corners on the control surfaces and wished i would have tried a bias tape instead of a straight one, fought some wrinkels, how do some of you guys feel about bias (cross weaved)tapes? they a lot easier?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    i wasnt good at doing some of the sharper corners on the control surfaces and wished i would have tried a bias tape instead of a straight one, fought some wrinkels, how do some of you guys feel about bias (cross weaved)tapes? they a lot easier?
    Bias tapes are nice. When using the straight cut for some curves where you get a lot of puckers, glue the center of one end first, then pull the tape around the curve stretching the center of the tape. There will be fewer puckers at the edges.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 11-16-2022 at 12:00 PM.
    N1PA

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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    i wasnt good at doing some of the sharper corners on the control surfaces and wished i would have tried a bias tape instead of a straight one, fought some wrinkels, how do some of you guys feel about bias (cross weaved)tapes? they a lot easier?
    Make sure you waste a bunch of it and dont leave the sewn seam. But they are great for going around corners

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Make sure you waste a bunch of it and dont leave the sewn seam. But they are great for going around corners
    If you use a bias tape around a corner, just be aware that the width will shrink considerably. Otherwise, it lays down nicely.

    Just my 2 cents,
    Sarpy Sam
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    i wasnt good at doing some of the sharper corners on the control surfaces and wished i would have tried a bias tape instead of a straight one, fought some wrinkels, how do some of you guys feel about bias (cross weaved)tapes? they a lot easier?
    Haven't used a bias tape in 30 years. If you anchor one end and work it slow and even, you can shrink some incredible tight corners. If you're in a hurry, it's not going to turn out so well.
    John
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    Haven't used a bias tape in 30 years. If you anchor one end and work it slow and even, you can shrink some incredible tight corners. If you're in a hurry, it's not going to turn out so well.
    John
    My daughter is the same way, she hates bias tapes. Me, I'm lazy and like them.
    Steve Pierce

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    The only place I use bias tapes are on the front edge of the vertical fin where is does the inside curve as it meets the fuselage. If you use Stewart’s and heat tack the center of the tape down, you can use your iron to form some nice uniform curves.
    PA-12 N418BS
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    I would highly recommend using a digital iron and heat (air) gun. I am using them on my current build and past. The digital iron is basically a ski wax iron and works great. The heat gun allows the tip of the gun to be as close to the surface as you want. This works great for working out wrinkles in the tapes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flybymike View Post
    I would highly recommend using a digital iron and heat (air) gun. I am using them on my current build and past. The digital iron is basically a ski wax iron and works great. The heat gun allows the tip of the gun to be as close to the surface as you want. This works great for working out wrinkles in the tapes.
    I would stay away from the heat gun; I don't recommend its use when I teach. The digital iron is a must and allows very controlled temps on the fabric. When working out a stubborn wrinkle it would be way too easy to overheat the surrounding fabric and render it non-airworthy. Look up heat guns and ceconite and you will see it is not recommended; same as with Stewart Systems. https://www.conaircraft.com/aboutceconite
    As John said, apply a bit more tug on the fabric and take it slow with the iron and you can put fabric on a pretty tight curve without any difficulty.
    Marty57
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    Sub- Check your PM

    Zach

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    I would stay away from the heat gun; I don't recommend its use when I teach. The digital iron is a must and allows very controlled temps on the fabric. When working out a stubborn wrinkle it would be way too easy to overheat the surrounding fabric and render it non-airworthy. Look up heat guns and ceconite and you will see it is not recommended; same as with Stewart Systems. https://www.conaircraft.com/aboutceconite
    As John said, apply a bit more tug on the fabric and take it slow with the iron and you can put fabric on a pretty tight curve without any difficulty.
    Marty57

    I totally agree with a normal heat gun, but the Steinel digital heat gun maintains a constant temperature. You can literally put the gun tip right next to the fabric. The Oratex rep. Lars, showed me this in ANC and I’m on my second plane build using it. Works great!

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    Thanks to those who gave me tips, especially Mike/KSGS, who answered many of my questions. Looking for advice to terminate the fabric tape and if the tape should be cut with pinking shears (what looks best) and/or share a picture of where it intersects/overlap with the edge fabric tape. Also, Can anyone share a picture of their fuselage covered with fabric tape but not painted?
    Last edited by sub3; 11-27-2022 at 12:48 PM.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The tape for the stitches on the vertical fin isn’t there yet. I put 4 stitches in the vertical fin. Don’t use dollar patches on any of the tail feathers. Put the time in for the additional stitches.
    Last edited by KJC; 11-27-2022 at 10:20 AM.
    PA-12 N418BS
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    PA-12 N418BS

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    sub3's Avatar
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    Very helpful! Thank you.

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    I will be will be stiching and taping a set of tail feathers next week that I just finished covering. Your just down the road. If you want to bring one of your pieces up, I will be glad to help you.
    PA-12 N418BS

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    Here are some photos of the last fuselage my daughter and I covered. We find the more you cover the more tricks you figure out and you do a better job the next time. This one does not have a headliner so I used clear Polybrush in that area so the pink tinted Polybrush wouldn't show from the cockpit.
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    Steve Pierce

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    Nice looking. I agree - I do not do nearly as much covering as you, but I learn something each time.

    This week I learned that Poly Tone can indeed be sprayed to achieve a gloss. I fixed some damaged elevators (hangar rash) and with the HVLP setup achieved a gloss matching the older adjacent urethane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Here are some photos of the last fuselage my daughter and I covered. We find the more you cover the more tricks you figure out and you do a better job the next time. This one does not have a headliner so I used clear Polybrush in that area so the pink tinted Polybrush wouldn't show from the cockpit.
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    notice how steve didnt put the round inspection covers grommets under the stabs and has a belley pan for access at the backend, i wish i would have done that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    notice how steve didnt put the round inspection covers grommets under the stabs and has a belley pan for access at the backend, i wish i would have done that.
    I would put that on every cub that gets rebuilt no matter what. So nice to work on with it.


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    My first fabric job. Surface #1 was the elevator. Used bias tape on the long curved trailing edge. The rest were straight tape. As mentioned before, after tacking, the ripples can be ironed out at 250deg and then glued. Just finished taping one set of elevator/stabilizer. Click image for larger version. 

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    The rib tapes are supposed to go under the perimeter tapes on the leading and trailing edges.
    PA-12 N418BS
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    Haha! Done. I figured it wouldn’t take very long! Steep learning curve.


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    Quote Originally Posted by akmarty View Post
    My first fabric job. Surface #1 was the elevator. Used bias tape on the long curved trailing edge. The rest were straight tape. As mentioned before, after tacking, the ripples can be ironed out at 250deg and then glued. Just finished taping one set of elevator/stabilizer. Click image for larger version. 

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    You may want to do a second layer of perimeter tapes. Rib tapes are encapsulated under the perimeter tape; same on the wings, ailerons, elevators, etc. On the two pictures I attached, you can see how the rib tapes are under the perimeter tapes. On the aileron, it is pretty clear, in this picture, that the end of the rib tape needs to be under the final tape, not on top. Perimeter tapes are always the last tapes applied. No need for bias tapes on that gentle curve; regular tapes will shrink around that curve very nicely. And yes, this is in my kitchen.
    Marty57

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    I have always done it that way, too - but I wonder if it really makes any difference, now that we use stronger cements and dopes. In the olden days the perimeter tapes were notched, so only part of them would blow away.

    like Marty, I shy away from bias tape if I can help it. Ray Stitts showed me how to stretch and iron for a really good looking curve. It was almost the exact month they perfected pinked Dacron tapes.

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    I just completed my first covering job 45 days ago. I used Stewarts.

    Some avoid using bias tape and Hardtail goes 30 years without using them because Bias Tapes don't look as good as straight tapes.

    The way bias tape is cut (on the 45) allows fabric threads to go awry on the pinked edges. This makes it harder to get a nice finish on that boundry. You can see threads spreading out like fingers. I combed them back, and wiped glue off in a certain direction to contain them.

    Also, getting a straight edge on a bias tape is elusive whereas a straight cut tape has a natural straight edge. The straight edge is elusive because tension on the tape makes the width of the bias tape change and the edge curvy.

    I know because I used some. And I might use some again. When you go to look at a fabric job you judge it. The first place you look.... is the H-stab. Your eye then descends to the fuselage. The junction that draws your attention is where the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer leading edge comes down to join the top of the fuselage. That junction is also the most difficult to tape. Compound Curve.....the center of the tape needs to be shrunk to get it to lay flat. So I used Bias along that entire H-stab leading edge because I didn't spend the time to develope the skill to do with standard cut tape. And the bias tape laid down real nice where you will look when you judge my job some day. But i used as litttle as I had to.

    My advice: Pay the money to attend a Stewarts 3 day weekend Covering seminar. Marty and Hardtail both lead them. You come away with not just confidence, scientific knowledge, expereince, but with a trusted mentor. Don't trust me or other internet/forum sources!!! Pay a small amount for expert advice from those who know! The most expensive cost of covering your Cub is the value you loose or gain based on the quality of your job. You can do it well, but you need help. Help is not very expensive. You'll save time and lots of money and develop more good relationships.
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    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    Has anyone used different top coat paints? Was it polytone that used to be allowed on the Stewart STC, but no longer is…or is that just a rumor?If they did take it off, why?


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    Quote Originally Posted by LMartin View Post
    Has anyone used different top coat paints? Was it polytone that used to be allowed on the Stewart STC, but no longer is…or is that just a rumor?If they did take it off, why?


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    Just a rumor... nothing but their topcoats are legal...but there's no reason not to use their stuff.
    John

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