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Old Dec 02, 2012, 07:41 PM
Student-Can't Fly Yet
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Canada, QC, Montreal
Joined Apr 2012
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Covering Tools

Hi,

Getting ready to do my first covering and looking at two trimmers, the Jim's Film Trimmer and the SmartCut Trim Tool.

I’m leaning towards the Higley model, anyone have experience using both of them?

Thanks…

Michael
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Old Dec 02, 2012, 08:30 PM
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Aurora Municipal, Illinois, United States
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Forget the Top Flight. I've tried all of them and the Higley trimmer works very well it's my go to tool. Nothing is perfect though and there are still some cuts you will need to improvise when trimming. Make sure you good blades. I've bought cheap blades and found they can drag an tear rather than make a good clean cut. The Higley trimmer needs a good sharp blade.
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Old Dec 02, 2012, 09:04 PM
Student-Can't Fly Yet
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Canada, QC, Montreal
Joined Apr 2012
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Film Trimmers

Thanks bullseye000 for the prompt reply, I got a lot of practicing ahead of me and I know how important it is to use the right tool. As always, much appreciated best to learn from an experienced builder. I’ll put an order in for one and I’m currently using a bulk pack of UltraPro single edge blades (NAPA Auto Parts), great quality.



Michael
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Old Dec 02, 2012, 10:57 PM
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Is there an online tutorial for the Jim Film Trimmer? I never knew there was such and thing and would like to see how they work
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 12:34 AM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2002
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I feel the same about the Top Flight POS. Mine is 10 years old and still in like new condition because I hate using it. I recently got the Jim's trimmer and love the simplicity. HERE is a link to the instructions for the Jim's trimmer.

Joe
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Traverse City, Michigan
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After all my years in the hobby, I still use single edge razor blades. I haven't found the need for anything else.
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 01:06 PM
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United States, PA, Beaver
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I'll toss another positive for Jim's trimmer, and a big fat negative for the Top Flight one.
After I got my Top FLight one, and couldn't get it to work they were having a demo at the booth at Toledo. The guy basically motioned the cuts but never actually made one...even when I repeatedly asked him to do so. He would just motion them and tell me how easy it was. I asked if I could try, and he said that was the only one he had (how did that make a difference?)
When at the Higgley booth, I asked Harry to show me how his works. He handed me a covered piece of balsa and the tool, and told me to try it (no explanation given). I was able to immediately figure it out, and it actually worked first try. Picked one up immediately, and use it on every build. Works GREAT!
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 08:17 PM
Student-Can't Fly Yet
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Canada, QC, Montreal
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Heat Gun Choices

Great insight on the trimmers, thanks.

I'm figuring my trusty B&D Heat 'N Strip (Dual Heat) won't cut it; and seems there's only two on the market, Hobbico or the Hanger 9, they look pretty similar?

Also, what are you using for a glove?

Appreicate comments from ya, thanks guys...



Michael
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Easy enough to make your own. Piece of balsa, CA and a broken in half double edge razor blade. One is good enough for a whole airplane. Easy enough to make a new one each time. I find the double edge blades to be sharper than the single edge; important for some of the lighter weight films.
See picture 7.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=103
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 09:23 PM
Student-Can't Fly Yet
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Trimmer

That is smart mnowell129, the double edge blade is thiner and sharper.

Michael
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Old Dec 03, 2012, 09:38 PM
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I use a Makita HG6020 heat gun, which is adjustable for heat and fan strength. I paid around $100 for it, so it's more expensive than the average hobby grade heat gun- but then I've had two of those die on me after covering a couple of models. The Makita can even be used for it's intended purpose, i.e paint stripping around the home, if required! I use a pair of "rubbery" DeWalt reinforced safety gloves for tugging at the covering- which provide a better tactile sensation than heavy leathery ones, and keep the heat off my fingers very well indeed (no, they don't melt!).

The other handy tools are a decent quality covering iron that's temperature adjustable, and also a mini iron for getting into grooves, exhaust channels and tight spaces.

I've never felt the need for a trimming tool- but I guess it can be the kind of tool which you wonder how you ever got along without, once you've used one! Thus far I've gotten by using a keen no.11 or 23 scalpel blade and a 3/16" square Spruce strip used as a cutting guide.

Scissors: Decent quality scissors like you find at a dressmaker's supply shop, as well as a few pairs of finer tipped scissors are handy. I've found the slightly toothed fine fishing braid scissors (or "Supercut" surgical scissors) work well for delicate cuts, and they don't dull as quickly as regular ones.
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Violets View Post
I'm figuring my trusty B&D Heat 'N Strip (Dual Heat) won't cut it; and seems there's only two on the market, Hobbico or the Hanger 9, they look pretty similar?

Also, what are you using for a glove?

Appreicate comments from ya, thanks guys...

Michael
My buddy has the Hobico one. The fan rattles, and it feels flimsy. I got the Hangar9 after my old Top Flight one quit working. It is nice and quiet, and has a better quality feel to it.

I tried using that glove and the mitt that Great Planes sells. Nice idea, but they would pick up the slightest speck of "stuff" off the work bench no matter how hard I tried to keep them clean. I even tried storing them in a ziplock bag. The stuff it picked up would scratch the covering so I quit using them. I hear guys using old socks to smooth out the covering (and baby socks for iron mitts)

For pulling the covering I use a tool called a Cover Tuger. It was made by the guy who used to run my local hobby shop. It is sold under the name Ohio Superstar. He sold the company when he retired from the shop. The one I have looks slightly different than the photo on the web page. (mine has shorter jaws) I may have one of the prototypes. I got it YEARS ago. I've had to replace the double sided tape( the gripping part) a few times, but it works way better than any other method I have tried.

And yes, like the Wizard said.... good scissors are almost a must. They make a huge difference over the cheapies...
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 01:13 PM
Student-Can't Fly Yet
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Canada, QC, Montreal
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Great input, time to get out the good set of scissors, figured the mitt was not a good fit and as for the “Cover Tuger”, I never knew it existed, Tower carries it.

I tell ya; you’ll make a pro out of me,yet LOL!

Thanks…

Michael
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 09:04 PM
Love To Fly Anything!!
United States, NY, Conklin
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I just looked on towers web site and they do carry both tools the cover tugger and the Higley trimmer I just orderd both thanks for the tips.
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Old Dec 05, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomupstateny View Post
.... cover tugger and the Higley trimmer I just orderd both ....
Be sure to report on the Cover Tugger.... I sure hope it's as good as the one I have. Can't see why not, but not sure why they are now going with the longer jaws.
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