HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Dec 19, 2014, 07:21 AM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
Discussion
Monokote's Temps Are Incorrect..

I ask anyone who clicked to review this post that they take the time to read it till the end. This explains a bunch of headaches with MonoKote, and really defines the covering is a fine choice for your model, as long as the correct instructions are provided in how to apply it.After doing some research on applying Monokote I found quite a few articles that specify temperature ratings of this covering film. The interesting thing is the ones on TopFlight's website are completely wrong to say the least. What else is sad is their own reps that post in forums don’t actually know the proper temps to apply it.

Topflight's website explains the film is to be applied at 275f (Please review TopFlights instructions I included a snapshot), and I even read a post from one of Hobbico’s reps (Bax is his screen name) that claims the films maximum temperature is 350f yet didn't provide temperature to apply the film (Review the picture below). Here's the original post http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/ques...peratures.html which is an interesting read to, and another poster responds to BAX by explaining he too was quoting the TopFlight website about the temperatures. I then decided to see why I was having such a difficult time applying the film to resemble what most ARF models do online. I grabbed a piece of scrap monokote, and pulled out my Raytek laser temp gauge, and shot my Coverites 21st century shoe bottom. I had the temperature on the iron set to 200f, and the shoe's bottom read 125-130f. I applied it to a piece of monokote on balsa, and it stuck, but didn’t have the tightest bond, or provide a completely wrinkle free finish.

I then raised the irons temp to 250f, and the shoe's bottom was only 146-150f. So I tried to apply the scrap piece of covering to a piece of balsa, and stuck virtually immediately literally shrinking out all the wrinkles by leaving the iron there a few seconds. I then raised the temperature to 300f on the iron, and it read 178-185f on the Raytek. I them tried to apply another piece of monokote, and the piece shrunk to a drum tight wrinkle free finish as soon as it made contact, and again was bonded tightly. The covering color was yellow, and it appeared to be slightly orange till the temp dropped as well.

I then raised the temperature of the iron to the maximum on the dial (390f), and the iron was only 255-260f on the shoe. A hole was put in the covering in 5-8 seconds after making contact with the shoe. Prior to burning a hole it made a sort of crater look from shrinking so fast.

Overall the best temperature I found to apply monokote using an iron is 146-150f. I found at this temperature the iron does all the work, and moving it around to smooth out wrinkles isn't required. I also worked in the 130f range for initial light tacking with the ability to lift a piece, and reposition it at will with that temp. With the temp at 146-150f Simply lay the covering over your panel, and apply the iron. I want to mention the rear part of the iron where Coverites insignia is was 40-50f hotter than the shoe. I also performed all tests without the sock so I would get a genuine reading. I hope this helps others who aren't seasoned at applying covering use the right temperature for application. Most guys go by feel or habit, but I myself like a temperature to work with because I don’t cover enough to have a trial, and error pattern down as they do.

It's really is frustrating to me as to why advertise the covering should be applied at a temp that would literally destroy the film (at least mine) I'm also just as upset at the irons temperature gauge. Why bother having one if it's inaccurate?? I hope anyone with a Raytek or similar temp gauge check their irons shoe temp. I'm curious to how well your iron is calibrated, and advertised.

This really reflects that Topflight doesn't perform these tests themselves , unless when they set their iron to a temperature it's inaccurate as well, so they go with the temp on the iron that yields the results they want regardless if the gauge is correct on the tool.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Last edited by storm2313; Dec 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Dec 19, 2014, 09:15 AM
Registered User
bullseye000's Avatar
Aurora Municipal, Illinois, United States
Joined Jul 2002
1,626 Posts
I'd be thinking that your irons thermostat is faulty. I have 2 coverite irons and they hold their temps to within 1 or 2 degrees measured with a contact thermometer. One thing I have found with any covering material is the proper setting of heat is crucial to application.
bullseye000 is offline Find More Posts by bullseye000
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2014, 09:27 AM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
I checked the Coverite iron against a Tower version as well. The shoe temp is also off by 50-60f. I agree with you application temp is crucial for the film to work correctly.

I believe the manufacturers of these irons don't calibrate them at the shoe or honestly why would they sell an optional contact thermometer? The Raytek laser thermometer I have is a calibrated commercial unit, and the unit functions perfectly. It's by far more accurate then a Coverite thermometer. The other thing to consider is the melting point of the film. Here's another thing one might bring up is the roll of Monokote. I used yellow, and tried metallic blue each having the same results.

If the film melts at under the temperature provided by the manufacturer that's pretty scary. I really don't think this is an isolated incident or there wouldn't be, so many posts of people having issues with the film. I think monokote is a fine film, but TopFlight should provide the correct information.

I'm really curious as to what others find with their rolls. If you have a piece of film lying around, and a thermometer check the melting point. It certainly easy enough. I look forward to reading some results.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Last edited by storm2313; Dec 19, 2014 at 09:36 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2014, 01:24 PM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
Here's another piece of proof the Coverite iron isn't calibrated. Take a moment, and read the article posted on how to tighten covering on ARF models. Keep in mind this was written by Hobbico the distributor of Coverite, and MonoKote products openly available using Google.

It states the temperature for MonoKote should be set to 325f on the dial, and at the shoe the temp will be about 280f?? Wow a 45 degree difference when using a sock? What happened to the 3 degree holding temp of the set temperature??

Sorry that's not possible if the iron's been calibrated at the shoe where it matters which honestly is what we're paying for.

The manufacturers need to take the time, and calibrate the iron if it's meant to hold a temperature. A 45 degree difference is huge, and will make quite a difference when applying , or touching up an ARF. Here's another interesting detail. They claim for MonoKote to apply it at 190f-215f yet MonoKote's website says 275f? Wow another huge difference, and they are both a product of Hobbico.

The Coverite 21st Century iron claims to hold temp within 3f of your setting. What setting? The iron's top or the bottom application shoe? Read the Coverites website snapshot provided on the irons description. It totally contradicts the previous article by Hobbico who distributes Coverite . The 45 degree difference I think is massive when you claim a 3 degree holding temp.

I hope they implement more testing before releasing these false claims. It reflects their lack of details, and we can all agree with covering the devils in the details.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Last edited by storm2313; Dec 19, 2014 at 01:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 06:12 AM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
I also found something else out today as I was playing with my iron. The heatsink effect . Let me explain. When the iron is at a temperature you set be it with its own dial or a laser thermometer, and you touch the surface your wanting to apply your MonoKote too it cools the iron down from its set temp in seconds after making contact with the surface do to the increased cooler temperature surface area.

I saw a 10-25f difference within 50 seconds of contact when trying to apply the film without removing the iron to let it bring itself up to temperature for at least 45 seconds to a minute. Once again this proves the claims of a 3f holding is false advertising. The idea the iron is calibrated to that degree would make a huge difference in repeatability of the films application.

This one flaw alone in the application is enough to yield uneven results when covering with the iron. One piece sticks excellent, and another piece has wrinkles, and is much looser without the correct bonding strength. Many guys claim Monokote has changed over the years, and now doesn't shrink or bond as it used to. The truth maybe it hasn't changed other than the temperatures in which people are trying to apply it.

I've seen over a hundred views on this topic, and feel someone else has had to have performed their own test as to the validity of their claims.

I'm hoping to read their own findings as well.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Last edited by storm2313; Dec 21, 2014 at 06:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 08:06 AM
Wanted for breaking OHM's law
Dennis Sumner's Avatar
United States, MI, Canton
Joined Sep 2002
1,750 Posts
I guess I've never had problems setting my Coverite iron or trim iron for use with any iron on coverings. The instructions and temperature are a nice guide but I've always started low on temps and adjust as needed. I stopped using Monokote several years ago when they changed their formula. I like Ultracote for most projects and just finished covering a Gee Bee Z with World Models Lightex.....great stuff.
Dennis Sumner is online now Find More Posts by Dennis Sumner
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: RC Throw Gauge
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 08:42 AM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
I have MonoKote right now, but Ultracote recommends similar temperatures. The real issue is the correct temperatures to apply the film. If you never had a problem with the temperature on your irons temperature let me ask you this have you ever calibrated it with an external thermometer preferably a calibrated unit?

Please don't refer to the Coverite analog instrument which claims to provide the same readings as their brands iron. My point is I doubt anyone, or very few have tested to see if their iron is registering the temps their dials claim on the shoe with a precision tool. They simply use the temp as a point in reference rather than the true guide for applying the film. That being written, means that the reason so many guys have trouble with it is the fact their temperatures vary so much for applying it.

When the Hobbicos rep explains to set the iron to just below when it melts the film as the correct setting or applying the covering I think it reflects lack of knowledge of their own product. How is it possible you manufacturer the covering for four decades, and can't provide a definitive answer to its application temperature? The other fact that still seems very misleading is they explain this 3f holding temp, of the Coverite iron, and then openly write that a dial setting of 325f only yields 285f.

MonoKote isn't the problem. I don't feel its changed, but the lack of tools with actual accurate temperature control is. A heatgun is a trial, and error tool, and always was. It works as long as you have the ability to read the films behavior. The iron, well lets just say is the most misleading of the two.

Here's some more proof of the real temperature issue. Why does MonoKote wrinkle in the sun? Everyone has gone through this with either film covered planes be it MonoKote, or UltraCote. ( I live in Fl., and the average temp in the direct sunlight exceeds 100f easily) The reason is the temperature at which the film begins to activate. The film is responding to the direct application of heat, and therefore is beginning to wrinkle. Does the sun produce 275f-300f degree temperatures? Not on earth, but that clearly reflects the issue with the films incorrect temperature ratings.

At temps over 100f or even less you will see the wrinkles forming. Has anyone ever shot the film to reflect its temp when it begins to wrinkle. I believe then you will see my point.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Last edited by storm2313; Dec 21, 2014 at 08:49 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 08:52 AM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
I'm hoping a rep from TopFlight, or Hobbico decides to respond, and explain the variances.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 09:10 AM
Wanted for breaking OHM's law
Dennis Sumner's Avatar
United States, MI, Canton
Joined Sep 2002
1,750 Posts
I think there are way too many variables to have a "cookie cutter" temperature set up instructions. I believe they are a guide. Iron calibrations are different, if you use a covering sock that changes the shoe temperature etc. I've been modeling and using iron on coverings since 1971 and never measured iron temperatures. After you use a product you get an idea where to start and I have "tick" marks on my Coverite iron for certain products. Last year a friend gave me the Coverite spring temperature tool. Once I adjusted it so it read ambient temperatures more accurate I've used it to check the shoe temperature, mine is fairly close to the dial on the Coverite iron...I think you'll find different colors of the same manufacturers material like different temperatures so the cookie cutter settings don't always work......your mileage may vary....
Dennis Sumner is online now Find More Posts by Dennis Sumner
RCG Plus Member
Latest blog entry: RC Throw Gauge
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 11:35 AM
Registered User
bullseye000's Avatar
Aurora Municipal, Illinois, United States
Joined Jul 2002
1,626 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Sumner View Post
I think there are way too many variables to have a "cookie cutter" temperature set up instructions. I believe they are a guide. Iron calibrations are different, if you use a covering sock that changes the shoe temperature etc. I've been modeling and using iron on coverings since 1971 and never measured iron temperatures. After you use a product you get an idea where to start and I have "tick" marks on my Coverite iron for certain products. Last year a friend gave me the Coverite spring temperature tool. Once I adjusted it so it read ambient temperatures more accurate I've used it to check the shoe temperature, mine is fairly close to the dial on the Coverite iron...I think you'll find different colors of the same manufacturers material like different temperatures so the cookie cutter settings don't always work......your mileage may vary....
I've tested my iron with the thermometer and it's really close. I was more interested in whether the iron held a stable temp rather than the standard Top Flight iron that drifted all over. I use a sock on my iron so ultimately the dial temp will never match the shoe temp. I don't bother trying to set my iron to the recommended temps anyway. I test with the iron and a piece of balsa. My iron gets hot enough to activate the adhesive without melting into the grain of the balsa. I have a second iron set to a temperature that shrinks the film but not to maximum shrink. The iron temp should match your covering technique, the manufacturers temps should be used as a starting point.

As far as Monokote changing... there's plenty of threads full of complaints no need to start yet another debate. I talked to the former product development manager Charlie Bauer (his Monokote videos are top notch btw) and he said they changed the formulation of the carrier film. I tested 2 rolls of red, one from a batch I bought around 1991 and a roll I recently purchased. There was a distinct difference in the films. I gave up on Mono 4 planes ago. I like Mono's colors but I tired of the fight to make the stuff look good and last.
bullseye000 is offline Find More Posts by bullseye000
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 12:33 PM
Registered User
storm2313's Avatar
United States, FL, Spring Hill
Joined Jul 2011
330 Posts
I apologize as I mean no disrespect, and each person is entitled to their own opinion however I'm pointing out facts that can be easily verified. When you point out there are to many variables in applying MonoKote I have to disagree.

MonoKote is designed for use over wood as the raw material. I know some guys use it on Fiberglass, and other dense raw materials, but aren't in no way applying it at 275f-300f (Once again their iron may reflect it on their dial, but take a bottom shoe temp in real time without the sock). Another question is why would you have to calibrate their thermometer to the ambient temperature? If it isn't reading the ambient correctly it certainly isn't reading the shoe correctly. I wrote the truth in that a manufacturer releasing a product should know how to apply it to the surface it was designed for especially considering they have been producing MonoKote for as long as they have.

Bullseye you said your iron is very close? Is it holding 3f? This is what I'm saying. I'm also curious you said the temp was close? What's close?. You explained that you don't follow the manufacturers temps, but does that mean that someone starting in the hobby should practice the same habits? You explained you spoke with the the product development manager. What's his feedback on the application temperature? What did they change in the carrier film? What's the big difference now from then when applying it? I bet it can all be attributed to the temperature your applying it at.

Here's the point I believe that your missing. If they provided an accurate temperature for applying the film you could easily replicate the correct results far better than practicing for hours on what you think worked correctly the last time.

Set the dial to 325f, and it should read at the shoe 285f is way more than a little off. I'm sure you realize that 45f variance pending you use the Coverites thermometer makes using the dial on the iron useless.
storm2313 is online now Find More Posts by storm2313
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 02:19 PM
Wanted for breaking OHM's law
Dennis Sumner's Avatar
United States, MI, Canton
Joined Sep 2002
1,750 Posts
I adjusted the Coverite temperature tool to read my ambient workshop at 68 degrees. Now when I tried it it is pretty close to the dial reading on the Coverite iron. (Again I don't use a thermometer to set my irons)

Again, if you've used a lot of colors from various manufacturers you would find that some colors apply differently.

If you want the manufacturer to tell you Exactly what temperature to use that is fine, I was trying to explain how I've used various iron on coverings over the years. To be honest I don't put much faith in the manufacturers "recommended" temperatures. I have never adjusted my iron hot enough to melt through covering.

On coverings wrinkling in the sun: I've used Ultracote over the last 10 years and have no problems with it wrinkling in the sun. Maybe I am pulling and shrinking more with a heat gun?

Good luck with your covering.
Dennis Sumner is online now Find More Posts by Dennis Sumner
RCG Plus Member
Last edited by Dennis Sumner; Dec 21, 2014 at 02:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 02:31 PM
Registered User
bullseye000's Avatar
Aurora Municipal, Illinois, United States
Joined Jul 2002
1,626 Posts
Dennis probably said it better than me but I'll try and clarify. On a bare shoe I'm within about 7 degrees of what I set on the dial. I don't really care though because I tweak the setting after I put my covering sock on testing it on bare balsa. I don't use a thermometer to set my irons temperature for covering. I use it to check the functionality of the iron itself. I check both of my irons every so often to make sure there is no temperature drift. The drift on my Coverite irons is about +-3 degrees. Good enough for me. The old style irons like the Top Flight or Hobbico models had a tendency to drift a lot. This makes covering and shrinking difficult if you can't count on your irons temp.

Just go with it and happy covering
bullseye000 is offline Find More Posts by bullseye000
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 02:41 PM
Registered User
Joined May 2005
784 Posts
I only use Monokote and sometimes Econokote and they are both great coverings. If you search my builds you will see the Monokote works great and I have not noticed a difference between mono of the 80s and now. Charlie's videos are great, I have them all and the same methods still apply. Topflites video is good but they need to update it with advance covering techniques. Here is a complicated Corsair open frame build I did with mono.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2142088
scigs30 is offline Find More Posts by scigs30
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 21, 2014, 02:47 PM
Registered User
Joined May 2005
784 Posts
I also posted my experiment with old vs new Mono and not much difference but there was a small difference, this could be do to age of old Mono.
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/kit-...-monokote.html
scigs30 is offline Find More Posts by scigs30
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Can I modify a soldering iron to give variable temps for Monokote and similar films? HarrisonB The Builders Workshop 6 Nov 05, 2013 08:48 PM
Discussion What Are Symptoms of Incorrect ESC Timing ? KenS999 Power Systems 2 Apr 16, 2012 08:47 AM
Are LiPo's usable in cold temps? lammy1000 Batteries and Chargers 4 Jan 23, 2005 02:22 PM
FS: Covering: Low-temp Oracover, Nelson, Ultracote, Monokote kyril Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 2 Jun 14, 2004 02:15 PM
Copyright dates are incorrect FlyByMike Site Chat 0 May 19, 2003 11:31 PM