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Old Yesterday, 03:34 PM
Registered User
Canada, MB, Steinbach
Joined Jul 2011
93 Posts
Fixing wrinkles in covering

I just purchse a new GP Escapade and it has quite a bit of wrinkles in wings & tail pieces and am wondering what is best way to tighten up the covering. I have access to an iron but met someone today who says he always uses a hair dryer and it worked great for him everytime. I imagine you would need to watch the heat of the dryer carefully and maybe not to close? What are the thoughts & recomendation. Also this is my first balsa and have had no experience with coverings. Thanks.
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Old Yesterday, 04:07 PM
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Mark Wood's Avatar
United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
Joined Feb 2000
26,338 Posts
The heat gun will work and is the approved method. As you mentioned, watch the heat and keep it moving.

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Old Yesterday, 04:58 PM
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Tucci's Avatar
United States, NC, Newport
Joined Sep 2012
871 Posts
I have far better luck with a sealing iron than a heat gun, I always make it worse with the gun. I find I have more control with the iron. Hair dryer doesn't really get hot enough.
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 PM
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United States, OR, The Dalles
Joined Apr 2011
1,308 Posts
I would recommend having both an iron and a heat gun.

Set the iron to the sealing temp of the covering, and go over the leading edge and trailing edge, and anywhere there's a seam.

The iron set at shrinking temp works well at removing wrinkles from covering over balsa sheet.

The heat gun works great over open ribs or large areas. You will see the covering soften and wrinkles get worse just before you reach shrinking temp. Keep the gun moving around, but keep heat on the area just a bit longer and it will stretch tight.

A new plane will often have wrinkles reappear and have to be touched up, but they seem to settle down after a couple times.

Be aware you can pull a warp in a wing or stab by shrinking covering unevenly.
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