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Old Apr 19, 2011, 09:02 AM
pd1
Registered User
United States, MA, Haverhill
Joined Jun 2006
2,157 Posts
Mini-HowTo
Covering with tissue..open structure, Sparky

Covering with tissue
I covered the wing using Japanese Tissue.
I covered the wet method of covering in the Shoestring thread.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23572

Sparky build thread:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42422

Here's the dry method.

1. Cut tissue. Grain goes lengthwise, not chord wise.
Tear a corner to check grain direction.
Cut tissue about 1 inch over sized.

2. Adhere tissue to the structure.
This is more personal preference, or what works for you.
I have heard people using thinned out white glue.
Glue sticks.
Cellulose based glue (Ambroid, Duco).
Nitrate dope
Butyrate dope.
And a new possibility, Min Wax and an Iron.
Ron, Skysharkster is using this method on his Waco with a different material.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41555

I don't use Nitrate anymore, too flammable for me.
So it's butyrate this time.

3. Prep. At least two coats of clear on the structure with sanding between. I use 50/50 thinned clear.

4. Lay the tissue over the area to be covered. Wet the structure with a fresh coat of dope and lay the tissue on the framework.
Try to get the wrinkles out, but don't go too crazy.
I cover the whole bottom of the wing then the top.

Once the tissue is stuck to the frame, trim the edges and add more dope to the perimeter .
If there are a few big wrinkles on the woodwork, you can flatten them with more dope and your fingers.
Try not to get any dope on the open tissue.

The covering should not be too tight.
Once all the edges are sealed well, I usually give a little more dope to the frame perimeter again.

5. Magic with water.
After the dope is dry, spray the wing with water and soak the paper.
The tissue will really wrinkle and sag now.
If you have a light structure, do top and bottom at the same time.
If you do only one side at a time the surface will twist, a lot.

Let it dry.

It should dry wrinkle free and tight. If not you can shrink again.

Once you're happy with it, a couple of coats of clear dope. Again do the top and the bottom together to prevent twisting.
Now sit back and watch the dope do it's magic.
Over a few hours the dope will shrink the covering even more than the water did.
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Last edited by pd1; Apr 21, 2013 at 08:50 AM.
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