Covering with ESAKI Tissue
I'm new in free flight. My LACEY-M10 airframe is almost finished. Now it's time to go covering.
I read a lot about covering methods such as white glue and water to shrink the tissue, dope,... I would prefer to work with water and white glue.
I tried a covering sample but i had not good results, tissue not well shrinked.
Would you have some advice to help me to get a successfull covering job?
Maybe you could describe shortly the steps to follow and specify the type of products you use...?
You didn't actually say what the problem was that you had. Did the tissue
shrink too much and distort the frame or was it still loose and wrinkly?
I prefer using white glue and water to cover. I thin the glue with enough
water to make it kind of milky. Not thick enough that it's stringy when
you dip a finger in it and not so watery that it loses its opaqueness.
50/50 usually works for me. I use a finger dipped in the glue and run it around
the frame that I'm covering then lay an oversize piece of tissue on it. I then
pull it snug around the frame worrying more about it laying nice and flat than
I am about it being taut. Once it is dry I use a new razor blade to trim.
A Lacey could probably get away with using 4 pieces of tissue for the
wing and 5 pieces for the fuselage. Once everything is tissued and dry then
we can shrink. I like water thinned down with rubbing alcohol, again 50/50.
More alcohol = less shrinkage. If you get wrinkles that are not coming from
the frame distorting then you can try putting a little water on the area
with wrinkles. If the tissue is pulling the wood in and causing wrinkles then
we need to look at shrinking with only alcohol or preshrinking the tissue.
I purposely didn't mention the tail structures because you either don't want
to shrink them or you'll want to preshrink the tissue. Preshrinking is pretty easy.
You can tape the edges of a sheet of tissue to a hardwood frame or
to a clean sheet of glass. Make sure the tape runs all around the edges of
the tissue. Now you want to shrink the tissue. Some people use straight
alcohol for the preshrinking to give themselves a little shrinkage when they
apply the tissue to the frame. Me? I'm still 50/50. Now you cut the tissue out
of the inside of the tape and cover! One other thing, when you are shrinking
wings and tail surfaces, I wet the bottom sides first and then wait a
minute or two letting the tissue start to lose it's wet look before I wet the
top side. I then pin the structure down on wax paper to reduce the warping.
I never use dope, if I'm trying to protect a plane from damp weather then I'll
use Krylon Clear Spray paint and mist it around the plane. I don't even want
to notice that it's on the plane at all. I just trust that it's there!
good luck and if you have any more questions, just ask!
Gold Coast Australia.
Joined Jan 2005
l love Esaki tissue, now that my very old stocks of English Modelspan, light and heavy are just about gone. l only use the LIGHT-WEIGHT one.
Esaki has a grain so cover your wing with the grain LONGWAYS, same with the fuselage and stab.
Step 1. Dope the airframe with 50-50 dope and thinners FOUR times, sanding very lightly to take off any fuzz.
Step 2. Cut tissue oversize to suit the wing, fuse, tail etc. Don't forget longways grain
Step 3. Place tissue SHINY side down onto underneath of wing and brush thru. the tissue with thinners only onto the structure, and work it with your finger 'till it sticks. Trim the excess, l sand gently on the edge of the frame to 'cut' the tissue. Same on fuselage, either sides or top/bottom, but don't forget the SHINY side to the wood, it sticks much better.
Step 4. Place tissue to top of wing/fuselage etc, and use thinners to make it stick, and then trim the tissue on a small model 1/8 oversize or a larger one 1/4in oversize. Dope the edge of the wing etc 2 more times then fold the excess over and apply more dope. This will give a strong leading and trailing edge.
Step 5. Spray, not brush, spray with a fine mist of WATER to damp not wet the tissue and let it dry, and when it has dope it one section at a time with the 50/50 mix.
l find on a small or lightweight model that one coat of dope is enough, 2 for a larger model. l even cover larger power models with Esaki also and DOUBLE cover, same method as above, but the second cover is CROSS grained. lt is a very tough and strong covering done that way. You need to give 3 or 4 coats of dope though and you will sometimes get a little wrinkling in places. Simply lay the 2nd sheet on to the section and dope it on. Fuel proof it if you wish.
Esaki does tend to fade, but at the moment it's the best l can find, and the one l use is the very LIGHT-WEIGHT one. l know there are other ways to do it but this is what has worked for me. Good luck.
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Joined Oct 2004
Strange how we all have differing methods! I cover dry, shiny side up, then SOAK each panel with a wad of wet Kleenex and pin it down to dry on small balsa spacers. Use a dope mix of 25% nitrate, 25% lacquer thinner, 50% nitrate thinner plus an occasional dash of castor oil - as many coats as I feel is needed to fill pores.
I cannot go along with the idea of using Krylon instead of dope - no way it can fill and strengthen tissue like dope. tried it, didn't like it; just occasionally mist a top coat on AFTER all the doping is done.
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