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Old Sep 30, 2002, 10:40 PM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
Forney, TX
Joined Mar 2002
15,165 Posts
I've become better friends with Mr. SoLite as well I've discovered the translucent colors are a lot easier to work with than the opaque, they don't stick to themselves nearly as bad.

A couple of additional tips:

When covering thin parts (like ailerons or tail surfaces), be very careful not to let the covering on one side touch the covering on the other side. You won't be able to separate the covering. Don't push too hard with the iron, once the covering touches the other side it's all over!

Did anyone mention to keep your blades sharp? It's true, SoLite does not like a dull blade. It will tear in particularly ragged and ugly fashion.

Great write up Martin!
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Last edited by Tres Wright; Sep 30, 2002 at 10:43 PM.
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Old Oct 03, 2002, 08:36 AM
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byoung's Avatar
O'Fallon, MO USA
Joined Dec 1999
1,412 Posts
Well I tried a combination of Martin (dreamer) and Tom's (Columbia rc) methods last night on my Flashback wing. These methods really help. I covered the bottoms of both wings with no problems. Thanks guys for the how to posts

Brad
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Old Oct 03, 2002, 01:31 PM
Flying FPV or Dreaming I Am...
cactus's Avatar
United States, CO, Durango
Joined Sep 2001
6,073 Posts
I started covering my Cessna with Solite (White) several weeks ago. This is my first time covering Balsa with large openings Prior to this project I have used UltraCoat Plus on Foamies.

After several practice pieces I found the tempature for the iron that shrinks it well and is holding its shape great. Much better than UC+. Sure it is harder to handle but I agree with Martin on the fact that it is a great shinker. So far I have been able to use the following method for application:

First I measure off the section I want to cover with an inch or so off overhang. For example the bottom of the body of the MM Cessna 180 I used a single piece from the tail up to the cowl and over to the transition to the sides. I then lay the covering down on the workspace and work the end free to remove the backing. Once I get it started I position the piece over the area to cover and remove the backing as I lightly tack it down with my fingers. I then use the iron in one hand and pull with the other hand on one end in the middle and work my way towards the sides. I don't have a heatgun, so I just shrink the covering right there by pushing the covering with the iron to make the unsupported areas such as holes tight and then puch the wrinkles off the edges. It just kind of works good this way for me...
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Old Oct 03, 2002, 03:08 PM
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chuck-webb's Avatar
Sacramento, CA
Joined Jul 2002
39 Posts
Somebody, I forget who (sorry!) mentioned lightly dusting the adhesive side of Solite with talc to prevent it from sticking to itself and to make it a bit easier to handle. I tried that and it was the best tip for handling Solite! It doesn't seem to affect its adhesion to the wood (or itself) with the application of heat, but you don't have to be nearly as careful handling it. Lightly sprinkle on some talc, spread it evenly with a terrycloth towel or wash cloth and Viola! Try it, you'll like it.
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Old Oct 03, 2002, 03:28 PM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
15,106 Posts
For interests sake, here's something for all of you to ponder:

White will sometimes stick so badly it's ruined
Silver will hardly ever stick badly enough that it's ruined
Dark blue will always stick really bad to itself
Dark green will always stick really bad to itself
Transparent blue will most often be able to be pulled apart

I've not tried the talcom powder method, but the above is from previous experience with the colors I've used.

Martin
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Old Oct 03, 2002, 10:16 PM
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CADman's Avatar
Sevier County, East Tennessee
Joined Oct 2001
481 Posts
OK, I'm ready to finish my Switchback

After reading this thread I've learned many new tips and gained enough confidence to dive in this weekend and finish covering my Switchback. It's been ten years since I last covered a plane. I'm using the dark blue NelsonLite Film. I've finished the control surfaces of the Switchback but have procrastinated finishing the wing and fuselage. The talcum/baby powder idea is mentioned in the instruction sheet and works great in keeping the stuff from sticking to itself.
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:32 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
15,106 Posts
As I have too much time on my hands and don't feel like sleeping, this thread is officially becoming subtitled "not for the bandwidth challenged" as I'm about to post 8 bazillion pictures of covering with solite. I took all of these pictures myself while working on the wing, so any where you see both of my hands, don't ask where and how I held the camera I'm doing this my tried and tested method, which may differ from some others suggested above, but it's what works best for me.

These are the results of a few people emailing and PM'ing me asking various questions. I know if a few are asking questions, plenty more are not but want to know just as badly. If most of this is elementary to you, just bear with me

First of all - the project. This is a Cessna wing (don't ask) that I've already covered on the bottom.
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Last edited by Martin Hunter; Oct 05, 2002 at 06:00 AM.
Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:33 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Please note that I have NOT shrunk the covering on the bottom (don't ask me what that yellow bar is - camera's fault, I guess)
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:36 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
15,106 Posts
I love doing big things all in one chunk, especially with solite. This isn't necessarily a recommendation, and most experienced modellers will say it's a bad thing to do. In fact, it can be a very bad thing to do with a less shrinkable covering. For this example, I'm doing the entire top of the wing with one piece, cut lengthwise from the roll as the wingspan is more than the roll is wide.

Cut out a chunk that will leave about one inch of overhang front and back and more like two inches at the wingtips. You'll see why later.
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:37 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Lay the covering with the finished side to the work table.
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:39 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Using any of the above mentioned techniques, start to peel the backing off.
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:41 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Make sure the covering stays flat against the table. You can help this by pulling the backing straight back, and not up.
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:42 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Yes, still keep it flat against the table. I follow the backing with my hand all the way along.
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:44 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Pick up the covering by the corners furthest away from you
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Old Oct 05, 2002, 05:45 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
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Slap 'er down on the wing. Make sure not to double back or you may end up with the infamous solite stick.
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