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Old Nov 09, 2002, 01:26 PM
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thor4944's Avatar
Ohio Wapak
Joined Feb 2002
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quick question about covering a zagi thl

I have econokote and I am covering my zagi for the first time..my buddy told me to tack it down at both ends of the wing and use a hair dryer and tighten it...it makes more sense to me to iron from the middle to the outside....and iron the whole thing..HELP....I would like to do my wing tonight.......the weather is bad..I think it is bad all over the US.....thanks for the help
Bill
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Old Nov 09, 2002, 03:03 PM
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AirVenture's Avatar
SW Wisconsin
Joined Jul 2001
1,042 Posts
Your friend's idea works best for open frame covering. I'd just use the iron on the whole thing. Just make sure it's a very low temperature. I'm not sure where the best place to start covering is though...anybody have any ideas?

-Brett
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Old Nov 09, 2002, 05:46 PM
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Boulder, CO USA
Joined Sep 2001
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Hey Bill, here's what I do.
  • get the film set right on the wing (lots of fiddling around)
  • with the iron at 100C begin at the chord line
  • pick one side of the wing and slowly move the iron down the middle of the wing
  • as you move down the wing towards the wingtips, sweep alternately towards the LE and TE
  • Once you have hit the wingtip you have eliminated most of the wrinkle potential.
I will try to get roughly a 6 inch wide section of film set down on the wing before I start on the LE and TE wraps. Once the middle section is done I will pick either the LE or TE (doesn't matter) and then run the iron towards the chosen edge again working from the chord line across the entire wing to the wingtip. The trick to getting a nice wrap on either edge is to slowly make progress towards the edge. I'll typically run all the way down the wing securing the film in .5 - 1 inch increments as I work towards the edge.

Once I hit the LE or TE edge, I will do the same trick but will slow the advance just a bit. At some point especially around the LE you might develop a wrinkle due to the slight curve of the airfoil. Although on balsa coverings you can really pull it hard I have found that does not work so well on foam. Best thing to do is to stop, grab your X-acto knife and make a cut from that point to the edge of the film. This will remove the winkle and allow the film to overlap just a bit at that wrinkle area and it will be hard if not impossible to see the cut. Especially at 50feet at 60Mph! I have discovered to not be afraid to make cuts as necessary and if the film separates and shows the foam underneath, then cut a small piece of film and cover that up.

It sounds hard, but it's fairly easy. If you totally screw it up, just rip it off and try it again Ekonocote is fairly thin so until you shrink it it will look ugly and kind of wrinkled. Last tip, do not press on a wrinkle as this will crease the film. Once you crease the film it is almost impossible to get it out. What you are trying to do is to create a shrinkable bag around your wing. Tack down and seal everything (making the bag) before you begin any shrinking.

Once you have covered the entire wing, then up the heat to the appropriate shrink temperature and duplicate the process all over again starting at the chord, down the middle to wingtip, sweeps to the LE, TE, etc. Most film coverings that I have tried including Ekonocote will shrink, then unshrink just a hair once it cools off. If you find that happening then just reshrink it again.

Remember that covering jobs always look better in a photograph than in real life. It's amazing the imperfections that you can find with the Mark I eyeball that are impossible to see on a photograph, digital or otherwise.

Matt
www.yourzagi.com
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Last edited by mtayl; Nov 10, 2002 at 12:49 AM.
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Old Nov 09, 2002, 07:56 PM
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Ohio Wapak
Joined Feb 2002
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wow

Wow matt..thanks a bunch.....that is a lot of time to type that out but I really appreciate it....off I go to do my first cover job with covering....whooo hoooo....I woul dnot have bothered you but I looked on your site and I could not find it...you should take what you emailed me and put it on your website that is awsome..all you have to do is cut and paste...take care!!!
Bill
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Old Nov 10, 2002, 12:05 AM
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Boulder, CO USA
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LOL. Yep, good idea! Hey, let us know how it turns out. When I did my first one it was a mixture of total panic and anxiety coupled with satisfaction when it turned out to be not as hard as I thought it would be.

Matt
www.yourzagi.com
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Old Nov 10, 2002, 08:03 PM
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Ohio Wapak
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Here is how

Ok..I did the bottom...Looks awsome but the wing was bowed a bit....I was worried..then I did the top and it straightened out perfectly....straight as an arrow....but there where much more wrinkels on the top then bottom...My problem is the L.E.....I tore it off the L.E. and I will do It again..just on the L.E.....I will let you know how it turns out..It was longer than I thought...took me about 1 hour and 1/2 to do the whole wing.......I will let you know thanks.!!!
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Old Nov 10, 2002, 09:01 PM
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Formerly CA now Missouri
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Hey Thor

Just some food for thought!..... When you are ready to re-cover your zagi.... use ULTRACOTE!!! I have used many different types of iron-on films and Ultracote is not only easier to work with but much stronger than the rest! After many flights all you have to do is re-shrink it and it looks as good as new!....



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Old Nov 11, 2002, 12:20 AM
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Boulder, CO USA
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Re: Here is how

Quote:
Originally posted by thor4944
Ok..I did the bottom...Looks awsome but the wing was bowed a bit....I was worried..then I did the top and it straightened out perfectly....straight as an arrow....but there where much more wrinkels on the top then bottom...My problem is the L.E.....I tore it off the L.E. and I will do It again..just on the L.E.....I will let you know how it turns out..It was longer than I thought...took me about 1 hour and 1/2 to do the whole wing.......I will let you know thanks.!!!
Cool. After you do a few you will get quicker as you discover how fast you can move the iron, where the wrinkles are probably going to show up, etc. As Saint152 (nice wing!) stated Ultracote is the best film covering that I have found. Although just a tad heavier and thicker it is easier to put on than the other films that I have tried. The thicker film helps with minimizing the wrinkle potential and is more tear and puncture resistant if you tend to land in a rough field like I do. If I have a choice I will always use Hanger 9 Ultracote. It costs a few dollars more but I think it is well worth the extra $3-5 per roll.

Matt
www.yourzagi.com
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