Thinner alternatives for Sig Nitrate dope - RC Groups
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Jun 20, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Thinner alternatives for Sig Nitrate dope

I ran out of thinner yesterday and visited a number of local hobby stores and when I asked about thinners that are compatable with dope I just got blank stares.

I will order some from Sig but I am wondering if there are any alternatives that I can buy locally so I can get back to work asap.

Is there a specific type of thinner that a place like wal-mart, hobby lobby (the big craft store, not the rc airplane place) or hobbytown usa might carry?
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Jun 20, 2010, 08:47 PM
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CaptAhab's Avatar
I wouldnt do that if I were you...
Jun 20, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Martin Irvine's Avatar
Acetone will thin nitrate as will laquer thinner.

Jun 20, 2010, 08:55 PM
Two left thumbs
Ditto the acetone - it's all I've ever used. You can also get nitrate dope and thinner from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.
Jun 20, 2010, 09:18 PM
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CaptAhab's Avatar
Well here in Houston with the heat and humidity it blushes like crazy if you dont use a heat lamp, thats why i suggested sticking nitrate thinner. Geoff have you had it crack over time using acetone ?
Jun 20, 2010, 10:35 PM
Two left thumbs
No, but I haven't covered large surfaces with acetone-thinned dope. I usually build little models. On a small model I'm sure acetone is fine; on a big one, or in high humidity, a retarder would be wise if not necessary.
Jun 21, 2010, 10:23 AM
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LesUyeda's Avatar
I have used a GOOD quality automotive laquer thinner with dope. Seemed to work just fine.

Jun 21, 2010, 01:40 PM
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I found a solvent that states that it is a acceptable replacement for lacquer thinner, acetone, MEK and a bunch of other things. One of the components of the Sig thinner is MEK so I bought it. I painted applied a test strip of silkspan to see how it works. Wont know till this evening when I get home. Ordered some more thinner from Sig so it will be a moot point in a few days. Dont want to be idle till then though.
Jun 21, 2010, 03:45 PM
one flew
MentalDekay's Avatar
How well do these alternatives work with butyrate dope? ie. sig lite-coat.

Jun 21, 2010, 10:44 PM
I eat only vegetarian beef
Skycruiser's Avatar
Acetone will make the dope blush in humid environments. As the acetone evaporates off, it cools the surface which makes water from the atmosphere condense on it. Water and dope don't mix, so you get blushing. MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is better, but pretty much any solvent blend that has 50% or more ketone in it will be good. I use cheap spraying thinners from my local auto paint shop, it's 50/50 MEK and toluene (toluol).

Capt. Ahab, try adding some car paint retarder thinners (usually cyclohexanone), it should slow the drying down enough so that you don't get blushing. Helps make brush strokes level out too.

Jun 22, 2010, 03:09 AM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
I used to use the good quality English Color brand lacquer thinner with great success, with both nitrate and butyrate dope. However, I am not sure that it has the same formula these days.....

Worth checking, though.

I have also heard that you can add a little acetone to hardware store lacquer thinner and get some good results.

As the OP is in Idaho, I think he will have a lot less humidity problems than people have in the Houston area....
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Jun 22, 2010, 08:33 AM
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olmod's Avatar
I use A class automotive thinner = fast dry = gloss.
Jun 22, 2010, 02:57 PM
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Thomas B, you are correct, I think we had some humidity a while back ... cant say I cared for it much.

I stepped off an airplane in the Houston airport once, broke into a sweat, thought I was under water, panicked and swore never to return.
Jun 22, 2010, 03:10 PM
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Not much to report on the alternative that I tried. Its a supposed 'green' thinner. Does not dry as fast as the Sig thinner. Seems to work though its hard to test how it works over time. Seems like the silkspan is more flexable. I am going to try the whole wing underside with it and see what happens.
Jun 24, 2010, 01:21 AM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
Originally Posted by olmod
I use A class automotive thinner = fast dry = gloss.
Our thinners get worse and worse as the VOC regualtions for air quality keep taking to good stuff out of the thinners...sigh.
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