Thread Tools
Sep 06, 2014, 04:18 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar

How to make a heat-shrink canopy

In another thread I recommended that a builder make a canopy for his model using heat shrink. He asked how to do it, so here's what I do.

* Note: In photo 2, "Finished" means sanded, coated with finishing resin, wet-sanded to perfection. Add 1/8" plates at least to ensure a nice edge all around, then finish a little more. You want to see where the part ends and the extra begins.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 07, 2014, 01:05 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Here's a source for the heat shrink I used:

Sep 07, 2014, 01:55 PM
Build more, websurf less
FlyingW's Avatar

I used a clear plastic soda bottle - it worked well with your method. Instead of wood, I carved the canopy form out of blue foam. I got one good canopy with it, but melted it a bit making a second.

Sep 08, 2014, 09:05 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Good work, Paul. The soda bottle method is good for heavier models. I've got a few planes with them myself. The immediate reason for this thread was for a model that will weigh 5 oz ready to fly.

Thanks for bringing up the point. It's good information!

Long Valley, eh? I used to work in Hackettstown. My father grew up in Califon on top of the hill. One of my favorite lunch spots was the Schooleys Mtn General Store.

Sep 08, 2014, 08:55 PM
Registered User
ckimmey's Avatar
Awesome Andy... How stiff is the finished product? Does it harden up when heated?
Sep 09, 2014, 10:39 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
If you use the heat shrink, it's very flexible and light - quite appropriate for a UM (what caused this thread). That makes it so it doesn't damage easily - it just flexes out of the way.

The plastic bottle technique is great for parkflyers on up. It's pretty resilient to damage too because the bottle plastic is pretty tough. Try cutting one some time!

A lot depends on how tight the bend is, too. This is essentially a "stressed skin" type of construction which is very light, strong, and durable.

Sep 09, 2014, 02:29 PM
Registered User
builderdude's Avatar
I have a clear plastic tube that was used for something.
Sort of like a plastic bottle, except cylindrical.
I don't suppose I could use something like that, could I?
It's made out of the same plastic as a basic soda bottle, but maybe thinner.
Sep 09, 2014, 02:34 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Try it!

I used to see a lot of Lexan tubes like that for shipping items.


Quick Reply

Thread Tools