technique on using heat gun correctly - RC Groups
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Jul 19, 2001, 06:32 PM
Registered User

technique on using heat gun correctly

I read a thread on the use of heat gun/iron and I know the problems I had..

On a 2m skimmer I tacked down the litespan and it looked good.. I sealed the edges and hit it with a heat gun lightly..It ballooned the covering making a mess.. I havn't used it since.

Was advised to make small holes in the ribs and lieve a little un sealed to allow for heated air expansion.. This did not make too much sense to me and I never tried it again.

Am I missing something here.. What is the proper way to shrink open bays with a heat gun?

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Jul 19, 2001, 07:26 PM
Most Exalted Windbag
I haven't done one yet, but I read about the air vents and it sounded like a good idea to me.

Jul 19, 2001, 09:11 PM
Old Guy
Ron Cichowski's Avatar
Air expands rapidly when you heat the covered surface. This will stretch the covering and it will not be as tight as possible. The air pressure will also pull the covering away from the balsa where it is tacked down. It is very important that an exhaust air path is established in any covered surface if you wish to get proper surface tension. I find that about a 1/16" diameter hole in each rib leading eventually to the outside atmosphere does the job (the bigger the better). If I'm covering a fin I make the final hole out the bottom in an inconspicuous area. I'll cover the whole fin and leave the area over the vent not tacked down. I then shrink the covering with the heat gun. I finish the job by sealing the last bit of covering over the vent hole. If I'm thinking ahead I'll make the holes before beginning assembly. It makes for a "meant to be that way" appearance of the finished product. A good covered design will have the vent path established by the manufacturer.
Jul 21, 2001, 10:18 PM
Registered User
hmmmmmmm. So..if you do the holes in the ribs and one or both should work??

I may have to try it again... can't see wasting the monies spent buying the heat gun.
Espectally if the final product will be better.
Thanks for the suggestion/tip..

Jul 22, 2001, 06:54 AM
Registered User
There is a good article on covering in the current issue (Sept 2001)of S&E Modeler.

Jul 22, 2001, 08:22 PM
Registered User
thanks..Ill look for it for sure..