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Old 12-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
Beemerider
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Default Film covering question....

I'm preparing to re-cover a 2M sailplane. I've spent the last few weeks repairing damage from summer crashes. The entire airframe is stripped, sanded and clean. My question concerns temps--my shop is apart from the house and basically un-heated. It's been a long time since I last covered an airplane and the last one I did was during summer months.
Do I need to do this inside the house where it's decently warm? I run a small space heater in my shop on really cold days. 40-50 degrees in my shop is actually pretty comfortable for me but I'm thinking that may be too cold to do an effective covering job. I tried to start covering my wing but I think I wasted some time and covering material. Do I need to wait for the wife to return to work on January 2nd so I can do this on the antique maple dining room table?
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Beemerider View Post
I'm preparing to re-cover a 2M sailplane. I've spent the last few weeks repairing damage from summer crashes. The entire airframe is stripped, sanded and clean. My question concerns temps--my shop is apart from the house and basically un-heated. It's been a long time since I last covered an airplane and the last one I did was during summer months.
Do I need to do this inside the house where it's decently warm? I run a small space heater in my shop on really cold days. 40-50 degrees in my shop is actually pretty comfortable for me but I'm thinking that may be too cold to do an effective covering job. I tried to start covering my wing but I think I wasted some time and covering material. Do I need to wait for the wife to return to work on January 2nd so I can do this on the antique maple dining room table?
I've always done my covering in moderate temps (65-80F) with great results. To be honest I can't remember ever trying to cover in temps that low. My only concern would be covering in the cold and getting out in the sun and having the whole thing go saggy in the heat. In the summer you get some of that anyway, so it's probably not even an issue.

It might take a little longer to get to sealing heat though so if you do go ahead and give it a try, keep that in mind.

Now that I've only told you what you probably already know...

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Old 12-27-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Beemerider View Post
Do I need to wait for the wife to return to work on January 2nd so I can do this on the antique maple dining room table?
You can only get away with that if you are single or divorced (which is what you will be if you try it on January 2nd).
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
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I used to build in a back yard building. I have not had any trouble covering in temps that forced me to wear a coat.

The temp required to adhere the film to the frame is far higher than any room temp, so a room that is colder is not a problem.

Same for shrinking, the temps required again are far above any room temp. I think the lowest temp material is around 200 degrees.

The first Monokote before they called it Super, sold back in the late 60's, would sag after a while and require retightening, I still have a control line plane I built at that time, it needs attention about every 60 days.

Today's films, once they are heated to the permanent shrink temp, will stay tight.

If it has been a long time since you have covered with film, work slow and carefully and you will have a great job.
I would do it inside if you can, not on the dining room table unless protected of course, but only for your own comfort.

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:20 AM   #5
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In fact covering in a cooler area can be advantage. The cooler temp leaves the adhesive less tacky and you can slide the film around easier.

Tacking, adhering and shrinking the film has no relation to room temp - so go for it. Going from that to a warm area is also not a problem and you will see no more slack than if you covered in a warmer place.

I've been using film and tex covering for over 40yrs ...

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Old 12-28-2012, 12:49 AM   #6
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It has been a few years since I have had to buy any film, so thanks guys for the heads up on the newer stuff. My first covering job was dope and tissue as a kid, so I surely welcome anything that makes it easier!

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Old 12-30-2012, 04:00 AM   #7
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I've done all my building and covering in my garage/workshop during the winter "build season" and have had no troubles with it (I use UltraCote). Whether it's any easier or harder though I couldn't say as I have never done a summer build.

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:14 PM   #8
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The only issue I would expect would be that the covering would be a little stiff to work with. Other than that it should be fine. Just make sure you stretch it as you adhere it.

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:47 PM   #9
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Many thanks to all who responded. I decided to move my covering project inside. I prefer working in my shop but the covering process does seem to be working out easier for me inside the house. My wife objected a bit but not overly so.
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