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Old 04-22-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default What covering iron to use??

Since this is the scratch built/kit built forum I thought I would ask this question here. What covering iron do you think is or like the best? I'ts been a long time since I covered a model and I don't remember which iron I used back then. I will have to buy one soon and I'm not sure which to get.

What was I thinking?
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:38 AM   #2
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I use the hanger 9 iron with sock. Never used a heat gun. Never had a need.

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Old 04-22-2014, 05:05 AM   #3
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Wrongway gave you a good choice. However most Irons are good if thethey have a dial your heat choice. A better question is For the covering you choose What heat is the right temp for aplication? The instruction sheet for the material is inclosed with the roll.;^)
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:23 AM   #4
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I have used a cheap travel iron for over 20 years... cost me $1 or $2 at a garage sale.

For Monokote, Towerkote and Econokote: Yellow is a temperature indicator color. They turn darker and darker orange after you have hit the temperature for making the adhesive stick. At almost brown the covering melts. They turn back to yellow when cool.

Don't buy the covering iron socks... use pieces of old T-shirt.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:24 AM   #5
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I started with an old sealing iron used by butchers, you could buy a new sole plate better suited to covering, then I bought a couple of other ones.
Then I bought a 21st Century covering iron at a model swap meet. Now the others are just backups. The temp adjustment is much better than my old irons. The flashing light lets you know when you have reached the temp. It has worked very well for many years.

I use pieces of T-shirts or baby socks on the iron, but for a totally scratch free finish. I prefer to hold the cloth or soft paper stationary on the surface and move the iron around on the other side.

I like to check my iron temp with a non-contact infrared thermometer. Let the iron run for about 15-20 minutes to stabilize the temperature throughout the irons surface.

I use a model heat gun for general shrinking and a Darice Heat Tool for details and wing tip work. It is made for greeting card making. (my wife's hobby) It has a much smaller shaft of hot air, making it much better for small things.

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Old 04-22-2014, 08:22 AM   #6
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I use a Domestic iron specially bought for my use .. saves Wife moaning about the coloured adhesive left on shirts etc.

But the best are the designed Covering irons .. it's not so much brand - but the shape of the 'shoe' and control of temp.

The Domestic iron does a reasonable job - but it doesn't get into the nooks and crannies that a Covering Iron can.

I used to have the Solarfilm Iron years ago and I wish I had never given up all my gear !!

I also suggest a Heat Gun is a good tool ... I know some say an iron is all you need ... but actually - a heat gun is a good tool because the idea is :

Seal the covering around the edges but NOT in centre / ribs etc. Apply wafted heat by the heat gun across the covering so that it tightens down overall ...

The difference against an irons overall shrink can be significant - especially on a traditional ribbed wing etc. It also allows you to correct any twist or deformity caused by unequal shrinkage .. you warm the covering to allow it to stretch or to shrink where necessary against you applying pressure ... an iron cannot do this well. Keep pressure on while covering cools.

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Old 04-23-2014, 04:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
I started with an old sealing iron used by butchers, you could buy a new sole plate better suited to covering, then I bought a couple of other ones.
Then I bought a 21st Century covering iron at a model swap meet. Now the others are just backups. The temp adjustment is much better than my old irons. The flashing light lets you know when you have reached the temp. It has worked very well for many years.

I use pieces of T-shirts or baby socks on the iron, but for a totally scratch free finish. I prefer to hold the cloth or soft paper stationary on the surface and move the iron around on the other side.

I like to check my iron temp with a non-contact infrared thermometer. Let the iron run for about 15-20 minutes to stabilize the temperature throughout the irons surface.

I use a model heat gun for general shrinking and a Darice Heat Tool for details and wing tip work. It is made for greeting card making. (my wife's hobby) It has a much smaller shaft of hot air, making it much better for small things.

Harbor Freight has a decent infra-red thermometer. Note that these units are not very accurate when aimed at "Shiny" metal surfaces. You need a dark surface, or at least a tan or slightly shaded surface. I've got one of these units.

http://www.harborfreight.com/non-con...9465-8905.html

FYI, the exact temperature of a monokote iron really isn't that critical. Just make it hot enough to allow instant "Tacking" of your shrink covering to the model. Heat guns work well, but be aware, get to hot with one, and you can have an instant one inch diameter hole in the middle of your monokote. Yeah, I've done it, once or twice.

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Old 04-23-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post

Don't buy the covering iron socks... use pieces of old T-shirt.
Amen on that Huber!!!

Also old cotton sox. Only 100% cotton.

Regards
Jimmy
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