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Archive for January, 2011
Posted by gareth.ky | 01-11-2011 @ 11:21 AM | 14,525 Views
After my work re-covering and painting a 50cc sized airplane I had a number of things that I didn't have good answers for. I want to solve these problems before I try another finishing job.

Laying Ultracoat over Ultracoat
Monokote and Ultracoat are really different materials. Monocoat is a very smooth film as it comes off the roll but Ultracoat has a very slightly rippled surface. This really messes with the 'windex' method. The ripples pull away from the surface and become air pockets when the windex dries out. This makes lots of tiny bubbles which is a nightmare.

We need a technique for doing Ultracoat over Ultracoat that is better and faster. One idea is to blend a solution of windex and trim solvent to activate the adhesive. Another might be to heat the Ultracoat on glass to remove the ripples before applying. Some serious experiments need to be done here.

Vinyl Cutters
I showed that its easy to cut both Ultracoat and Monocoat on a vinyl cutter that has controllable cut pressure. I dont own a cutter, I had a generous friend that let me come by and mass with his. I wouldnt do another project without one in the shop. Here's why, its good for 3 things we do a lot of:
  • Cutting Covering
  • Cutting Vinyl Graphics
  • Cutting Vinyl Paint Masks
If we can find a cutter for around $200 that can be run by a PC, has adjustable cut pressure and can feed long (6+ feet) sheets of material I think we will be in business. Then we need a toolchain that doesn't cost $2000 is software to assemble. Ideally it should be free (as in beer and libre), from CAD to output. A lot of research needs to go on in this area.

Spot Tack Covering Glue
Ever had some covering that comes to a thin point peel up? Ever used too much trim solvent and washed the glue off a piece of covering? We need a glue that we can use to tack down spots like that. It needs to clean up off the surface easily and go down in a very thin layer. Something thats aerosolized might work best. Another topic for research.

Trim Solvent Replacement
I don't know whats in that stuff but it works. I went through maybe 4 bottle of it on the last project. I didn't have time to figure out what it is exactly. If we are going to start mixing it up with windex and using it for stripping airplanes etc it would be better to find a hardware store chemical (or blend) that we can use instead.

Covering Compound Curves
The SHP had a nasty compound convex curved area where the rudder meets the fuse. This was the source of a lot of frustration. It eventually took 2 people to do. I understand they use 4 or more people in the factory to do this part. I'd like to get some video of that! Maybe there is something cool we could do with heat lamps to make this easier. A lot of models don't have these curves so its not 100% essential for the next project.