The Latest in Waterborne Technology for the Aerospace Industry
We accept Visa We accept Mastercard

Bias Cut Tape and Dope Finish

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:38 PM Quote
I have 2 questions that are basically unrelated but have been generated by the same project.  I purchased a Pietenpol project that was partly covered -- tail feathers and ailerons -- with what looks like butyrate dope.  It is clear and was done over dacron that was heat shrunk.  The fabric is over 10 years old but has been stored in a dark, climate controlled environment so it's still in excellent shape.  For other reasons, I recovered the rudder and ailerons with new dacron and Stewart products.  The first question, obviously, is do I have to redo the other tail feathers before proceeding with Eko-Fill.  I took a sample of the fabric that I stripped off the ailerons and put some Eko-Fill on it.  It covered and stuck but did not penetrate the fabric.  I can't scrape it off with a knife blade so I'm hoping I can just carry on but want to do it safely.  I'll strip them and restart if you think that's the only safe option.

On a different subject, I am recovering the rudder and ready to do the perimeter tape.  Your videos show the use of straight 3 inch fabric but I've got some 3 inch bias cut and the chunk between the seams will go around the distance I need.  The corners have a pretty tight radius so again, the obvious question is which fabric to use and, if the bias stuff is preferred, is there any special procedure/precaution to be exercised.

As an aside, my wife volunteered at your competitor's booth at Sun n Fun several years ago and taught the modified seine knot.  She positively LOVES the staggerwing knot.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 2:28 PM Quote
No need to remove that old dope covered fabric just clean it really good and start spraying the EkoFill.  And if you want to use bias tapes there is nothing wrong with that. We prefer to use straight tapes around the perimeter but and bias works just as well. The 3 things I don't like about bias tape is the cost, the edges fray easily, and the seams every 9 feet.

I don't even teach the modified siene knot anymore it takes too long for customers to figure it out. The Staggerwing Knot is so much simpler and faster.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013 2:31 PM Quote
Glad I don't have to redo the rest of the tail feathers but do have a question about cleaning them.  I have Ekoclean which I gather is the preferred cleaner.  The question is what dilution to use and what technique to use.  Will a simple light wipe suffice or should I scrub a bit harder and let dry for a couple of days.  I will do the brush coat of Ekofill within a week or so before putting them back in storage awaiting final finishing coats.

The ONLY reasons I'm using bias cut tape are because a) I have it on hand (it was free) and b) the lengths between the seams is long enough to do the perimeters with very little waste.  Waste not, want not.  Insert smiley face here.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013 1:25 AM Quote
be careful scuffing the surface you may not have enough dope on there to totally protect the fabric from sand paper. Use the normal 15:1 ratio of water to EkoClean and a lint free towel to clean the old fabric up.  Let dry over night and spray some EkoFill on it.