Author Topic: fabric covering  (Read 6919 times)

Offline boba65$#

fabric covering
« on: May 23, 2015, 07:49:11 PM »
A while back I purchased the wing rib plans from Leonard, and am "closing-in" on the completion of same. Looking ahead to the cabin eagle plans(to be announced).........I assume that the wing fabric is the same........meaning the ATTACH METHOD of wing fabric. I cant find any personal details on members experiences regarding wing fabric INSTALLATION. Is the fabric stitched onto each rib???? OR..????????? Cant find any close photos of this part of the build. Tons of info regarding wing structure build, and of course, welding,etc.......but just cant find much on the fabric magic. It's been a billion years since A&P school, and the airlines I worked for(plus my c150), didnt exactly keep me current on fabric...SOOO until the plans are available , I gotta rely on feedback here  for typical construction methods.Are we talkin just stretch & shrink-to-finish??? Randolph  or Stewart systems OK?? Other preferences maybe???..........Thanks for your input!!! bob

Offline Bugsmasher

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 04:39:33 AM »
Give the guys and gals at Polyfiber a call and just order their "How to cover an aircraft" book , can be found other places as well. Tough to beat a tried and true method....plus they are outstanding with customer care and support. The products are available from A.S. as well. Covers most everything you will need to know. It is still one of the cheapest aviation investments you will make.
They ask me what it's made of.....I tell them bed sheets and broomsticks seem to fly best....

Offline Nical

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 07:28:34 AM »
Yes the poly fiber  book is a good one. Also, if you elect to rib stitch, check out the Superflite video on their rib stitching technique. I used it on two previous aircraft and it is easy and unobtrusive ( unlike the seine knot).
     Nick. L.   XL E-20
Merely the vain choice between unsatisfied desire and the langour of ennui...
Schopenhauer

Offline Tom H

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Re: fabric covering
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 07:40:36 AM »
boba65: Here are a few items from memory on fiber work on our DE Stubby.

We used 1.7 oz dacron fabric from ACS&S.  The cheapest, no-brand stuff that they had.  Used Polyfiber process.  One of our builders was real good on fabric work, so he made the decisions and led the effort, so I don't know all the tricks.  But, Polyfiber has a book showing all the steps, which you should get.

Polyfiber is easy to work with, and it is easy to correct mistakes, but has noxious fumes.  Stewart is liked by some builders because of no/little noxious fumes.  Others have used latex primer and house paint, also fume-free, but a good finish takes some effort, it seems.  But, the price is low.

Polyfiber stresses using a calibrated iron to shrink the fabric.  Only way to get control over the shrink.  The fabric can generate a lot of force on the supporting structure if shrunk too much.   Many of the builders have overshrunk the fabric on the vertical stab and rudder.  We put in an additional brace strut in these parts to prevent distortion.

We rib stitched the wings and tail feathers.  I believe the book, or FAA 43.13 or some other reference gives guidelines on aircraft speed and stitch spacing.  We thought the DE would be getting into the speeds which may need rib stitching.  But, I think many DE builders don't stitch.  Stitching builds mental fortitude and gives peace of mind when flying.  No stitching saves some time and weight.

We put the silver poly on and then the colored poly.  Probably a couple light coats of each.

If I had no experience with fabric work, I'd build a small wood structure to practice fabric work on.  In fact, I did build some dummy ribs to work out the technique of rib stitching and knot tying.  There are several methods, and we used the one that seemed best for us.

Do some googling and you will probably find some videos of fabric work.

Hope this helps.
Tom H
Stubby, a BDE
Treehugger, LEU

Offline Dan_

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 09:16:09 AM »
If you decide to go with Latex here is the glue Stewart system uses...  Not that you would necessarily buy it there without more shopping.

3M info pdf link.

Want proof they are the same..?  Print both MSDS attachments and compare ingredients.  They both are essentially half water and half polychloroprene.

Neoprene is Dupont's brand name for polychloroprene.


Also attached is Stewart Systems manual showing their certified methods.  Rib stitching included...

Offline rfeenstra

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Re: fabric covering
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 11:28:47 AM »
I used the Stewart System glue.  It allowed me to cover the control surfaces in the basement.  No smell, quite easy to use.  I also rib stitched for peace of mind, though my stitches are fairly widely spaced.  I didn't rib stitch all the way through the wing, so the bottom of the wing is not stitched, just the top.  It didn't take all that long to do and was not difficult.

I used latex outdoor house paint.  Glidden Gripper to fill the weave and Sherwin Williams  for the color coats.  For my first attempt ever at covering and painting an airplane, it turned out better than I anticipated.  Since I did NOT want a high gloss finish, there was very little sanding between color coats.  It is a fabric airplane and I wanted it to look like it.  I certainly learned some things along the way, and the next one should go even faster!

Rob

Offline boba65$#

Re: fabric covering-----a great thing
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 05:52:35 PM »
MANY thanks to everyone that responded to my inquiry!!! These communities allow people to  network on all specific  things, to mutual benefit............THANKS!!!

Offline DErwin

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2015, 10:06:45 AM »
Hi there. 
I am a Newbee here and was a member of the old forum in yahoogroups.
I am building a Double Eagle here in the Philippines.  I ordered the kit and started the build a few years back.  I already finished the fuse and tail feathers more than a year ago and I just finished building the two wings.  I will be varnishing the two wings in the next few weeks and then proceed to covering them with fabric.  I already have the fabric(1.7 Oz uncertified) some Poly-tak glue and some Poly-brush.  I also bought the Poly-Fiber aircraft coatings book and did some advance reading in preparation for the covering and painting.  Though I am still quite hesitant to proceed with the system due to the cost issue. My question is how much of each of the Poly-tak, Poly-brush, Poly-Spray, Poly tone, and Reducer do I need to cover the entire plane?  This will greatly help me in the costing of the finishing materials that I will need.  I also have to ship all this materials by sea from the US to the Philippines and it takes 45 to 60 days to get here.  Can anyone please advice me on the quantity of the above materials they used in finishing their DE using the Poly-Fiber system?  I did entertain the idea of using Latex paint so I contacted Sherwin William's here in the Philippines but never got a reply from them.
Looking forward for your inputs.  

DErwin

Offline Tom H

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Re: fabric covering
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 06:56:59 AM »
DErwin, you should check out this site:
http://wienerdogaero.com

I saw his forum at Oshkosh a couple years ago and he convinced me that latex paint was a viable option for these small, inexpensive planes.  Gives good results, but just seems that it takes more effort than the Polyfiber process.  Much less expensive, especially in your case.

I looked at the records at hand for our DE and could not find the Polyfiber quantities that we purchased and used.
Tom H
Stubby, a BDE
Treehugger, LEU

Offline Dan_

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 11:39:35 AM »
My question is how much of each of the Poly-tak, Poly-brush, Poly-Spray, Poly tone, and Reducer do I need to cover the entire plane?  This will greatly help me in the costing of the finishing materials that I will need.  I also have to ship all this materials by sea from the US to the Philippines and it takes 45 to 60 days to get here.  

DErwin
I did a search on the yahoo group...  Nothing definitive.  Nobody kept their receipts apparently.

The estimating process should be covered in the Poly fiber manual.  I bet Polyfiber is going to be much more than a Latex job.

Here is a cut and paste from the poly fiber website on how much it will cost.  They compare the dope, superflite, and poly fiber processes.

How much will it cost to cover my plane?
If you got a price quote on each of the three systems, you'd see that they all total about the same. Only the cost per can is different. For instance, dope costs about $35.00 a gallon, Poly-Fiber is about $60.00 a gallon, but you need twice as much dope as Poly-Fiber. The urethanes can get as high as $200.00 including catalyst and flex agents. Here you use fewer gallons, but at a much higher price.
No matter which system you use, the final cost for the fabric, tapes, coatings and paint is about the same.
Cub sized airplanes usually run about $4,000 to $4,500 in materials.
A Stearman will run about $6,400 in materials.
An Ultralights may cost as little as $1,000 to $1,500 in materials, depending on the size of fabric components.

Here is a link to the above page: http://polyfiber.com/faq/index.htm

Here is the current price from Aircraft Spruce: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/search/search.php?s=poly+fiber&x=0&y=0

Be sure to take a look at the covering kit for 2600 bux.  It does not include fabric or the color coats.

Edit:  Poly brush is $85.00 /gal  Poly spray is $83.60 /gal

Offline Sam Buchanan

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 06:19:38 AM »
Hi there.
I am a Newbee here and was a member of the old forum in yahoogroups.
I am building a Double Eagle here in the Philippines.  I ordered the kit and started the build a few years back.  I already finished the fuse and tail feathers more than a year ago and I just finished building the two wings.  I will be varnishing the two wings in the next few weeks and then proceed to covering them with fabric.  I already have the fabric(1.7 Oz uncertified) some Poly-tak glue and some Poly-brush.  I also bought the Poly-Fiber aircraft coatings book and did some advance reading in preparation for the covering and painting.  Though I am still quite hesitant to proceed with the system due to the cost issue. My question is how much of each of the Poly-tak, Poly-brush, Poly-Spray, Poly tone, and Reducer do I need to cover the entire plane?  This will greatly help me in the costing of the finishing materials that I will need.  I also have to ship all this materials by sea from the US to the Philippines and it takes 45 to 60 days to get here.  Can anyone please advice me on the quantity of the above materials they used in finishing their DE using the Poly-Fiber system?  I did entertain the idea of using Latex paint so I contacted Sherwin William's here in the Philippines but never got a reply from them.
Looking forward for your inputs.  

DErwin
The Polyfiber system, while proven, is going to cost you hundreds of dollars (or many, many times the cost of latex).

Don't expect a reply from a major paint supplier if you mentioned using it on aircraft. I'm sure your request hit the delete box as soon as they saw "aircraft".

Because of the cost of shipping and time delays, latex is a great option for you. You will find it easy to use and durable. Read up on the good websites available on the latex system and don't be afraid to experiment.

Best wishes for an enjoyable conclusion to your DE project!

Offline DErwin

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 07:25:52 AM »
Dear Tom,
Thanks for the link you gave it is very informative and really helped me to convince myself to use Latex for painting my plane.
The tough decision now is to decide which of the local latex paint brand will I use.  We do have Boysen, Davies, Ace from Ace Hardware
among the most popular and others.  What characteristics or chemical components should I look for in choosing the right  Latex paint?

Uh, Oh so maybe that is why I did not get a reply from the paint manufacturer because I did mentioned to use it on my airplane.
I believe Sam Buchanan have painted his XL with Latex paint awhile back and did have good results.  My question is can I still
use the Poly-fiber method(Poly-Tak) in attaching the fabric to the wing structure and fuselage and then use latex paint to 
cover the entire plane?  This is because I already have some poly-tak glue on hand, some poly-fiber and reducer.   Or should I buy and use the
Ekobond and or the 3M glue mentioned earlier by Dan in this thread?  I left out all the other paints/liquids upon the advice of Leonard to buy 
these stuff when the plane is finally covered with fabric and ready for painting. 

Dan.  Thanks for the effort for searching in the yahoogroups.  I know find it hard to go to the site and I think I may have forgotten my username
and password.   

Thank you so much for all the help and  inputs and I will ask some more until I have my DE done and painted.

Regards to all,

DErwin

Offline Tom H

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Re: fabric covering
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2015, 06:50:19 AM »
DErwin,
I have not used the latex paint, but from what I have seen on the wienerdog website, the Oshkosh forums and reading what others have done, I think the method is good.  I don't know of the particular requirements of the latex paint.  I suspect a glossy paint with a high percent of acrylic solids would be the best, would be a relatively higher cost paint, too.  Wienerdog lists two brands of paint that he likes.  You could ask the local paint suppliers what paint may be comparable to the paints that Wienerdog uses, buy a small can and try it out.

I would think that using polyfiber glue (polytak) will work just fine.  Follow the polyfiber instructions for application and fabric shrinking.  I think some use the 3M water-based glue and the latex paint because they want a safer material to use and/or materials that have low or no odor.  The latex paint will not effect the polyfiber glue.

Sounds like you have a good plan to proceed with.  Good luck.
Tom H
Stubby, a BDE
Treehugger, LEU

Offline Sam Buchanan

Re: fabric covering
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2015, 04:18:20 PM »
I have taken both approaches.

The fabic was glued with Polytac and the yellow on XL-58 was applied over silver Polyspray. The white latex primer adhered aggressively to the Polyspray.

When I rebuilt the vertical stab, I went straight to white latex primer then yellow latex. It worked superbly as well.

On my latest project I will be using 100% water-based system--Stewart water-borne glue followed with all latex primer and finish. With no fumes I will be able to paint the plane inside a warm house this winter if I wish.  :)

Offline Tom H

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Re: fabric covering
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2015, 06:30:30 AM »
Sam, it's off-topic, but your Fokker project looks great.  The owner of the hangar where we keep DE Stubby built a 3/4 scale Nieuport 17 with a Rotax engine.  Don't know of the kit manufacturer.  It has not yet flown, only taxied.  He got hung up with tail wheel problems, and trying to work off a lot of travel on his bucket list.  These planes would be a lot of fun and attract a bunch of attention at airports.

Sorry for the diversion, back to the subject.
Tom H
Stubby, a BDE
Treehugger, LEU