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General Adding Covering To A Balsa Build

Discussion in 'Airplanes' started by Derek, Jan 30, 2018.

< E-flite Commander | Electric Set-up For Lou Andrews 65" Sportsmaster >
  1. Derek

    Derek Well-Known Member

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    When you are coving a balsa wing, do you iron the covering to the wing ribs too or just the flat balsa parts?
     
  2. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    First you go around and seal the edges... then iron the whole thing including the ribs to pull everything tight. Be careful to not over shrink the wrap or you may end up with gaps at any seams you have.

    PS... there are a ton of youtube vids out there on the subject. Well worth checking a few out.
     
  3. Smoggie

    Smoggie Well-Known Member

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    As rdsok said, just iron the covering down around the edges (using low heat) then on a slightly higher heat shrink the covering. Avoid going over the sealed down edges as that will soften the glue and allow the covering to pull in. Cover the bottom surface first then the top, this puts the overlapping edge on the bottom where it's least visible.
     
  4. Derek

    Derek Well-Known Member

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    I have watched 5 or 6 videos. In those few videos, no one ironed the covering to the ribs. I was just wondering if there was a reason why.

    All my planes are either epp or scratch built from Dollar Tree foam. My current build will be my first wood build. When im not building bits of it, im researching covering
     
  5. Admiral

    Admiral Well-Known Member

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    I have never ironed the covering to the ribs just around the edges and then shrunk the covering with a proper heat gun which gives a nice even covering.
    Ironing to the ribs can cause different tensions either side of the rib which detracts from the finish.
     
  6. Derek

    Derek Well-Known Member

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    Ok Admiral....that makes sense. Thanks for that!
     
  7. rdsok

    rdsok Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Smoggie and Admiral... I'm just rewording it to make sure you are getting the idea...

    As mentioned... first tack down good around all of the edges... then you shrink down the rest of the covering either with the iron or a heat gun if you have it. As Admiral mentioned... you don't want to tack it to the ribs ( at least not at first ) or you risk warping the wing. My Dad, at times, did tack the ribs AFTER he'd finished shrinking the wrap down but was careful to not shrink the wrap any further... it's safer if you're not very experienced to not tack it to the ribs though. If you are just using an iron only... use one of the specially made "socks" on it so you don't accidentally scratch the covering.... myself and my Dad would just not touch the covering after tacking... just hovered over it enough to shrink it down.
     
    Derek likes this.
  8. Derek

    Derek Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Thanks guys!
     
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