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Tissue paper on gliders?

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  1. #1
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    Question Tissue paper on gliders?

    Looking a something along the lines of the SR-72 dark bird. Wanted to use white tissue paper to strengthen the wings but still keep it light. Would airplane dope be the appropriate fixative?
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  2. #2
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    When I have tissued balsa, I have always used dope.

    When I have papered balsa with Tyvek for extreme strength, I have always used white glue and set it with heat.
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  3. #3
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    It would be rather exciting if the efflux got anywhere close though

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BABAR View Post
    Looking a something along the lines of the SR-72 dark bird. Wanted to use white tissue paper to strengthen the wings but still keep it light. Would airplane dope be the appropriate fixative?
    Yes. I mix the dope 50-50 with thinner, brush it on the balsa, let it dry, sand with 320 grit, then repeat. With two base coats on, it's easy to attach the tissue with either the 50-50 mix or thinner alone.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks. This probably sounds dumb, but when you actually put the tissue on, do you apply the dope to the balsa and adhere the tissue over it, or do you tack the tissue on and soak the dope through the tissue?
    It is amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes.
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  6. #6
    I used to do model airplanes with tissue over balsa. What worked best for me was to spray the tissue with water, paint the dope over the balsa, then hang the tissue over the balsa. The dope drys first and acts as the glue, then the water drys causing the tissue to shrink to fit.

  7. #7
    I usually used dope when I was building model airplanes. But I attached the tissue with Minwax Polycrylic on my Salamander-5 glider because I had it on hand and didn't have dope.

    I think it is probably heavier than dope but I wasn't putting the tissue for strength, just for the color.

    I think that dope soaks through and sticks better than Polycrylic.
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  8. #8
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    18th January 2009
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    I put the 50-50 dope mix down on the balsa and lay on the tissue.

    I work from center out to the leading and trailing edges, and root to tip.

    If I'm attaching the tissue with thinner, I lay the tissue down, then apply the thinner, but again, working from root to tip, center to leading and trailing edges.

    I've only done wet covering on open structure, but I put down dope, full strength, on the structure, then apply the wet tissue. You really have to take your time and be careful because wet tissue is really weak, at least in my experience. I always have a backup chunk of tissue cut just in case attempt #1 develops a tear.
    A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But high above the quiet streets on the twelfth floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions. Guy Noir, Private Eye.

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