alternative to papering fins ?

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by fallingrocket, Apr 7, 2015.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Apr 9, 2015 #31

    Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    165
    How long is this going to last? I've got stuff (envelopes, computer disks, etc.) that have Avery labels falling off because the glue dried up. This has happened on both porous and nonporous materials. Maybe the odds are that the rocket will get lost before the glue goes bad...
     
  2. Apr 9, 2015 #32

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    The labels are a great Idea. Unfortunately the ones I saw that were anywhere close to big enough were nearly 20.00 a pack. The sheet I left over night looks very good. The extreme glue sticks seem to be ideal. I tried to pull one corner of the paper off and it wasn,t coming off without some effort. Once the fin is cut and the edges CA,d i think it will be permanent. Its also nice and smooth and flat, So far I am liking what I see.
     
  3. Apr 9, 2015 #33

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yup I think it could look awesome. I will def give it a go If i can find some smaller pieces to try. I dont want to buy a whole roll but maybe they sell smaller pieces for patching. I think a fin framed like the rudder of an airplane with braces across the inside with transparent film could look cool as well.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2015 #34

    TopRamen

    TopRamen

    TopRamen

    SA-5

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,918
    Likes Received:
    8
    When I used to paper fins, my preferred method was to rub Titebond II into the wood, then apply the papers and set them under a stack of books for a day or two. The TBII soaks into the wood and paper and creates an incredibly rigid structure. The edges other than the root edge would get sealed with the super thin CA.
    The wood glue would be messy and a real PITA if I had not seen Tim Van Milligans Video on papering where he mentions the importance of having a wet towel on the bench to wipe your fingers on.;)
     
  5. Apr 9, 2015 #35

    JohnRE

    JohnRE

    JohnRE

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2014
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    WBPU (water based polyurethane, also known as water based satin floor varnish or you can buy the really expensive 'custom' products if you wish) and glass or carbon tissue.

    or...

    for a variation of paper covering CA soaked followed by modeling tissue bonded with PVA or Aliphatic.
     
  6. Apr 9, 2015 #36

    asennad

    asennad

    asennad

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't use a water based glue. I use Gorilla Glue spread thinly on printer paper. Clamp between a couple of boards of MDF using clamps and use wax paper to prevent sticking. Once dry and edges sanded - seal the edges with CA.

    Perfectly smooth, strong and straight fins every time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  7. Apr 9, 2015 #37

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    20150409_110144.jpg Here are the wings for my f19 night fighter. They were done using the glue stick method with regular printing paper. Turned out very well I think.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2015 #38

    ballistic_trep

    ballistic_trep

    ballistic_trep

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    0
    TBH, I'm not sure how long it's going to last. I followed the instructions as laid out by other members and in other threads on this site. I'm using the "fold over" method so the leading edge is papered but the outer and trailing edges are treated with a coat or two of CA and sanded to remove excess. The end result with paint is very nice aesthetically. If the glue actually did let go....I'm not so sure that it would be noticeable....with the CA keeping the edges secure and coats of paint stiffening the paper somewhat.
     
  9. Apr 12, 2015 #39

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,586
    Likes Received:
    567
    One trick if you buy balsa sheets (usually I have 1/16" or 1/8" thickness by 6"x36" inches) is to use spray adhesive on the wood and then use a roll of paper to cover the whole sheet. Can do both sides at once. Make sure everything is smooth and place between two flat boards with weights to dry overnight. Now you have a 6 x 36 inch sheet of prepped wood to cut your fins out any way you want. Make sure you keep track of the fin grain orientation (ask me how I know this!) because once the wood is covered you can't tell, and obviously makes a difference with strength of fins.

    I am curious about strength added to fins from papering, my gut feeling (not always right) is that if you use liquid glue (wood or paper) to attach the paper it probably significantly strengthens the fins. I am think that with adhesive paper, possibly glue sticks, and possibly spray adhesive, may not add as much strength. Since main purpose in doing it in most cases is to provide a smooth finished surface may not make a difference to most people.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2015 #40

    foamy

    foamy

    foamy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree about the strength. If I'm going to paper fins, it's only because they're long and thin and could be easily broken. The fins are rock solid after a wood glue papering. Otherwise, I see no need to paper or cover them at all. Wood filler, balsa sealer and paint does the job as it always has and you will see no grain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  11. Apr 13, 2015 #41

    samb

    samb

    samb

    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,705
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    THIS ! :point:

    After my own experimentation, I also came to this conclusion.

    Papering to strengthen - yes, please

    Papering to fill - not so much

    As usual with these things, try every method out there and make up your own till you find what works best for you.
     
  12. Apr 13, 2015 #42

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    The wings in the above post that are papered have a bit more flex in them than I was comfortable with. I started thinking about how I was going to add some stiffness ., I tried to peel back a corner of one of the smaller fins and discovered that the paper will tear before the glue let go, so the extreme glue sticks are most def permanent if you use them right. I decided to epoxy over the paper. Using a scraper to apply a super thin layer. It will require some sanding (which I hate) but after only one side was done There was a noticable difference in the stiffness so when both sides are done they should be fine. I didnt pay close enough attention to the grain when I made the wings so the problem could have been avoided with better planning.
     
  13. Apr 13, 2015 #43

    JeromeK99

    JeromeK99

    JeromeK99

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you are going to epoxy the paper, you might as well try the light weight (0.5 oz.) fiberglass cloth! It will be thinner, lighter and stronger than glue/paper/epoxy method.

    Jerome :)
     
  14. Apr 13, 2015 #44

    Rex R

    Rex R

    Rex R

    LV2

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    6,085
    Likes Received:
    139
    for the most recent set of fins, I used a 1" foam* brush to apply white glue straight from the bottle, an old credit card to 'scrape' excess glue, and a 5/8" plastic rod as a rolling pin to flatten the paper onto the fins. took about 1 minute per side, afterward the fins were place on a cooling rack to dry. 2 hrs later they were dry. the next morning I got out the iron to take out the bend that the balsa had developed in the store(3 minutes per fin). I still have to sand and shape the edges but otherwise they are ready to install :).
    *big fins, hi-flyer fins at 290% original size(1/8" balsa)
    Rex
     
  15. Apr 13, 2015 #45

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes if i had planned better i would have done it differently. Already had the paper on when i realized it didnt reduce flex enough.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2015 #46

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,586
    Likes Received:
    567
    IMG_4416.jpg IMG_4459.jpg mylar fins (2).jpg Mylar Fins.jpg Mylar Tape (probably pretty similar to monokote, but a little thinner and only 1 inch wide so has to be overlapped) works in a pinch and is pretty light.
    Runs about 10 bucks a roll, but you get a lot.
     
  17. Apr 15, 2015 #47

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very interesting. I love to see people getting creative with their techniques.Where do you find the tape?
     
  18. Apr 15, 2015 #48

    caveduck

    caveduck

    caveduck

    semi old rocketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    78
    You could also consider just applying Monokote or similar material with thermosetting adhesive. It adds a lot of strength, is very smooth and is quick to apply...difficult to paint over though. Another thought would be to glass over the already papered fins with 0.5 to 1 oz cloth (assuming you have a good bond on the paper = wood glue or CA, not spray adhesive) to add stiffness.
     
  19. Apr 15, 2015 #49

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    I will def try monokote at some point, mainly because i hate painting. It would be so much nicer to apply that before the fins are mounted. Then i just have to paint the tube which is easier than trying to mask around fins. Especially on anything with wings or strakes. I just need to get my hands on some to try.
     
  20. Apr 16, 2015 #50

    cvause

    cvause

    cvause

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been using this for my TLP models and it works great.
     
  21. Apr 16, 2015 #51

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    I picked up a pack of construction paper.I wish I had thought of it sooner.Its a wee bit heavier than plane printer paper so it should add a bot more strength and its colored so no painting. I will be using it on my next build.
     
    blueapplepaste likes this.
  22. Apr 17, 2015 #52

    TopRamen

    TopRamen

    TopRamen

    SA-5

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,918
    Likes Received:
    8
    When papering I liked 110# Cardstock. It's only like $4.35 at Walmart for 100 Sheets.
    If you lightly scuff the side that is going to be bonded with the wood with 400 grit sandpaper, it really locks on to the Balsa.
    I'm so glad I don't have to paper fins anymore! What a PITA that was!
     
  23. Apr 18, 2015 #53

    BABAR

    BABAR

    BABAR

    Builds Rockets for NASA TRF Lifetime Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,586
    Likes Received:
    567
    lots of places. this one I thought was reasonable

    http://www.tapebrothers.com/Pro-Sheen-1-in-x-36-Yards-Silver-High-Temp-Mylar-p/psm1si.htm

    http://www.tapebrothers.com/Rainbow-Pack-Pro-Sheen-1-x-36-Yards-7-Colors-p/psm1rp.htm

    36 yard roll of mylar (that's a lot of tape) for $10.

    I also like the tape for detail work. It also covers body tubes pretty well.

    The metallic look is nice. The silver and gold give a really great finish (so nice it takes up fingerprints really badly!), so for smaller surfaces this (or monokote) are about as close to chrome as you can get without getting into some reaaaallly expensive paints. I wish the tape was "flexible" like electrical tape, about the only thing that is tough to cover is a nose cone due to the complex curves. Can be done, but I've had a hard time making it look good.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  24. Apr 20, 2015 #54

    EXPjawa

    EXPjawa

    EXPjawa

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Messages:
    2,162
    Likes Received:
    10
    After all this discussion, I thought I'd try an experiment with aluminum foil tape that I had on hand. The tape is about .0025" thick, not that different than typical printer paper, and adhesive backed. I think its normally used for duct work. I'm guessing that thin aluminum foil isn't much heavier than loose-leaf paper and glue. I used my fin pattern and cut pieces to fit my Noctua prototype:
    WP_003127.jpg WP_003128.jpg

    It seemed to stiffen the fins as much as anything else I've used, and was generally easy to apply, though it did seem somewhat prone to denting if the wood underneath is soft. We'll see how well it holds up. It would be kind of neat to cover an entire model in this stuff, especially something like an Atlas or similar.
     
  25. Apr 20, 2015 #55

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    fallingrocket

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    U beat me too it. This stuff was also on my list of things to try because its another material that doesnt require painting. It looks great on the model.
     
  26. Apr 21, 2015 #56

    Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    165
    I've used foil tape on the leading edges of fins on booster stages. They (esp. minimum dia. builds) seem to get scorched a lot.
     
  27. Aug 19, 2019 #57

    Stephen Henderson

    Stephen Henderson

    Stephen Henderson

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    I just started experimenting with this. Apogee has a video at:



    Sorry if that's already linked above. I'll admit to reading most of what was posted here, but not quite all. The problem I'm running into with my tests is rounding the edges. I can get a pretty damn good looking fin with just copy paper and CA on the edges, simply using Titebond II (my go to adhesive for everything not epoxy) applied with a finger very thinly. My first attempt looks absolutely fabulous.

    I saw an idea (somewhere - can't recall where now) about using spray adhesive and using ONE SHEET of paper that would wrap around the leading edge of the fin (rounded bit) which seems interesting, but I don't know a method yet to achieve perfectly straight edges when rounding them, so seems like a bad idea.

    I'm excited about this "papering" idea because I've yet to be able to get a good "plastic"-like finish on my balsa fin and I really don't enjoy the seal/prime/paint phase of this whole hobby.
     
    ChicagoDave likes this.
  28. Aug 21, 2019 #58

    dpower

    dpower

    dpower

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,166
    Likes Received:
    51
    The wrap around technique works well if done before mounting. Cut the skins larger than needed, then trim the excess. Adhesive label paper works well too, though sealing the edges with CA is usually needed to keep from peeling.
     
  29. Aug 21, 2019 #59

    Donnager

    Donnager

    Donnager

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    21
    Gender:
    Male
    I've been considering using water activated gummed packing tape. It can be bought in various thicknesses and with/without fiberglass reinforcement. It may be a little heavy, though.

    Anyone tried it?
     
  30. Aug 22, 2019 #60

    Alan15578

    Alan15578

    Alan15578

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    27
    I have used it on body tubes, but never on fins. You probably want to use the thinner 1" tape commonly used by butcher shops and retailers.
     

Share This Page