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Covering fins

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Rocketcrab

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I can't believe I'm asking this - this is emabarrassing - but what is the suggested way to bond paper covering to fins? :eek: Good old Elmers shmeered over the surface of the fin? Just along the edges? Spray adhesive? :confused2:
 

chuckpo

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Someone gave me similar tips in another thread once. You can use elmer's for this, but the glue must be very lightly spread, too much and it can wrinkle or bubble.

Another (easier/quicker) way is to use some of the large half/full sheet peel and stick labels. It gets the job done and takes WAY less time.

Word of caution on papered fins, from my own experience. If you are applying masking tape to the paper for paint, it may remove some of the paper, if it is not adhered to the fin tightly enough. I had this issue on my Deuce and it completely removed the paper from one of the fins.

Good luck!
 

hcmbanjo

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You can use Elmer's to cover the fin.
I don't use an finger to spread around the glue. I use the backside of of a old single edged razor blade.
Tape over the sharp side and turn it over.
It works like a small spatula to spread the glue.

I'll use white glue for papering smaller areas like fins.

For larger areas, like body tube wraps, I use spray adhesive. You'll have more time to re-position a larger wrap using the adhesive spray. White glue on a wrap can set up quickly. By the time you get it around the tube and realize those printed lines don't quite match up, the glue has started to grab. If you try to remove the wrap, it'll leave half of it on the body tube.

Spray adhesive and label paper can peel up at the edges. You may have to glue the edges down with CA or white glue.

With the white glue, you have to move quickly. Once you smooth out the applied glue, it'll set up quicker.
 

luke strawwalker

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I use white glue with good results... like most things, too much is bad.

I cut the paper about double the size of the fin with an extra inch or so all the way around. I spread a "drop" of glue about 1/4-1/2 inch in diameter on half the paper, and press the fin down onto it firmly, with the LEADING EDGE toward the CENTER OF THE PAPER. Once the fin is firmly pressed down, I flip it over and using a round object like a Sharpie pen, I gently but firmly 'burnish' the paper down onto the fin, working the glue from the center out to the edges. Then I flip it, apply a similar drop of glue to the other half of the paper, spread it thin, and fold the paper over the leading edge of the fin, pull it tight, and work the excess glue back from the leading edge to the outer edges, and set it aside to dry. I do this AFTER I've sanded the fins to the airfoil I want. Just burnish the paper down carefully across the tapered trailing edge and glue it to itself behind the trailing edge, and leave the paper hanging over the root edge, and set it aside to dry.

This takes like a minute to two per fin, so it's VERY easy and quick. Let the fins dry a couple hours at least, overnight is best, and then using the hobby knife, carefully cut the excess paper away from the fin, about 1/8 inch or so from the edge of the fin. Then you can shave the paper off the fin edge and shave any excess glue off the edge of the fin, and they're ready to glue on the rocket. Works like a champ, and all you need is Elmer's white glue and regular printer paper.

Folding and gluing the paper over the leading edge ENSURES that the paper won't peel off the fin from the leading edge, which receives the most punishment in flight anyway ripping through the air. The only sanding you MIGHT need to do is just a light brush along the root edge to true everything up pretty for gluing the fin on, but most of the time it's not necessary, if you shave the paper off carefully.

Works like a champ! Good luck! OL JR :)
 

NjCo

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Word of caution on papered fins, from my own experience. If you are applying masking tape to the paper for paint, it may remove some of the paper, if it is not adhered to the fin tightly enough. I had this issue on my Deuce and it completely removed the paper from one of the fins.
Just make sure that if you paper fins you need to cover them with a good coat of primer before you do anything else to the fin. Especially if you are using full page label paper. This protects the paper.

And if your masking tape is pulling the paper off the fins you need to find a different tape. Painters tape (blue tape) shouldn't do that. And be sure to check your painters tape. The 3M brand comes in two types. One is regular painters tape (medium tack) and the other is for delicate surfaces and has low tack. It's also significantly thinner than the other one so it conforms to uneven surfaces much better so you get much less bleed through under the edge of the tape.
 
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