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Johnnie

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I have 5 rockets nearing completion, including my 1st Fliskits and 3 Estes kits and a Quest kit. These kits all have Balsa fins, that are going to need to be filled and painted. After talking to a salesperson at H/T USA, I decided against the "sanding sealer" as all it will do is make a smooth fin, but adds no strength. The Finish Epoxy deal will add strength, but will add weight, and be a bear to sand smooth. The Elmers glue thing I have tried in the past, and ended up with 'warped' fins:mad: I use the Bondo glazzing putty, but I too hate the "Red Finger" and it also adds no strength.

So what to do? I ran across a thread further back on this forum that says to use UPS stickers on the fins...

Well I do not have UPS stickers at home, but I do have "Sticky Back". Sticky Back is paper used by my Wife. She is a Medical Transciptionist, and she prints on Sticky Back, and these are cut up by Nurses and placed on your med files...very sticky stuff.

Anyways, this should smooth my fins, as well as add strength.

Fixing to try on my daughters Deuces Wild/Barbie rocket.
 

rbeckey

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Avery and HP both make a full sheet permanent label paper. You can also score FREE Priority Mail labels at the USPO. They are big enough for one or two big fins.
There is another product for strengthening fins that adds little weight. Minwax Wood Hardener is a little pricey, but you need very little.
For what it is worth, I doubt that a thin coating of finish epoxy adds much if any more weight than a layer of paper. I guess the test would be to finish three or four identical fins each way and weigh each type together. Three or four together would make the difference, if any, more noticable. As far as sanding it, I put a sheet of wax paper on a piece of plate glass, coat the fin on both sides, and sandwich it between more wax paper and glass. Put a 25 lb. weight on top and let it sit overnight, and they will be "smooth as glass."
 

astrowolf67

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I've been using inkjet label paper. Looks great when finished. As long as the masking pattern doesn't go across the fins. This is what happened to my Deuce on the first attempt at painting. The mask pulled part of the label off. On a very few occasions, while painting outside in warm sunny weather, I've had the label paper form a bubble under it.
How I apply it, is to lay a fin on the sticky side of the label paper, then cut it out. After it's laminated, I wick some thin CA around the edges, and about a quater inch from the edge, then I round off the edges of the fins.
 

Johnnie

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David, That is what I did today, except that the fins were mounted to the rockets already. From start to finish, I would say that this method saves time over waiting for Finishing epoxy to set-up.

...and I believe that rbeckey is right, that finishing epoxy may not be any heavier than the laminated sticky back I used, but it sure is a lot cleaner to play with. :)
 

doxiedog315

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"On a very few occasions, while painting outside in warm sunny weather, I've had the label paper form a bubble under it." The wood is still expanding and giving off a small amount of gas,had this problem with a clear epoxy finish on a boat i built...Wait till after the hottest point of the day, before you try,worked for me,no more bubbles.....doxie
 
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