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Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2003
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Many instructions and discussions here make reference to a "tack cloth". I gather that it used for dusting...say prior to painting. But just what is a tack cloth? Seems to me that the key here is not so much the cloth, but rather the substrate applied to the any convinient rag which is used to make tacky? Can somebody shed a bit of light here?

I have used cotton T shirts with a light dusting of Endust furniture polish (smells great), but I'm sure y'all have alternate methods.

A tack cloth is a resin coated cheese cloth rag. You can pick them up cheap at a hardware or automotive paint store. The dust sticks to the rag, but the resin doesn't smear onto the surface.

Endust is gonna leave behind some surface contamination, that might cause paint orange peel.
Endust is gonna leave behind some surface contamination, that might cause paint orange peel. [/B][/QUOTE]

Swingwing is right on. tack-rags leave nothing behind to fish-eye or fowl your applied paint.
If you can't get to an automotive paint or paint supply store, lint free cheese cloth with a few drops of rubbing alcohol will work as a poor substitute. Just be very sure to let the alcohol flash off before applying paint.
I have been using the "Swiffer" dusting mits. They don't leave a residue and the dust particles seem to cling to the mit.

I got a box of them at Home Depot of all places.

They make quick clean-up of the work bench too!

The "Swiffer" duster is another handy tool that comes with a handle and make cleaning up the rockets you have on display really slick.

Great for the computer too!

Originally posted by SwingWing
The dust sticks to the rag, but the resin doesn't smear onto the surface.

I just bought a new tack cloth from The Home Depot and used it the other day. The fresh cloths are sticky with resin so I lightly dragged it across the surface of my rocket. The dust is gone, but now the surface of my rocket is sticky.

Will this adversely affect the primer/paint?
With what do I remove it?
Should I just ignore it and proceed with the finishing?

Thanks. -BB
I had the same problem. Let the rocket dry until it is no longer sticky and it should be OK.

Should you be able to handle the cloth without making your hands sticky?
This never used to be an issue with me because all my cloths were "used" and had lost most of their sticky-ness. Sure, they were good enough to remove surface dust and all, but not so "tacky" as to leave noticeable residue on either my hands or the rocket. I'll sit tight for another day or so and let you know what happens.
Sounds like you got a really gooey tack rag, or it's really hot there! I would leave the tack rag out in the air to dry for a few days b-4 using it.
If the residue build up on the rocket is really bad, you may have to use a solvent to remove it.
The "gooey" tack cloth has happened to me too. It takes off all the dust and crud but leaves the rocket slightly sticky. I think it's pretty easy to get off though. One thing that might help is to very lightly "sweep" the tack cloth across the rocket. Don't press down on it.

I don't think a tack cloth has ever caused any problems for me though. I use them before I start a paint job and I don't think it's caused adverse effects.
Just my two cents....
The tackrags from the home improvement stores are not the best quality. They may work o.k. for construction projects, but I stay far away from them if I want a good paint job.

Now I'm no rocket expert, but I do know something about good paint jobs. Find an automotive paint supply jobber in your area. You will find a much better gade of tack cloth.

Also leaving the cloth out in the air for a few minutes is the way it should bee done. When you swipe (gently) with the tack cloth, fold it over, always useing a clean side of the cloth.

Be careful using something like EndDust. Any oils or wax left behind will cause all kinds of paint problems.
That's why I carry a gallon of wax and grease remover around the shop. Every time I put my hand on a surface ready for paint I risk contamination.
It does not take much.

Now I will lighten up a bit. It's Rockets, it's suposed to be fun!