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Recommended fabric system

 
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mwcreech



Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 35
Location: Portland, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:41 am    Post subject: Recommended fabric system Reply with quote

Gents
I'm am getting ready to cover the tail surfaces on my Starduster Too.
Wanted to get some input on the best, easiest, longest lasting, least toxic system out there. I understand Stuart is water based.
Thanks a million
Mike Creech
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Starduster History



Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 734
Location: St. Helens, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Covering Reply with quote

I use and have always used Stits Polyfiber, 2.7 oz fabric. Dave
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bmcj



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 809
Location: California, Fresno

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a difference between toxic and unpleasant. Stuart is waterbased, so it does not have much of an odor. Stits Polytone is solvent (MEK) based, so it has an unpleasant odor during application (point of view), and can be unhealthful if you are exposed to heavy concentrations for long periods of times.

Polyurethane paints ARE toxic, known to cause severe, permanent brain damage and even death. You must wear a full protective suit with a fresh air supplied respirator, and the filtering/venting of the paint booth is also troublesome and regulated. Polyurethanes, such as Imron, are the paints that give you that glossy wet look, but are typically not flexible enough for fabric coverings. Also, repairs and touchups are almost impossible without redoing the whole plane. Stits Polyfiber has a paint called Aero-thane; I'm told it is not the toxic polyurethane, but I would want to see some pretty convincing documentation before I take someone's word on that.

All paints are safe and odorless once dried.

I've not used Stuart System, so I can't comment, but I have friends who have used it and while some swear by it, others swear at it. It's enough of a split that it raises concerns with me that the process may still have some kinks to work out.

I have used many other processes, including Stits Polytone with great success. While you do have the temporary inconvenience of the MEK odor while painting, the Stits process is very easy, thoroughly developed and documents with great instructions and great customer call in support (and when you call in, you get real people with real experience, not a call center in another country). While the Polytone is not the glossiest paint on the market, it still gives a satisfactory finish. If you are after a shiny finish and can tolerate some extra weight, you can apply multiple hand-rubbed coats, but the plane will fly just the same no matter how shiny or dull the finish. Wink

Another nice thing about Stits Polytone is that it is very flexible, so it works well on fabric without cracking. Repairs and touchups are easy, and if the paint gets old or scarred, it can be rejuvenated with a cloth rag and some MEK. If I had any complaint about Stits paints, it would be that there can be a slight mismatch between their Polytone colors and their paints made for painting metals (but the mismatch is minor and may have been corrected since I last used it). Not a big deal to me, though, since I have planes to fly, not show.

Bruce Smile
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Steve H



Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Posts: 96
Location: OK/AK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to go with the Stits/Polytone on my wings. My fuselage has polyurethane paint on it, and has some minor cracking. It will get recovered with the Stits/Polytone after I have flown the plane for a couple years.

Steve H
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mwcreech



Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 35
Location: Portland, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:40 am    Post subject: Recommended fabric covering Reply with quote

Thank you all for the great information. Sounds like a consensus. Have a Merry Christmas
Mike
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dageese



Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Churubusco, IN

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up choosing the Poly-Fiber system, all covered in the heavy weight fabric, 3.5 oz I think. I too looked at the Stewart system, and like others have mentioned, it seems that people either love it or hate it. Since I've never covered anything before, and don't consider myself an expert with a spray gun, it looked like the way to go.

So far I have all of the small pieces covered all the way up through poly-tone paint. Just have the four wings and the fuselage to go now. In fact I've started on one of the lower wings, and find it easier to cover than all of the small stuff (ailerons).

I had some time off of my job over the Christmas holiday so painted and trimmed the horizontal and elevator. The starburst doesn't appear to align in the picture only because they were just laying in proximity to each other.

Other than the smell, the system is very nice, minor mistakes are easy to deal with, painting with poly tone is fairly easy for an amateur. I'm happy with it.
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Steve H



Joined: 21 Aug 2010
Posts: 96
Location: OK/AK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks reall nice! Thanks for the info and photo. It looks like you aren't far from flying.
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bmcj



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 809
Location: California, Fresno

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve H wrote:
That looks reall nice! Thanks for the info and photo. It looks like you aren't far from flying.

Ditto.
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Bruce

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