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Light vs Medium Finishing Tapes

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  • Light vs Medium Finishing Tapes

    I've finished rebuilding my wings and am about to get started with the fabric work. I managed to acquire some OEM rib clip wire from one of the board members here a while back. Do you guys recommend light or medium finishing tapes over the wire? My two thoughts were this: Medium might provide a little more abrasion resistance. Light might lay down better over the wire. Probably six of one half dozen of the other. Just thought I'd ask for some opinions. Thanks
    Brian Cantrell
    1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D, N96262
    1961 N35 Bonanza, N61GM

  • #2
    I'd recommend the light tapes for a Taylorcraft. They are approved, easier to lay down and do the job.
    There is no "abrasion resistance" that you have to worry about. As per the manual (whether using medium or light tapes) you have to be very careful when you come to sanding the silver coats; don't sand over the rib lacing/ rivets/screws (which ever attachment method is used).

    Hope that helps,
    Rob

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    • #3
      I prefer light weight tapes.

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      • #4
        light tapes disappear to quickly for me when trying to fill heavier fabric. I prefer to still see them just a bit most the time. Heavier tapes also look nicer once ironed out.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ragwing nut View Post
          light tapes disappear to quickly for me when trying to fill heavier fabric. I prefer to still see them just a bit most the time. Heavier tapes also look nicer once ironed out.
          Even with light weight tapes I try not to put on enough finish to make them disappear.

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          • #6
            What process?
            N29787
            '41 BC12-65

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 3Dreaming View Post

              Even with light weight tapes I try not to put on enough finish to make them disappear.
              Then the weave on the 102 is too pronounced for me. The only way to combat that is to almost fully build the fabric before laying tapes, which there are some tricks to doing it.

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              • #8
                I haven't used a medium weight tape since the 80's!

                John
                I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by astjp2 View Post
                  What process?
                  Poly Fiber

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                  • #10
                    The "Consolidated Aircraft Coatings" company is going to re-issue the STCs for both Ceconite and Poly-Fiber such that all cements, all fabrics, all tapes will be universal. Which since the "New Super-Seam" we've seen coming for a long time.

                    The new changes will be that you can apply Poly-Fiber coatings to Ceconite-stamped fabric (and vice-versa). And use one stamped tape for another (Again, we all know it's the same fabric from the same mill, just with a different India-ink stamp on it).

                    All they are doing is making legal what we all know is structurally sound.

                    Just don't mix the coatings!

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                    • #11
                      I'll be using the Air Tech process. I've previously done a Maule with it and like how it turned out. The company is located in the same county as my hometown, so I like to support a local business. I've painted a Piper Clipper here with the Stewart's process and I will not go back down that road. Their glues are great, but the paint is very finicky with the heat and humidity we have in Mississippi.
                      Brian Cantrell
                      1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D, N96262
                      1961 N35 Bonanza, N61GM

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                      • #12
                        I just spent a week in Florida, demonstrating and teaching Stewart's paint in heat and humidity. It's different but not difficult.
                        John
                        Last edited by N96337; 1 week ago.
                        I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead

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                        • #13
                          Everything I have heard about Stewarts is that you have to do it THEIR WAY. Best practices carried over from other systems will often make a mess with Stewarts. The folks I have talked to who haven't used any other systems and follow the instructions TO THE LETTER seem to be getting the best results. I am hoping to try it on my next cover job.

                          Hank

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                          • #14
                            Here's my two cents..... I think they're called finishing tapes for a reason ie simply a means by which to seal and smooth out the surface where the underlying fabric is perforated by wires, lacing etc. The integrity comes from the reinforcing tape under the wire, lacing, rivets, screws. Light tapes are approved for this application and lay down nicely in a good wet bed of dope, polybrush or whatever equivalent, with very little sanding (especially if your system allows for smoothing with an iron). Medium tapes will be far more difficult to get to lay down nicely, so more ironing and/or sanding..... For no real benefit.
                            Scott
                            CF-CLR Blog: http://c-fclr.blogspot.ca/

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the info Scott.

                              You guys seem to be implying that I didn't follow Stewart's directions to the T, or spend several phone conversations with Dan (one of the owners at the time) trying to figure out what was happening and why I was having issues. Another neighbor had very similar issues while painting his Bearhawk, and only saw improvement after installing air conditioning in his hangar (and to me it was still a textured, orange peely finish). Their website now recommends buying a $400 refrigerated water trapping filter from Harbor Freight for high humidity conditions. (By the way, I was in Florida for SnF last week as well. It's not hot and humid yet.) I did eventually finish the Clipper. It was a nice looking finished product and has won some awards. The problem was I had to re-do so many parts that it took at least twice the amount of time and labor that it should have. Until I get an air conditioned hangar, leave Mississippi, or only paint in the winter (which is whole different set of issues) I will not be using Stewart's again.
                              Brian Cantrell
                              1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D, N96262
                              1961 N35 Bonanza, N61GM

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