Oratex is like Yoga Pants

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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby AV8R Paul » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:57 pm

If you are not very good at Converting, it’s because you were working with a stained soul. (Bad joke)
Having worked in manufacturing for year s Alodine, or Chromate conversion coating, or Conversion Coating, comes in varying shades of yellowish gold colors, sometimes a very light and some very dark. I would recommend a through cleaning of the Aluminium before you try converting it. Heck if you clean it, you might clean it’s soul before your Conversion, and in will be a more consistent light golden yellow color, but probably not.

BDA wrote:Has anyone had trouble with Oratex / glue peeling off of Aluminum??

Lars told me to MAKE SURE TO "ALODINE" or "convert" before gluing.

Well that's something else that I am not very good at - different shades of tan means different levels of conversion I assume - so how much is enough?
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby AV8R Paul » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:48 pm

I don't really care if the Handle is removable but I would like to have it on the bottom. I store my plane with the tail wheel in a raised position. I built a table that extends over the wing of my hanger mates Glassair wing. I have a ramp I push the tail up and it gets too high to effectively use the handle.

BDA wrote:New Lift handles

Removable for easier covering

I cut off the factory handle and welded new ones on both sides on the bottom longeron to make it easier to lift in deep snow.

Used 1/2” heavy wall tube for the stud, the 5/8” handle fits over it nice and snug.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:11 pm

I can start a thread on how I made the handles if you would like
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby AV8R Paul » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:54 pm

That is your call the pictures tell me enough, but there may be people that want a further explanation. Also, I’d love to spur more discussion on the forum. Every little bit will help.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:15 pm

Another view
There are 2 so that my copilot can help me get the tail out of the mud when its full of Moose. :)
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby AV8R Paul » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:44 pm

Both sides that is definitely a good idea. I can see needing a friend to lift my tail out of the 3 inches of snow we get every other year, along with the weight of that dressed out White Tail deer (maybe 75 to 100 pounds if I’m lucky). However there is a benefit to our record breaking snow, it’s 39 degrees and I’m freezing my rear end off at the airport. We are suppose to get into the 20s Sunday night.

BDA wrote:Another view
There are 2 so that my copilot can help me get the tail out of the mud when its full of Moose. :)
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:46 am

Well I made more mistakes and learned some good stuff - its only good if you learn it before its permanent.

I went around the fuselage and scrubed all the glued surfaces with scotchbrite before I applied the first half of fabric. So when I was getting ready for the other side and started applying glue, I just kept on going, including the overlap area on the first piece of fabric (that I had not scuffed).
So when I was checking the glue - some parts peeled off - not good - after some head scratching I remembered NOT scuffing the fabric overlap. Oops
The instructions say 2” plus overlap, so now I had 2” of dried glue on the fabric.

Most of it did not want to come off so I used a sponge with scotch scrubber on it to soak with warm water and after a few minutes I was able to scrub the edge off. As the glue dried a little I used my hands to roll and peel the glue off - thank goodness! Took about an hour.

The good news - after talking to the guys at Better Aircraft Fabric - only 1” of overlap is needed at the top stringer. 2” of overlap would have required more than 5” wide finishing tape to cover.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BucF16 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:52 am

Thank you for the update and listing your lessons learned! I spoke to Joe at Better Aircraft Fabric, and he indicated that they are discussing putting on one or more clinics in the lower 48 sometime this spring. So for those of you that are interested in this process, give them a call and encourage then do do just that.

I took the Poly-fiber clinic here in Columbus 20 years ago, but this is a different process, and a that was a long time ago. I'd like to see the experts perform the process first hand.

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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby AV8R Paul » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:51 am

BDA wrote:Well I made more mistakes and learned some good stuff - its only good if you learn it before its permanent.
. . . . .
The instructions say 2” plus overlap, so now I had 2” of dried glue on the fabric.
The good news - after talking to the guys at Better Aircraft Fabric - only 1” of overlap is needed at the top stringer. 2” of overlap would have required more than 5” wide finishing tape to cover.


When you do the 1” or 2” overlap do you mark it with a pencil or do you mask it with tape?
I will definitely need to be working with Chris when he puts the Oratex fabric on the plane. It will be nice to see the fabric go on and it will immediately start looking like an airplane.
I'll be pleased when I finish the tail feathers and get to drive to Wallen Aircraft to deliver them and install them.
Also thanks you reminded me I have to call Lars to ask him a question.

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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:15 pm

Mask for sanding fabric and applying glue, pencil is worthless.

I think one of my previous pictures shows masking to mark where the tubes are on new piece of fabric for glue application.
When you do that, use a pen and draw an arrow pointing to which side of the tape to put the glue on - when u get the fabric off the fuselage and on the bench it is quite the puzzle.

Once you cut out a tailfeather or something - use the scrap to make all your doubler doileys (dollar patches) for the fabric penetrations.
And for goodness sake - do NOT try to stick those on with a heat gun. Iron only

If I ever build another I WILL make aluminum backer plates to attach fabric to around gear and strut fittings, prob for all penetrations.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby AV8R Paul » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:50 pm

I will need to pass this information on to Chris Wallen. It's good information, thanks
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:11 pm

I am sure that he will not make any of these mistKes

The aluminum backer plates for the gear fitting openings just make it easier to attach the fabric and avoid a large ugly hole after you start shrinking.
I tried to use fabric backers but not happy with results. The fabric shrinks differently when in 2 layers.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:50 am

Well I did some more learning, got the fuselage done.
I used 32 feet or 10.5 m of fabric total.

When laying out the sheet for glue and penetrations you cannot pull it staight and flat with no wrinkles. In order to make the top stringer to vert transition you have to push it into the stringerand attach there first then shrink the wrinkles out.

If you pull everything straight and then try to push it into the stringer, it will not stretch enough.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby BDA » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:06 am

I cannot stress enough not to use too much glue.
If you can see brush marks in the glue when dry, it is too much and will show through the fabric. Better to wash it off and do it again. It takes so little glue.

When joining a seam, make the glue at the overlap wider than the overlap fabric so that the edge has glue to stick to. The finish tape will hide it.

Before finish tape, run masking tape along the top piece of the overlap.so that a narrow glue line along the seam on the "lower" side will hide the seam under the finish tape. The masking tape keeps the glue off the upper piece.

Oh, when wrapping fabric around a tube use the iron, the heat gun will distort the fabric and cause wrinkles that are impossible to fix.

Make your penetration "dollar" patches ahead of time from finish tape, not fabric. The fabric needs glue that is hard to hide at the edges, tapes need no glue.
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Re: Oratex is like Yoga Pants

Postby kenryan » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:34 am

Ollie helped me with my covering. He is very experienced and factory trained. We always made sure that we used enough glue and didn't worry much about too much glue. In fact, we always brushed on one coat of glue, let it dry, and then brushed on a second coat. I think the problem arises when you try to put on a very thick layer of glue. Two thin layers is what worked for me. For sure you do not want to use too little glue.
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