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Tissue on solid balsa Empty Tissue on solid balsa

Post  firstwordisee Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:17 pm

I apologize in advance as I am sure this has been a topic somewhere on this forum before but I couldnt find the right search words for my specific and very novice question.
As Im waiting for the tissue to arrive for my Lizzie it occurred to me that I dont think I have ever done tissue on solid balsa. Parts of the fus and tail are solid balsa sheets (I know how to do the sticks). Do you apply glue on entire area or dope then glue, apply tissue then dope/water, smooth with fingers, then shrink? Will tissue tighten? Seems easy enough just looking for any advice from my friends here before I screw something up.
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Post  rdw777 Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:21 pm

Hi, My favorite is dope and thinner but I’ve done white glue and water as well…..

With dope apply a couple of coats then fine sand after dry…. Thinner straight through the tissue and it will stick pretty quickly…. The tissue will not shrink much if any with this method….. A couple more coats of dope or until the wood is sealed…. The glider in the photo used that method….

On the CL model I wiped on two coats of polyurethane and let dry well…. The tissue was glued down with about 50/50 Elmer’s white glue and water using a soft brush….. The water makes the tissue weak and will tear easier but certainly doable…. The tissue will shrink a little because of the water but I was satisfied with it……Couple more coats of poly when it’s dry…



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Post  sosam117 Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:48 pm

firstwordisee,
I typed in the word search "Covering solid balsa with tissue" and got this link:

https://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_forum/index.php/topic,12315.0.html

Take a read and see what you can get as an idea on how to do it?


Last edited by sosam117 on Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling mistakes)
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Post  firstwordisee Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:59 pm

Sosam, missed your reply, thanks a lot, Ill take a look. Most of the instructional stuff I found on line only addresses doing the wing and stick frames, not sheet balsa but maybe there is something in the link you sent, appreciate it.
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Post  firstwordisee Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:07 pm

Thanks again for the link, did a quick read, thats the info I was looking for but like most things in this hobby everyone has their own method that works for them and seems like there is no absolute wrong way. Ill just experiment. Appreciate the replies!
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Post  cstatman Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:37 am

this free flight guy, he makes amazing videos, and has started a how-to series

As you mention, everyone has their home-grown magical methods

It helps me learn when I watch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_Hap0gT9Pg&t=1s

he has a bit on covering solid areas toward the end of the video...

good info

And his flying videos? wow
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Post  firstwordisee Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:02 pm

Great video, thanks for posting.
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Post  Ken Cook Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:13 am

I enjoy the look of tissue on models. It provides a very nice retro look. What hasn't been mentioned is the way tissue fades. It will fade even in one outing in the sun. Not all tissue is the same and generic domestic tissue fades a bit faster than quality Japanese tissue which is getting harder to find. I have also used the thinned white glue method and I prefer it many times for tissue installation. One negative I have found is that you don't want any glue outside of your trim that was installed using it. When dope is applied, it makes the spots where the glue was left very shiny.
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Post  rdw777 Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:42 am

True that Ken on color in tissue possibly fading…. Depending on quality and light exposure…I built a Guillows Javelin rubber free flight many years ago and stored it near a sunny window…. The yellow wing held its color fairly well but the blue fuse faded badly ….Pretty sure it was domestic tissue……

The tissue on the Littlest Stick is Esaki Japanese tissue is over thirty years old except for the trim on the stabilizer and rudder which I replaced about one year ago…. Same Esaki for new trim….. The red, blue, and black held its color well as can be seen comparing the wing to the tail….. The white in the wing aged to more tan color but the balsa fuse did as well….This model has been in the sun many hours but stored in a box….Esaki is not available anymore but maybe for the asking on one of the free flight forums….. I bought some condenser paper for a project from a member on RCG….

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The tissue on the SM 23 is Hallmark brand from Walmart…. I have not used it before but the color seems pretty deep…. The last top coat over the poly varnish was spar varnish which is UV resistant so we’ll see how the color stays as time goes on…. (If the plane lives that long   Very Happy
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Post  firstwordisee Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:40 am

Ken, In the video above the guy using light adhesive tape to protect the edges when glue trimming, looks like a good idea. I thought it was interesting that he also doesnt apply glue stick to any of the ribs of wing, just the edges. If this is the correct application, then the few I have done (20 years ago) have been wrong, I used the glue stick on all the sticks and ribs.
Rdw, that wing looks very clean!
I ordered Asuka tissue 3 days ago, still hasnt shipped.
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Post  Ken Cook Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:26 pm

I have done it both ways with good success. The majority of my covering jobs are perimeter bounded so to speak and not on the rib tops and spars. I believe this allows the tissue to shrink to it's greatest efficiency without twisting the wing.
     Some control line stunters I have built,  I had coated the rib tops and cap strips with dope. Silkspan unlike tissue is installed wet and you don't want to raise the grain on raw balsa as a result of using it so I seal them with dope.
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Post  firstwordisee Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:46 pm

Good to know!
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