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Post  sosam117 Thu Dec 15, 2022 12:59 pm

A friend of mine Just emailed me about his old iron shorting out (frayed cord).

Here is my friend's Mike Myers email:

I’m getting ready for the Champs. I have a couple of old covering irons. The one I was using had a frayed cord. Okay—time to treat myself to a new one. I hied myself down to the hobby shop, cash in fist and said, “I want to buy a new covering iron”. Well sez the guy behind the counter— “No can do. Nobody makes them anymore.” Son of a gun—I went on the Internet and Horizon Hobby and Hobby King don’t list any covering irons. At Hobby King they are backordered and will arrive who knows when if ever—maybe on the 33rd of February 2045 at their Bossier City warehouse. Maybe. You might order a weird looking little iron from some “No Name” warehouse in China—but the plugs on the irons didn’t look like they’d work in the States etc. Well guys it looks like the time has passed by for those who use plastic films to cover their models. Maybe it’s time to revert to tissue and dope for most small models. But for things like say a Kloud King, which I can still cover with Ultracote and such—even if I can’t get a new covering iron. Allan Laycock down in Oz has a solution for us—or at least for me. Allan showed me how to use a domestic iron—like Her Indoors uses. Works great. That soleplate has a lot of mass and thermal energy, and the covering films sit right up and take notice and behave. You could spend forever with a conventional iron and not get the same result. Residual heat and thermal mass matter. Now after Allan showed me this, I said I had to follow. But not being dumb or reckless enough to purloin my wife’s high end Rowena steam iron, I went down to Target and bought a nice little Black & Decker steam iron for maybe $22.50.

Here is my solution I told Mike Myers:

Well, for a replacement for a covering iron, I guess "we" can use the iron used for veneer edge banding.
The heat range is a little higher than the "old" TopFlite or 21st Centry Iron or the Hanger 9 iron.
The heat range on them starts at 200°F and goes up to 400°F.
At the low end (200°F) will do the job for tacking the covering like Ultrakote.

The old irons had a heat range from 100°F to 350°F.

I did a quick look on Amazon for R/C covering heat gun (Hanger 9) and it came up with this page:
Hanger 9 covering heat gun

Now "IF" you scroll down a bit, you will notice a bundling of the heat gun / sealing iron / and iron sock.

As seen below:

Covering iron shortage?  -----  substitute? Coveri10
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Post  gkamysz Thu Dec 15, 2022 2:49 pm

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Post  GallopingGhostler Thu Dec 15, 2022 5:18 pm

When my 1970 Graymark 40 Watt soldering iron from high school's wimpish cord wore out, I replaced it with a thicker, standard cord salvaged from a toss away electronic appliance. Still have the iron. Can't your friend simply replace his power cord, if the iron is still good but the cord bad? One can buy bulk light appliance cord per foot and a replacement outlet plug, if a molded replacement isn't available.

Back in the early 1970's when Monokote was still new, their photo installation guide showed photos of a standard steam clothing iron being used (without the water, of course). One can even use a smaller traveling clothes iron (saw some for under $25 on Amazon).

It isn't the end of the world because the "official" film sealing irons aren't readily available. Very Happy
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Post  roddie Thu Dec 15, 2022 7:17 pm

GallopingGhostler wrote:When my 1970 Graymark 40 Watt soldering iron from high school's wimpish cord wore out, I replaced it with a thicker, standard cord salvaged from a toss away electronic appliance. Still have the iron. Can't your friend simply replace his power cord, if the iron is still good but the cord bad? One can buy bulk light appliance cord per foot and a replacement outlet plug, if a molded replacement isn't available.

Back in the early 1970's when Monokote was still new, their photo installation guide showed photos of a standard steam clothing iron being used (without the water, of course). One can even use a smaller traveling clothes iron (saw some for under $25 on Amazon).

It isn't the end of the world because the "official" film sealing irons aren't readily available. Very Happy

Exactly George Santa I would personally recommend eBay.. or any local modeling pages buy/sell on social media. I have X2 irons. One I bought from Tower Hobbies (brand-name) and the other is a Hobbico (almost exactly the same) from my dad.

Covering iron shortage?  -----  substitute? Dsc03513
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Neither my dad or I covered more than a few models using our irons. So.. one can only imagine how many of these hobby irons are out there.. and up for grabs.

The purpose-built/designed hobby irons have a variable thermostat,Teflon-coating on their shoe.. and an "up-swept" front that comes to a point.

These weren't expensive when new.. and shouldn't cost much 2nd hand. Even local shipping would eclipse this item's current value.
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Post  GallopingGhostler Thu Dec 15, 2022 11:11 pm

Roddie, my long in use Top Flite one went bad (heating element went out), so I bought another, a Hobbico (Tower) one from a hobby store in Alamogordo, NM 11 years ago. The knob on it has cracked, but it still works.

Although the Teflon coating is nice, for years I used an older non-coated one. The sock is more useful, IMO. But, prior to the special irons, I was using a huge standard iron. And, this was on half-A aircraft.

But then, I've gotten things done using minimalist tools. It was only a year ago, that I bought a cordless electric drill, bought the more expensive one from Harbor Freight, it is a decent cordless. Prior, I'd bring my 50 foot extension cord with me and my plug in electric drill.

Yes, I suppose you may find the irons used on Internet auction sites. But for such an item, personally, because it does have a heating element, I'd prefer new over used. I just don't think I'm going to shell out $60 for something new, though.

The portable clothes irons, some do have ability to change the heat range. So, where there is a will, there is a way.
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Post  Coxfledgling Fri Dec 16, 2022 2:22 am

I too would like a new iron for covering use.
My modelling iron died after about 4 years of ownership.

I use the wife's old clothes iron, mostly to heat the modelling iron. I made a basic stand so the clothes iron sat upsidedown allowing the modelling iron to sit on the "base" and heat up. I also used the clothes iron on larger sections of covering.

Waste not want not, reuse, recycle etc..
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Post  944_Jim Fri Dec 16, 2022 11:29 am

Coxfledgling wrote:.
I use the wife's old clothes iron, mostly to heat the modelling iron. I made a basic stand so the clothes iron sat upsidedown allowing the modelling iron to sit on the "base" and heat up. I also used the clothes iron on larger sections of covering.

Genius! Greenie applied.
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Post  roddie Fri Dec 16, 2022 7:18 pm

944_Jim wrote:
Coxfledgling wrote:.
I use the wife's old clothes iron, mostly to heat the modelling iron. I made a basic stand so the clothes iron sat upsidedown allowing the modelling iron to sit on the "base" and heat up. I also used the clothes iron on larger sections of covering.

Genius! Greenie applied.

Yes.. that's using your noggin'.. keppie.. head.. whatever.. This Site Rocks!
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