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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fabric on Rudder

Today I had all my ducks in a row and started to put fabric on the rudder. First I thinned some of the EkoClean heavy duty cleaner into a spray bottle and wiped down the entire rudder. With a clean surface to work on I started to brush the glue onto the wood. Once the glue started to tack just a bit I put the fabric in place and started to work out as much of the slack as possible, using pressure on the fabric to stick it to the rudder. Then I painted more glue through the fabric, following with a blue shop paper towel to collect extra glue and apply pressure to give a good bond.

I used the iron at about 250 F to help around curves. One really nice thing about the EkoBond glue is that if it dries you can reactivate it with heat so you aren't in a race against the glue to get the fabric perfectly in place. Im sure this will come in even more handy when working on the fuselage and wing where I'm gluing much larger pieces of fabric in place.

With the fabric glued in place I headed to supper and then the Kansas Soaring Association meeting. Ended up giving a short presentation of my progress so far at the club meeting. I heated up the iron when I got home. I was happy to put my new infrared laser pointer thermometer to use in calibrating the Iron.

I ran the iron temps between 250 and 275 for the initial shrink. I still need to do a second shrink at 300. Stewart doesnt recommend going above that on a wood structure and I don't want to start breaking ribs so I think that will be OK. Here you can see what the fabric looked like before shrinking. You can see a fair amount of slack in the fabric although it really didn't seem that bad in person.

And here it is after shrink. Big difference! I still love the magic of watching the slack come out of the fabric. Hopefully I don't get tired of it anytime soon!

Steve Leonard was browsing through old Soaring Magazines and found the following Classified add from February of 1968:

CHEROKEE II (N373Y), custom built white with gold trim. Fully equipped, Crossfell vario, PZL airspeed, rate of climb, compass, altimeter, Ceconite cover. Mint condition. First offer above $2500. Ree, 7711 Ogontz Ave, Philledelphia, Pa. 19150.

It must not have sold at that time because the Ree's didn't sell the glider until the early 70's, after they did the first recover job on it. I'd love to find a picture of it to see what the paint job was like back then. Also amazing to note how little effect inflation has had on glider prices in the last 40 years!

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