Posted: 1/15/2011 16:42:43
The product I have been waxing/polishing my fabric aircraft with is no longer available. What are others using these days for a waterless cleaner/ polish or wax? Polyurethane verses Dope?
Any thoughts would be appreciated,
Posted: 1/16/2011 20:25:26
Just my two cents - I have a Cub recovered in the Stitts process finished with Poly Tone about 5 years ago. I first wash the aircraft usng an automotive car wash, then thoroughly dry it. Next I use a pure carnauba wax, either Meguiar's or Mother's car wax works fine. As long as there are no abraisives, that's why pure carnauba wax is best. I wax once per season, but then I fly about 40 hrs/year and keep the Cub in a hangar all the time. If your fabric covered aircraft is kept outside or is flown often I would wax more frequently. Waxing traps the solvents in the finish, preventing it from evaporating out and keeping it soft and pliable. Without waxing the finish can get hard and crack. Waxing also enables cleaning more easily and prevents bird droppings or smashed bugs from staining the color. Good luck and happy flying!
Posted: 1/21/2011 09:19:49
I have done a lot of rag and tube over the last 40+ years and would offer my thoughts. Most of the aircraft I rebuild go about a tougher road than I suspect yours does. Some of mine wind up outside on floats others are 'poor person's' aircraft... I had a flight school in NH in the '90s and chose to run Piper Colts and a Tri Pacer in the fleet along with a Champ and a pair of 172's. These days I'm rebuilding a PA 12 for a Banner operator and keeping a Pawnee for the same folks. Carnauba wax over a clean base and a dry hangar is undoubtedly the best for a show finish but we didn't have time or manpower to do that. Our birds flew hard and we had very limited hangar space. We kept them clean, often with 409 on the tough spots. The success was in getting 3 coats of Nu Wax (available in any WalMart... the stuff in the orange bottle) over a very clean base. IF you must use 409 re coat the NuWax where you scrubbed... Never wax a new paint job but after 30-60 days wash thoroughly (we used a car wash soap or even the dreaded dish detergent) and toweled dry whenever the weather allowed. Get the first very thorough coat on. Then over the next 2-3 weeks we would get coats #2 and 3 on. Wash well before applying any wax/finish. I use a lot of Stits, (now Poly Fibre). Even on Ceconite, or airplanes where we rejuvenated old Ceconite(per Ray Stit's old service letter) with Poly Fibre rejuvinators and re coated with Poly Tone I have seen the finish last another 15+ years...often outdoors... with regular cleaning and one or two coats of the Nu Wax each year. The finish isn't as nice as Carnauba but it's easy and it seems to protect the finish.
Of interest to some, I am doing the highly modified PA12 in the Stewarts System. So far I like it a lot. I have promised Steve Krog that I would do an article for Cub Clues as I get to a reporting point on the process.
Then fly the thing!!
Best of luck
Posted: 1/21/2011 13:14:24
How about posting your report here also. I am interested in the Stewert System.
Posted: 1/25/2011 19:02:31
I've had great success with Supercoat. It works well on painted metal and dope fabric. They have different formulas for boats, cars, airplanes etc. I used the one for planes on my Stinson. The fabric had some oxidation, the Supercoat made it look new. They claim it will improve cruise speed and reduce icing. I don't know about that but it sure makes the plane look nice. It's a liquid, you apply it with a rag, let it dry and buff it off with a dry rag. Not hard to use. It leaves a protective finish that makes water bead. Aircraft Spruce has Supercoat listed but it is a formula for leather and plastic . As I said I used the airplane formula.
Posted: 4/5/2011 13:03:51
First, a disclaimer: I ran the Michigan Wing Waxer Sector for about 10 years.
I did a number of tube and rag planes and good results with Wing Waxers Teflon wax. One good coat seemed to last for a full flying season out in the open or a solid 18 months if hangered. It lasted somewhat longer on aluminum planes (don't know why). The coating reflects UV light and is very easy to keep clean. It can be purchased through the Wing Waxer web site or directly from the local sector operator. It's a little pricey but a little daub the size of a quarter will cover a 2 foot by 2 foot area generously. The shelf life is measured in months, and not too many of them, so buy it as you need it.
I recall one summer day when we polished and waxed a beautiful Taylorcraft for an owner who was getting it ready to sell. The prospective buyer arrived at the owner's farm strip, flown in by his friend in an all black Taylorcraft. While the buyer and the owner closed the deal, the black T-Craft's owner took his plane up and put on a hair raising display of low level aerobatics that ended with a slow roll timed so he was 90 degrees to the ground when he went between the silo and the other barn, lower wing a good 15 feet below the top of the silo. Waxing ragwings always brings back that memory.