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Author Topic: Sealing balsa prior to painting. Alternatives to cellulose dope?  (Read 828 times)
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TheLurker
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« on: July 29, 2017, 04:35:08 AM »

As subject really.  I'm using Eze Dope because I can't get hold of "proper" dope these days;  no LMS to hand and the Post Office are understandably wary of carrying flammable materials so mail order is out. 

Anyone tried Eze Dope for sealing?  If you have did it work? 

Know of any other reasonable, lightweight alternative?

chr$
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duration
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 06:40:34 AM »

Don't know if it is available in the UK, but I've been using Deft clear lacquer and Deft sanding sealer for years. In the US I can find it at some hardware stores but not at the big box places (Lowes & Home Depot).

Louis
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Monz
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 07:25:55 AM »

Any of the courier companies will transport dope, get hold of Balsa Cabin, they'll ship dope to you through Parcel Force. It's worth getting a couple 500ml tins of shrinking and non shrinking dope and sanding sealer then. Chuck in some of their nice balsa and you're sorted. Probably looking at £8 - £12 pounds for a fair sized parcel.

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Greg Langelius
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 10:24:31 AM »

Minwax Clear Brushing Lacquers and Sanding Sealers. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=minwax+brushing+lacquer

Acetone lacquer thinner. https://www.amazon.co.uk/99-5-ACETONE-1000mL-Approved-Tamper/dp/B01MXE1LJC/ref=pd_cp_60_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TAQXJTBSD9FN3XBHNNCT

I have used this successfully on tissue models. It performs just about identical to the more standard model airplane nitrate dopes. Like nitrate dopes, you can dope over it with butyrate dope, but not vice-versa.

Greg
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TheLurker
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 03:56:09 PM »

Had (had!?) to order some bits from VMC today so decided it was worth trying Deluxe's Sand and Seal.  If it means I can continue building in the dining room over winter rather than being consigned to the (unheated) garage (cos, "as any fule kno" dope stinks) it'll be money well spent.
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ironmike
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 04:00:47 PM »

thinned out titebond works great
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jym6aw6
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 12:28:37 PM »

Mike,

Is that Titebond Original wood glue?

1 to 1 glue to water mix?

Thanks,....Jim
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cavelamb
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yup!

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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 01:48:21 AM »

Mike,

Is that Titebond Original wood glue?

1 to 1 glue to water mix?

Thanks,....Jim

Inquiring minds, and all that...
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 04:11:36 PM »

I'm currently using EZE dope on my KK Dolphin.  When I gave up trying to get it to stick to the undercambered bottom wing surface, I found the one thin coat of EZE dope I already applied sealed the balsa excellently and sanded very smooth.  No additional sealing coats were required when I switched to Nitrate.   Grin
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TheLurker
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 01:29:30 AM »

I'm currently using EZE dope on my KK Dolphin.  When I gave up trying to get it to stick to the undercambered bottom wing surface, I found the one thin coat of EZE dope I already applied sealed the balsa excellently and sanded very smooth.  No additional sealing coats were required when I switched to Nitrate.   Grin
Interesting.  I experimented with neat EzeDope on scrap balsa and gave it up as a bad job which is why I bought the Sand & Seal.  I wouldn't  expect EzeDope (what a silly name) to  hold tissue to under-cambered ribs cos AFAIK E-D doesn't have any adhesion properties; it's just a coating material.  I'd expect1 to have to use a glue-stick or similar to get the tissue to hold.

1 - It's been over 44 years since I last built an under-cambered wing and I'm just a little bit out of touch with current techniques and practices so you might be better off ignoring anything I have to say on the subject. Smiley
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FFmodeller
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 05:16:09 AM »

Lurker,
Do you have any local wood finishing / turning Suppliers locally?
I use cellulose sanding sealer ... I can get this from a few sources fairly locally.
Axminster Tools have a few branches Nationwide now.
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Jasco
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 11:23:01 AM »

Lurker, you said you used the EZE dope (yes it is a silly name, but it sounds much better with a British accent) in your testing.  You say you used it "neat"... like scotch without ice?   Cheesy 
My very first try was with 100% dope as I like to do with nitrate, and the EZE dope kind of sat on top of the wood.  When sanded, there wasn't much dope left. 
Then I diluted it 30% dope, 70% water as instructed, and the product really penetrated into the balsa, leaving a hard smooth finish on balsa when sanded. I completed the project using the same technique. (with exceptions of course!)
Although very thin, EZE Dope seems to be very concentrated and full of solids, and if you thin it out adequately the water carries the dope molecules into the fibers of the wood. 
I imagine if 70% of the weight of the dope is water and it all evaporates, it dries to a fraction of it's application weight.
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TheLurker
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2017, 02:00:41 PM »

Quote from: Jasco
My very first try was with 100% dope as I like to do with nitrate, and the EZE dope kind of sat on top of the wood.  When sanded, there wasn't much dope left.
Yeah, that's what I did and I got pretty much the same result.  Never thought to try it diluted as I expected the water to raise the grain of the wood.  Might give it a go this weekend on a bit of scrap as I've got some 30% left over from the last build.

Quote from: FFmodeller
I use cellulose sanding sealer...
Interesting idea. How is it for weight?  I'm building small fry that have ballast weights measured in a handful of grammes.
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Jasco
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2017, 03:14:26 PM »


Yeah, that's what I did and I got pretty much the same result.  Never thought to try it diluted as I expected the water to raise the grain of the wood.  Might give it a go this weekend on a bit of scrap as I've got some 30% left over from the last build.

Oh, the water absolutely raises the grain of the wood!  I sanded with 220 grit I think. 
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dosco
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2017, 04:27:31 PM »


<<Deft clear lacquer and Deft sanding sealer>>

In the US I can find it at some hardware stores but not at the big box places (Lowes & Home Depot).


That's weird. The only place I've seen it where I live (Maryland) is at Lowes.

YMMV I suppose.

-Dave
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FFmodeller
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2017, 05:25:09 PM »

Quote
Interesting idea. How is it for weight?

Not sure .... I have always assumed that it is similar to the home prepared dope/talc mix?
I'm mostly doing small stuff too .... hard to notice any weight gain. I wish I had measured these before and after now!
These spinners are all for sub 20" models.
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Re: Sealing balsa prior to painting. Alternatives to cellulose dope?
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TheLurker
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2017, 02:10:51 AM »

Those spinners are really rather pretty.  Thanks for that.  Most of the stuff I'm building at the moment is likewise sub 20" and it's always good to have proven alternative solutions (ha ha ha) to hand; especially ones that can be picked up from DIY type shops.


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Ray_K
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2017, 05:49:36 PM »

9-7-2017

Try future floor polish or any kind of liquid floor polish that has acrylic in it, it smells nice, inexpensive and will seal balsa and foam with no problem, 4 to 6 light coats, sand in between each coat, adds almost no weight.

Cheers, Ray K.  Smiley
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