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Author Topic: Restoring/rebuilding old models  (Read 2084 times)
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blklion
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« on: October 30, 2009, 01:07:38 AM »

I quit flying UC back in 1967 and donated the planes I still had to the club I belonged to here in town back then. There were, however, a good number of wrecks and other airplanes that had been stored in my parents garage loft before I moved out and got married. I never even thought about those airplanes or even had a hint that they still existed until my parents passed away and they were rediscovered. So now I have all those again plus a couple that my father had built but they were (some still are) in terrible condition. I've restored a few but have several yet to go and was wondering if someone has some new tips for this old dog on how to achieve this a bit more easier.

Removing old tissue is tedious and smelly... having to use thinner to get the stuff to lift off in most areas. Is there a better method?

Fuel soaked balsa and ply: I've been using a mixture of corn starch and rubbing alcohol that seems to do the job okay but it's an overnight sit, cleanup and then a second application in some cases. Any tips on a better way?

To share a tip with others I have found that "Dawn Power Dissolver" works wonders on removing grime and old castor oil from these models. Even the old windows come clean with this stuff. It will also lift dead paint... and paint that's not so dead if you go too far.
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gossie
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 02:02:13 AM »

Wish I could find some of my old models and motors from the 50s/60s. Of course I wont because they are all gone, but if I did I would take great pleasure in just taking my time restoring them slowly one at a time.

FWIW back in May this year I was offered a 36in span freeflight model that was built in 1956 to restore as the builder/owner a good friend of mine had passed away. I took great pleasure indeed just taking my time over a couple of months bringing it back to it's former glory. It by the way was a winner in it's class at the 1956 Australian Nationals, plus some other events, so was well worth doing well IMHO.

Good luck on the 'restos'. How about some pics please?
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Scirocco14
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 09:50:17 AM »

I was given a whole box of old free flight airplanes recently, and most of these planes sat in an attic since the 60's. I'm finding that sanding the old paint and tissue seems to work well, using 320 and 400 grit and lots of patience. I do have to be gentle as the 50 yr old Ambroid seems to result in a lot of glue joint failures.

I've finished one so far, a scratch built Piper J3. I'm currently working on an Aeronca Champ and am ready for recovering and paint. I'll post more as I progress through the rest of them:

Comet Stinson Reliant
Comet F9F - Jetex
Berkeley Temco TT-1 Pinto - Jetex
Fokker DVII

Here are some pics of the Piper... it came in at under 30 grams AUW and flies like a rocket now!!!
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Mark
Scirocco14
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 10:04:50 AM »

Here's the Aeronca Champion so far. Luckily for me the modeler who built this plane so many years ago was very talented and other than the glue joints separating, the restoration has been pretty straight forward.

It was missing the nose plug and had some fuselage damage but other than that was intact.

Mark
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Mark
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 10:08:03 AM »

Here are my next restos once I finish with the Aeronca.
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Mark
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 10:14:44 AM »

And lastly... the remnants which will take some work!! The Stinson Reliant is a Comet build and I have found the original plans online (I LOVE the internet!) so that should be pretty straightforward. The plane is intact but is very fragile, just picking it up causes the glue joints to separate. Undecided I got it in this condition so I think the original builder was in the process of recovering it.

The Fokker is missing the upper wing, but there are lots of plans out there so I can make a suitable replacement.

I WISH I had gotten the big yellow plane that used to be attached to the struts in the picture. Wink
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Mark
blklion
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 09:14:03 AM »

The Fokker is missing the upper wing, but there are lots of plans out there so I can make a suitable replacement.

I just might have the upper wing for that Fokker in a box around here. Still need one?

Sorry I'm so late with this but here are some of the restores.

Jetco Rearwin Speedster
Ambroid Beatnik (foreground)
Monarch Peter Pan
Sterling Mr. Mulligan
Sterling PT-17
Top Flite P-47
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packardpursuit
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2010, 06:52:39 PM »

I haven't seen any in a while, but I seem to recall a white paste stain remover (in a tube) that was popular in the 70's. It was normally a pre-wash application for fabrics. It was reported in Model builder to be a good treatment for fuel soaked balsa.I remember trying it and it worked just fine. Sorry I can't recall the name. It was advertized on TV, kind of like "Oxyclean". HMMMM.....??!!

On tissue removal CAREFULL application of Jasco paint stripper just to small areas will lift stuck tissue patches . Care is needed so as not to soften glue joints. However, it would, I think be possible to completely disassemble some models. Once neutralized (with water and or thinners) reassembly would be possible. I know it works on furniture, etc.
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thymekiller
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 07:19:32 AM »

Nice collection. Cool Cool Cool
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RobC
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 03:40:45 AM »

If you need to disassemble glue joints you could take a tip from plastic modellers and freeze the part overnight.

This works great for Zap/super glue, not sure on others.

Of course huge parts will not fit and tiny wood will likely break, just use your best judgement.

Cheers,
Rob
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Pit
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 08:39:54 AM »

I haven't seen any in a while, but I seem to recall a white paste stain remover (in a tube) that was popular in the 70's. It was normally a pre-wash application for fabrics. It was reported in Model builder to be a good treatment for fuel soaked balsa.I remember trying it and it worked just fine. Sorry I can't recall the name. It was advertized on TV, kind of like "Oxyclean". HMMMM.....??!!

On tissue removal CAREFUL application of Jasco paint stripper just to small areas will lift stuck tissue patches . Care is needed so as not to soften glue joints. However, it would, I think be possible to completely disassemble some models. Once neutralized (with water and or thinners) reassembly would be possible. I know it works on furniture, etc.

There is/was the product K2R, a spray stain remover that works great for fuel soaked anything - it may have been also offered as a spread on paste. I think it's still available (except in Calif.).

Another thing you can use is corn starch - sprinkle a bit on the affected part and work it in with a stiff brush. Vacuum the mess out and repeat as often as required (or your patience holds).
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jhnwdwrd
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 08:06:07 PM »

The white paste stain remover could be what they called "OFF". Not sure if its still available
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The Kiwi
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2010, 07:08:28 PM »

The only white paste I've ever seen was the tube of K2R "Spot Lifter", and I haven't seen either the tube of paste or the spray can of K2R around here in literally YEARS.
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ArneH
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2010, 05:04:10 AM »

I haven't seen any in a while, but I seem to recall a white paste stain remover (in a tube) that was popular in the 70's. It was normally a pre-wash application for fabrics. It was reported in Model builder to be a good treatment for fuel soaked balsa.I remember trying it and it worked just fine. Sorry I can't recall the name. It was advertized on TV, kind of like "Oxyclean". HMMMM.....??!!

On tissue removal CAREFULL application of Jasco paint stripper just to small areas will lift stuck tissue patches . Care is needed so as not to soften glue joints. However, it would, I think be possible to completely disassemble some models. Once neutralized (with water and or thinners) reassembly would be possible. I know it works on furniture, etc.

I remember my Mother used something like this. http://www.oxiclean.com/Index.aspx
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packardpursuit
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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2010, 08:22:21 PM »

Yes! it was K2R, although the stuff I used was in a tube. It could also have come in a spray as well, but then with my memory it could have come in a 55 gal. drum!

Hey. just binged K2r and see it is available in a spray form, although it ain't cheep. didn't notice any restrictions on who can buy and where it can be shipped.
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kiwibrit
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2012, 12:03:26 PM »

Careful use of a heat gun can result in the old fuel bubbling to the surface so that it can be dabbed away with kitchen towel.
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billdennis747
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2012, 03:55:14 PM »

To remove doped tissue I put the frame in a black bin liner, chuck in some thinners, tie the end and shake it up. Shake it again a couple of times and after an hour it all falls off. It only works with PVA-glued structures - if you used balsa cement, it can stay in the bin liner!
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 04:34:03 AM »

Hello,

Yes - restoring old models is encouraging if the work behind the cover is nicely performed. A good idea is to replace solid steel wire leadouts to multiwire soft stainless steel wire.

About cleaning - I have got this tip from my combat flying/fighting friends:
Buy the cheapest window cleaning agent in a bottle with spray pump head - pour out 10-20 % and replace with Ammoniuhydroxide (technical liquid usually water with 28 % NH3)
This will efficiently destroy any fat/oil. It also has an extreme dirt solving effect.  But - be careful with your skin and eyes. And be sure to wipe the model dry with paper.
The long term effect of ammoniak will destroy almost any paint.

To remove silk covering - I have not succeeded to do this in a "nice & clean" manner.

Cheers //  Ingvar
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2013, 05:01:10 AM »

Back in 1962 I built a Frog Jackdaw. After a time I gave it to one of my mates and forgot all about it but about 2 years ago he asked me if I would like it back as it was cluttering up his garage so of course I grabbed it. It was originally covered with nylon which I managed to carefully remove using spray paint remover and replace quite a few broken pieces of balsa. It was flown by me with an OS 29 but he used a Taipan 19, unfortunatly both of the motors are long gone. I rebuilt it as an electric which was very successful, so much so that one of my nephews who is president of a club talked me in to giving to him to keep it in the family as he said that I would wreck it. He was probably right as I am 80 and my reflexes are not as good as they used to be. Looking back over this my spelling has gone off too LOL. 
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