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Piper Cub J-3 Build Log

#61
Do you have a heat gun? You'll find some spots where an iron doesn't shrink the film but the iron pressure stretches it instead. I find a heat gun works better. It spreads the heat over a wider area without pushing on the film. You have to be careful with a heat gun. Set it to medium-low heat. A bit too close or a bit too long in one spot and the film melts. It took some practice but I find a heat gun a better tool than an iron on some difficult to cover areas.
I don't have a heat gun, but I used the iron for the entire covering and it worked fine. The problem is that the horizontal and vertical stabilizers look good while the elevator and the rudder don't. Maybe I just forgot to shrink those pieces. I'm going to shrink the film, I guess it will be fine after that.
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#62
I don't have a heat gun, but I used the iron for the entire covering and it worked fine.
Covering film will relax over time.

I am not suggesting a heat gun can replace a sealing iron. An iron is a required tool and works for the majority of covering applications. Many people get by with nothing more than an iron for covering. My weakest building skill is applying covering film. I'm never 100% satisfied. I use the iron most of the time but discovered having a heat gun got out wrinkles I couldn't remove with the iron. I can't get compound curves covered with an iron. The first time I used a heat gun it was an epiphany.

The best tool to use is whatever works best for you.