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Refurbishing

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#1
I was gifted an E-Flite Mentor about 18 months ago and it had suffered from some water damage. Some of the plywood was de-laminating and so I stripped all of the covering film off and stored all the electrics for later re-installation.

Anyway I was unable to remove all of the old film as in many places the colour and glue remained after the covering was removed. This stalled the project as I was stumped on what to use to remove the old covering completely.

Having some time on my hands I went back to the project and after repairing the damage I tried to sand the glue off but it just spread and clogged the sandpaper.
In desperation to leave no residue on the wood I experimented with solvents and actually found that Metholated Spirits actually seemed to dissolve the glue and with some elbow grease and time, (it was a slow and tedious task), I managed to clean up the fuselage completely.

Now the fuselage is ready to be covered. Wings are next and their condition is a little worse.

If anyone has a better method to remove the residue of the covering film from the balsa without damage I would like them to provide some details of what materials and techniques they use for myself and others who find themselves in the same situation.

Have fun!
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#2
Did you try rubbing alcohol? It would probably take the same amount of elbow grease but should dry the glue so it balls up. I do that with stickers and such. It also shouldnt do funky things with the wood like oily spirits may.

Some times after you hit the glue with alcohol and let that dry again you can use tape to stick to the glue and with a gentle twist the old glue comes up on the tape.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#3
Did you try rubbing alcohol? It would probably take the same amount of elbow grease but should dry the glue so it balls up. I do that with stickers and such. It also shouldnt do funky things with the wood like oily spirits may.

Some times after you hit the glue with alcohol and let that dry again you can use tape to stick to the glue and with a gentle twist the old glue comes up on the tape.
I may give it a shot if my current method becomes too tedious.
It took about 2 hours to clean the fuselage and the wings have far more residue:rolleyes::censored:.

Thanks for the tip.

Have fun!
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#4
I've had some success with aiming the heat gun at the stuck-on pieces and getting 'em good and hot, and then scraping the gunk off with the edge of a razor blade. That typically takes a little time, but removes the majority of the stuck-on stuff. A light coat of filler and sanding will fix any scratches left from the scraping.

Another option is to choose your battles. Sometimes the old material is stuck pretty darn well, but it's also pretty smooth on the old structure. A light coat of filler followed by a very light sanding can often be enough to do the job. This may not be a good option if you're using a light color over dark residue as it'll show through (like it did on my Goldberg Eagle 2 renovation recently). In my opinion, banging my head against the wall trying to remove all old covering is sometimes a battle not worth fighting. :)