Tech Questions - Applying Finishing Tapes


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What are finishing tapes and where should I use them?

Finishing tapes are simply precut strips of polyester fabric cut to varying widths (2 inch, 3 inch, 4 inch, and 6 inch.) These tapes are used to cover cemented or sewn seams or to protect certain areas of fabric that may be subjected to a lot of abuse. An example would be the leading edge of a wing.

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Do finishing tapes come in different weights of material?

Yes, they are made from either lightweight fabric or medium weight fabric.

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Can I use either type with any kind of fabric?

Yes. We recommend using lightweight tapes whenever possible. They are very easy to apply.

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What do I use to make the tapes stick to the fabric?

You will use Poly-Brush to apply the tapes. You simply apply a coat of Poly-Brush to the surface and let it dry. Then apply another coat to the area where the tape will be located and apply the tape. Then brush the tape in place.

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How do I prevent brush marks on the fabric when I attach the tapes?

You should be careful when brushing on the Poly-Brush. The best way to do this is to mark the area where the tape will go using a pencil. You then brush only within the pencil lines.

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I notice that tapes have a pinked edge. Why is that?

Tapes are cut with a pinked edge to provide more surface to adhere to the underlying fabric. This pinked edge actually provides over 40% more area for adhesion.

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I notice that after my tapes are in place over the ribs that an air bubble has appeared in the area of the rib lacing cord. Is that normal?

Yes, it is normal. A certain amount of air will be trapped around the rib lacing cord. You will never get them to totally disappear. They will not be apparent after the silver Poly-Spray is applied.

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I am having difficulty getting all of the pinked edges of my tapes to lie down. What should I do?

Don't worry about this problem. After the tapes have dried in place, take a small hobby iron calibrated to 225 degrees F and gently iron the edges of the tape. You will find they will melt into the fabric.

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What if I used 350 degrees to iron my tapes?

The tapes will shrink at any temperature above 225 degrees F. You will then have snakelike tapes.

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How do I know what width tape to purchase?

2 inch tapes will be used more than any other. They are typically used over all ribs. 3 and 4 inch tapes are normally used on the leading and trailing edges of wings.

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Is it difficult to stretch a tape around a curved area such as a wingtip?

Sometimes this is difficult to do. We have made a "bias" tape for this purpose. These tapes are simply cut at a 45 degree angle on the fabric. The resulting tape, when stretched around a curve, will lay down very nicely.

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Some of the old timers use Poly-Tak to apply tapes. Why not do that?

Do not use Poly-Tak to attach tapes. Poly-Tak will dry too brittle for the flexible bond needed on tapes.

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