do I attach the fabric to a surface such as a wing or control
>You will initially attach it using a fabric
cement. This special cement is called Poly-Tak.
do I know if the fabric is tight enough before I glue it in place?
>This is often not easy. The best way to approach
this is to simply glue the fabric in place at one end and then pull
it until it is "snug". Then glue it in place. You do not want the
fabric to be too tight. That will could result in structural damage
to the surface during heat tautening. If it is too loose, you may
not be able to shrink it to the proper tautness.
As a good rule of thumb, the fabric should look like a bed sheet
with the big wrinkles pulled out of it…snug, but not tight.
I be more concerned about the gluing process to a surface or gluing
fabric to fabric?
>When you glue to a surface, such as metal, you
are simply holding the fabric in place until you can glue fabric to
fabric. The gluing of fabric over fabric is the important step.
gluing fabric to fabric, how much overlap should I use?
>Normally, a 1-inch overlap is sufficient.
However, on the leading edge of any wing section you must use a
fast will Poly-Tak fabric cement dry?
>This is entirely dependent upon the outside
temperature. If the temperature is above 85 degrees the Poly-Tak
will dry very fast. If the temperature is below 60 degrees you
should not be gluing.
should I apply the glue?
>The best way is to use a small 1/2 or 1 inch
brush. Pour a small amount of Poly-Tak in a cup and then brush it
on. Brush it on about a 12-18 inch area and then work the Poly-Tak
up through the fabric. Placing cement on a larger area will often
result in the cement drying prematurely.
not pour large amounts of Poly-Tak into the container I am using?
>On warm days the Poly-Tak will dry in the
container after being exposed to the outside air.
have trouble getting the lid to unscrew on my Poly-Tak container. It
seems to be cemented in place. What can I do?
>We recommend that you cut a small piece of fabric
and place that over the spout prior to replacing the cap. This means
you have fabric between the lid and the can preventing this gluing
I thin Poly-Tak?
>You can add a small amount of MEK to reduce the
viscosity when necessary. This will often be necessary due to
solvent evaporation from an open container.
is the shelf life of Poly-Tak?
>The normal shelf life is approximately 2 years if
stored in temperatures of less than 100 degrees F. Poly-Tak should
be clear in color. If it is discolored do not use it.
I protect my hands prior to using Poly-Tak?
>Yes, you should protect your hands with Invisible
Gloves barrier cream or use latex, vinyl, or some type of glove. You
will be using your hands to smooth the fabric.
barrier creams such as Invisible Gloves damage the fabric in any
>No, assuming the cream has dried on your hands.
Do not touch the fabric with your hands until the barrier cream has
made a mistake gluing the fabric in place. Is there any way I can
remove the fabric and redo it?
>Yes, simply apply a small amount of MEK solvent
to the affected area. This will loosen the Poly-Tak bond and allow
you to redo the area.
You can also apply heat with a calibrated iron at 225 degrees and no
higher to the area to loosen the bond.
did not get enough fabric cement on the area I am attaching. Can I
simply brush more Poly-Tak over the outside of the fabric and work
>No, you do not want to brush Poly-Tak on the
outside of the fabric. To do so may impede the drying process of the
cement under the fabric and form a poor bond. Lift the fabric and
apply more Poly-Tak under the fabric and work it through.
long should I let the Poly-Tak dry before I begin tightening the
>Poly-Tak should dry at least for 1 hour or more
prior to any heat application. This is, of course, dependent upon
I am ironing my fabric should I stay away from any cemented areas?
>The answer is dependent upon the temperature of
the iron. If you are certain the temperature of the iron is less
than 250 degrees F then you can safely iron over a cemented area. If
higher than that the bond will loosen.