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Poly-Fiber Home > Technical Questions Home

- Attaching the Fabric

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How do I attach the fabric to a surface such as a wing or control surface?

How do I know if the fabric is tight enough before I glue it in place?

Should I be more concerned about the gluing process to a surface or gluing fabric to fabric?

When gluing fabric to fabric, how much overlap should I use?

How fast will Poly-Tak fabric cement dry?

How should I apply the glue?

Why not pour large amounts of Poly-Tak into the container I am using?

I have trouble getting the lid to unscrew on my Poly-Tak container. It seems to be cemented in place. What can I do?

Can I thin Poly-Tak?

What is the shelf life of Poly-Tak?

Should I protect my hands prior to using Poly-Tak?

Will barrier creams such as Invisible Gloves damage the fabric in any way?

I made a mistake gluing the fabric in place. Is there any way I can remove the fabric and redo it?

I 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 it in?

How long should I let the Poly-Tak dry before I begin tightening the fabric?

When I am ironing my fabric should I stay away from any cemented areas?

 

How do I attach the fabric to a surface such as a wing or control surface?
>You will initially attach it using a fabric cement. This special cement is called Poly-Tak.

How 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.

Should 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.

When 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 2-inch overlap.

How 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.

How 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.

Why 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.

I 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 process.

Can 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.

What 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.

Should 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.

Will barrier creams such as Invisible Gloves damage the fabric in any way?
>No, assuming the cream has dried on your hands. Do not touch the fabric with your hands until the barrier cream has dried.

I 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.

I 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 it in?
>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.

How long should I let the Poly-Tak dry before I begin tightening the fabric?
>Poly-Tak should dry at least for 1 hour or more prior to any heat application. This is, of course, dependent upon the temperature.

When 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.

 

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