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Dope Spreader Tools

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  • Dope Spreader Tools

    I was having discussion with Keith Shaw a couple of years ago at the MRCA Aerotow Stéphane organizes. We were talking about model finishes, applications and such. He suggested a 'tool' as shown. The dope is applied to the tool using a brush as the tool is dragged across the fabric. Capillary and shear forces keep the dope on the fabric so that it doesn't drip past the fabric into the unreachable areas of the structure. The work goes quickly and efficiently. No more holding structures overhead to seal fabric. No more bits of 'roller brushes' getting loose or bubbles from the roller application. No more drips and globs of dope inside the structure. Since 'just enough' dope is used you save money, too!

    The tool is scrap balsa with scrap fabric affixed to it with adhesive. I use Koverall and Stix-It. Have tweezers handy because, at first, some loose fibers are shed. Be sure to cut the curve on the TE of the fabric. It keeps the apron portion of the tool flat on the model's fabric. Label your tools as shown. You can put butyrate on nitrate but not the other way 'round so just make one for each. The tools are re-usable for the solvents in the dope are at work. I seal the weave of fabric using a 50% mixture of nitrate dope and dope thinners. I use this method for butyrate clear coating over nitrate, too. if I don't spray colors. Put the tool on model's fabric, glob on some dope and pull... recharging the tool as needed. Hope this info is helpful!

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Thanks,
    This is something I have to try.
    Regards Dean

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    • #3
      In SoCal dope spreader tools bring on a different meaning.

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      • ARUP
        ARUP commented
        Editing a comment
        Ahahahaha!
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