Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Screws and Screw Holes

Below are pictures showing the removal and re-installation of screws from the blue test vinyl on the fuel tank/wing intersection. The screw top 'patch' was done with white vinyl to better illustrate the look.

Round vinyl patches were made using both a standard and big hole paper punch. I would recommend a cork bore set.
 OK then, let's get started.

You have installed the vinyl only to discover you have to remove the fuel tank to repair a leak.

So, I nicked the inside of the cross atop the screw head with a sharp blade...well sharp enough anyway. and removed the screw...slowly.

As I removed the screw, the vinyl stretched and slid over the screw head and then down the screw shaft leaving the 'volcano' shape at left.

 I gently pressed the vinyl back into the dimpled hole using my finger and matching dimple die. A rubber pencil tip, actually anything non abrasive would work. I used the dimple die to show you I really did build this airplane.

This is what you get.
 Next I used a heat gun to get this.

Inserted screw and it looks like this. I would coat the head with Boelube or canning wax for additional 'protection'.

Note: Some meticulously remove the vinyl from around the screw head. Me? I look at it as a free vinyl washer that provides a water tight seal.

Now, using my vinyl round patches stamped from aircraft grade (kidding) paper punches, one standard, one large, I covered the exposed screw heads. I used white so you could see it.

 Up close you can see the edge of the patch. Close meaning a few inches to a foot. This is well within my 'looks great' range.

The bare screw heads seem to look better on lighter colors than on really dark ones. I guess on the light (white) the exposed screw heads look like screws and the mind accepts them. On dark, the screw heads look like dings.

I was really quite surprised how easy it was to deal with screws and vinyl. I felt for sure this would be the deal breaker on vinyl. Instead it sealed the deal for me. 
So, my take is that dealing with screws after the wrap will be a 'piece of cake'. For the painted planes, I think the vinyl would be an excellent repair patch. For it is written, he who paints over screw heads will be screwed over when out they must come.

My next post I show that you can wrap Tinnerman washers; in some cases while they are installed on the plane.

1 comment:

  1. I will look forward to watching the progress