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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 3:37 am 
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Joined: January 6, 2015, 4:42 am
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Location: Southern Oregon
Hi - I ran across an ad on CL for some relatively locost mirror finish 24 gauge aluminum sheet.
https://medford.craigslist.org/mat/6033576162.html
Has anyone ever seen or heard of anyone using this thin of a sheet to "bond" or otherwise attach over an existing less than perfect tub skin? What do you all think? Horrible idea? Might just work? Thoughts or ideas appreciated!

-Robert


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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 8:28 am 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Roadog7 wrote:
Hi - I ran across an ad on CL for some relatively locost mirror finish 24 gauge aluminum sheet.
https://medford.craigslist.org/mat/6033576162.html
Has anyone ever seen or heard of anyone using this thin of a sheet to "bond" or otherwise attach over an existing less than perfect tub skin? What do you all think? Horrible idea? Might just work? Thoughts or ideas appreciated!

-Robert


Are you trying to cover scratches? or dents?

24 ga aluminum is hardly a film. It is 1/2 the thickness of my aluminum skin. As such, it would be hard to make it conform to and stick to the "existing less than perfect tub skin". I laminating in the flat, you might get delamination when bending the bonded composite. Or if trying to cover existing bodywork, you might have issues getting it to form tight to the existing skin in the corners. I don't think there is enough material there to cover the traditional sides, rear and hood of a Locost.

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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 9:04 am 
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Joined: April 12, 2012, 11:56 am
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It may be Alclad. It is sometimes used in aviation, since it polishes up to a mirror finish. Usually it is a regular alloy for strength (6061 etc) that is then covered with a very thin layer of pure aluminum, which has no strength, but provides the shine. Being 24 ga, it is very thin for anything structural, without something supporting it. As an overlay, it may be too thick to conform nicely.


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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 10:39 am 
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0.040" aluminum is about as thin as I've used (and I believe many others) on their Locosts. Be careful many retailers use actual thickness instead of gauge thickness. Just know that aluminum and steel gauges are different.

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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 5:50 pm 
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Location: Southern Oregon
rx7locost wrote:
Are you trying to cover scratches? or dents?

24 ga aluminum is hardly a film. It is 1/2 the thickness of my aluminum skin. As such, it would be hard to make it conform to and stick to the "existing less than perfect tub skin". I laminating in the flat, you might get delamination when bending the bonded composite. Or if trying to cover existing bodywork, you might have issues getting it to form tight to the existing skin in the corners. I don't think there is enough material there to cover the traditional sides, rear and hood of a Locost.


In answer to your question, I aspire to have a polished "tub" one day. Mine has body filler and fiberglass patches under the paint hiding old issues. Polishing what I have would not be an option. At the very least I need to strip and re paint soon. I saw the polished sheet and thought wow, then Hmm... I was toying with covering existing skin - 90 degree at bottom edge, and forming over top. Perhaps VHB and some type of adhesive? No re-riveting though, mine is structurally sound. I'm afraid it might be too big of a risk / experiment though.


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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 5:59 pm 
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mgkluft wrote:
It may be Alclad. It is sometimes used in aviation, since it polishes up to a mirror finish. Usually it is a regular alloy for strength (6061 etc) that is then covered with a very thin layer of pure aluminum, which has no strength, but provides the shine. Being 24 ga, it is very thin for anything structural, without something supporting it. As an overlay, it may be too thick to conform nicely.


I'm afraid you may be right. Too thin for real skin, and too thick for show. There's no free lunch?
Beautiful plane by the way!


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PostPosted: April 14, 2017, 6:27 pm 
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It's not my airplane; I just pulled an example off Google. There are some pilots who fly, and there are some who polish. :rofl: Mine was fabric covered.
If you want a glossy film, check out Vivvid. All kinds of options
http://www.vvividhq.com/automotive-wrap-films
I did my 7 in a matte finish. The only drawback are the rivet heads, since the film does not lay down properly over them. All my panels are fastened with machine screws, to avoid this. But it was a lot of extra work. As you said, no free lunch.

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