Getting rid of the blues… (A little at a time)


When I started the empennage, I saw some folks removing strips of the blue protective film by using a soldering iron and decided that the risk of scratching the skin was too great, so I peeled off all the protective film.  What a mistake!  Even with protective inserts in the emp jigs, the tail got pretty scuffed.  OK, so now I’m on the wings, but the  soldering iron route takes too darn long to mark and stripe, and I’m STILL afraid I’ll scratch the skin.  So here is my hint of the day…

To remove strips of blue protective coating from the skins:

1. Be sure the soldering iron has only a smooth rounded tip on it.  I took mine to the buffing wheel and made it real smooth.

Clean and deburred soldering iron

2. Buy an aluminum yard stick. With a number 40 drill, drill three or four hold in the middle of the yard stick.  One at the very end, one near the other end, and one about 1/3 of the way up the yard stick.

Yard Stick

Aluminum Yardstick

Be sure to de-burr the holes.

3. Now you can anchor the yard stick in the skin, and use the soldering iron to melt away one or BOTH sides to leave a nice clean center line and remove the blue stuff.

Cleco the yard stick down

Wow! nice clean straight lines. Fast and easy, with less of a possibility of burning yourself, easy to do with one person with better control so you do not scratch the metal.



Blue film removed

Blue film removed

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