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Soaked In Fuel Removal

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Capt Kremen18/03/2018 12:08:32
410 forum posts
169 photos

In the process of renovating a Flair SE5a that has seen a lot of service 'above-the-front'!

It had an Irvine 46 installed, which has now been removed to fit a nice clean 'lectric.

Unfortunately, the i/c motor has left its mark in the nose balsa ply areas i.e. old fuel drips and exhaust stains from many years ago that have soaked in.

(It's not 'wet' to touch, just slightly oily 'n greasy).

Removal? - Had a look online and our American friends suggest a carpet cleaner type product, (not known this side of the Pond).

So, what practical ways & easily available (safe?) products, do folks use in these circumstances?

I wish to recover with Solartex and, given that lovely coverings rarity now, I don't want to waste it if it's not going to adhere.

cymaz18/03/2018 12:15:31
9459 forum posts
1246 photos

I have heard that applying thin cyno to the oily wood will drive all the oil out. Might be worth doing a small test piece first, though I'm assured by club members that it works

Keith Berriman18/03/2018 12:45:17
813 forum posts
6 photos

Raid the wife's beauty parlor and snaffle some old talcolm powder sprinkle some around the fuel soaked area stipple it with and old paint brush . Be patient remove all powder and retreat if fuel still showing

Cuban818/03/2018 12:45:25
3098 forum posts
1 photos

'Elbow grease' degreaser spray (Poundland and others). Spray liberally and allow to soak into the greasy wood, remove as much excess as possible with a kitchen towel and then using a clean paper towel and preferably an old covering iron, use heat to draw out the remaining oil laden cleaner onto several clean paper towels i.e iron the paper towel firmly onto the  soaked wood and throw away the towel when it looks even remotely dirty.

Repeat as many times as your boredom threshold will permit or until the wife berates you for using up a month's worth of kitchen towelslaugh

Allow to dry completely, and coat area liberally with 'Clearcote' (if you can still get it) or similar non-waterbased heat sealer. Allow the  Clearcote to dry completely in a warm atmosphere if possible. Iron on the new covering. Sticks like the proverbial.yes

BTW, 'Elbow grease' if I'm not mistaken, smells very much like De-solve-it degreaser that we used to use in work - very effective stuff and not toxic or too bad for your hands (use gloves anyway).









Edited By Cuban8 on 18/03/2018 13:16:11

Former Member18/03/2018 14:10:41
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

kc18/03/2018 18:58:35
6777 forum posts
174 photos

The heat used to put Solartex etc onto the old balsa seems to draw up more oil to the surface even after you thought it was clean. Answer is to re cover that part by using a patch of nylon and dope etc. That will stick much better. You might even make it look like a scale repair done in the field during WW1

kevin b18/03/2018 19:12:25
1964 forum posts
173 photos

The best way to get rid of fuel soaked balsa is with a match. face 1

If you are recovering, then replace the affected wood with fresh.

You could try, as others have advised, to seal it, but you will never get rid of it.

This is due to the cellular structure of the wood (see Biggles elder brother for details)..

Former Member18/03/2018 19:24:29
3573 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Bob Cotsford19/03/2018 14:39:11
8845 forum posts
496 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 18/03/2018 14:10:41:

I did hear of someone who claimed he'd had success renovating an oily model using kleenex tissue layed on with a warm-ish iron applied over the top. It apparrently draws the oil to the surface and the tissue soaks it up. Not tried it personnally but it sounds feasible enough......

That approach worked for me, or at least it removed enough of the oil that I could paint on thinned Clearcoat and it soaked in and sealed the wood. I use kitchen towel and a hottish covering iron. If you can get some Clearcoat soaked into the wood heat shrink coverings will stick ok.

Dave Bran19/03/2018 17:30:47
1896 forum posts
5 photos

I'm another talcum powder and patience man, my wife even went and bought me a huge scentless puffer bottle, so I would not get strange looks when in the pits.................................. I keep all rubber bands in a contained with some and shake well after use, bands last FAR longer.

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