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When the copper tape has been applied to the hull of the USS Constitution by Model Shipways, do I also need to apply a coating over the copper plating to seal it so it doesn't try to peel off? Thanks

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The adhesive is very strong. I have a build that is over 20 years old and there is no sign of any peeling. It is still best though to put a matte or dull coat over the plates to avoid fingerprinting. I use Testor's Dullcote. 

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The plates stick like white on rice, but they do adhere better to a glossy surface than they do to a flat one. They are also very thin so they don't hide imperfections in the hull surface.

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My copper tape is lifting up where it overlaps the adjacent tape. I burnish it well, so I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Is there a fix or do I need to start over? Thanks

IMG_2856.JPG

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    It appears to me that you have too much overlap which will really accentuate that overlap.  They would normally have be lapped only an inch or so on the actual ships.       

    You may also have gotten you fingers on the adhesive side of the tape which reduces its adhesive properties.  (If you get your fingers on the underlying copper tape, the oil from your skin leaves a coating that the overlapping layers can't get a proper grip on.)  I usually wear thin nitrate gloves and use tweezers to place them.

    Before you get too drastic and start over, you can try pulling back the loose flaps and applying small amount of contact cement with a tiny brush or toothpick to them and pressing them back down, being careful to wipe off any excess before it dries and then re-burnishing the entire hull.  Putting on a coat of Dullcoat or similar product after you are done, as Joe suggested, would probably be a good idea also. 

   Good luck.

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Hi Burroak,  I would use a toothpick and apply some super glue to the lifted plates,  It looks to me that you are burnishing the plates down too hard,  just a light rub is all that is needed.  When the tape is fresh the glue works fine,  I've coppered over 20 1/96 scale ships, some are about 40 years old with no problems.  Only  trouble I have had was once using very old tape, ended up super glue-ing all the plates.  Even old guys live and learn, Hal-

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Thank you to everyone for your help. This is my first attempt at wooden ship building and I truly am enjoying it. The tape stayed down for about two weeks and then slowly started lifting. I'm probably mishandling the tape with my fingers touching the sticky side too much as was stated. I wish there was a video I could watch of someone actually putting on the copper tape so I could see how they are doing it. I learn easier by watching someone do a project. Thanks again.

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