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Finishing a silkspan sail


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  • 8 months later...
1 hour ago, Moab said:

I've watched the video Kevin posted......I think its excellent.  My problem is I can't find silkspan. Does anyone know where I can get some or recommend a substitute?....Moab

Try hobby shops or online retailers that cater to model airplane builders. Silkspan is used to cover stick-built model airplanes. It's what they paint the dope onto.

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I’ve recently purchased two different types of silkspan, from two different sources. I’d never seen the stuff in the flesh before and I thought it’d be different. The first batch I got was thin and too transparent and would tear as easily as tissue paper, I didn’t see the advantage over tissue paper since tissue has no grain and this stuff had distinctly visible fibers. The next version of the stuff was slightly thicker but disappointed too, the same issues with the other stuff just slightly less transparent. I had imagined something more like drafting velum or paper. If there is a spectrum between Kleenex on one end and writing paper on the other, this stuff was far too close to the Kleenex end of the scale for me. As I looked at the material in my hands I wished there was a version of it that was twice as thick, this stuff was too insubstantial for me. 

Ill likely try working with it to see if it can be stained and maybe strengthened by painting it with acrylic medium? I haven’t written it off yet but my initial impression was that I didn’t like it for being too flimsy.

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Bluejacket Shipcrafters have a short tutorial in their newsletter archives on using a three-layer silkspan set up for sails.  I tried it for an awning and it worked well for me.  https://myemail.constantcontact.com/News--tips--and-happenings-from-BlueJacket-Shipcrafters--Inc-.html?soid=1105166336677&aid=fVLCRI0uZ9o

 

Steve

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  • 2 years later...
On 7/20/2019 at 9:50 PM, druxey said:

I stretch SilkSpan like watercolor paper and use dilute acrylic paint on it. It works for me.

Sails 2.jpg

druxey....stunning sails, thanks for the image. I am new to silkspan/paper sails, and have been watching youtube videos before giving it a go. It all seems doable, except that no-one seems to apply bolt ropes. Can you please advise how you have attached them to the edge of the paper you use? Is this bond strong enough to allow the sail to be shaped (ie wetted and billowed)? And the eyelet holes are pencil around the perforation? Thanks, Matt

 

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Such sails need to be shaped (mostly) during the process, not afterwards. Glueing on the bolt-ropes with either white glue or acrylic gel gives (initially) a somewhat flexible joint, so that the sails can even be furled. If the bold-rope comes loose in places, it can be easily attached again. I have been making sails like this for 30+ years.

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Shep

I am sure Druxey will reply, but in the meantime, I would invest $7 and buy his booklet on making sails.  It has all the details on his process including adding the bolt ropes and seam lines.      https://www.seawatchbooks.com/ItemDisplay.php?sku=115003

Allan

 

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5 minutes ago, Ian B said:

I have been told silkspan is no longer made?

I’m not certain if this is accurate you can still get it from (who I believe is) the manufacturer at: 

 

https://sigmfg.com/products/sig-silkspan-tissue

 

I don’t know that this would help in the UK though due to shipping costs.

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I have had an order in with SIG for about a month now.  When I placed the order they told me that their silkspan is on backorder and would be about 4 weeks before they had more and asked me if I wanted to cancel the order or keep it on backorder.  I decided to keep it on backorder and am expecting it any day now.

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Derek,

As you probably know paper of all kinds are in short supply.  I have read claims it is due to worker shortages in the pulp mills in North America, and other claims that it is the lack of truck drivers so ships and warehouses are waiting to be unloaded. 

   

Allan

 

 

 

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I used this paper available from Amazon :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KZH21E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

 

I colored it with diluted white glue tinted with acrylic paint.  Strong wet, quite sturdy.  Bolt ropes from thread-coated flora wire wire, also from Amazon. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071SH3CQQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

DSC_3463.jpg.12ff8c19840faa03047d0811e9b23bc1.jpgDSC_3462.jpg.81d17a66ef21dbff4c107170e69b998b.jpg

I'm pleased with the results.

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  • 9 months later...

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