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Until I discovered this trick, I never had much success with sticking Solarfilm
trim onto Solarfilm base. I always end up trying to get the bubbles out by pricking
them with the point of a scalpel blade and ironing them out - quite a laborious
process. I have used Solartrim with mixed results - it tends to peel at the
corners after a while, and you can never find the right colour, can you?
Here is the `solution'.
- Pour a single measure of methylated spirits, and add a dash of cellulose
thinners. Avoid any temptation to drink it at this stage. The proportions
do not need to be precise, but I would guess about 10% thinners.
- After cutting out the Solarfilm trim, mark the position on the surface to
which it is to be applied with a permanent marker pen - just dots, as the
ink can stain the trim.
- Apply the solution to the sticky side of the trim with a soft brush. You
can then position the trim accurately on the surface - it will slide around
- before squeegeeing out the surplus liquid with the edge of a piece of balsa
or a beer mat.
- Smooth out the trim and mop up the drips with a tissue, and leave to dry.
NO NEED TO IRON! You will also find that the `permanent' pen marks have been
wiped away. The theory is that the meths wets the surface of the film, and
the thinners partially dissolves the adhesive. I tried using neat thinners
at first, but that just washes off all the colour and leaves a sticky mess.
The big advantage is that no heat is needed, so no bubbles.
The method works well on sheeted and foam wings, and on adhesive tape on Zagis,
etc. I have not yet tried it on open structures, and it certainly would not
be any use for double curvature surfaces.
Getting the Backing Off - Ever had a piece of Solarfilm from
the middle of the sheet, so you can't peel the backing off? Picking at the edge
with a scalpel blade works eventually, but you run the risk of poking it right
through the film. Just stick a bit of masking tape or sellotape to the backing,
and stretch it. Works a treat!
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