maly149

Micromesh canopy seam removal problems

18 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I bought a set of micromesh pads from hobylobby, 3200-12000 girts in order to remove the seam from my Tamiya f-16 canopy. However, after scraping the seam off with a knife and going through the grits, the canopy is still covered in scratches. I have already tried this on both of the spare canopies that come with the kit with the same result. I;ve tried both went and dry sanding, also with the same result. Is there anything I'm doing wrong or anything I should be doing? Are the micromesh pads from hobbylobby simply a dud?

Edited by maly149

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When you were sanding, and going through the different grits, did you switch sanding directions? I always sand at cross angles after each grit. I find that gives me excellent results. I also use less and less pressure as I go along. 

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Yes, i have tried that, and tried using less and less pressure.

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Okay, this might sound like a stupid question, but are you ensuring that the canopy is absolutely clean before you start sanding, and between each grit? I always wash the canopy before and between each stage. Other than that, I have no idea why you are getting poor results.

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Sand more.

 

The basic problem is, some pieces of abrasive on the lower grit cloths will cut fractionally deeper than others.  So as you move up in grit, there are a few *slightly* deeper scratches that don't get levelled out.  To make them disappear, you've got to sand down to the bottom of the deepest scratch.  Essentially, this:

 

img-120612154704.jpg

 

That's also why it's a good idea to rinse off sanding dust between grits - coarser dust from lower grits can scrape up the plastic when you more to a finer grit, undoing your careful sanding.

 

The solution is to move back down a few grits to level the scratches back out.  The scratches are likely from the 3200 grit cloth, so you probably want to go back down to 4000, give it a heavy sanding, then move back up to 12000.

 

The other option, depending on how severe the scratching is, is to dip the canopy in Future.  This will fill in fine scratches and give an optically clear look, although there are limits to what it can do.  If it's *heavily* scratched and looks terrible, it's not going to give you a perfect canopy (it's not magic), but if the canopy is pretty good with just some light scratches visible, it can do wonders.  It also comes off easily with ammonia, so you can dip it, see how it looks, then strip it off and re-sand if you're still not happy.

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I start w/400 grit, working my way down to the finest grade I can find (right now I have some 2000 grit on hand). When I wash between grits, I use some cloth baby diapers I found at a yard sale several years ago to wipe down the canopy (cut the diapers into 4" squares and dispose of them before moving to the next grit). When I'm satisfied with the sanding, I give it a final wash and then break out my automotive rubbing compound  (got two or three grades) and start polishing and when satisfied, I give it a final wash, let it dry and then dip it in Future.

It takes time and practice but it works for me.  Hope it helps you.

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Thanks guys, I will try those things. One last question, should i be wet or dry sanding with the pads?

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Don't waste your time....They don't work...I bought a set at Hobby lobby and  I had the same issue. I even polished it with Novus and it still had scratches. I got them For no other reason than I was trying something different. After that experience I decided to go back to this foam block and polishing cloth set   https://www.scalehobbyist.com/catagories/Paint_and_Construction/micromesh-polishing-clothes/ALC00000301/product.php?kw=polish  they are really great...After it sand I still hit the canopy with Novus or Tamiya Plastic polish then the last step I seal it with Future....HTH  

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45 minutes ago, viper730 said:

Don't waste your time....They don't work...  After that experience I decided to go back to this foam block and polishing cloth set   https://www.scalehobbyist.com/catagories/Paint_and_Construction/micromesh-polishing-clothes/ALC00000301/product.php?kw=polish  they are really great

 

I'm sorry, but...  Micromesh abrasives don't work, so you decided to use Micromesh abrasives instead, because Micromesh abrasives were much better than Micromesh abrasives?!?

 

Because those are exactly the same Micromesh abrasives.  Literally - they're all made by Micro-Surface Inc.  They're just slightly larger strips, rather than being glued to foam pads.

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2 hours ago, MoFo said:

 

 

I'm sorry, but...  Micromesh abrasives don't work, so you decided to use Micromesh abrasives instead, because Micromesh abrasives were much better than Micromesh abrasives?!?

 

Because those are exactly the same Micromesh abrasives.  Literally - they're all made by Micro-Surface Inc.  They're just slightly larger strips, rather than being glued to foam pads.

....all I know is the foam pad with the material attached is inferior to the foam pad that is separate from the polishing cloths. don't much care who made it I am just stating what I experienced. The OP had a question I had first hand knowledge so I passed it on....If it confused you hope this cleared it up...:cheers:

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I usually use a normal nail pollishing file. The ones with the two sides. One very fine sanding side and the other side is for polishing. Takes out scratches from 240 grit sanding sticks easily.

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Hi Maly149, have you tried Future?  I had the same issue on my F-14 canopy.   The sanded-down area just wouldn't buff to a really clear finish.  Even after 12000 grit it remains slightly clouded.   In frustration I just dunked it in Future and let it dry overnight -- and somehow the area turned out nice and clear.   Puzzled, I removed the Future by giving it a Windex bath (the Future coating turned slimy and I washed it off completely under the tap).  With the Future completely removed I saw that the area is still clouded up.   So I dunked it in Future again to test the stuff and let it dry.   Again -- nice and clear.  Future is like magic -- and I'm a believer!    So just wash the canopy with dishwashing liquid to get rid of oils, let it dry completely,  dunk in Future,  set it on some paper towel to absorb the excess liquid and cover it with a box or such to keep it dust-free while it dries.

 

 

Edited by crackerjazz

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I agree with crackerjazz. With fingers crossed I cleaned up the canopy on a big Tamiya F-15. Foggy after multi-grain sanded 320 through 1000 grit before Future. Shiny and clear after Future. Have done several since with same result.

Rick in Maine

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Novus Plastic Polish is very useful stuff for buffing out that last level of scratches/fog. I picked up the set of three small bottles at Bed, Bath and Beyond, of all places. You could also try any of the "kits" available for polishing yellowed plastic headlight covers, or even toothpaste.

 

Edited by chukw

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I would give Tamiya polishing compounds a try.  They work so good for me, I don't use Future any more.  Here's an example on my current build of the 1/32 Tamiya F-15C kit.

 

Canopyfinal9.jpg

 

This might be close to the stage you are now...

 

Canopyfinal10.jpg

 

Using a soft cloth and Q-tips, apply and rub the Coarse compound, followed by the Fine.  There's a third "Finish" one too if you want all 3 grits....

 

Tamiya1.jpg

 

The end result, with NO Future...

 

Canopyfinal18.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, chuck540z3 said:

I would give Tamiya polishing compounds a try.  They work so good for me, I don't use Future any more.  Here's an example on my current build of the 1/32

Using a soft cloth and Q-tips, apply and rub the Coarse compound, followed by the Fine.  There's a third "Finish" one too if you want all 3 grits....

 

Tamiya1.jpg

 

The end result, with NO Future...

 

Canopyfinal18.jpg

 

Wow that looks great! I think I might just give this technique a try. Good stuff!

Cheers!

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I don't use a knife to scrape the seam off.  For me, there's too much of a chance of gouging into the plastic.  I usually start out with a sanding stick or a fine file if the seam line is big.  I also tape both sides.  When I get the worst part off, to the point that I can't see any seam line anymore, then I start out with a lower grit stick.  I use them until things are pretty smooth.  Then, I'll start with the fine grit sanding pads and work from lowest to highest grit.  I have also used nail polishing pads.  I usually buy those in bulk, because I want to spend as little time as possible in the ladies aisle.  After that, I'll give the whole canopy a good polishing with the Novus system.  If I still have scratches, it'll get dunked in Future.

 

Added:  I forgot one very important item.  When you get down to the main part of the canopy, remove the tape.  At this point, don't sand a flat

spot on top of the canopy.  To avoid this, sand in a rounded motion going with the contour of the canopy.

Edited by balls47

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Hi Balls47:

Thanks for the detailed explanation. Since I posted, I've thought I gave the Reader's Digest version. It needed more elaboration. I also got new ideas that will help me.

With appreciation

Rick in Maine

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