Rib Stitching 102

This is a story on how I did the stitching on the L-4

Check out my link above Cub tape & Stitch placement

Stitch Dimensions
The following is based on a 1/4 scale L-4, you may have to modify measurement to fit the plane that you are building. The rib cap strips on the model are 3/16 inch wide so the stitches are 3/16 wide. I use 1/2 inch wide Pink-it tape on top of the stitches, this lets 5/32 inch overhang on both sides of the stitch. On the real L-4 the Stitches on the tail surfaces, and inboard wing ribs (inside the slipstream) should be spaced from 2 to 2 1/2 inches apart. Outside of the inboard ribs can be spaced as much as 3 to 4 inches apart.  On my 1/4 scale L-4 I placed stitches at 1/2 inch space on the inside two ribs and 3/4 inch on all the outbound ribs.  With the above info, lay out all stitch locations and mark them.

Supplies that I use
The following is a list of supplies that I use

  • Johnson 1 inch wide paper medical tape. This comes in a paper/plastic case
  • Shakespear Omniflex 12 lb fishing line. This has a diameter of .013, and I got it at Wal-Mart.

Making the stitches

Using the 12 pound fishing line, cut a couple hundred stitches 3/16 long.  Easy way is to take a 6 inch wide scrap of lite ply and wrap the paper tape around it so the sticky side is facing out.  Next wrap string around the ply several times.  Try to keep 1/4 in tape on each side and wrap the line in a single level on the tape.  Next wrap another layer of tape sticky side down over the top of the existing tape.  Now you have a fishing line sandwich.  Cut the sandwich on each side where it wraps around the ply.  Now cut this into 3/16 section and remove your stitches.

Applying the stitches
O this is the fun part.  Get a good pair of tweezers. Put a few drops of thick CA on a small square of wax paper.  Pick a stitch up, dap it in the glue and then place on the surface.  You may need to use a knife to hold the stitch keeping it from sticking to the tweezers.  One stitch down……A few hundred to go.

Applying Pink-it tape
Pink-it is made from the same covering that you used on your plane.  I recommend wrapping the strip around the wing, cutting it about 1/2 inch longer then you need.  Start applying the strip using a trim iron, and take your time.  Cannot express this enough, take your time and iron down around the stitch and work your way around the wing.  TIP Watch when you iron the edges down as dragging the iron can deform the pinked edge.  Last step is to apply all the trim tape around the edges and leading edges.

Conclusion
Looks great, I like it better then stitching 101.  Can’t go wrong with Pink-it tapes.

 

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