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Thread: Question on plywood skinning....

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Question on plywood skinning....

    I am starting a build on a wooden airplane and am building the horizontal stab first just to get a feel for the project. I know to do all my skinning in the summer when humidity is at it's highest to prevent bulging. My question: if I skin my stabilizer this summer, will it sit ok in storage for 10+ years while the rest of the airplane is being built?....or is it common practice to wait till the very end of the project to skin everything?
    Last edited by jtrom; 02-20-2012 at 05:18 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    New Hampshire
    The best practice is to complete the component and put a protective finish on it. Wood will change color if it ages without any type of finish on it. The flip side of that is if you look at a wood and fabric aircraft being recovered, often when the fabric is removed, the wood looks almost new when the finish was applied properly.

    My 1974 Pitts was rebuilt last winter. The wood work in the wings had not been touched since 1993. Looked great.

    Aircraft woodwork is lower down on the scale of woodworking. If you look at older solid wood furniture you can see some of the effects of aging. Pull the drawers out and look at the differences in condition of different area and unfinished wood vs wood with some sort of finish.

    So go ahead and build your part. Store it in a protected location. In 10 years it should be just a straight or as crooked as you originally built it.

    Best of luck,


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