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Old 12-30-2011, 04:47 PM
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Gus Gus is offline
7/21/61
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North of Detroit
Posts: 1,826
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The first thing you need to do is prepare your body tube.

The body tube will need a nice straight line down its side.

The Falcon 9 kit comes with a line already drawn on the tube. This is a wonderful convenience, but I used my straight edge to double check the line just in case. Why? Because this line is critical to getting a good wrap. It must be absolutely straight from top to bottom.

Actually, the only parts of the line that really matter are the very top and very bottom. The paper wrap on the Falcon 9 kit is of such nice quality that the pencil line will not show through from the back. But when I make my own wraps on full sheet label paper (much thinner than the Falcon wrap) I always erase almost all of the pencil line on the body tube. I erase everything except ~ 1mm at the top and bottom. Otherwise, once you spray clear coat on the wrap the paper becomes somewhat translucent and the line will show through.

But as I said, on the Falcon kit not to worry. Just double check that the line is really straight.

In order to draw, or check, the line it is important to have a good tool. A door jamb won't do. You need something much straighter. The best tools I've found are aluminum angle iron from Home Depot or Loews. Very cheap and very straight. I have both a full quarter and a half-quarter (see 1st pic below) because the full quarter is too big to use on BT-5 tubes.

Use the angle iron to draw a straight line from the top to the bottom of the tube (2nd pic). Be careful not to press the angle iron too firmly on the tube as that sometimes causes the tube to deform a little resulting in a slightly off-kilter line. Once you verify that the line is straight, erase all but the very top and bottom 1mm of the line.
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