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black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

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  • black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

    Stripped the panels off my Dragonfly to replace the fuel tubes and check the tank, and was horrified to see what's happened to the plywood seat base. This isn't normally seen (except for the edges) but if I wanted to sell the aircraft a potential buyer would be horrified. The black mould easily washed off the painted metal parts, but there was no way I could remove it from the plywood. I can understand why Flylight would provide this panel unpainted /unvarnished, as that might add unnecessary weight, but I'm interested to know whether anyone else has painted their plywood and if so what's the best stuff to use. (I think it's going to have to be black).
    Mike

  • #2
    black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

    I'm currently fettling up an accident damaged dragonfly trike and have found exactly the same. I was just going to spray it black. Not sure what with yet though.

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    • #3
      black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

      Let me know how difficult it is to do John - Lots of screws and bolts to remove and then lots of adhesive velcro to re-apply (I get this from Boyes by the way - reasonably cheap)
      Mike
      I was wondering about blackboard paint but it seems a bit porous and we might end up with the same problem but perhaps not so obvious.

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      • #4
        black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

        Took the plunge and have painted everything I could see with blackboard paint. Despite the fact I have got it on some of the grey tubes and I have painted over all the stainless boltheads, it still looks much better than the white plywood laced with the dreadful black mould. At some point I may strip it all off and do it properly, but that's quite a big job. Might ask Ben what he would charge for spraying up a new one then bonding on all the necessary velcro bits
        Mike

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        • #5
          black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

          Is there any reason for not using exterior wood varnish?

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          • #6
            black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

            Once the mould has set in Steve, you need something that will conceal it which is why I have used blackboard paint. But if you mean why not treat it with varnish during manufacture, I think I now agree with you. At first I thought it might add half a kilo as that's what a pot of varnish/paint probably weighs but then realised of course that 95% of that weight is in the evaporative carrier . And anyway one coat of the black took only about a quarter of the can.
            Mike

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            • #7
              black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

              I think Mike is trying to hide the black mould. I've had my seat stripped off and it comes off with a light sand.

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              • #8
                black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

                I varnished a set of skates I made with recycled wheels for the previous set, they had been painted and the paint had not protected the wood from damp.

                The damp caused the ply to warp and then split.

                On the copies I used marine ply and exterior varnish. Been very good for the last 18 months.

                Now I understand the mould needs to be concealed, but does the problem still exist if the mould is concealed?

                I realise that certain things need to be re-applied, not sure how the paint or varnish will affect the stickiness of the glue?

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                • #9
                  black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

                  BTW.

                  "Wet n Forget" sprayed on should kill the black mould & its spores.

                  I used it on the Rans fabric a year ago and even where you can't get to the inside faces (e.g. at the wing fuel tanks etc.) it seems to have a beneficial effect.

                  In your case it should prevent re-attack and so far there are no drawbacks except it does take a while to become cleaner looking & being a water borne sprayed product, plywood if already suffering delamination might not like it. However, 'true' black mould will never die and like Arnie "will be back" !

                  mike hallam.

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                  • #10
                    black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

                    well it's painted now, but I might use some wet and forget on the wing. Mine is an Aeros Combat and the upper surface and leading edge appear to be made from some completely impervious material on to which no black mould has managed to get a grip - not even the stitching. But underneath is made of a more traditional cloth - the type that would soak up a fluid - and there are lots of areas with mild black spots. I will do this from the outside of the cloth when the weather warms up and I can do it outside. I will no doubt have plenty of wetnforget left but I took a look at the 3 other flexwings in our hangar and they are all nearly as bad as mine.
                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

                      Mike Sands wrote: Once the mould has set in Steve, you need something that will conceal it which is why I have used blackboard paint. But if you mean why not treat it with varnish during manufacture, I think I now agree with you. At first I thought it might add half a kilo as that's what a pot of varnish/paint probably weighs but then realised of course that 95% of that weight is in the evaporative carrier . And anyway one coat of the black took only about a quarter of the can.
                      Mike
                      Seat bases are sealed in manufacture now - have been for the last few years. It's marine ply so won't adversely affect it, but the cosmetics suffer as it can only come off with some sanding. Seat comes out really easily - it's designed to be removed for transport - once the fairings are off its just two bolts with wing nuts and rings to get it off.

                      Mould has become a bit of an epidemic in the Uk the last few years as they have been rather wet and moulding has really thrived. It's a real problem in lots of hangars. Once it gets a grip it covers everything - fabric, aluminium and glassfibre. It will wipe off the shiny bits, but difficult to get in all the crevices, and difficult to eradicate the spores form a hangar, so it's an ongoing battle. It's a health hazard too.

                      We have recovered a few Skyrangers where the Dacron has become really stained with it. The fabric still passes the betts test but looks bad. The laminate fabrics are a lot better, moulding doesn't grow as quickly and it wipes off leaving no stain.

                      Paul

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                      • #12
                        black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

                        Interestingly as I was painting it Paul, it seemed to me that where the velcro was coming unstuck from the plywood there were bad patches of the black mould. It seemed to me a somewhat bigger job to strip off everything and paint the plywood properly. Apart from the substantial amounts of self adhesive velcro, surely there are several long pieces of right-angle alloy bolted through at quite close centres? (and fixings for the straps that support the tank?)
                        As you say the black mould has cleaned off easily on the insides of the fibreglass (almost), and it's not too bad to get it out of the nooks and crannies of the painted trike frame components. It doesn't seem to have contaminated any of the metalwork in the wing.
                        Mike

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                        • #13
                          black mould on plywood on Dragonfly

                          I just thought I would report back on my very successful mould treatment.
                          I sprayed al the metalwork of the trike with patio mould cleaner from a garden spray and all the grey powder coated poles are now immaculate. It seems to have killed and removed it all in all the nooks and crannies too.
                          I also sprayed the very badly contaminated plywood, then let it dry out then slapped on just one coat of blackboard paint. I am very cack handed so managed to get it on all the grey poles and over all the screw heads and stuck on velcro. But the end result is excellent. And the blackboard paint easily scrapes off the painted tubes with my fingernail.
                          So as a cosmetic repair for Dragonfly trike owners this produces good results and is very quick - total time taken about 2 hours.
                          But I wouldn't use the patio stuff on the wing in case it affects sticthing etc.
                          Mike

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