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Robert Picard
Trusted Member

Will Ware, I see that you are using kydex for some of your interior as posted on your facebook page. Like many of us I'm not comfortable posting much of anything to FB, so I'll post my info here. I used Kydex extensively in my 2003 rebuild and I am very happy with the way it has held up and performed over the years. I use my Stinson to fish and hunt and I wanted to have something durable and easy to clean. I used Kydex for the headliner, the rear bulkhead above the Station Wagon paneling, the rear side window area above the paneling, the doors and front side kick panels and the sidewall and roof of the extended baggage compartment. For the rear side panels and window surrounds we made left and right forms out of wood and vacuum formed the Kydex. For the doors I used a heat gun and hand formed the Kydex around the compound curves of the door frames. If you are interested I can tell you how I was able to hand form Kydex using a heat gun.

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 Bob Picard

 

Bob PicardN6346M Stinson 108-3 Floats/Skis/Wheels
N48923 Taylorcraft L-2B skis/WheelsAnchor Point, Alaska

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Posted : 13/09/2020 11:19 pm
Will Ware (Webmaster)
Member Admin

That looks amazing Bob. I would LUV any advice you can share. I watched many hours of YouTube videos from a guy in AK that did Kydex in his superCub. 

My "plan" for the rear windows is to make a form and try to heat the Kydex and press the form in the window frame so I achieve the same form you show in your picture. 

Any tips, tricks, photos would be great. 

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Posted : 14/09/2020 2:19 am
Robert Picard
Trusted Member

Will,

The attached picture is of the Kydex interior panels that have been on my Stinson since 2003. These door panels have endured 17 years of kicking by muddy boots, scratching by dogs, slammed shut onto seat belt buckles, and generally being banged and bumped into by camping gear chain saws and even outboard motors while being loaded into the rear. They still look new as the picture taken today shows. That stuff is as indestructible as it is easy to work with. 

The Kydex I use is smooth on one side and has a texture on the other side. I don't know if you can buy it smooth on both sides or not. I laid the door down on a piece of foam and made a cardboard template from which to cut out a piece of Kydex making sure that I had enough edge material to form around the inner door frame. Using a heat gun I applied enough heat to be able to roll the Kydex around the straight and compound curves until acquiring the desired shape. Of course you can't do the whole door all at once so you have to do it in sections. Once you have a section down to where you wand it, remove the heat source and let it cool while still holding down long enough for it to hold its shape and then move on to do another section. Eventually you'll have the whole door done. You can go back and touch up little "puckers" that you may have come up between sections. I used a piece of wood and my hands and whatever else was handy to curve the hot sections into place and hold them there until set. Be careful, that stuff gets hot!! One of the nice thing with Kydex is that when you heat it sufficiently to form it, the texture pattern does not flatten or melt or get soft enough to leave marks from the tools used to form it. Just use enough heat to form it and not melt it. The one drawback that I ran into is that I have not been able to find anything that can stick to it. I wanted to glue fabric to the headliner piece thinking that the likelihood of getting muddy boot prints up there was presumably small. If you have any questions you can call me at 907 399- seven four three seven. or just post them here.

One more thing, I know of an individual who wanted to have the lightest Stinson in Alaska so he used aircraft fabric in places like side panels and door etc kinda like super cub interiors. I think that would be a great place to use something like Oratex that is extremely strong, lightweight, does not require any spraying and is probably cheaper in the long run.

Bob Picard

kydex door

 

Bob PicardN6346M Stinson 108-3 Floats/Skis/Wheels
N48923 Taylorcraft L-2B skis/WheelsAnchor Point, Alaska

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Posted : 16/09/2020 12:44 am
Will Ware (Webmaster)
Member Admin

Hey Bob, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. I can't believe it looks that great over 17 years, Crazy!

 

I too considered using Oratex fabric on the interior, however I like the idea of being able to remove the Kydex for inspection and repairs.

 

I'm even considering making my Gear Leg pants out of Kydex. I will call you soon when I get to a point of FORMING the Kydex.  

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Posted : 16/09/2020 2:32 am
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