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Sonotube refinishing decisions

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#1 astrowolf67

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:06 PM

Here is a pic of the worst of the Starfinder Tube I have.  It appears to be miosture staining, possibly from heavy dew, or, previous owner left it out overnight, and it got caught in the rain.  I'm trying to decide, which route I want to go.

 

If I sand and paint, I'll need to rough the surface enough for the primer to adhere.  With the stains, a strong primer, such as Kilz, would have to be applied to block and cover the stains, followed with lots of priming and sanding to remove the "fuzz" from sanding a cardboard tube.

 

Another option I am favoring, is sanding and filling any imperfections, and just apply a quality vinyl wrap.  A quality wrap media would have a silver, color blocking, base layer, negating any need for a strong primer.  Now, the vinyl wrap, adds a couple more decisions.  Do I use one large sheet, and do a single wrap, with a seam opposite the focuser side of the tube?  Or, do I get a 6" roll of wrap, and spiral wrap it like the factory covering?  A single, large sheet wrap would be easiest, but, I wonder how the seam would hold up when the tube is rotated within the cradle/straps.  I could always seal the seam with something like clear fingernail polish, in hopes that it would hold during any rotating of the tube.

 

The costs all work out pretty close, no matter which method I choose, so, it comes down to two things, durability, and, cosmetics.  Tossing cosmetics aside, which finishing option would be more durable?  I'm thinking vinyl, with it being sonotube.  A scope this size, will get dings, and, I'm thinking vinyl would be much more flexible when dinged, than paint.  Thoughts?

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#2 DLuders

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:17 PM

I've seen a telescopes converted from the usual (boring) white surface to adhesive nebula mural artwork, like the ones shown here:

 

 https://www.cloudyni...s/?p=8593059   hmm.gif 


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#3 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 12:50 PM

Have you  tried cleaning and some polishing compound ?



#4 astrowolf67

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 03:27 PM

Have you  tried cleaning and some polishing compound ?

I have tried a few different cleaners, some regular car wax, and even tried PlastX.  I'm not sure what Meade covered these tubes in, but, what I'm seeing is very similar to model rocket tubing.  Anything that cuts into the thin gloss coating, reveals a layer of white paper under it that fuzzes up, just like sanding the glassine layer on a model rocket tube.  What ever caused the dark yellow staining, managed to bleed through the gloss layer, and is stained in the color/paper layer.



#5 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 04:13 PM

If that be the case then . I think a 3M rap would be cool waytogo.gif

 

This technique works the best for me https://www.cloudyni...-not/?p=8348214

 

Take your time and everything will be alright lol.gif waytogo.gif

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Edited by TOM KIEHL, 29 December 2018 - 04:22 PM.

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#6 astrowolf67

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 06:23 PM

Thank you for the link to your tutorial, Tom!  A very well done write up on your methods, that, for some reason, hasn't popped up in my search results.  I've done some sanding to my tube over the last couple of hours, and, the stains are pretty deep.  I went through the white color layer close to the tube end, to see if it had penetrated the factory covering, and, it had.  The tube end ring will hide that mark.

 

Another advantage to vinyl, since I don't have a heated shop, I won't have to wait till spring to finish the OTA.


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#7 stevew

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 04:44 PM

Years ago I peeled of the glossy paper on my 16 inch Strafinder. It's easy to do and it's quite thin. Then I used diluted weldbond wood glue to seal the paper tube. It dries hard and can be sanded to a smooth finish. Once that was done, I covered it with freeform formica with a nice glossy white finish.

If the 3M wraps were available back then I would have used that.


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#8 astrowolf67

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 06:34 PM

I finally found a local source for some 3m vinyl wrap, and, will be picking up my vinyl tomorrow.  I was originally planning to get just plain gloss white, but, after looking at the vinyls on the rolls, I opted to go with matte white.  Tube imperfections won't stand out quite as bad with the matte finish.  Also, it won't reflect stray light nearly as bad as gloss would.

 

Over the last weekend, I darkened the inside of the tube.  When I got it, it was sort of a cardboard brown/faded black color.  I very lightly sanded the inside, to create a "fuzz" on the cardboard interior, and blew it out well with compressed air.  I followed up with many light coats of Krylon chalkboard black spray paint.  It turned out fantastic, with a very dark look, and no visible reflective properties.


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#9 astrowolf67

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 09:52 PM

Learned a hard lesson today.  Vinyl wrapping is not as easy as it looks.  I probably should have bought some extra, and practiced first on something else.  I researched, watch tons of videos, even watched all the 3M training videos I could find.  Three hours into the wrap, and I finally accepted the fact I was fighting a losing battle, and swollowed my pride.  A sonotube was probably not the best, first, attempt to begin with.  Tomorrow, it's off to buy some primer and paint, and stick with what I know how to work with.

 

To those of you who have had success using vinyl wrap.....bow.gif


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#10 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 07:57 AM

So sorry to hear that .frown.gif


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#11 astrowolf67

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:22 AM

So sorry to hear that .frown.gif

I consider it a lesson.  The adhesive sticks very well to the cardboard of the sonotube (absolutely no tack and release), which would have been a great.  What leads me to believe it was old stock, was the difficulty in removing the backing.  Once I got the vinyl started, and had worked the first few inches, it started stretching as I would remove the backing.  The vinyl, when hit with a bit of heat, would "almost" return to shape, as advertised, but, not quite enough to prevent wrinkles and bubbles.  I may try again, if I can find another supplier with a large scrap piece.  However, next time, I think I will have my wife help, and remove the backing all at once, letting her hold the sheet up, while I work it down.




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