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When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:14 pm 
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Location: Travis AFB
I need advice about how to best preserve/treat the wood and wires on the 1912 vintage Gonzales Tractor No. 1 Biplane. It is intended for museum display.

More info about the airplane at this link https://doolittlecenter.org/html/gonzales.html

photo on line here https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacksnell707/16982745321

note I tried posting this under Vintage Aviation, but got no response


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:40 pm 
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Do you mean how they did it back then... or how they do it now?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:12 pm 
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Location: Travis AFB
What should I use now to treat and preserve this aircraft so it will last another 100 years.
So far my research reveals that I could use SPAR VARNISH. Available at Lowes.
or should I use Shellac Varnish?
aircraft is stored in a non climate controlled hangar.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:45 pm 
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Any idea what was used on it previously? Anything you put on top may not stick if it is incompatible.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:13 pm 
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Location: Travis AFB
It looks like nothing has ever been used on the wood. just bare wood.
It is just drying out.
I'm afraid during the winter when it rains, moisture will do damage.

Right now I'm thinking Spar Varnish is best. But I need expert opinions


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:51 pm 
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Spar varnish is the classic choice. If there is any question about reacting with the finish underneath, shellac is the traditional choice for a barrier. It doesn't react with things over or under it, but it's fragile by itself.
If conservation (and possible future restoration) is the major concern then the simplest oil based spar varnish is probably best
If preservation is foremost, then one of the urethane modified spar varnishes would be a better choice.

In any case, make a note in an inconspicuous spot in india ink between coats. Coat of varnish, note, coat of varnish over it. Whoever has to deal with it next time will thank you

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:46 pm 
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ALOHADAVE wrote:
What should I use now to treat and preserve this aircraft so it will last another 100 years.
So far my research reveals that I could use SPAR VARNISH. Available at Lowes.
or should I use Shellac Varnish?
aircraft is stored in a non climate controlled hangar.


In the UK, Valspar brand is highly rated. As you're in California you may have to source from out of State so you don't end up with the usual useless crap we have to tolerate.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:56 pm 
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Location: vacaville ca
ask the travis guys who built the new lower center section ... you also should support the plane to keep the weight off the skids..... good luck,i took care of the b-25 when it was there!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:29 pm 
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Location: Travis AFB
yes, I talked to them already, they said just leave it alone??
I agree about getting the weight off skids. I recommended taking the engine off the plane.
I submitted my recommendations, it is now up to the Doolittle Center to decide.


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