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Old 06-29-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
thomasdgs
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Default Hiding wires in foam wing.

I would like to add nav lights and flaps to my Apprentice 15E (Z-Foam). To hide the wires i plan to use, and extend the current channels cut into the underside of the wing. The trouble has been finding tape similar to the stuff that came on the wing from factory. I would also like to be able to paint (with acrylic, brush) in the future, will the tape be a problem?

What type of tape to you recommend I use to conceal wires in a Z-Foam wing? And where do you recommend I find it?

Thanks All!
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:14 PM   #2
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I am guessing you are going to use LED lights, as anything else does not work nearly as well.

Wing tip lights would require very little current, allowing you to use the smallest wire you can find. I have some 36 gauge wire that looks like a hair, yet carries 2 amps, plenty for LEDs.

With wire that small, you can simply cut a tiny groove for each wire, with the tip of a new sharp X-acto knife or a single edge razor blade. The blade must be sharp or it will dig a groove instead of cutting it.
The groove only needs to be about 1/16" (2mm) deep, then you push the wire into the groove with a small stick. I use a popsicle stick tapered to the right width.
You might need a little deeper if you use larger wire.

Then just use the right CA for your foam to seal the groove. The wire is totally invisible when complete, and the wing has not lost any strength.

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Old 06-29-2014, 11:06 PM   #3
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I do the same as wildflyer, except I use gorilla glue
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:27 PM   #4
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+1 same as Dave's description....though I angle my cut a bit, IME seems to hide wire pretty well.(with no glue!)

cr

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Old 06-30-2014, 05:59 AM   #5
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I will try that for the lights, but how about the flaps? I removed the original "tape" that was covering the aileron wires, what should I use to replace it? Best solution I have found so far is white duck tape. Id like to use a lighter tape however, something similar to what came off.

Thanks.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:59 AM   #6
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My local Office supply store has Parcel tape in various colours ... thin, sticks like crazy ...

Note :

If a wing is flat plate like 6mm Depron etc. - then a slit and pressing wires in is not such a good idea - as it can create a stress bend in the plate ... it basically forces the two apart and a slight curve can result. So with flat plate - a proper slot that wire fits without forcing is best. An easy way to create this is to run a dowel end along the foam - no need to cut ... just create a depression in the foam ... lay the wire in and then tape over. If under the wing - a slight bump is no problem unless you are into speed records !

If the wing is a full form with good depth - then the slit method is great ... create the slit and then push the wire into the slit ... The foam then closes onto the wire gripping it. With care - you can push the wire in ... then with a small round object roll it or smooth it over the slit - causing the foam to close up. Tape over and Bobs your Aunts brother !

For where you use heavy wire such as power leads out to motors etc. - you can backfill the slots with PU Glue (generic Gorilla Glue). It fills and expands creating a foam filler. Knife and sanding puts it level and ready for tape.

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Old 06-30-2014, 11:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
+1 same as Dave's description....though I angle my cut a bit, IME seems to hide wire pretty well.(with no glue!)

cr
Thats a Great Idea, Cutting the foam at a Angle, Sure Glad I Thought of That LOL

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:04 AM   #8
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Of course if the foam wing is hollow hiding a servo wire is no problem!
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Old 07-01-2014, 04:21 AM   #9
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I think it's got a solid wing:




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Old 07-01-2014, 07:24 AM   #10
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There is another way - but needs care ...

With a full form wing - you take a long masonry drill ....

First you cut the slots for servo and / or exit point of leads ... then you run the drill through from wing tip - through the core of the wing to the cut-out you made ... LEAVE the drill in place and then pin prick through in the wing for it where you want to place the end item. Cut suitable so you get to the drill ...
Now connect thin thread to the drill and pull OUT the drill carefully bringing the thread with it ... as thread passes the wing cut-out - you fish it out ... disconnect from drill. You now have a feed - tail to pull your leads through with.

The small hole in wing tip - fill with small piece of material you removed from wing ...

The above works for a full balsa rib or foam wing ...

The trick is keeping the drill centred and straight as it passes through wing ...

Some tricks never grow old !!

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Old 07-01-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
The trick is keeping the drill centred and straight as it passes through wing ...
This works best with a 'spotter' who can keep you on target.

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Old 07-01-2014, 07:49 AM   #12
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I would just use the slit method, carefully push the wiring into the slit. I don't think glue would even be required if the wires fit tightly enough, but that canopy glue I have would definitely work wonders (not trying to promote the product everywhere, but I just find myself using the glue for everything from gluing on parts on my build to repair cracked fuses on my UMX planes).
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
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One point that can affect how you do it ...

Use of GG (PU) to close up after inserting the wires can be a bit permanent .. - so another glue could be Hot Glue ... this tends to not be so tenacious in it's hold. Quite often you can peel that back ... and a thin run along a wing slit - can be easily removed in event you need to get at the wires.
I'm also an anti CA modeller ... so that one is a no-no for me ... but I know many others are happy with CA. I keep CA for essential tacking jobs only ..

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:48 AM   #14
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From solentlife
There is another way - but needs care ...

With a full form wing - you take a long masonry drill ....

Try that one with a hot wire.
A long time ago, when many people were cutting their own foam wings, one idea for a wire tube was to fasten the wing half to some thing vertical, and the drop a piece of music wire with the tip heated pretty hot, down from the wing tip and hope it came out in the center instead of out the side.

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Old 07-01-2014, 10:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
From solentlife
There is another way - but needs care ...

With a full form wing - you take a long masonry drill ....

Try that one with a hot wire.
A long time ago, when many people were cutting their own foam wings, one idea for a wire tube was to fasten the wing half to some thing vertical, and the drop a piece of music wire with the tip heated pretty hot, down from the wing tip and hope it came out in the center instead of out the side.
Very true ...

I had a little side line biz in UK many years ago ... Wings & Things ... I used to cut foam cores for friends ... I wanted to make a full scale biz out of it - but model kit co's already had various signed up and there was very little room for another ..
The hot piano wire was a tool I used often ... Trouble was - the hole it made was always about 3x the size of the wire !!
It was also really only best for short runs ... as it cooled too quick and usually got stuck if you didn't withdraw quick enough !! It's why I changed to the masonry drill ............

Another method for making neat holes in foam, balsa ... tunnels etc. - is the sharpened tube ... you take the tube .. and with a file or carbo - you grind away the INSIDE edge of the tube end to create a sharp knife like circle ... you then twirl the tube as a cutter ...

Nigel

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