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Old 02-01-2013, 03:27 AM   #1
CrimzonRider
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Default Equipment for Covering & Building Balsa Kit

Should of done this years ago, but I finally got a Taylorcraft balsa kit coming. Being that this is the "First real one", I think I have a few of the regular tools needed, hobby knives, xacto blades, sanding equip., squares and the like.

What tools/stuff do I need?

I've read about....
T-pins
Assorted clamps
Mylar to cover/protect plans
Yellow glue (assuming that CA/GG doesn't work well??)
Perforation Tool?? (no idea?? makin holes in sheeting??)
Scale
Heat gun
Iron
Clean bench with no "female stuff" on it
Michelob


Thanks for your help
Christopher
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:51 AM   #2
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Hi Med CA works well, get some kicker too. you will need a Iron and a heat gun, Hobby people has some nice ones, you will need a bench with female stuff on it and some Cold Miller Lite Beer

Dont forget the T Pins


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Old 02-01-2013, 05:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
Should of done this years ago, but I finally got a Taylorcraft balsa kit coming. Being that this is the "First real one", I think I have a few of the regular tools needed, hobby knives, xacto blades, sanding equip., squares and the like.

What tools/stuff do I need?

I've read about....
T-pins
Assorted clamps
Mylar to cover/protect plans
Yellow glue (assuming that CA/GG doesn't work well??)
Perforation Tool?? (no idea?? makin holes in sheeting??)
Scale
Heat gun
Iron
Clean bench with no "female stuff" on it
Michelob


Thanks for your help
Christopher
Take a run to your local lumber yard, and pick up a piece or three of that real cheap ceiling tile, 2 by 4 feet. Not the fiberglass type, the denser type. Look for pieces where the backside is absolutely flat. Mine were cut down so it was easier to handle, yet still wide enough to build the wing in one piece. I attached mine with the flat bottom side up to the back board (an old door from the lumber yard?) with a few drywall screws, with the screw heads sunk so they don't stick out. Makes it easy to replace when the ceiling tile gets a little chewed up.

This makes a very nice building surface for your stick pins and such.

As for glue, I made a LOT of models using that Titebond, or yellow carpenter glue. Actually prefer it over CA, and some tests I did long ago, showed that after the Titebond has dried for 24 hours, it's actually a bit lighter than the same joint with CA.

Plus, if you goof a glue joint with Titebond, just hit the glue joint with the heat gun. After its good and hot (really hot!), the joint can easily be pried apart, without damage to the material that was glued. Epoxy can also be released with high temperature, but do this OUTSIDE! Don't try this with CA. CA gives off a lot of fumes, and does not release under very high temperatures.

Epoxy is stronger, but along with that goes weight, so epoxy should be reserved for areas that need a lot of strength.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:03 AM   #4
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Wood glue works very well, but can take some time to dry. You will get stronger joints with this kind of glue. If using ca, you can use baking soda as a filler. I always end up using at least two clothes pins for some reason. Also, use wax paper for an easy/cheap plan covers, and older paper "meat" wrap for things to get sketched/ cut out.I also end up with at least one bottle of nail polish and remover when I forget to pick up thread lock.

Guess where I raid/ do most of my building...
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
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Before I forget, get a Custom Sanding Block, that uses a full sheet of Sandpaper, with 3 sanding surfaces like this one on EBay, I have had my custom sanding block for over 25 Years, i dont know how to get along with out it

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Model-Airpla...item20cf0282c3

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
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Clamps! Lots of em. Little ones.
I use wax paper not mylar, but each to his (or Her chellie) own.
Also, I like to take my plans to Office Depot or the like and have a copy or 2 made. Mine always get wercked.
The celing tile Build board is an excellent thing. I framed a tile with 1x1 and then coated it with several coats of laquer to keep the dust down. Ill post a pic soon.
Go through the Kit/scratchbuild forum here too.

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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Thanks guys and gals very much for the ideas, I really like that ceiling tile idea and getting copies made. Wax paper indeed much cheaper than mylar.

I definitely get lots o lil clamps at Staples (needing a new Easy Button anyways)

What about those slot cutters? I've read about making hinges with covering? Which technique is preferred? CA Hinges?? electric a/c is 40"ws.

Also I've read about "treating" or sealing the wood before covering. Is Some type of MinWax Polyeurathane Ok?

Thanks again...All help is appreciated!

cr

MODS-------Sorry, I put this in wrong forum, can this be moved to Scratch & Kit Built A/C?.....thanks
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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Plenty of good advice here. Here's 2 cents-worth more!.

Make absolutely sure your building board is flat and level! I can't stress this enough. It goes without saying that if you build your model on a non-level, non-square surface, you will build that "tweak" into your model. It sounds like a given, but you would be surprised how many people have built a twist into their wing, or a left or right bias into their fuselage without realizing it.

There's no need to seal the wood. It's better to try to keep glue off the surface of the model, too - if you seal the wood with anything, it will make covering more difficult. The covering goes on best over a porous balsa surface where gases can escape, it will form bubbles over a sealed area The only place that would need actual sealing, is around the motor mount/firewall area if you plan on using a glow engine, to prevent fuel from soaking into the wood there.

Clothes pins, and mini-clothes pins, are great clamps. Cheap enough to buy by the hundred.

T pins come in different sizes. Get some small ones, use these if you have to actually penetrate the wood. Minimum holes without splitting is best.

Small, 90 "helpers", to keep things square while you are building. These can be as simple as small wooden blocks, set them up beside something while glueing to keep everything true. I use aluminum blocks, nothing sticks to them.

Use decent quality, fresh CA glue. Get Thick and Thin CA. On porous balsa, try to use thin where possible, and as liitle as possible. There is a difference in CA quality - buy the good stuff. Be cautious with CA accelerator. A CA joint that has been hit with accelerator is not as strong as one that has just been left to cure on it's own.

Epoxy - I use 5 minute epoxy or 15 minute epoxy in non-critical areas, and 45 minute or 3 hour epoxy in areas where i want maximum strength - like a wing spar or dihedral joint. In general, the longer the cure time, the stronger the joint will be. Epoxy also works better on plywood than CA. (Epoxy also gives you some positioning adjustment time.)

I do recommend a hinge slot cutter kit. You can do it without one, but the kit will help you keep the hinges centered. CA hinges work fine, I've used them very successfully even large, 1/4 scale gasoline engined models. If you really want to be sure, you can "pin" them after you glue then it - push a straight pin through the wood through the hinge, and cut it off so it stays in the wood, hit it with a drop of thin CA to lock it in.

I also use a "Tbar" sander - a 12' or a 24'. 2" sanding surface, 12 or 24" long, with a handle across the back. Keeps things even when sanding a large surface. I got scrap 6' pieces of extruded "T" shaped aluminum form a custom window place, cut it to the length I wanted, and glued sandpaper to the face with contact cement. I have several, with different grades of sandpaper on the faces.

Hope this helps, good luck with the build.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:09 PM   #9
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Hey CR,

As part of the Balsa Builders Workshop there was a thread over on RCGroups on Balsa Building Tools.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1752811

A huge list. You don't need it all. If you are building one of the newer laser cut kits that build more like a 3D jigsaw puzzel, you need even less.

Things I tend to use the most:
Ceiling Tile Building Surface
Wax Paper to Cover Plans and things.
An assortment of glues. (All types of CA, Epoxy, Titebond...)
A set of x-acto knives and a razor saw. Lots of #11 blades for cutting covering.
Sanding blocks of various sizes and sand paper of different grits.
Simple small spring clamps. http://www.harborfreight.com/22-piec...set-69374.html
Push pins
Triangle / Square
A few small rulers and straight edges for cutting and measuring.
Self healing cutting mat.


Steve

Growing the fleet!
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:28 PM   #10
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O'-n-S', Thank you sir.....I'd say thats about $1.50 worth Much appreciated.

Makes sense on perfectly level solid surface.

Wasn't really sure about "placement" of t-pins, either just along the edge or actually piercing the wood, which I will be sure to keep to a minimum with the smaller tpins.

Thanks steve, for the rcg link, hadn't found that one yet and yes it is a full laser-cut kit.


Probably jumping ahead of myself, but far in the future (if it flys/survives??) I had thought about putting floats on it. Thats what brought questions to mind about sealing the wood?
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:51 PM   #11
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I try not to pierce wood if I don't absolutely have to. It usually doesn't hurt anything, but it is just good building practice not to.

I pin things to the plan with long T pins crossed over a piece like a wing rib or spar in an "X" shape, or staggered along the outside edge of a larger piece like a fuselage side.

As far as sealing wood on a floatplane - ya, a good idea. But bear in mind, it will make the airframe heavier and harder to cover. Not a show-stopper, but something to think about. Covering, when done properly, is watertight. So seal the bare minimum - that would require planning your covering seams and only sealing in these high-risk areas. And consider waterproof paint instead of covering in maximum exposure areas.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #12
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I might just bypass any sealing, and just make sure that the seams are golden.
Maybe just put off floats until another project and leave things simple.

Thanks again for the tips.

cr

found another link

http://www.pldaniels.com/flying/bals...op-howtos.html
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:47 PM   #13
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I am really not a fan of ca hinges. When I worked with them, I always had some binding, no matter how careful I was. When I used nylon hinges with a pin, the differance was night and day. Much stronger, and before we hooked up linkages, the control surface would flop around and was much lighter on the servo's when they were hooked up. I did like pin or too in each hinge, and marker for the hinge I thought was much better then a slotter. I just marked the wood light with scribe where the hinge will be slotted and then cut into it with a sharp exacto.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by hayofstacks View Post
I am really not a fan of ca hinges. When I worked with them, I always had some binding, no matter how careful I was.
IMVHO I think they have their place, but yeah not a huge fan either.

cr
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Old 'N Slow View Post

I do recommend a hinge slot cutter kit. You can do it without one, but the kit will help you keep the hinges centered. CA hinges work fine, I've used them very successfully even large, 1/4 scale gasoline engined models. If you really want to be sure, you can "pin" them after you glue then it - push a straight pin through the wood through the hinge, and cut it off so it stays in the wood, hit it with a drop of thin CA to lock it in.


Hope this helps, good luck with the build.
Yeah, if you are scratch building, nothing beats one of those power hinge slotters for making the slots for the hinges. After doing the slotting trick with an exacto knife and similar, I'll never go back to the manual mode.

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Old 02-02-2013, 06:58 AM   #16
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Been reading lots of your old posts, Denny and many others! Incredible amount of info to soak in, currently reading covering procedures/steps,....bottom first, back to front, compound curves,...etc.

Got a royal heat gun coming....unsure how much Im going to use it @ 450 degrees?
Still looking for iron, thinking about the iron gift combo at tower that includes regular sized and a smaller trim iron. $50
Im sure towerhobbies has a power slotter also. just still price checking internet-wide

After that just a couple more little things, tack cloth, cleaning stuff, maybe a little travel-sized Dust Buster to keep things tidy.

cr
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:18 PM   #17
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Something worth mentioning here.

After all those years of unprotected exposure - I used to refer to my build area as "The Balsa Dust Factory" - I am now extremely allergic to balsa dust. I can't sand the stuff any more without a mask, and even with a mask, I have to be careful. Causes me massive lung congestion, can last for days. First time it happened, it was a bit scary.

I can still work with the stuff - handle it, cut it with a knife or saw, etc - just no fine sanding dust.

So - careful sanding the stuff. Try to take regular dust precautions. Keep the work area clear, do any large-scale sanding outdoors if you can.

Same can happen with epoxy or CA. Don't breathe it or get it on you, if you can help it. I do know some guys that are sensitive to epoxy - causes them contact dermatitis.

So - believe it or not - I use an Avon product called Silicone Glove when building. It's a barrier cream you put on like hand lotion. It stops chemicals from getting into your skin, and if you do get glue on your skin, it makes it easier to remove it - without removing the skin, too...

No big deal, but apart from regular safety precautions - you know, try not to lop off too many fingers, gargle with the CA, etc - watch out for this.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Old 'N Slow View Post
Something worth mentioning here.

After all those years of unprotected exposure - I used to refer to my build area as "The Balsa Dust Factory" - I am now extremely allergic to balsa dust. I can't sand the stuff any more without a mask, and even with a mask, I have to be careful. Causes me massive lung congestion, can last for days. First time it happened, it was a bit scary.

I can still work with the stuff - handle it, cut it with a knife or saw, etc - just no fine sanding dust.

So - careful sanding the stuff. Try to take regular dust precautions. Keep the work area clear, do any large-scale sanding outdoors if you can.

Same can happen with epoxy or CA. Don't breathe it or get it on you, if you can help it. I do know some guys that are sensitive to epoxy - causes them contact dermatitis.

So - believe it or not - I use an Avon product called Silicone Glove when building. It's a barrier cream you put on like hand lotion. It stops chemicals from getting into your skin, and if you do get glue on your skin, it makes it easier to remove it - without removing the skin, too...

No big deal, but apart from regular safety precautions - you know, try not to lop off too many fingers, gargle with the CA, etc - watch out for this.
Very Cool, O-n-S, Definitely look up Silicone Glove, cant even begin to count how many times I almost CA'd my index finger to my thumb in a permanant "OK" symbol...funny but not really! & great idea on dust mask, I have quite a few in the shop(I use them in the big seed bins during planting season) Im blessed with not having a lot of allergies, still good idea.

Also, just in my recent short couple yrs tenure with using CA, I really have noticed how much its starting to irritate eyes and nose. I seldom use it without a fan and a window open. My main glue now for foamies is Gorrilla Super Glue, not many fumes. IMO

Thank you Sir
cr
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #19
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Single edge razor blades by the box is what i use for covering .I very rarely use a exacto nife . I also never use CA any more its to brittle ,exspensive and does not sand good at all around balsa. I use tightbond glue and epoxy . Light amounts of epoxy on landing gear mounts firewalls for the motors and wing center joints. Ca is for people who cant wait but if you figure the time it takes to sand the junk off to get ready for covering your not realy building any faster.lol joe
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
Single edge razor blades by the box is what i use for covering .I very rarely use a exacto nife . I also never use CA any more its to brittle ,exspensive and does not sand good at all around balsa.
Very good point. A "Titebond" glue joint sands just like balsa.

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by road king 97 View Post
Single edge razor blades by the box is what i use for covering .I very rarely use a exacto nife . I also never use CA any more its to brittle ,exspensive and does not sand good at all around balsa. I use tightbond glue and epoxy . Light amounts of epoxy on landing gear mounts firewalls for the motors and wing center joints. Ca is for people who cant wait but if you figure the time it takes to sand the junk off to get ready for covering your not realy building any faster.lol joe

Thanks Joe, I also read in one of your olders posts, where you said to keep razor blade as close to surface(lowest angle possible) for a straighter/cleaner cut and I do remember a post saying CA doesn't sand very well.

I'm pretty humbled how many little tips and tricks/techniques you guys know, a fella can only do so much with google Thanks again.

Might sound kinda silly, but on typical glue joints, Do you also add little additional glue at the seam (like a 45 fillet weld)? or just at the end? Just one of the things I haven't read about yet, is it really needed at the expense of a few more grams??? Maybe I'm being too fickle lol

BTW got a Top Flite Iron/sock and GP slot cutter @ LHS, $4 cheaper than web prices/no shipping.

cr
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
Thanks Joe, I also read in one of your olders posts, where you said to keep razor blade as close to surface(lowest angle possible) for a straighter/cleaner cut and I do remember a post saying CA doesn't sand very well.

I'm pretty humbled how many little tips and tricks/techniques you guys know, a fella can only do so much with google Thanks again.

Might sound kinda silly, but on typical glue joints, Do you also add little additional glue at the seam (like a 45 fillet weld)? or just at the end? Just one of the things I haven't read about yet, is it really needed at the expense of a few more grams??? Maybe I'm being too fickle lol

BTW got a Top Flite Iron/sock and GP slot cutter @ LHS, $4 cheaper than web prices/no shipping.

cr
I put my tightbond glue in a small dentice water syringe with a angled tip to get into tight spots .After aplying the glue say on 4 or 5 parts i then go back and touch the glue joints up with a small damp paint brush. This forces the glue into the joint and it can be used to make a small fillet. Tightbond glue is not brittle and it is flexable plus once the water in it drys its lighter that CA . joe
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:32 PM   #23
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An alternate to T-pins is a magnetic building board and a pile of small magnets. I personally prefer this approach. I use a piece of light gauge steel on my building table and a pile of small rectangular magnets. Or you can buy something like this: http://www.easybuiltmodels.com/b04.htm

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:06 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by rreid7 View Post
An alternate to T-pins is a magnetic building board and a pile of small magnets. I personally prefer this approach. I use a piece of light gauge steel on my building table and a pile of small rectangular magnets. Or you can buy something like this: http://www.easybuiltmodels.com/b04.htm

With no experience at all with T-pins/kits, I cannot see a reason not use magnets, I really like that. It doesn't look like they a rare earth-type strength, but still strong.(no smashed fingers) Plus I already have 4x8's of 28ga sheets to cut down, so all I need is magnets.

Anyone else think of any pro's/cons with magnets vs. tpins??(havent got Tpins yet..)

Reid, thanks great idea IMHO
Good looking website too....still reading...
Love my 150w formosa too!

cr
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
With no experience at all with T-pins/kits, I cannot see a reason not use magnets, I really like that. It doesn't look like they a rare earth-type strength, but still strong.(no smashed fingers) Plus I already have 4x8's of 28ga sheets to cut down, so all I need is magnets.

Anyone else think of any pro's/cons with magnets vs. tpins??(havent got Tpins yet..)

Reid, thanks great idea IMHO
Good looking website too....still reading...
Love my 150w formosa too!

cr
If i were just starting out building i would have loved to bought magnets and steel table top it looks like a great way to build. I have been using pins and weights .home made jigs so long iam to old to change over now i think.Here is a site for you guys tho. joe http://www.easybuiltmodels.com/b04.htm and another http://www.magnetsource.com/airfieldmodels/ You can tell i thought about changing .lol joe
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