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Old Mar 10, 2012, 03:13 PM
rjtw is offline
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United States, CA, Los Altos
Joined Feb 2012
228 Posts
Wing shaping

Now for what I consider to be one of the most critical aspects of building any model... final shaping of the wing. I really spend a lot of time making sure the entire airfoils match as closely as possible between left and right so that the model will end up flying straight and true.

But before I start, here are the most important tools I have always used: my building board and a long T-handle aluminum sanding block. The board is absolutely flat and smooth, and has 90 degree edges. I often put the LE or TE right against the edge of the board so it fully supports the wing while I'm sanding, but allows the block to go out over the edge. And I use the 90 degree edge angle as a way to sand in perfect 90 degree vertical (and/or horizontal) angles by using the edge of the board as a guide to the sanding block.

As for the block, a nice long block is necessary to ensure a straight or flat edge -- perfect for LE and TE work. You just can't get a perfectly flat contour with a smaller block. I have 240 grit on the big block now for final shaping work.

For rough shaping I've got a smaller block with 180 grit that my daughter made it school. It would be nice to have another one of the big blocks with rough grit as well but this works out fine for rough shaping.
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