Originally Posted by weathervane
My only problem is this. I have never built a complete plane from plans. I have built several kits. I have even made replacement parts for crashed planes. I drew and made my own balsa wing to replace a foam wing on a small park flyer. So cutting and making the parts does not scare me. A full build of a plane from just plans, it does make me think twice.
Building from plans isn't much different from building from a kit. You just have to cut out the parts yourself. This is easy to do with a sharp single-edge razor blade (hobby knives are harder to control, razor blades follow the lines better). All you do is make copies of the parts sheets included with the plan, cut out the individual paper parts from the sheet and paste them down on a sheet of balsa making sure the grain of the balsa is running in the best direction for strength. Use a "glue stick" for paste obtainable from an office supply store. Then after pasting the part down on the balsa sheet, cut through the paper pattern into the balsa. Remember to cut out tight curves and holes first as this reduces problems with the balsa splitting. To remove the paper pattern glued to the part, use alcohol.
If there is no "parts sheet" included with the plan, just make a couple of copies of the plan and locate the parts on the plan and cut them from a plan copy. Actually, this reduces any problems with inaccurate part drawings.
To improve the accuracy of the cut out part, try cutting the part out just outside of the line and then sanding the part down to the line using a sanding stick. You can easily make sanding sticks of various sizes by gluing sandpaper to various size wood sticks. I use wooden "tongue depressors" and coffee stirrers available by the bag full (cheap) at craft stores.
Don't be put off by all of this. I was doing all of this at the age of ten years old. You have to start somewhere and you are much older than ten.