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Old Dec 06, 2004, 04:12 PM
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2 Mistakes Downwind
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Portland, OR
Joined Nov 2004
414 Posts
Tools and materials needed

Since this is my first build, I had to do some shopping. Here was my shopping list:

5 minute epoxy
30 minute epoxy


You don't need both of these; the builder's manual recommends only 5 minute. I decided to get 30 minute too, because it's stronger than 5 minute and I know I'm patient enough to wait for it to cure, at least sometimes. I will use the 5 minute for joins that I don't want to wait the extra time for. Epoxy is a two-part glue; the two parts are mixed immediately before use, causing the curing to begin. "5 minute" epoxy sets in 5 minutes but the join should not be handled for 15 minutes. Full strength is reached in 1 hour. "30 minute epoxy" sets in 30 minutes and can be handled in 2 hours. Full strength in 8 hours.

Thin CA glue
Foam-safe CA glue


Regular CA will eat EPS foam. The builder's manual does not mention a need for foam-safe CA, but I grabbed some anyway, just in case. CA stands for cyanoacrylate. It's the same as superglue, but known as CA in the modeling world. It comes in a variety of thicknesses. It sets very quickly and is lighter than epoxy, but not as strong.

3M77 spray adhesive - Recommended by the manual; used for applying wing tape.
Clear packaging tape - Can be used as the covering for the plane, but also comes in handy for various other things.
3M Extreme Application packaging tape - This tape contains fibers running both lengthwise and crosswise, making it very strong. The manual doesn't mention it but I decided to use it to reinforce the wing where the rubber bands will be applying pressure to it.

Hobby knife and #11 blades - As recommended by the manual.
A good pair of scissors - You need good scissors to make clean cuts in strapping tape and wing tape. I got an $8 pair from Home Depot. The blades are actual blades, not just two metal edges pressing together!

Wax paper - I stole it from my girlfriend's kitchen and promptly ran out. How dare she not have enough?!
Sand paper (220 and 320 grade) - For sanding the fuselage to shape.
Rougher sand paper (150 grade) - For sanding the strapping tape before gluing.
Sanding block
Dust mask - To avoid breathing in foam dust when sanding.
Breathing mask - To avoid breathing 3M77 (aerosol) and CA (fumes). These things won't kill you, but they certainly aren't good for you. There are several threads around discussing the ill-effects of long-term eposure to CA. I decided to avoid health problems from day one. This mask was about $28 at Home Depot. If you don't want to go that far, at least make sure your work area is well ventilated. Have a gentle fan blowing across your work area when using CA, and do your 3M77 work outside or in the garage with the door open.

Z-bend pliers - For making Z bends in push rods. You can do it with needle-nose pliers, but obviously the dedicated Z-bend pliers will be nice if you can afford them. ($20 from local hobby shop)
Heat gun - For shrinking wing tape - this is optional.

A couple of other things seen in the picture below: a metal ruler - always handy; and my trusty orange utility knife with spare blades. I've had this thing forever and it's one of the most useful tools I've ever owned. It's as sharp as a hobby knife but stronger and can be extended a few inches out of the handle when necessary. When the tip gets blunt, you just snap off a section of the blade. Above the scissors are white and purple rolls of wing tape, which I purchased from MM with the plane. Above the epoxy are some epoxy brushes, but you can use just about anything to apply epoxy, as long as it's disposable.

The fat cat is an optional builder's companion.

On to the build next, I promise!
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