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Old Jul 26, 2002, 12:01 PM
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Joined Oct 2001
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The Fan-Fold Guide really Exists!

I know a lot of people are having trouble finding the Bluecor, or Fan-Fold foam. So, I'll share a chapter out of my Foam building guide that might help.

Check out: www.FoamFly.com to learn more...

<--snippet from "The Fan-Fold Guide"-->

Chapter 3: Where do I get it?

There are a lot of ways to come by the fan-fold foam, and you may have to spend some time with your telephone directory to find it. Don't give up. While the Sturdy Board, foam core board, and solid insulation foam are nice options to have, you'll get a lot more done, more quickly and for less money, if you have the real stuff. Okay, so where?

Depending on where you're located in the country (or the world) it may be as easy as heading down the street to your local "Lowe's" or "Home Depot" store. I find that in the mid-west, Lowe's carries the Dow/Georgia Pacific products (the blue stuff), and Home Depot carries the Owens Corning products (the pink stuff). It varies regionally, so check all the stores. Pactiv Building Supplies makes the green foam. My personal recommendation is for the blue fan-fold. It has the extra skin on it for strength, and is the lowest density of all the fan-fold options. Both the Dow and Owens Corning websites have dealer listings where you can search for stores in your area that carry, or can order the foam. Dow offers the foam under two different product names: "BlueCor", and "High Performance Underlayment." The official Owens Corning product name is actually "FanFold Foam Residing Board." The Pactiv product name is "GreenGuard," and their fan-fold brand is "Amocor" or "NP-14 Underlayment."

In addition to checking with your nearest jumbo home-improvement center, also call contractors and installers who deal with vinyl or aluminum siding, and Commercial Roofing contractors too. I found a siding contractor who had four pallets of the foam, but he only knew it as "underlayment." So, it pays to be persistent and describe what you're looking for in terms that they will understand. If they want to know why you're buying (what seems to them) so little of it, then you can explain about the model airplanes. Trust me, if you mention model planes first, you'll just get blank stares.

If that doesn't make you feel weird enough, you can try hanging around at construction sites where that kind of work is going on. There's usually a lot of scrap left over and if you offer to carry it away, you can get it free. I don't recommend carrying away (stealing) pre-scrap foam, but maybe if you ask politely enough, they can spare some.

But, what if you live in California, or (insert your state here) where they don't have much siding, and have little use for insulation? Okay, this is where those giant home improvement stores really come in handy. If you go to the customer service desk, and ask nicely, they will happily find products from any of their other stores, and ship them back and forth all over the county at no charge to you! That's right, most of us wouldn't want to even calculate the shipping cost on a 8 lb., 4 Cubic foot bundle of foam, and these folks are volunteering to do it for free. There is of course a catch. You have to be able to tell them what you want to buy, and often to prove that the other stores actually carry this item. (In some cases they might not even believe such a thing exists…) I have posted the barcode from my local Lowe's on www.FoamFly.com under "What is Fan-Fold Foam?" This should be enough information for any Lowe's in the country to order some for you.

Still can't find any? Get on the phone to your nearest Dow or Georgia Pacific sales rep. Be friendly, make them send you free samples. Somebody there must know what you're talking about. Dow has their own model flying club. All the planes are, of course, built from blue foam. Talk about having access at the source.

If you're getting discouraged by this time, hope is not completely lost. I will send you some. I don't even want to think about the volumetric shipping costs, (and probably neither do you) but I don't want to leave anybody out in the cold. So, send me a personal email at: Hippo@FoamFly.com and I will do what I can to help. Even then, all is not lost. You can of course now consider the various other types of sheet foam that I've mentioned.

Sturdy Board, or foam core board, can be found at almost any art supply store, office supply store, Meijer, Kmart, or Walmart. The only way you can lose with this stuff, is if you get caught soaking off the paper in the bathtub, and your spouse decides you've finally flipped. Depron, and Zepron can be ordered online, from Peck Polymers, and Airdyn.com respectively. Those options cost a bit more though. Don't forget to ask your local grocery store for extra "meat trays" and save foam carry out containers when you eat out. All these substitutes will come in small sheets, so you'll have to use a little creativity when building with them.

If you look hard enough, you will find plenty of material at hand to get you started on you way to proudly flying your own hand made masterpiece.
<--end snippet-->
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