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Old Jun 25, 2004, 10:25 AM
Opus
mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
427 Posts
Yippee!
Bulding With Foam

I just received Keith Sparks booklet "building With Foam". It is a very good book. Really has motivated me to build everything with foam. Lots of great information inside! You can purchase online at parkflyerplastics.com.

All I can say to Keith is. More more more!
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Which_way_is_up's Avatar
Carrollton, TX
Joined Feb 2003
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mhmitchell,

I'm interested in the "Building with Foam" book but there is little information on the parkflyerplastics web site as to the specific content. Could you do a short outline of the content of the book for us? Such as the titles of the chapters and a bulletized outline of the content of the chapters. Just something to give us more on the content?

Thanks,

Roy
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:45 AM
Opus
mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
427 Posts
I will try to give you an idea of the subject matter. Excuse the format but there is no table of contents that I could scan.\

TYPES OF FOAM
EPS
FANFOLD
EPP
Good descriptions some pros and cons.

GETTING SET UP:
making the bow...cheap quick and good
Power Supplies
Several described plus warning anout using light dimmer
Cutting Wire..seceral types described pros and cons
Building a Cutting Board..some ideas that I plan to use!
Making Holes In Foam...thought I could just drill it ....WRONG!
WORKSPACE...general suggestions
WIRE CUTTING...description and possible hang ups
TEMPLATE DESIGN..several types described and mentioned a few pros and cons
ATTACHING TEMPLATES....description and pictures
WIRE TENSION AND TIMING ....description and pictures
CUTTING TEMPERATURE AND SPEED ....description and pictures
SHAPING FOAM
Slots and Channels ....description and pictures
Sanding Foam ....description and pictures
Power Tools and Foam ....description and pictures
BONDING THE FINISH
Adhesives ....description and pictures....description and pictures
Clamp Pressure ....description and pictures
Covering Foam ....description and pictures
Glass Cloth ....description and pictures
Vacuum Bagging ....short description and pictures
Paper ....description and pictures
FUSELAGES
Foam Fuselage Intro ....description and pictures
Sectional Construction ....description and pictures
Panel Construction ....description and pictures
Fuselage Skin Thickness....description
Combining Constructrion Methods-Wings ....description and pictures
Really like his hollow wing technique
Combining Construction....description and pictures
Methods -Fuselage ....description and pictures
Wing Saddles....description and pictures
Landing Gear ....description and pictures
Hatches and Seams ....description and pictures
Cowls and Canopies....description and pictures
Hardware Attachments....description and pictures
Control Surface Linkage ....description and pictures
Servo Mounting ....description and pictures
Hinges ....description and pictures
Mechanical Hinges ....description and pictures
Control Horns ....description and pictures

The pictures are good the descriptions while not step by step are clear and easy to understand.

I would have liked to see more step by step but only because I am lazy.

Seventy Seven pages of ....description and pictures
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:51 AM
Opus
mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
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More

Sorry I could not give you the bullets. But let me state that it is one of the best and most informative books (at least for me) on models I have read.
It would be especially good for beginners. If you are into Fan Fold reading building threads would be better than this book. I sense he is not really a fan fold fan. I think with shipping its around $20 but he sends it Priority mail. You have to use paypal...no cost to you.

If you want more detail about any of the section please ask.

I am just a happy purchaser and do not know the author (if I did I would visit him a lot and learn by doing and watching)

Mike
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Which_way_is_up's Avatar
Carrollton, TX
Joined Feb 2003
77 Posts
mhmitchell,

Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to outline the book. I really appreciate it.

Roy
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 03:39 PM
Opus
mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
427 Posts
anytime
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 05:03 PM
I crash, therefore I FLY!
mad mike's Avatar
Spring Hill, FL
Joined Feb 2003
1,489 Posts
I just bought Sparks' book, too. I consider it money well spent.

Since it was written, there's been some new foam building techniques developed, but that would be true of just about any book on the subject. Although I've learned quite a bit from the post on the E Zone, Keith managed to include some "tips & tricks" that are very useful. An experieced builder might come up them with over time, but probably not bother to mention in a "build thread."

And those "incidental" bits of information are *exactly* what a beginner like me really needs.

If anyone wants to get started building with foam and needs a confidence builder, this book would certainly do the trick.

Mike S.
(aka "mad mike")
Spring Hill, FL

--------------------------------
I crash, therefore, I FLY!
----------------------------
There is no one true way.
---------------------------------
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 07:31 PM
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mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
427 Posts
I tried white foam for twp years after I could no longer afford kits. Gave completely up and switched to artboard and fan fold using it like balsa. While the models look ok they just are more than a little rough due to bending and forming problems. Then I saw this book and another thread about a foam ASW28 in scale sailplanes and I have 6 sheets of blue foam that I will not use!
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Old Jun 27, 2004, 12:33 PM
I crash, therefore I FLY!
mad mike's Avatar
Spring Hill, FL
Joined Feb 2003
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I think what is important about Keith Sparks' book, and the "build" threads by J. Morgan, Vyceroy, Yasu, Yctseng, Hawker,Tyson, and others, is that their work will help keep what *should* be a major component of the RC hobby alive.

The recent trend has been towards "buying" rather than building. It is a shame that fewer people have an interest in building, than they once did. I know that time has a lot to do with this trend, but it seems to me that if you can find time to fly, you should be able to find the time to build, as well.

Maybe people just don't have much of a "creative streak" these days. I don't know. It is their loss, though.

Keith's book and the works of others here on the E Zone may help spark an interest in what I see as the "other half" of the RC hobby, the creative side. I'm hoping to see a revival in scratch building come out of their efforts. It would breath new life into the hobby.

Mike S.
(aka "mad mike")
Spring Hill, FL

--------------------------------
I crash, therefore, I FLY!
----------------------------
There is no one true way.
---------------------------------
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Old Jun 27, 2004, 01:07 PM
Flying Saucer Mechanic
Stef's Avatar
Middle River MD
Joined Dec 2000
520 Posts
Building with foam

I am really looking foward to the release of the "Fan Fold Guide" written by "Hippo" and promised as a free inclusion to anyone who bought a copy of his excelent plans. Unfortunately I don't think I'll live long enough to receive my copy . I have been waiting 2 years already , maybe he should say it's not comming and give us poor souls another plan as compensation .
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Old Jun 27, 2004, 07:07 PM
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keith sparks's Avatar
TX
Joined Aug 2001
84 Posts
the book

Thanks for the complements guys.
The book was one of the longest projects I have attempted. The website was the second. ( I tend to spend more time in the shop than in front of the computer.)

I'll try to do something with the website ( www.parkflyerplastics.com ) I've taken a few shots of the inside of the book to better illustrate what's inside. I hope that does the trick.
Some of the "tabs" on the website don't work because if I use them it limits the space I'm allowed to use.

If you have trouble getting the book from me it will be offered through Flying Models magazine soon. Look at their "book hanger" add in the back of the magazine.
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 07:39 AM
Opus
mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
427 Posts
Along the scratch building line. The Flyrc magazine every couple of months has a free plan that I know some people are building. If you want the hobby to grow and continue with the old skilss rather than ARF two things have to happen.
1. Less expensive kits or scratch building materials. $350 for a model sailplane is ridiculas no matter how "good" it is. The $60 for the BOT is still high for the quality (of course this is my opinion).

2. Those of us with the time ought to make an effort to interest younger modelers. I built my first "Comet" Kit when I was 6. I am now 57. Mr. Sparks and I were just discussing Civil Air Patrol Cadets and remembering the good times. ANY cadet program would welcome someone willing to teach moseling techniques to the cadets, matbe Boy Scouts. Have your club start a youth club complete with meetings and building sessions. Make them build their own. It doesntt have to be RC free flight is fun. Talk with the YMCA or your local government tell them your club wants to sponser a youth division. I know of one club that did this sucessfully and their adult membership grew also. The local gov even let them use the old airport (closed) for a flying field and included a hanger with Air-conditioned classrooms as a building place and meeting room. Theyt went so far as to get the local hobby shop to sponser a free flight contest with the first prize a trainer RC ARF with 3 channek radio.

See what happens when you write a book Keith?
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 10:43 AM
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TX
Joined Aug 2001
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Well that reminds me of something I forgot to put in the book.

While you are cutting wings for your designs, don't throw away the wings you think are not good enough for your models.

I was cutting combat wings and was donating them to the club I'm in for a few years.
There were a bunch of wings that could have looked better. (What can I say, I was learning)
I donated the wings to a local the scout group, they used the wings to make hand launched gliders.

One man's trash is another child's treasure.
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 12:22 PM
I crash, therefore I FLY!
mad mike's Avatar
Spring Hill, FL
Joined Feb 2003
1,489 Posts
I don't really think it is the cost of kits that send people to buy "ready-made" models as much as it is the "instant gratification" mind-set that predominates today's society.

What is seen in some of the Forums on the EZone and in Keith's book will *hopefully* help bring the creative urge that still exist in most of us, back up to the surface.

Keith's book, "Building With Foam," clearly demonstrates that cost need *NOT* be a factor, other than a positive one, when deciding to try scratch building instead of buying completed models or kits with pre-cut parts.

The cost of the basic materials is very low. After all, we are talking basically about foam. To some, a "foamie" is just a "cheap toy." But in light of what has been shown to be possible by the people mentioned in my previous post, that notion will go the way of the dinosaur.

I thought is was kind of funny when they created the new "Composites Forum," because a large percentage of the models in the build threads in the "Foamies" Forum *are* of composit construction. I kind of wonder if maybe the only real difference between the two forums might not be ego.

It all comes down to what you want out of the hobby. If flying is the only thing, then buy "ready to fly." No problem. But if you enjoy the creative process, then get Kieth's book and see what you can accomplish. Let other's see what you have done, maybe they'll see the other half of the hobby that they have been missing.

Many people derive a good deal of enjoyment and pride from those kits, but how much *more* satisfaction would they get from actually building a model from plans, rather than assembling one from parts? I kind of see that as the point of Keith's book.


Mike S.
(aka "mad mike")
Spring Hill, FL

--------------------------------
I crash, therefore, I FLY!
----------------------------
There is no one true way.
---------------------------------
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Old Jun 28, 2004, 12:54 PM
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mhmitchell's Avatar
Quincy,Florida
Joined Dec 2002
427 Posts
I agree but ARF is not for me!

Yes there is a Place for prebuilt models. People were paying other modelers to build their kits for as long as I can remember. In the past I believe it was a lack of confidence and / or time. Now I think the instant gratification is the main selling point of ARF. In my case again the cost is too high for my taste. How many parents of 12 year old kids are going to plunk down 200 dollars for a 3 channel and trainer knowing that a lot of kids in the 8 to 12 year old group will end up playing video games with the model stuck crushed under a box in the closet.

Parent esp Dads dont spend enough time with their kids. Here (modeling) is a way to teach a kid patience, hand eye coordination, how to read a ruler and use hand tools. Then together they can spend many quality afternoons together. Moms wonder why dad would rather play golf with their buddies instead of time with the kids, I wonder too. Give Mom a break take your kid flying on Saturday. The kid will love you more and so will the wife.

don't have kids? Well thats a great loss. If you catch them soon enpough they are a wonder and a joy. So take a cheap blue foamy to the school yard if any kid shows up to watch teach him to fly it. It will be one of the biggest thrills of his life.

I have complained that the local club here do not encourge kids heck they dont encourage new membership at all. Some are darnright rude about it too. Oh well so its become my soap box sorry I wont say any more in this thread.
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