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Old Sep 27, 2001, 02:54 PM
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Gerald's Avatar
Joined May 2000
3,339 Posts
Are you a scrap collector?

I'm just curious about what most other folks do with their scraps from building a model. I used to save everything left over from a kit and keep it in its original box. There is usually a lot of scrap balsa and sometines some hardware left over.

It got to the point where I was running out of room to store all the kit boxes so I started cutting all the scrap balsa into strip wood, keeping the strip sizes as large as practical given the dimensions of the scrap. I got rid of about a half dozen boxes that way. Now I've reduced it to a few boxes full of miscellaneous sized strips and sheets of balsa, and some filled with scraps of plywood.

I've tried to use up the scraps on new kits but it seems that I keep getting more and bigger pieces. For example, when a kit provides some standard size of wood and calls for cutting lengths from it, I can rummage through the scrap box and find a piece close to the right length. The result is that I end up with totally unused wood pieces from the kit.

I need some ideas on planes to build from scratch or plans that use lots of strip wood. I'm sure I've got enough scrap to make several. Anybody have some suggestions?

Do the rest of you accumulate balsa this way or do you just throw it away after a kit is done? Do you save the cut out parts sheets as templates as insurance agains future crashes?
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Old Sep 27, 2001, 03:06 PM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2001
64 Posts
using scrap

have a look at building vintage models, they usually need a lot of strip wood. also building smaller models uses it up. when ive finished a radio model i use the leftovers for small free flight models. when ive finished those the leftovers are used for indoor models. when they are finished i used the leftovers for packing peices!!! nothing gets wasted!!
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Old Sep 27, 2001, 03:48 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
12,788 Posts
I have to force myself to toss stuff out! My CAP 232 is approaching three years old. I made the first incarnation from much of the kit fuselage wood, used the wing ribs and some of the wing kit sheet to make that bit. One fuselage and a stack of tinkering, I still have the kit box, plans and much of the wood left over.

What I try to do is put the unused wood into scrap boxes - balsa, hardwoods, and ply, then roll up the plan carefully and put it somewhere I can forget where I put it. Note - I said "try".

Why I keep anything like the above beyond the test flight days is beyond me - if I ever crash or seriously bend a model, I usually lose interest in it and go on to the next idea.

Much of the leftover wood gets used. One stinkin' hard length of balsa strip has been making servo rails for ages now, and parts of the original CAP kit wing spars are now holding the cowl onto my new own design sports model, to name but two. The left over wood from the fuselage sides of Putz-E Mk.1 is being cut up for the wing ribs for Mk2

My biggest bummer is half built models. I have two - one sports aerobatic, one sports scale - both half built and languishing because I lost all interest in scuttling around with 8 cell models. There's bits of a twice life size Bostonian someplace, plus an Astro Porterfield that seems to have utterly stagnated - a miserable shame, really, its a lovely flier.

I wonder if foamy lovers keep old lumps of the stuff around for old times' sakes ?
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Old Sep 27, 2001, 03:50 PM
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SheldonYoung's Avatar
Vernon, BC, Canada
Joined Jan 2001
803 Posts
My system is, a shelf for sheets, a small box for scraps (about 1-2 cubic feet) and a rack for longer sticks and dowels.

I find if I have a scrap box that's too large it somehow gets filled with pieces that are too small to do anything with. With limited space I'm much more careful about keeping only what I will actually use.

I don't cut up larger pieces into sticks until I need them, just because having one pieces instead of many reduces clutter.

I've also taken dividing the scrap box up with bags sorted by thickness - it's just easier to reach into a bag of 1/8 than dig through the entire box.

If my work area (aka. corner of the living room) is organized I find I'm more productive when I build and make better use of the materials. Waiting for glue to try, or when it's too dark to sand outside, are good times to tidy up.
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Old Sep 27, 2001, 04:05 PM
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Paul's Avatar
United States, CT, Enfield
Joined Nov 2000
354 Posts
I let my 4 yr. old son play with my scraps.

He sits on a stool at my workbench and cuts them with a small pair of wire cutters and makes them into planes, boats, rockets, etc. with masking tape while I'm working on my planes. He loves them!

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Old Sep 27, 2001, 04:29 PM
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Whizwaz's Avatar
Bloomington, IN
Joined Sep 2001
846 Posts
Yup, I save the scraps too. I have three boxes (old kit boxes) for scraps: One for reasonable length sheeting, one for reasonable length sticks, and one for all other scraps (including blocks). Makes great stuff for repairs, short kits, and "I think a design/modification like this could work." Besides, if your prepared to repair a crash, you won't crash in the first place. -- Whizwaz
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Old Sep 27, 2001, 05:21 PM
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Blacksburg, VA 24060 USA
Joined Feb 2000
3,232 Posts
Not only do I save my scraps and make use of them for the odd reinforcement and such, but I have balsawood old enough to have grandchildren. I bought a bunch in 1958, just before a price hike. I'm left with some 3/8" and 1/2" sheet. And I'm still using some balsa from some Comet kits of the same vintage. Haven't built the kits, but I've saved the plans.

I have model airplane magazines dating back to the 1940s, plus pages torn from mags that I've run through my flat-bed scanner for computer files. Once in a while I'll give away an old engine or other ancient item, but I'm about down to "good stuff" now, so don't ask me!

My wife and I have a hard time throwing anything away. But last year we bit the bullet and disposed of a bunch of crap. Filled sixty-five (65) large contractor's heavy-duty bags. Took 8 weeks before the trash people picked them all up and hauled them away. Also got rid of old furniture and such that wasn't baggable. It was a great feeling, and now we can see more floor space in the basement.

Jim Ruggiero
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Old Sep 27, 2001, 08:11 PM
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CaptQuirk's Avatar
Michigan, USA
Joined Apr 2001
124 Posts
I believe that there is no such thing as "scrap", merely odd bits and pieces whose exact use haven't yet been determined.

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Old Sep 27, 2001, 10:04 PM
Paul Susbauer's Avatar
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Joined Apr 2001
4,585 Posts
I used to save every little scrap of anything, now I'm more selective, but I always save bits of wire, and tubing, ah heck I haven't changed that much, I can't stand throwing anything away, but I am getting better.........sometimes.
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Old Sep 28, 2001, 12:58 AM
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Joined Nov 2000
6,291 Posts
My problem is I can never find anything I've saved when I need it. So off I go to the LHS and buy new stuff so I can make more scraps to misplace.
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Old Sep 28, 2001, 12:58 AM
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russ6421's Avatar
Joined Dec 2000
1,270 Posts
I save all the pieces never know when you will need a small piece. When I punch out the wing ribs I do it very carefully then save them, you never know when you will have to build a wing and they make great patterns for new ribs
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