|Aug 31, 2011, 04:15 AM|
Dave, some suggestions before you get started, if I may. You'll want to go through some of the threads in the sticky at the top of the 'Scale Electric Planes' forum with links to many build threads of Guillow's conversions. You'll see so many people's work, each with their unique way of approaching each stage of a project, you're sure to learn and improve the techniques most comfortable for you. It's no exaggeration to say it's a pure gold mine.
Two suggestions I've learned from my own builds, I consider these as canon. Now, I've never touched more recent Guillow's laser cut kits, bear in mind that my advice applies to older and/or non-laser cut kits.
1) Make your own parts. Seriously. Even if you're doing a totally casual build, you'll want to...and it's good practice for the next time you do a Guillow's conversion.
Most pieces of sheet wood or so-called 'die-cut' parts sheets are of terrible quality. Not only are they heavy, they tend to be rough and have a cheap feel to them. I think of new nasty things to say about them every time I write about the subject.
Apart from that, odds are that the dies used for the alleged cutting were as dull as disposable razors found at a dump. 'Die-crushing,' known as the most common true cliche in the building of these kits, means the parts are usually crushed in a general outline that slightly resembles those in the plan. Even if you manage to free them from the parts sheets miraculously intact, they often don't even match the plans. If you're used to laser cutting and high quality you'll probably burst into tears upon seeing the contents of one of these kits.
I found that a quick trip to Kinko's, a jar of rubber cement, and some patience sanding and a bit of cutting with an X-Acto knife quickly produced a plane's worth of parts from high quality balsa sheets in an evening. Light and accurate to the plans, they won't lead to the hair-pulling frustration of realizing that your fuselage resembles a banana and your wings pretzels. There are scads of other methods you can use, but they all start with the premise that using kit parts is a bad business.
2) Substitute good quality bass wood for those often fuzzy stringers and other applications. Guillow's strip wood is just as bad as their sheet wood. Bass is only a bit heavier but a whole lot stronger than balsa, will give your build a clean and consistent look, and add a lot of overall strength with little weight penalty. Given how heavy the kit stripwood usually is, you might even end up with a lighter structural weight by using bass!
If you use that inconsistent balsa for a build, the first time you pick up a finished plane in the field and feel the cheap stringers buckling and breaking in your grip, don't say I didn't warn ya
|Sep 04, 2011, 02:06 PM|
MU2Freighter, thank you for the kind words.
I have a different method and reasons for how I build. First, I only use Kit wood. I don't use resin glue, only CA. I sand the stringers so they don't look hairy. I cut the notches for the stringers with a 1/16 end mill bit. Otherwise, they are a mess. Other than that, I cut the parts out of the kit sheets if needed. It is not always fair to say that Guillows parts are die crushed. They do remake their dies. The kits are less than $15. My Guillows planes all fly with only kit wood and without reinforcement. And they all fly well. They all have hit the ground with very little damage if any. Soft wood is more flexible so I don't get those snap breaks one gets with more rigid balsa. Basswood is not available to me nor do I think it is worth the extra weight. I just don't have problems with the stringers. If I were to replace the stringers, I would not mess around with Basswood, I would use carbon fiber. No one at the field ever commented about weak stringers. When they have proper fitting formers and are glued well, they only have a very short length not supported. Here are my flight videos. Lots of fliers have handled the planes and there are no broken stringers. I used to check regularly, but I just don't find them.
If I don't glue the stringers well, they break when I squeeze test the fuse. If you want to cut out your own parts, I applaud you. But I don't see the value in cutting parts for any of the Guillows 500 series planes. Paul Guillows was a great designer.
Here are my flight videos of these planes. They all still fly very well.
They don't break on hard landings either.
Here are the flights.
Here are the builds
|Sep 27, 2011, 09:28 AM|
NEK of VT, U.S.A.
Joined Nov 2010
I have to say after building several Guillow's planes(all FF), I also think that their print wood is junk. I did get one plane with perfect wood, but i have built 6. But I think the strip wood is mostly good, with a little sanding.
Nice build, it is very clean.
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