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Old Dec 25, 2003, 01:17 PM
KEZ
Registered User
Burlington, MA
Joined Nov 2002
109 Posts
Filler for light balsa

Merry Christmas to all!

I made a boo-boo yesterday while gluing the top LE sheeting. I applied the epoxy to the wrong side of the balsa sheet and when I knew what a dumb mistake I have made, I used rubbing alcohol to wipe off the glue and apply to the proper side. Using rubbing alcohol was the second mistake as it has 30% water and now the wing has developed a permenant bow because of the shrinkage of the top sheeting....sigh.

Because I clamped the top spar/sheeting together against a 4' long aluminum channel, some areas where the glue was not cleaned completely pulled of some balsa fibers.....sigh..sigh

I now need to fill these voids. The sheeting is contest grade, very soft. I have always used Sig Epoxlite but it might be a bad idea as it is much tougher than soft balsa. What is the best filler to use in this case? I have never tried Model Magic filler, does it sand easily? How about Elmer wood filler available at Home Depot? Since this will be covered in Monokote, the filler has to have good adhesion with Monokote and also be able to stand the temp.

Thanks,
Kez
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 04:47 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
19,187 Posts
I always use Red Devil light weight spackle. Works great and is cheap.
boomer
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 05:34 PM
Check your six
martys's Avatar
New Jersey
Joined Sep 2002
1,240 Posts
Filler

I agree with boomerace. Spackling compound is the way to go. Goes on easy and sands great. Martys
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 08:36 PM
KEZ
Registered User
Burlington, MA
Joined Nov 2002
109 Posts
Thanks guys for your reply.
By spackling compound, do you mean taclum powder? Do you have to mix it with glue? Will Monokote adhere well to it?
I know my LHS does not carry Red Devil light weigh compound...they do have Model Magic filler. Is it the same thing?
Thanks!
Kez
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 08:39 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
19,187 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by KEZ
Thanks guys for your reply.
By spackling compound, do you mean taclum powder? Do you have to mix it with glue? Will Monokote adhere well to it?
I know my LHS does not carry Red Devil light weigh compound...they do have Model Magic filler. Is it the same thing?
Thanks!
Kez
You don't get it at the LHS but at a hardware store, paint store or stores like Lowes or Home Depot. It's premixed and does not shrink and Monokote sticks to it just fine.
boomer
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Last edited by boomerace; Dec 25, 2003 at 08:42 PM.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 03:04 PM
KEZ
Registered User
Burlington, MA
Joined Nov 2002
109 Posts
Hi Boomerace,

I went to Home Depot this morning and am disappointed to find that they do not have the Red Devil spackle. They have Polyfilla, Elmer wood filler, and a big can of spackling filler (forgot the brand). They are all rather heavy but I suspect most of the weight is water. I have bought a can of Polyfilla and a tube of Elmer wood filler to try. Will try on a piece of balsa before using them on the real wing. Are these the same thing? The polyfilla feels like chaulk and I wonder if Monokote will stick to it without any treatment of Balsarite.

My LHS has this NHP balsa filler that they recommend. Is it any good? In case the Elmer and Polyfilla do not work.

Thanks,
Kez
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 04:39 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
19,187 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by KEZ
Hi Boomerace,

I went to Home Depot this morning and am disappointed to find that they do not have the Red Devil spackle. They have Polyfilla, Elmer wood filler, and a big can of spackling filler (forgot the brand). They are all rather heavy but I suspect most of the weight is water. I have bought a can of Polyfilla and a tube of Elmer wood filler to try. Will try on a piece of balsa before using them on the real wing. Are these the same thing? The polyfilla feels like chaulk and I wonder if Monokote will stick to it without any treatment of Balsarite.

My LHS has this NHP balsa filler that they recommend. Is it any good? In case the Elmer and Polyfilla do not work.

Thanks,
Kez
Kez,
I'm supprised they didn't have some brand of lightweight spackle! I haven't tried anything else since it works so well!
boomer
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 09:50 PM
Check your six
martys's Avatar
New Jersey
Joined Sep 2002
1,240 Posts
Spackling compound

Kez, you should have no problem at all getting a small can of spackling compund at HD or Lowes, etc. Forget the brand name spackling compound. Just buy a small amount of whatever brand they have (it will last a long time). Forget the expensive LHS stuff, you don't need it. You are correct about the weight. It's from the water in the compound. When the spackling drys, it weighs next to nothing. martys
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 08:13 AM
Registered User
Quincy,FL
Joined May 2002
108 Posts
Durhams Water Putty

I use Durhams water putty which is a dry powder in a red can. I get it at Lowes or maybe Home Depot. You mix it with water to whatever consistancy you like. It is somewhat of a problem if you are filling large gaps and may take several layers. Its cheap and sands as easily as balsa.It dries so hard you have to work to scratch it with your fingernail.
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,465 Posts
All of these alternatives are not "lightweight spackle". I get the Red Devil stuff at ACE Hardware and when you pick up the container you'll swear that it feels almost empty, and that's premixed. It's very light, and all you have to do is scoop it out and slather it on, use a putty knife to smooth flat, let dry, sand and you're done. It weights nothing.

ian
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Old Jan 14, 2004, 01:53 PM
KEZ
Registered User
Burlington, MA
Joined Nov 2002
109 Posts
After failing to find the lightweight spackle at Home Depot and Wallmart, I finally bought the NHP balsa microfill from my LHS. It is unlike any putty (eg. Sig Epoxylite) I have used before. I was rather skeptical about its strength and adhesion so I tried it on a few balsa scrape pieces. To my surprise, it adhered pretty well to balsa and even some plastics.

The good thing about this is that it sands like soft balsa, looks like balsa and weighs almost nothing. I am not sure how well Monokote sticks to this stuff; or if the heat from the covering iron will affect the filler. I will find out soon.

The only draw back...it is basically silics powder and therefore we should wear a dust mask while sanding. Infact we should be wearing a dust mask while sanding balsa anyway.

Regards,
Kez
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Old Jan 16, 2004, 02:33 PM
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thepilotbruss's Avatar
St. Louis, MO.
Joined Aug 2002
302 Posts
You could not find light weight spackle at a hardware store??? Did you ask an employee there?
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