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Old Feb 18, 2002, 10:58 AM
Hairy E-Pilot
All__talk's Avatar
Ellensburg, Wa, USA
Joined Dec 2000
555 Posts
Best adhesive for sheeting foam wings?

Hello friends

Iím almost ready to do my first balsa sheeting job and was wondering what my options were for gluing down the balsa. Itís a gray foam (insulation board) wing with a 50Ē span, 9Ē cord, NACA 2412 profile, balsa leading and sub trailing edges (full span ailerons), and overlapping carbon tube spars, Iím going to sheet it with 1/16 balsa. 3M spray glue would be easy as it eliminates the need for clamping, but I donít know if it will bond as well as Probond or epoxy, especially where the skin meets the leading and trailing balsa edges. Whatís the best glue for the job?

All advice greatly appreciated
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Old Feb 18, 2002, 05:01 PM
Schumacher USA
Tampa FL
Joined Jul 2000
3,038 Posts
If I were doing a wing w/balsa leading and trailing edges, I'd go for either 77, or probond on the skin-to-foam contact areas, and shoot a little CA on the skin to balsa L/T edge contacts.

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Old Feb 18, 2002, 05:30 PM
Always looking UP
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Lilburn, Georgia, USA
Joined Nov 2000
2,361 Posts
Just an alternative....

I used the ole white glue, aka Elmers, I used a brush, poked a few reservoir holes in the foam, and thinly spread the glue over the foam wings, then sandwiched both wings, back into their respective counterparts, stacked the ole phone books on top for 24 hours, and walla! Of course my wings were 1/32 sheet, 1/16 gets abit hard to fold

I have used 3M 77 and other spray adhesives, but against foam, in heat and cold, its not worth the risk to me, I have seen the spray glue give at times, foam is not very forgiving, however I am not saying my way is best.

After the initial sheeting, I would use epoxy for the LE and TE.....

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Old Feb 18, 2002, 11:24 PM
Registered User
Joined Apr 2001
992 Posts

On my one and only foam wing, I used water based contact cement on the advice of the kit builder ( Jet Hanger Hobbies F 86 )

Very easy and LIGHT. Also very unforgiving as it really is "contact" cement. Any contact is final.

No separation problems. Second owner had engine out and crashed it. Bad damage, but sheeting did not separate at all from foam in the wing.

I have tried epoxy, but was amazed at how much weight it added! So much I scrapped it and built a balsa wing.

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Old Feb 19, 2002, 03:10 AM
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Baden Baden, Germany
Joined Feb 2001
1,059 Posts
Be careful with CA and foam. CA can cause some kinds of foam to melt!!

We always use epoxy for foam-balsa-wings.

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Old Feb 19, 2002, 01:21 PM
ARFs make me BARF
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United States, MI, Roseville
Joined Dec 2000
9,514 Posts
Southern Sorhgum Contact Cement from Dave Brown.Best there is, never lets go, super sticky!
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Old Feb 19, 2002, 04:16 PM
Registered User
rockville maryland
Joined Aug 2000
309 Posts
the very best....transfer tape...it is the easiest,lightest and most foolproof. Dodson Designs originated this. i used this method on many sailplane wings without a problem.
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Old Feb 19, 2002, 04:47 PM
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North Hills
Joined Nov 1999
6,073 Posts
Sheet the wing with Southern Sorhgum Contact Cement and use Titebond to attach the LE and TE.

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