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Old Sep 16, 2006, 06:58 PM
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USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2003
3,424 Posts
The best 'advise' I ever received was looking at one of Harry Higley's book (Bipes) and saw how a plane really should be built!!!
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 06:27 AM
Registerd Beaver
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Australia, WA, Warwick
Joined Jul 2003
3,580 Posts
Another tip I'd forgotten to add which is brilliant.
When you have charged up a battery (particularly Lipo), put a piece of tape over the connector to identify it has been charged.
It saves volt testing with a multimeter on your packs to find out which one is charged when you are at the park. If you have a few packs it makes it so worthwhile.
If it has tape over the plug - it's 100% ready to fly, no need to check.
I keep a roll of masking tape with my charger.
Phil
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Old Oct 02, 2006, 07:03 AM
Charles, in the sandbox
Currently deployed in Iraq
Joined Aug 2006
12 Posts
Cutting pockets in foam for servos etc

Excellent tips folks!

This one I figured out when building JKA foam models. Works great and you almost don't need to use adhesives to keep the gear in place due to being tight when installing. Use thin ply and trace outline of your servos, reciever etc. You could either cut it out the outline using a scroll saw or x-acto. Cut a square out around the outline, as you don't need the whole piece of plywood, and you can also save it for next time. I prefer to use a dremel tool with a 1/8 bit carbide bit like this one. It's sharp and makes good cuts. Grab a dubro 1/8" wheel collar, this is going to set the depth of your cuts. Your application will determine what depth you are going to set it for. Insert the bit into the collar and tighten down. Careful that you don't strip the hex piece. You'll need something long and flat, like a straightedge. This will help guide your cuts. Be sure to account for the thickness of the straight edge when setting up your depth. Lay your cutout in your designated area (works great for cutting pockets in wings), I'd suggest taping it, be careful what tape you use, you don't want to pull any foam out when you remove the tape. Mark the outline with a pencil, pen, whatever, in case you have to remove the plywood before you finish cutting. Lay your straightedge on top of the plywood. Keep your rpms low at first when you start cutting and make sure the dubro wheel collar stays on the edge. Work the bit back and forth and make your cuts straight using the straightedge. When all is said and done, it'll look like you cnc'd it. If you've got a large area to cut, say for a battery, you could use the flat sanding bit to do it with. Just cut the outline first, and be careful with it as it has more torque, more chance to slip. For deeper cuts try the router base and a drill bit. The drill doesn't cut as well, but it still works. Again, keep the rpms low otherwise you'll get a lot of vibration.

Hopefully I made some sense there, any questions please don't hesitate.

Charles
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Old Oct 02, 2006, 07:22 AM
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Iflyrc_vic's Avatar
USA
Joined Dec 2004
1,339 Posts
dremel cutting tool

Quote:
Originally Posted by cesnyderces
Excellent tips folks!

This one I figured out when building JKA foam models. Works great and you almost don't need to use adhesives to keep the gear in place due to being tight when installing. Use thin ply and trace outline of your servos, reciever etc. You could either cut it out the outline using a scroll saw or x-acto. Cut a square out around the outline, as you don't need the whole piece of plywood, and you can also save it for next time. I prefer to use a dremel tool with a 1/8 bit carbide bit like this one. It's sharp and makes good cuts. Grab a dubro 1/8" wheel collar, this is going to set the depth of your cuts. Your application will determine what depth you are going to set it for. Insert the bit into the collar and tighten down. Careful that you don't strip the hex piece. You'll need something long and flat, like a straightedge. This will help guide your cuts. Be sure to account for the thickness of the straight edge when setting up your depth. Lay your cutout in your designated area (works great for cutting pockets in wings), I'd suggest taping it, be careful what tape you use, you don't want to pull any foam out when you remove the tape. Mark the outline with a pencil, pen, whatever, in case you have to remove the plywood before you finish cutting. Lay your straightedge on top of the plywood. Keep your rpms low at first when you start cutting and make sure the dubro wheel collar stays on the edge. Work the bit back and forth and make your cuts straight using the straightedge. When all is said and done, it'll look like you cnc'd it. If you've got a large area to cut, say for a battery, you could use the flat sanding bit to do it with. Just cut the outline first, and be careful with it as it has more torque, more chance to slip. For deeper cuts try the router base and a drill bit. The drill doesn't cut as well, but it still works. Again, keep the rpms low otherwise you'll get a lot of vibration.

Hopefully I made some sense there, any questions please don't hesitate.

Charles
Charles, I think I understand what you have done. However, I you can take some pictures it would help.
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Old Oct 03, 2006, 10:04 AM
Charles, in the sandbox
Currently deployed in Iraq
Joined Aug 2006
12 Posts
LOL, love to, stuck in timbucktoo for a while, meanwhile, I'll see if I can come up with some diagrams. As long as you don't mind stick figures!
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 11:23 AM
Registered User
Orlando
Joined Jun 2003
338 Posts
Hey guys,

What Kind of Building Boards do you like to build your Balsa kits on? I want something that is very flat and true, and will allow me to place the Pins in with ease and hold the balsa pieces down securely. Any pictures and/or places to buy them would be great.

thanks again,
Luis
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Penticton,BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2004
1,449 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWSLAWNDART
Hey guys,

What Kind of Building Boards do you like to build your Balsa kits on? I want something that is very flat and true, and will allow me to place the Pins in with ease and hold the balsa pieces down securely. Any pictures and/or places to buy them would be great.

thanks again,
Luis
A piece of scrap gyproc (plaster board) works very well.
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 03:38 PM
Suspended Account
Joined Jan 2005
1,752 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWSLAWNDART
Hey guys,

What Kind of Building Boards do you like to build your Balsa kits on? I want something that is very flat and true, and will allow me to place the Pins in with ease and hold the balsa pieces down securely. Any pictures and/or places to buy them would be great.

thanks again,
Luis
Ceiling tile in 2 x 4'. Of course, build on the back (smooth) side.
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Old Oct 17, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Jim Young's Avatar
Brighton, MI USA
Joined Jun 2000
1,892 Posts
I won one of the 16"x48" Balsa (Hobbico?) building boards several years ago, and it is holding up fine. I try to take care of it by not cutting on it, keeping the glue off, etc... It is ridgid enough that I can move a project out of the way if I need m workbench for something else.

-Jim
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 08:26 PM
Oxford Panic
AndyOne's Avatar
United Kingdom, Oxford
Joined Feb 2003
3,661 Posts
Glue is for holding things together not holding things apart except if you mix Kevlar microfibres with epoxy then you can hold things as far apart as you like.

Use a scalpel not an Exacto they don't roll

For making fuel proof cowl mountings drill the screw holes as usual and make sure it all comes out right then remove the cowl and redrill all the holes with a 3.5mm drill, roughen the surface of some golden rod inner and push into the hole. Secure with a few drops of thin CA and trim it off flush with a sharp blade. You have a fuel proof, vibration proof, resilient screw hole that will grip the screw even if you take the screw in and out several times.

Use old antenna tubes as balsa drills exactly as the description for brass tubes above.

Finally... Never make a mistake you can't put right.

Andy.
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 10:59 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,858 Posts
For metal to metal joints that you can't or don't want to solder,
BLACK CA is your salvation!

Target
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 11:00 PM
Detail Freak
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Harbor City, CA
Joined Oct 2003
21,858 Posts
Don't look for deals on kits on EBay when you are mad at your wife...

T
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 10:53 PM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2006
86 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliworm
A balsa stripper.
Well, maybe just a stripper ..
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Joined Sep 2006
22 Posts
Well

Not many people tell you how to take out your frustration when you do have to "walk away" Sometimes you lie up all night thinking "What could I have done, how could it have worked" etc...
The best way to deal with this is kerosene and a hobby rocket/ firecracker. Then you don't have to worry about it any more
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Old Nov 14, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Brisbane
Joined Aug 2006
860 Posts
Laser Printer to Balsa

I read through the whole building tips thread and didn't see one I felt helped me heaps in my first plane build.

Transfering plans from PDF files to balsa via acetone.

Print out the plan/PDF file you downloaded on a laser printer.

Cut out the part from the paper roughly.

Place it upside down on the paper.

Dab a bit of acetone on the paper and press down.

Peel back paper and there will be the shape you need to cut out.




Also did you know that brass rod can be used as a drill bit (chuckle)
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