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Old Jan 08, 2007, 04:32 PM
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Question
Density of "Aircraft" ply vs Balsa?

As an alternative to sheeting surfaces in 1/16 balsa, something a little less fragile?

Was thinking ditching 1/16 bals in favor of 1/16 or even 1/32 ply.

Anyone got any figures on relative densities?

Thanks
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Old Jan 08, 2007, 04:39 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Costa Mesa, California
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Seen great results with 1/64" vernier. Keep thinking it was NOT poplar. Might have been birch. Also depends on what you are sheeting -- foam, structure?
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Old Jan 08, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Sheeting wings over rib substructure, no foam involved. Maybe also use on a fuse, but soaking ply in boiling urea per someone's advice doesn't sound too good.
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Old Jan 08, 2007, 05:26 PM
Think Thermals!!!!
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Don't think you will have to soak 1/64" vernier in boiling water. Depends on the radius of the curves. If you want to wrap it around a very small leading edge then you might have to steam it or soak it then let it dry wrapped around a mandrel such as a length of 1/8" diameter music wire. Vernier is not plywood as it is a single layer.
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Old Jan 08, 2007, 05:26 PM
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You can get 1/32" basswood sheets 3" wide and length of 24", 36" and 48". The basswood (21.8# per cubic foot) is about 2.18 times of balsa (10# per cubic foot) medium density.
See:
http://www.lonestar-models.com/cgi-local/Order.pl.cgi

Balsa density comes 4# to more than 24# per cubic foot! Basswood has more uniform density numbers.
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Old Jan 09, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Plan is to sheet the upper and lower surfaces of the wings, not round LEs, which are pre-formed.

Ultimately I'm gonna glass the thing so I may just stick with balsa, rather than have the double whammy of heavier wood plus more weight from the glass.
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Old Jan 09, 2007, 08:47 AM
Think Thermals!!!!
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When balsa gets saturated it will droop between the ribs. Best to use something that is the same weight per square inch but has more support for a glassed surface.
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Old Jan 09, 2007, 09:19 AM
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The balsa will have to be soaked in alcohol to get it to bend in 3D so it'll be saturated when applied. It should then dry out and come "drum tight" as a result?
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Old Jan 09, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Quick sums say 1'll be adding about 1 3/4 to 2 lb to the weight of the model if I use ply. Forget I ever asked !
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