Beginners Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings DVD Review - RC Groups

Beginners Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings DVD Review

The name Curtis Suter may not be familiar to many in the soaring world, but heís been around RC soaring for many years. This is Curtisís first foray into the instructional DVD market.

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Introduction

The name Curtis Suter may not be familiar to many in the soaring world, but heís been around RC soaring for many years. This is Curtisís first foray into the instructional DVD market. His first 2 productions, Beginners Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings and Beginners Guide to Composite Pod and Boom Fuselages are currently available. This first review covers the Beginners Guide to Cutting and Bagging Foam Wings DVD.

Media:High Quality DVR
Format:DVD from Digital Master
Packaging:Standard DVD Case w/Color Artwork
Run Time:~ 2 Hour 34 minutes
Price:$29.95
Manufacturer:Tailwindgliders
Available From:Tailwindgliders

A Thin Hot Wire

The first disk, entitled A Thin Hot Wire covers how to cut foam cores using a hands-free foam cutter. The cutter plans are available on line from the November 2008 issue of RC Soaring Digest. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/35211276/2008-R-C-Soaring-Digest-Nov). All parts for the cutter are available in your local hardware store.

The chapters are as follows: (Note: the chapters are only available from the main menu. This means once you are in a chapter you have to go back to the main menu to change chapters on the disk. This is about the only negative I have about these informative DVDís.)

  • Supplies and equipment
  • Making templates
  • Blocking out foam
  • Setting up the automated foam cutter
  • Cutting cores

Supplies and equipment is the first section of the DVD, and Curtis explains what is needed to duplicate the foam cutter and templates. The cutter uses the same principles the FeatherCut hands free foam cutter uses. This is pretty simple stuff so a beginner wonít be put off by the information.

Making templates is next. Here Curtis shows how to make Formica rib templates. This is a standard way of making templates and they work very well. He uses paper templates printed from Profili, a free airfoil program available here: http://www.profili2.com/. Blocking foam is next. This is an easy step when using simple blocking tools. One thing not mentioned is the need to wipe wire between cuts. This is important because foam accumulates on the wire and can affect the cut.

Cutting cores is where the majority of the instruction time is spent. We are shown how to use the cutter, work with the free calculation spreadsheet, how to get accurate LE cuts and much more. There is a lot of good information in this section. With a pair of accurate wing cores, itís time to go to disk 2 of the set and see how we vacuum bag balsa and fiberglass onto the core.

DVD 2

Disk 2, entitled Working in a Vacuum, shows how to make composite foam wings using both wood and fabric skins. The chapters are as follows:

  • Supplies and equipment
  • Balsa bagged wing
  • Fiberglass bagged wing
  • Polycrylic wing
  • Comparisons and final comments
  • Sources
  • Credits

Like disk one, the DVD starts with supplies and equipment needed and again most of the equipment is available at the local hardware store. Those not at the hardware store can be picked up at one of the businesses in the source section.

The first wing is bagged with 1/32Ē balsa and Gorilla Glue. This method works much faster than epoxy as Gorilla Glue cures in about 3-4 hours depending on temperature and humidity. I like the fact that he provides pre and post weights so you can tell how much the glue added to the structure. He does apply glue to both the wood and core. Iím sure by just putting glue on the wood that the wing would be just as strong but a bit lighter. From here he shows how to get the vacuum bag ready to accept the wing. He uses a ShopVac to pull most of the vacuum and then a hand pump is used to apply the vacuum. He checks the time needed to refill the bag and walks away. A 120V vacuum pump is much easier than hand pumping especially if you have a small vacuum leak that would make constant hand pumping required. Next we see the wing after itís removed from the bag. The glue weight is taken and shows a very small weight increase. Throughout the entire series Curtis uses numerous graphs and slides to transfer information to the viewer in clear, concise terms.

Next comes vacuum bagging fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber attached to the foam for a competition DLG. He shows how to install a carbon spar, make a special tool to insure the proper depth is achieved over the entire length of the wing core. He shows an easy way to put Kevlar on the LE using transfer tape too. Mylar is used to provide a smooth finish on the core. Dealing with the Mylar, trimming, thinning and waxing is covered before cutting the fiberglass. Curtis uses a relatively new method to adhere the fiberglass to the core and Iím not going to spoil the surprise here. Iíd never heard of this method and itís one Iíll have to try. At this point itís all the same steps used to install the balsa covered wing into and out of the vacuum bag. He shows how to finish up the wing, trimming the edges, sanding the LE as required etc. Servo pockets, servo installation, dent removal, and aileron trimming are next. Curtis gives many good suggestions in this portion of the DVD including delamination repair.

The following chapter shows how to make a fiberglassed wing using Minwax Polycrylic as the binder. Polycrylic is water based polyurethane so brands other than Minwax will work. This is something Iíd never heard of. The wing isnít put in a vacuum bag this time as the Polycrylic wonít dry in a vacuum since itís water based. This should give a nice, light wing as the polyurethane should be lighter than epoxy. However, youíll have to do more hand work since Mylar isnít used to give the wing a smooth finish. Iíd have to make one of these myself to see if itís as strong as an epoxy/fiberglass wing, but Curtis sayís itíll take a hard discus launch. Final weight of each panel is given and surprisingly the ďsecretĒ wing came out the lightest by a fraction of an ounce. Sources and credit finish out the second disk.

Is this information good for beginners?

You bet it is! Curtis takes the mystery and complexity out of cutting foam core wings and tails in this DVD set T viewer will be able to cut his own wings and tails after watching this DVD and can get started making his own composite wings.

Conclusion:

I think Curtis hit the mark with this DVD. Itís geared toward beginners, and he takes the mystery out of making composite wings. While the information is geared toward DLG type wings, with some minor modification the information holds true for making larger parts too. Curtis is more than happy to help with any layup question and he has lots of good information on his web site: Tailwindgliders.com. Feel free to give him an email.

Last edited by Angela H; Jan 13, 2011 at 03:05 PM..
Thread Tools
Jan 15, 2011, 04:32 PM
Love anything RC
merlin703's Avatar
You can most likely get most of this information online for free on places like Youtube but with lots of search and often finding repetitive topics. It's nice to have all in one. I hope the video is worth it since I just placed my order.
Jan 15, 2011, 05:08 PM
Nothing Special
grouch's Avatar
I bought Chris' videos a while back and have had excellent results with the methods taught. I haven't had a chance to watch the pod and boom video but the bagging video sure took the mystery out of the whole process. This was the very first piece I made right after watching his videos using a hand pump and Gorilla glue.



This one was the second, the only deviation was painting the mylars prior to putting the layup in the bag.

Jan 15, 2011, 06:25 PM
Registered User
gavoss's Avatar
As the saying goes, "there is nothing new under the sun." I think Curtis's DVD's are great for the beginner. An experienced composite person might pick up a few new tricks too. You'll enjoy the DVD's. George
Jan 16, 2011, 09:17 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Thanks for the kind words folks.

The idea behind the video is to take all the countless hours of research and put it all in one place for the Beginner. Still photos have their place but the video really can show things in more detail along with explanations. It's like your own personal Building Clinic in your living room that you can repeat over and over. Heck, I still refer back to the videos periodically to review a procedure.

Curtis
Montana
www.TailwindGliders.com
Jan 16, 2011, 12:54 PM
Love anything RC
merlin703's Avatar
Nice, hope more topics are released. I'm jealous of those scratch builders that clearly know what they are doing... maybe someday I have the "tools" to become one myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudyIFR
Thanks for the kind words folks.

The idea behind the video is to take all the countless hours of research and put it all in one place for the Beginner. Still photos have their place but the video really can show things in more detail along with explanations. It's like your own personal Building Clinic in your living room that you can repeat over and over. Heck, I still refer back to the videos periodically to review a procedure.

Curtis
Montana
www.TailwindGliders.com
Jan 17, 2011, 08:20 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
I have some foam cores for a larger twin engine sport plane. Not giant. It has about a 50" WS. Do you think I could use the methods outlined in this video to skin them with 1/16" balsa?
Jan 17, 2011, 09:15 PM
Registered User
gavoss's Avatar
Mr. Wiz, the single word answer is "absolutely!" Follow the instructions on how he did the 1/32" balsa wing and you'll have a nice finished wing. I've been using his method for a few years now and it works perfectly. George
Jan 18, 2011, 03:16 AM
Registered User
RWCLOUD's Avatar
I have both of the videos. I bought the one on Bagging wings just to see how to use PU glue on the wings. While I've been cutting wings for a long time,I'm still open to seeing how other people do things. Lets just say this, I did not waste any money on this video!I got more that I payed for!

His other video on making Pods and Booms more than payed for itself! Now I have a bunch of Booms laying around! Love making these things!

It's an incredible feeling the first time that you launch a DLG that you built in its entirety! But you know whats better? Watching other people look at your glider and wishing that they could do the same!

Do you know what separates you from them? You jumped in with both feet and got your gloves dirty!

Buy the Videos, get your gloves dirty! You won't be sorry and it will save you a bunch of money!

Blue Skies..............Tim
Apr 04, 2011, 09:17 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Tailwind Gliders is celebrating Two Years in Business

So we're having a Sale through April 9th.

All the best from Montana.
Curtis
Apr 04, 2011, 11:53 AM
Transplant Chey WY from Reno
Thermaln2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch
I bought Chris' videos a while back and have had excellent results with the methods taught. I haven't had a chance to watch the pod and boom video but the bagging video sure took the mystery out of the whole process. This was the very first piece I made right after watching his videos using a hand pump and Gorilla glue.



This one was the second, the only deviation was painting the mylars prior to putting the layup in the bag.

Grouch:

I would very much like to see how you do nice painting like that. Any tips on the paint and do you follow normal airbrushing techniques?

Nice job.

chris
Apr 10, 2011, 11:05 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudyIFR
Tailwind Gliders is celebrating Two Years in Business

So we're having a Sale through April 9th.

All the best from Montana.
Curtis
I'm extending the sale through the end of the month!

Curtis
www.TailwindGliders.com
Montana
Apr 27, 2011, 02:09 AM
DangerBoy
About time someone put it all together onto a DVD I get sick and tired of searching the net for blogs and info on how to do pacific things when Im trying to do somthing new while making a new plane or wing.

Cheers to you
Curtic Suter
A big THANKYOU.
Apr 27, 2011, 10:06 AM
Red Merle ALES VI
Curtis Suter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason riddell
About time someone put it all together onto a DVD I get sick and tired of searching the net for blogs and info on how to do pacific things when Im trying to do something new while making a new plane or wing.

Cheers to you
Curtic Suter
A big THANKYOU.
Thanks for the kind comments Jason.

Curtis
www.TailwindGliders.com


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