First time builder's supply guide for Scratch-Building: The Bare Necessities - RC Groups
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Oct 13, 2012, 04:04 PM
I ask a lot of questions.

First time builder's supply guide for Scratch-Building: The Bare Necessities

Think of this as a "First time builder's supply guide for Scratch-Building: The Bare Necessities Edition." The shopping list of supplies for the first-time foam board builder.

I'm opening a discussion about the basic necessities for beginners who are buying supplies for their first foam board scratch build.

- Materials that are readily available (at local hardware/Wallyworld/Dollar stores) and why they will be needed.

- What are the start-up expenses.

- Brand name comparison (which brands to avoid).

I would like to avoid getting into discussions about materials that would be needed when the beginner gets more experience (i.e. Fiber glass)

So to get things started, here is the list of materials that I know will be needed for my first shopping list:

1) Foam board from $Store

2) Razor blades. The extendable type with snap-off blades. Be sure to buy a package or two (or 20) of replacement blades.

3) Packing tape. Many people seem to like the $Store tape for this. A lot of people report that it sticks to the foam board very well.

4) Glues/Adhesives. This is where a beginner will start to have a lot of choices. EDIT: Hot glue is a must Gorilla glue ("GG") and UHU por both seem to be mentioned often in build-logs. I have not priced these out yet, but I believe these will probably be the most expensive materials needed. Cyanoacrylate ("CA")...the foam safe version and possibly the accelerator ("Kicker"). Again, I have not priced these out, and don't know if they are available at a box-store like Lowes or Wallyworld.

5) - Straight edged rulers of different lengths. The aluminum rulers seem to be a popular choice. Not priced-out yet.

6) Popsicle sticks from the $Store.

7) Bamboo skewers from the $Store.

8) Toothpics/stick pins. Used to pin pieces of foam together while the glue sets.

If you have any more suggestions, please add to the conversation. And remember...this conversation is for helping a first time builder buying their first kit of supplies.

Cheers, Stew
Last edited by Disco Stew; Oct 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM. Reason: had to add Hot Glue to list
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Oct 13, 2012, 06:13 PM
Damn this gets addictive.
Thechittyfather's Avatar
A sheet of 1/16 ply. Available at most rc type suppliers. Not cheap but goes a very long way and useful for any time you need a little strength or load spreading. motor mounts, horn load spreaders, thin foam components that came out a bit weaker than intended etc.

Hot glue or two pack epoxy for the time GG or Uhu won't cut it. Motor mounts, LG, servo fixing, horn mounts.

Old store cards, credit cards. Good source of thin plastic for all kinds of jobs.

Engineers square. A good quality metal one will pay for itself when building things nice and true. You can use clothes pegs to fix components to it while glue sets.

Clothes pegs.

Some triangular bits of your chosen foam with a right angle on one corner. Assorted sizes. Good for pinning foam components perpendicular to each other.

Masking tape if you are planing to use GG. Plus lots of books for weight

Old VHS video boxes for a variable height plane building stand that's pretty damn usefull.
Oct 14, 2012, 05:22 PM
I ask a lot of questions.
Thanks for the suggestions Chitty I can't believe I forgot about the plastic gift cards I see at some places like Tim Hortons (EH!) have gift cards sitting at the counter. They are free and take as many as you think is "reasonable" at a time (maybe 4 at a time). And if your like me, I'm at a Timmy's every other day

I'm glad you mentioned the clothes pins, I think the black binder clips would be good too. They can have a lot of closing strength. That was why I had the popsicle sticks on my list, but didn't end up mentioning the clips. I saw today at Wallyworld, they had these sticks in 3 lengths. I figure those would come in handy. Could these sticks be epoxied together to make a motor mount? To me it seems like a simple solution to use for making a mount that is easy to match the design of the plane.

And hot glue...How in the heck did I miss that I will have to edit my first post in shame

I did get some GG today. I bought the brown colored stuff, didn't know if the clear stuff is safe/better than the darker stuff I bought.

Also, I can't seem to find the UHU glue at a box store here in my area. I checked Walmart, Home Depot, Totem Home Supplies, and the $Store...none of them had UHU por. So i'm a bit stumped as to where i can get it

Oct 14, 2012, 05:48 PM
springer's Avatar
Take the brown stuff back and get the white quick cure stuff! Brown is 4hr minimum cure and full strength overnite, plus it yellows badly over small time. White is 8min minimum cure with moistened joint and decent flying cure in 10-15 minutes. Stays white much longer. Brown is for woodworkers, white is for foamie builders.

You won't find UHU at any "local" store that I'm aware of rather than a hobby shop. If you have GG and hot glue not much need for UHU. You may have more luck with Beacon's foamtac, although it's not readily available all over yet.
Oct 14, 2012, 05:51 PM
Damn this gets addictive.
Thechittyfather's Avatar
The only place I can get UHU Por over here (uk) is an RC shop or on line.

The main reason I like ply over the sticks you use is that its easier to drill and screw without splitting. Like I say, it goes a long way. I bought a small sheet (smaller that A4) 18 months ago and probably haven't used half of it yet.

Good call on the binder clips. Think they're call bulldog clips over here.

Other tips. I picked up a cheep fishing tackle box for all the little bits and pieces. Lots of small compartment. I also save the little plastic pots that the knife blades come in. Handy for storing little horns, easy links and spare screws/ horn arms.

It's the brown GG I've used to great success. I've heard people mention white GG but not seen it for sale here. Just wet one edge/side with a wet cloth and be ready with masking tape and weights. On edges I'd leave them open and wipe away the squeeze out two or three times before taping up.
Oct 14, 2012, 08:08 PM
I ask a lot of questions.
So the brown Gorilla Glue is going to go back to the store....the white Gorilla Glue it is! The small bottle that I got was over $11CAD.

Off to the LHS tomorrow to get the some foam-safe CA and white GG
Oct 15, 2012, 09:13 AM
Transplanted redneck canuck
zarathos's Avatar
I'd keep the brown GG. The white may set quicker, but it's also more expensive for less glue. Not sure where you got your GG, but the last time I bought a bottle, it was only about $7 or $8 at Walmart. The brown glue may yellow quickly, but as long as you don't use a lot of it and clean up after it starts foaming out, it's hardly noticeable. And if you're going to paint or cover your foamie, you're not going to see the glue anyway.
Oct 15, 2012, 09:26 AM
springer's Avatar
Either way, gg is the best. The quick cure for essentially continuous build is why I go with the white.
Oct 15, 2012, 10:07 AM
Registered User
I like gg BUT it is hard to sand. Hot glue also is hard to sand. I like foam safe ca but its expensive here at least. And hands down the strapping tape made by duck that has fiberglass in it. Sticks to anything and very strong
Oct 15, 2012, 10:56 AM
Redacted per NSA "suggestion"
dedStik's Avatar
I've also found the white gg, sands and shapes easier than the brown.
Oct 15, 2012, 10:57 AM
RC Adddict
Wilfor's Avatar
He's another thought on glue . I like using white GG but its hard to get here so i only use it for visable joints . I dont build fast enough to worry about clamp times so in any situations where im laminating or doing a joint i dont see ive been using Elmers Ultimate . Its cheap and seems to work well . Doesnt expand as much as GG when water is added but seems to hold well

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