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Feb 22, 2017, 08:32 PM
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Build Log

Balsa USA Stick 40 Plus


Hello, one and all. A little while back on this section of RCG I asked some questions regarding the construction of a Stick 40 Plus. I have finally gotten the opportunity to build one, and have done my best to document the experience with (a lot) of photos.
Please note, this is my first true kit build; as such I'm sure the quality of work will not be on the same level as the veteran builders out there. Regardless, I've always loved the look of this bird, and have wanted to try building a plane from a pile of wood for a long time.
Anyway, here's some pics of what I have done so far.
These pics are of the beginning of construction. Please don't hesitate to critique what I might be doing wrong, if something in the photos looks like it may result in a poor final result.
Last edited by edman85; Feb 22, 2017 at 09:57 PM. Reason: grammatical errors
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Feb 22, 2017, 09:11 PM
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next, the attaching of the tail sections, and some pieces added to the fuselage cabin, as well as wing section construction. I only took pictures of the right wing section construction; the left is the mirror image of it.

I decided to run dual aileron servos, (the extra cutting and fitting of servo mounts in the outer rib bays of the wing was preferable to the manual's method of cutting out the center ribs and fitting hardwood mounts. Plus, dual servos offer straighter control routes and more authority.
Feb 22, 2017, 09:16 PM
UAS Pilot - FAA# *******HRK
CryHavoc's Avatar
Your construction looks good Edman.

I'm building one myself...actually I'm finishing one. I bought it partially built and am changing a few things to suit myself. The previous builder was making the tricycle gear so I'm putting in a new cross piece to make it a tail dragger. I'm also going to add a tail wheel assembly. I left the rear tri-gear mount in place so there would be a rear mount to add floats later. Also, he had tried to put ailerons on the three channel wing and gave up. I put it back to three channel and finished building the wing. but I also bought a "Plus" aileron wing kit and am finishing that up now. I'd post pics but don't want to clutter your thread without permission.

Keep up the good work,
Mike
Feb 22, 2017, 09:29 PM
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Since I've wanted to build this plane for a long, long time, I decided to try and make it look as much as possible like "the one on the box". That involved a little extra woodworking, but I have enjoyed the experience so far, so it did't bother me.
These pictures are basically just more shots of the progress; the order of them might be a little random. I was trying to remember to take a lot of pictures along the way.
2 other departures from kit instructions: I added a carved piece of balsa to the top edge of the rear wall of the fuse cabin; i figured the extra support was worth the minimal extra weight.
Also, I fiberglassed the upper and lower center section of the wing. I've got a bit of time and effort into this build at this point; I'd hate to see the wings "touch their tips together" halfway through its first outing (keep in mind, this is my first kit build, so my skills are as green as they get)
Feb 22, 2017, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CryHavoc
Your construction looks good Edman.

I'm building one myself...actually I'm finishing one. I bought it partially built and am changing a few things to suit myself. The previous builder was making the tricycle gear so I'm putting in a new cross piece to make it a tail dragger. I'm also going to add a tail wheel assembly. I left the rear tri-gear mount in place so there would be a rear mount to add floats later. Also, he had tried to put ailerons on the three channel wing and gave up. I put it back to three channel and finished building the wing. but I also bought a "Plus" aileron wing kit and am finishing that up now. I'd post pics but don't want to clutter your thread without permission.

Keep up the good work,
Mike
Thanks for the kind words! Glad to hear of others building this model. Please feel free to post any and all pictures you want. I'm sure myself or others will see something useful to be gained in there!
Thanks,
Ed
Last edited by edman85; Feb 22, 2017 at 10:39 PM. Reason: grammatical errors
Feb 24, 2017, 03:27 AM
UAS Pilot - FAA# *******HRK
CryHavoc's Avatar
Edman, Wow, your Stick came out really nice.

Here's some pics of my build/rebuild. Sorry for the cruddy pics. I've been meaning to get more light in here but I'm not really sure how long I'll be in this location. In fact, I never really intended to do any kit building at all here so have scrambled to set-up at least a minimum work area, tools and materials.

I went a little more complicated on the aileron install than you did and in hind sight I should have kept it simple as I wanted to just throw this together for training duty. The 3channel wing will be used to train my niece, the 4channel wing for myself to play around with. Besides I was ordering some other stuff and the 4 channel wing kit was only $25 so why not. I finished building it a few nights ago and have been adding the aileron servos. Will add and shape the tips once I get the leading edge shaped. For whatever reason, the original builder added a tail skid even though he was building the tricycle gear setup and he really buried it in there well. Digging it out to add a tail wheel is becoming more involved than I wanted but that's what happens when you rebuild someone else's work I guess.

In anycase, I hope my painting comes out as nice as yours. I'm still deciding on colors and am dreading my niece is going to want shades of pink or something.

Mike
Last edited by CryHavoc; Feb 24, 2017 at 03:41 AM.
Feb 24, 2017, 05:57 PM
Registered User
It is fun to see folks still getting excited about building and flying the Balsa USA Stick 40. That plane packs a lot of good flying time into a compact package. I built mine back in the late '70's when the 3 channel model was offered. How many of you recall that the two fuselage longerons were made of Redwood? My kit had them! I put my own ailerons on the wing and had a K&B .40 on the nose. A Kraft 5 Channel Single Stick provided the guidance. The plane was finished in the classic red, white and black cross German livery that was on the popular STIK models of the era complete with scalloped trailing edges. The model was really fun to fly and as a result many, many, flights were put on that airframe. I sold it to a fellow RC'er and he flew it for quite awhile. A heck of a lot of bang for the buck!

Soft landings,

Joe
Feb 24, 2017, 08:10 PM
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Thanks to everyone who posted pictures and offered their knowledgeable insight.
I've loved the look of this plane since I was 12 (approximately 20 years ago), and decided to try a kit, instead of another truggy. I'm glad I did; kit building is a very rewarding experience.

Last night had me cussing in 2 languages, though. I was running my servo extensions through the covered wing, an event I've completed many times before, and one of the extensions detached from the other, shorter lead. After several attempts at fishing it back through a rib hole (that my idiot self didn't cut big enough to begin with; should've gone 1/2" instead of 3/8") I ended up cutting a small section of covering next to the aileron servo mount area. The patch is almost invisible, i was just furious at myself for not going bigger on the rib holes...lesson learned there.
Feb 24, 2017, 08:20 PM
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CryHavoc, awesome job on the aileron servos. That'll look super clean. Mine are definitely gonna be "in airstream". I also wish I'd ran servo wire tubes through the ribs. That whole episode in itself was a "never again" scenario.
Regardless, looking forward to seeing your progress as well!
Feb 25, 2017, 10:22 PM
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CryHavoc's Avatar
PiperJoe,
Nice memories. My first "Large" airplane was a Swizzle Stick 40 back in 1980ish. I also had a K&B .40 in it and used one of those old Beige Futabas with the silver dial sticks. I flew it three channel until a friend talked me out of the plane. I then built a kit that BUSA doesn't have anymore, called a Tempo II. It was a parasol style plane with a full fuselage touted as a step-up from the Swizzle Stick. It also used a three channel Swizzle Stick wing but I added ailerons to it. Since then I've always a soft spot for BUSA planes.

Edman,
Thanks for the compliments. I had to laugh about your servo lead tribulations.... Been there done that. I was going to suggest it but I saw that you had already covered the wings. Next time try tying a large washer or fishing weight to a string. It helps it to drop straight through the holes. Once the string is through you can tie or tape the other end off to the servo lead then pull it through.

I see your using a Thunder Tiger 42. That's the same engine I'm going to use first. I'm also modifying the front with a motor plate instead of fixed engine mounting holes so I can mount different engines when needed by just making a different motor plate. That will allow me to use the plane as a test bed when needed.

Mike
Feb 26, 2017, 07:04 PM
Registered User
burlesontom's Avatar
If you don't mind me adding I will suggest that if you need to feed wires or an antenna lead through a tight area use the metal beaded pull chain like used on ceiling fans. You can buy a package of it about 36" long at the Home improvement stores. That stuff will find its way through anywhere. Just fish it through and tape the servo lead or string to the end and pull it back through.

I can't take credit for the idea. I read it years ago in MAN magazine in the Hints & Tips section.
Feb 26, 2017, 10:00 PM
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That's a great tip, and it's exactly what I used to feed the extensions through the rib holes. The bead chain almost "finds" the hole on its own, its great!

My issue is that I didn't make the rib holes big enough. They're just barely bigger in diameter than the width of a servo connector, so when the connection encounters a hole, it had to be dead on; what a PITA.

Next time, I'm boring larger diameter holes in the ribs. But I'll continue to use the bead chain, it's a very handy tool for this.

Thanks again for all the feedback, one and all.
Ed
Mar 14, 2017, 03:56 PM
AMA Dist. IV RC Events Coord.
J Bergsmith's Avatar
Excellent build on this thread. I flew one of these back in the late 70's and very early 80's. We always called them Swizzle Stiks, they are a ton of fun. I don't remember if mine had ailerons, I want to say no. This has got me motivated to build another one and have some fun with it. I was thinking the OS 35 AX might be a perfect fit for it.

My first airplane was a Balsa USA Tempo II, use the same wing as the Stick. I'm surprised they don't still make it, it flew and looked great.


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