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Mar 25, 2020, 07:26 PM
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Build Log

Quik-V7 laser kit build thread


This post is the beginning of a build thread for the newly available laser cut short kit of the Quik-V7 Quickie 500 racer announced in the previous thread. I wanted to keep this separate to focus on the build.

For convenience, here's the link to the Manzano page for the short kit:

This will be the first time Iíve done this so please bear with me if I put too much or too little detail up on things. If you have questions along the way, please ask but on this thread, letís keep it to questions about the built itself. Questions or comments about the plane in general, letís post those on the announcement thread. There are a lot of ways to do different tasks building a plane like this. I'll share how I've been doing it and clarify how the kit fits together. Lots of pieces but once you see it go together, it'll make sense.

There are some pieces to make some tools and a fixture for the construction of the V-tail that are included in the kit. We'll go over those along the way.

The short kits come with the wood parts for the fuselage and tail. Iíll try to give sources for hardware, etc along the way. Hope you enjoy and can learn a bit. My hope is to help some folks who are hesitant to take on a project like this to understand that it's not that hard. If some thing isn't clear, speak up and I'll try to clarify.

Foam wing cores are available from Matney Models directly at:

Letís get startedÖ

Take care,

Jim Allen
Last edited by PylonJim; May 18, 2020 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Adding foam core source Matney Models
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Mar 25, 2020, 07:37 PM
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The kits come nicely packaged in plastic. Tom Jacoby at Manzano Laser has been great to work with getting these available. He cuts to order but has been very good about getting them done and shipped quickly.

The parts come out pretty clean. There are little ties to the sheets that you can cut easy with a hobby knife. I tend to put a #11 blade next to the tie and rotate the blade into it to cut.

There are sometimes a bit of variability in thickness that will require a bit of sanding to get a perfect fit but overall the fit is coming out nice.

You can see in the pics the sheets that come in the short kit.
Last edited by PylonJim; Mar 26, 2020 at 12:36 AM.
Mar 25, 2020, 07:48 PM
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It's a good idea to cut the parts out and do some test fitting with no glue to get a feel how things go together. Treat it like a puzzle.

The first step is to glue the front and rear fuselage doublers to the 1/8 balsa sides. The front doublers are 1/8" lite ply and the aft doublers are 1/64" ply. You'll need to be careful to make a right and left side with the right side having the fuel line holes for supply and pressure lines.

You'll want to use the aft firewall piece and the formers like keys to align the doublers to the sides. For the rear doublers, use the tail platform to key those into place.

This is done on a flat surface and you'll want to use a relatively thin epoxy like laminating resin or finishing resin. You want fairly slow cure. Don't recommend even 15 minute. Take your time here. I use MGS laminating resin applied to the doubler with a brush. Don't put too much on causing too much to squeeze out.
Last edited by PylonJim; Mar 26, 2020 at 12:31 AM. Reason: clarify
Mar 25, 2020, 08:05 PM
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I recommend gluing the doublers to the sides on wax paper to make sure they don't get stuck to your table.

Once you have the parts ready, apply the epoxy to the doubler and set it on the side, then use the leading edge and trailing edge formers to key the doubler into alignment on the side. Do the same with the tail doublers and the tail platform for alignment. Add weights to evenly hold them together and then pull the formers and the tail platform out. You can even use those to make sure you don' t get too much glue in the slots. Wipe any epoxy from the formers after you pull them out.

Let this cure thoroughly. You can play with some of the other parts of your puzzle to get a feel how they go together.
Mar 25, 2020, 08:29 PM
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While the side assemblies are curing, lets put the firewall assembly together.

There are 6 pieces to the firewall. Four plates and two keys to align those plates while you're gluing them together. The front most piece of the firewall will be glued on the front later after much of the fuse is assembled. The back three get glued together and are aligned with the keys. The top key is stepped to make sure you get the three plates in the right order as the grain of the wood alternates. See the pics and it'll make sense.

You'll see that the bolt holes are already cut for the typical backplate mount spacing like the Jett backplate mounts. The cavity for the throttle/fuel shutoff is also already cut with the forward three pieces cut large enough for the wire loop of a pinch shutoff to be pulled into. The back piece has an 1/8" hole for guide tubing to glue into. This throttle/shutoff hole is in the right position for the Jett backplate mount that has the hole already drilled.

The center of the forward most piece that will be glued on the front later, is larger in diameter than the other three pieces of the firewall. This is done because some folks like to plug the firewall hole after building an this larger diameter lets you have a ledge to glue that piece against. I personally like that to be open for inspection of the fuel lines, etc. The folks that like to plug that hole typically do that so they can put weight in the cavity of the backplate of the engine to fix a tail heavy condition. We're going to try to help you build this one so you don't need to do that. We'll see.

Again, use epoxy to glue the aft three pieces of the firewall together with the keys and use clamps till cured.

While you have the epoxy mixed, you can laminate the two pieces of each of the 1/8" ply wing mount plates together. Take special care to get them aligned. Set them aside to cure.

Update 3/26/20:

I forgot to mention the step of adding the blind nuts to the back side of the firewall so, adding that and another pic.

Now is a good time to add blind nuts to the four holes for the engine mount. I prefer Dubro 6-32 blind nuts. They have a smaller diameter and don't have a weak spot like some of the stamped versions. You still need to trim a bit on one side to clear the fuselage doubler. Whatever blind nuts you use, it's a good idea to counterbore the holes to fit snug but not distort the wood too much.
Last edited by PylonJim; Mar 26, 2020 at 09:29 PM. Reason: add step
Mar 25, 2020, 08:57 PM
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While the sides, firewall and wing mounts are curing, set the epoxy aside and lets test fit and then assemble the tail support structure. Folks who built one of the Great Planes QV6 ARF's will recognize the way the V-tail keys into the fuselage.

The support structure has several pieces. Most is from the 3/32 ply sheet, a couple pieces of balsa and the bottom is lite ply. You may need to do a bit of sanding on the tabs and slots to finalize the fit and get it just right. See the pics. You'll see one with the pieces all laid out.

The little former at the LE of the tail, has an optional feature. If you will be using solid wire pushrods running through a tube, that little former has two holes to support the tubes. If you're going to use carbon tube pushrods, there is a short laser cut above the holes where you will cut off the lower portion of the former on each side. This will give clearance for the carbon pushrods. You'll see in the pics where I removed the pieces for this build as I'll be using carbon pushrods.

The two balsa pieces go on the aft portion of the ply center spine first. They will support the 1/64" ply tail cone sides when those are added much later. The spine then glues onto the lite ply bottom. Make sure it's square to the spine.

Be sure to test fit all the pieces together and make sure it all fits nice. Be sure that the pieces are nice and square to each other before you glue anything.

When everything fits nice and you understand the assembly, I use thin CA on all the joints.
Last edited by PylonJim; Jun 11, 2020 at 02:20 AM.
Mar 26, 2020, 01:17 AM
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Once cured, pull the weights from the side assemblies and take the firewall and wing mounts out of the clamps.

One thing to do to the sides before starting the assembly is to sand the tail end of the sides down with a sanding block to add space for the 1/64" ply so the tail cone covers will fit flush when they're installed near the end of the build.

Now, test fit the formers in their locations to make sure they go in easy, seat properly and don't have epoxy getting in the way. Sand a bit as needed.

Once happy with the fit you're ready to glue the firewall, LE former, front wing mount and upper gear plate between the sides with epoxy. I like to mix a bit of ground glass in the epoxy for this but it's probably not needed. Notice the front wing mount keys into the LE former so they need to be installed together. NOTE: The upper landing gear plate is narrower at the front than the back.

Use clamps to hold the firewall and sides together. Use some pieces of ply to spread the clamp load out but be sure to put wax paper between the sides and the ply clamping pieces.

After the firewall is clamped together, loosely install the TE former in between the sides and use a rubber band to hold the sides on that former to pull the sides together. This will pull the sides into position around the LE former, upper gear plate and front wing mount. Let this cure.
Last edited by PylonJim; Apr 07, 2020 at 09:46 PM.
Mar 26, 2020, 01:30 AM
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Once the nose epoxy has cured, install the TE former and the servo tray aft support in between the sides, pulling it together using CA. I prefer thin CA at this point.

Next, install the aft wing mount plate, with epoxy.

Turn the fuselage over and install the lower gear plate with epoxy as well as the three ply nose bottom pieces. Tape the back two in place.

While that is curing, you can install the 1/8" balsa bottom sheet. It should be a snug but good fit. You might need to pull the sides a bit apart to work it in. You can glue the front to the ply in front of it but DO NOT glue the rest yet.

Let the nose bottom and aft wing mount plate cure.
Last edited by PylonJim; Apr 09, 2020 at 04:38 PM.
Mar 26, 2020, 01:41 AM
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Next, you're going to install the tail support structure and pull the sides together. Start by carefully test fitting it and pulling the sides together around it. Make sure the sides are flush with the edges of the bottom ply on the tail support structure.

Once you're satisfied with the fit and that it's straight, hold it together and start gluing with thin CA.

Pull the sides together against the bottom sheet in the middle and spot glue. Now pull it together all long it's length and glue all the joints with thin CA. This is best done flat on the bench on a sheet of wax paper. Press down against the flat table while you pull together and glue.

Find the small 1/8 balsa piece to give cross grain support of the fuse bottom. Set it in and slide it back to get a nice fit then glue with thin CA.
Mar 26, 2020, 07:34 AM
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This is brilliant Jim!

May I add a comment that may or may not be necessary? I would emphasize the fact that epoxy, and only epoxy should be used when gluing the ply doublers to the inside of the balsa fuse sides up in post #4. Once, I used aliphatic resin (Titebond) and after drying, the fuse sides were cupped to all hell - ruined. Because it's water-base I suppose. On another build somewhere back I went with thick CA. The glue is fine, but of course, once you "think" you have the parts aligned and mated, there's no going back. 30-minute epoxy should provide plenty of working time and won't cause warps.

Tim Lampe
Last edited by KRProton; Mar 26, 2020 at 08:10 AM.
Mar 26, 2020, 11:25 AM
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This is truly awesome! Dare we hope for a renaissance in kit building? The laser-cut parts make it hard to mess up (I'm sure I could find a way, but I'm special) and with CA for most of the joints, assembly time can be measured in hours not days.


That's good advice. I'm still a Titebond fan but for laminating, epoxy is a safer bet.

Mar 26, 2020, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KRProton
This is brilliant Jim!

May I add a comment that may or may not be necessary? I would emphasize the fact that epoxy, and only epoxy should be used when gluing the ply doublers to the inside of the balsa fuse sides up in post #4. Once, I used aliphatic resin (Titebond) and after drying, the fuse sides were cupped to all hell - ruined. Because it's water-base I suppose. On another build somewhere back I went with thick CA. The glue is fine, but of course, once you "think" you have the parts aligned and mated, there's no going back. 30-minute epoxy should provide plenty of working time and won't cause warps.

Tim Lampe

I have had very good success with Titebond, in-fact that's all I use. Having said that...IF you have one bad experience with something that is a good enough reason to stop trying it. Especially if you ruin a kit. I have built a couple (OK, way more than a couple) Q-500 models this way and have not had the same result as you. If they did cup it was with the curvature of the fuselage and didn't result in any bad affects.

So many different ways to skin a cat. It is always best to do what works for you!

Mar 26, 2020, 12:10 PM
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Keep the pictures coming, Jim!

Mar 26, 2020, 10:17 PM
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Thanks guys for the input. I realized I forgot a couple things so updating a bit.

Post #1: Added link to the kit page on the Manzano Laser Work website.

Post #5: Added installation of blind nuts in the firewall.

The next steps we'll do is fuel proofing the nose section and adding chopped carbon and resin in the corners of the nose area and firewall.

First, grab four 6-32 bolts and petroleum jelly or paste wax. Put a bit of wax in the mount holes of the firewall and blind nuts and some on the bolts. Install them in the firewall and a bit through the blind nuts. During the next steps, this will keep epoxy out of the threads of the blind nuts.

Now I mix some MGS resin (or thinned epoxy or finishing resin) and brush a coat on the inside of the nose and back to about mid chord of the wing to seal it up and fuel proof it.

Now the fun part. Mixing up some more epoxy and adding chopped carbon fiber to it. You can buy the chopped carbon but, I have a lot of scraps and carbon tow around the shop. I take some of the scraps and use a rotary cutter to run back and forth through it to chop the carbon into small fibers about 1/4" or less. Mix it so it's not so wet that epoxy runs from it and not so dry that it doesn't smooth out. Practice makes perfect here. After mixing it up, put a bit at a time in the corners of the nose and gear areas and work it in. Use a latex glove to form it into filets in the corners. See the pic below. Dipping your finger in a bit of isopropyl alcohol now and then will make it easy to smooth the filets out.

You can see that I didn't put the carbon across the bottom of the firewall. I had some epoxy mixed with ground glass at an earlier step that I put there. Some like to just do that in these corners instead of messing with the carbon. Either method is fine.
Last edited by PylonJim; Mar 26, 2020 at 11:57 PM.
Mar 26, 2020, 11:36 PM
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While the chopped carbon is curing, lets prep the tail and throttle/shutoff servo trays.

The tail trays are individual for each side. There are two sets of these trays in the kit. One set has openings that fit the Futaba S9650 and similar servos and the other set has openings that are shorter for some of shorter servos on the market. Pick the ones that fit your servos the best and adjust the openings as necessary to fit. The split tail trays were done for the ARF's so they could be loose in the box and installed in a fully assembled fuselage. I saw no need to change that for the kit as it gives the flexibility to install them in a finished fuselage if desired.

Glue the rectangular doubler pieces on the bottom side of the trays with thick CA. Use one of your servos of choice to drill for the servo screws.

Now, sand the edges to get a nice fit into the fuselage as shown. Usually a bit on the sides and a bit along the center will work up to a nice fit. You can glue them in now or wait till later as you start setting up the tail pushrods and controls. That's up to you.

If you're going to use wire pushrods in a tube to the tail, there is a support that mounts in the notches on the aft bevel of the fuselage doublers as can be seen in one of the pics below.

You can test fit the throttle/shutoff servo mount as well now. Add the doublers to the bottom for doublers I'd recommend waiting to glue this in place till you're final installing the radio. No need to have it in the way.

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