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Sep 15, 2021, 01:58 PM
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Discussion

60" Ugly Stik Fuse build - 1/4" balsa sides??


Planning to build the fuse of a 60" Ugly Stik. Plans call for 1/4" balsa sides. Tried bending the nose around to the 3 1/2" firewall former. Seemed that 1/4" is pretty hard to bend.

Is 1/4" what I should use or could I go down to 3/16"?

TIA,
Last edited by Surf Flyer; Sep 15, 2021 at 02:20 PM. Reason: poor math skills
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Sep 16, 2021, 01:50 AM
North East England
Hi,

You could try wetting the front part of the sides and it might bend easier - works with thinner sides like 1/8" but 1/4" may be harder to do.

Another method is to make very shallow vertical cuts on the outside of the wood to help it curve the opposite way then after it's all glued to the formers rub glue into the cuts to strengthen it. Old school method but again it may be harder on 1/4" wood.

I'm sure 3/16" would be fine - I remember the 60" glow-powered trainer planes I used to build usually only used 3/16" and they were solid enough. A lot of models are over-engineered anyway.

Regards
Steve
Sep 16, 2021, 08:04 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

Bending


Steve,
Hadn't considered scoring the wood to bend it. To meet the nose/firewall former the sides only have to bend 1/4" on each side. 1/4" doesn't sound like much
until you try and bend the wood between F1 and F2. that are only 7" apart.

Thanks for the reply on 3/16". 1/4" seems overkill for a 60" airplane.

FWIW, this Stik is electric powered so I have to interior trim, then re-enforce formers F2 and F3 to fit the battery where the fuel tank is supposed to be. This is my first scratch build so I'm figuring it out as I proceed.

Thanks again...
Sep 16, 2021, 08:11 AM
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Coupez's Avatar
Build the wing saddle area first, with the fuselage sides standing on their flat bottoms square to the building board. Make sure the formers that go in front and behind of the wing are square to the sides. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

Then put the firewall in place, and use a couple of clamps (one at top and one at bottom) to pull in the sides to meet the firewall.

All of this should be done over the top view of the fuselage on the plans to make sure the fuselage will be straight and true.
Sep 16, 2021, 09:19 AM
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Thread OP

Yup, got it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coupez
Build the wing saddle area first, with the fuselage sides standing on their flat bottoms square to the building board. Make sure the formers that go in front and behind of the wing are square to the sides. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

Then put the firewall in place, and use a couple of clamps (one at top and one at bottom) to pull in the sides to meet the firewall.

All of this should be done over the top view of the fuselage on the plans to make sure the fuselage will be straight and true.
Yes, I did read the build instructions and they describe the procedure in your post.

Thanks for the reply....
Sep 16, 2021, 10:26 AM
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Coupez's Avatar
The clamps should do it for you - just add pressure a little at a time so you don't crack the wood. Best to alternate between the top and bottom clamps as you tighten them.

To avoid making indentations in the wood, you can put a piece of hardwood between the clamp ends and the fuselage.

You'll need to do the same thing again at the tail end, though it will be easier because of the length involved.
Sep 16, 2021, 10:56 AM
Still the "Pro"-crastinator...
Steve85's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf Flyer

Is 1/4" what I should use or could I go down to 3/16"?

TIA,
1/4" would have been suitable (and probably over-engineered) for a glow-powered model. If you're using electric power, the lack of vibration inherent to the electric power system suggests you could go down to 3/16" without any loss of structural integrity.

Steve
Sep 16, 2021, 11:59 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

10-4..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coupez
The clamps should do it for you - just add pressure a little at a time so you don't crack the wood. Best to alternate between the top and bottom clamps as you tighten them.

To avoid making indentations in the wood, you can put a piece of hardwood between the clamp ends and the fuselage.

You'll need to do the same thing again at the tail end, though it will be easier because of the length involved.
OK. Good advice. Thanks.
Sep 16, 2021, 12:01 PM
Registered User
Thread OP

Yes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve85
1/4" would have been suitable (and probably over-engineered) for a glow-powered model. If you're using electric power, the lack of vibration inherent to the electric power system suggests you could go down to 3/16" without any loss of structural integrity.

Steve
I have the classic plan that's been around forever so yeah, it was designed for glow power. 3/16" it is.

Thanks for the help.
Sep 18, 2021, 02:49 AM
North East England
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf Flyer
Steve,
FWIW, this Stik is electric powered
I usually drop down a wood size if I'm building a glow plan as electric, so 1/4" becomes 3/16", 3/32" ribs become 1/16", etc. Only size I don't change is if it's already 1/16" or less. Amazing how much weight can be saved and the model is still perfectly strong. You soon get a feeling for what will be strong enough.

Look forward to seeing your build. Any help you need just ask - people are happy to help on here.

Regards
Steve
Sep 18, 2021, 05:42 PM
Build more, websurf less
FlyingW's Avatar
You can use 3/16" for the fuse sides. If you feel like you want to make it stronger, then add 1/64" ply doublers as in red below.

I made one from the Jensen plans using 1/4" balsa sides, and scored the bend point and it's fine without the doublers. The bottom sheet and the top part reinforces the scored side.

Mine uses electric now, but I remember all those years ago adding 1/16" ply doublers for Enya 60s and still snapping off the tail on bad landings.
Sep 23, 2021, 04:01 PM
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dan culv's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf Flyer
Planning to build the fuse of a 60" Ugly Stik. Plans call for 1/4" balsa sides. Tried bending the nose around to the 3 1/2" firewall former. Seemed that 1/4" is pretty hard to bend.

Is 1/4" what I should use or could I go down to 3/16"?

TIA,
I would chuck the thick sides, and stick build a fuse to save a bunch of weight.
Sep 24, 2021, 02:27 PM
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FlyingW's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan culv
I would chuck the thick sides, and stick build a fuse to save a bunch of weight.
Agreed. Hard to find strong lightweight balsa sheet anymore, so a stick built fuse may be the best idea yet.
Sep 24, 2021, 05:21 PM
Registered User
dan culv's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingW
Agreed. Hard to find strong lightweight balsa sheet anymore, so a stick built fuse may be the best idea yet.
I build a 4 star that way. Lite flies great!


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