Good book, website, or advice on building in general? - RC Groups
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May 09, 2002, 02:52 PM
Registered User

Good book, website, or advice on building in general?

Hey All,

I've been searching this site for information on building in general such as how to pin stuff down (no really, I don't know how you should pin things ;-)), apply glue, types of glue to use, etc. I'm new to building wood models in general and could really use a good website or book on bulding wood models. If you know of any good sites or books like this, please let me know.

You can also give advice in this thread. ;-)

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May 09, 2002, 03:00 PM
Dave Segal
For conventional sized RC models the bible, without question, is "Getting Airborne, volumes I and II" by the Higleys. For little planes see Don Ross's "Flying Models, Book 2".

Dave Segal
May 09, 2002, 07:05 PM
Registered User
Patrick Plawner's Avatar
I am building something specifically to help for beginnings. It is certainly not complete but I hope it could help you.

Go to:

And Browse around.

Let me know if it helped you.

Oops... You wrote balsa.... I think you may find some links out to some sites then, as I don't have much on the Balsa part.
Last edited by Patrick Plawner; May 09, 2002 at 07:07 PM.
May 09, 2002, 07:42 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the replies. Please, keep them coming.

Which looks at building more, Getting Airborne 1 or 2?


May 09, 2002, 11:21 PM
Dave Segal
Volume II has more on building.

Dave Segal
May 12, 2002, 11:41 AM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar

Pins and things

Right, here we are in the right place. - moved from the general slot.
As far as 'how do you glue things which are pinned down', is concerned, it depends what you're making. For example,if you're making a built-up wing, cover your board with clingfilm, thin polythene or the backing film from Solarfilm/Monocote or some such so that you can see the plan through it. Follow the order of building in the instructions which usually ask you to pin down the bottom spar, T/E and L/E. Then carefully trim the L/E and T/E of each rib individually to a snug fit using the mainspar as the reference point. I always cut a shallow locating notch in the front of the trailing edge and the back of the leading edge as it gives a more positive joint than a butt joint will. You then would apply the glue to the notches to fit the spar and the front and rear of the rib. Push this into place and use pins to hold until set. Any surplus glue squeezed out will not be a problem as it won't stick to the plan due to the membrane you've put there. Make sure all pins in the mainspar are in at an angle so they can be removed after the top spar and any webs have been installed. You can soon take out all the mainspar and rib pins, but leave the L/E and T/E ones in place as it's vital to make sure the glue is fully dried/cured. At this point, if a sheeted wing or D-box is needed, the top surface can be attached using pins through the sheet into the ribs and pins or small clamps attaching the sheet to the mainspar top and the L/E.
I used cyano for a good few years, but became severely allergic to it - if I get a slight whiff of it, I have a streaming nose, eyes and all the appearance of a cold for 3 days after. I almost exclusively use custard type glues as when dry, they most resemble wood for sanding, leaving no sign of a glue line.

Hope this is what you want.

May 12, 2002, 02:36 PM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar
If pinning spars or longerons, where there is a danger in splitting the wood with a pin. another alternative method is to cross a pair of pins inserted at an angle on each side of the piece of balsa, so that the pin does not go through the wood, but it will still hold the wood in place.

If using CA or a wicking adhesive such as superphatic the assembly can be pinned, or jigged in place (Lego bricks are very useful here) and/or weighted down with a set of building weights and the glue is then applied to the joints in place on the board. If building over a plan then the plan will need to be greased with a candle or covered with a non-stick plastic surface, such as the clear backing from iron on film or better still thick polythene sheeting.

Hope this helps.

May 12, 2002, 02:51 PM
Registered User
Thank you. These have been very helpful. I don't think it's been addressed specifically, but if not using a glue that will wick into a joint, the glue is applied first and then the pieced pinned down, correct?

May 12, 2002, 03:12 PM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar

Pins 'n things

You've got it !
(line 8 of my post above answered that - at least, it's line 8 at 1024x768 - it may be different at other resolutions?)
Last edited by tonyo; May 12, 2002 at 03:16 PM.
May 12, 2002, 06:51 PM
Registered User
Mike C's Avatar
I had a lot of the same questions as you do. I bought some of the guillows kits for beginners. These are simple to build and have instructions for some of the techniques you need to know. Also I think that the Cutie kit by SR Batteries has an excellent manual and great fitting parts. That model taught me a lot. You can read the first 50 pages of the manual for free on the SR website. (You need acrobat reader to view it which is a free download.) If you can afford the kit it is well worth the money and is a superb flying aircraft.