the best building tip you ever got - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Jul 21, 2006, 08:12 AM
neonbutterfly's Avatar
using brass tubes as drill bits....u can use brass tubes as drill bits in balsa....when the hole has to be the same size as the tube.....simply cut off a section of brass tube say 4" insert in ur drill and use a counter sink to sharpen the inside of the tube or exacto knife......

then hit the outer edge with sand paper to get the burrs ouff and then drill the balsa.....i put another piece of balsa under the hole so the edge of the hole doesn't get messy.....been using this method for years!!!

that's my tip for the day

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Jul 21, 2006, 04:11 PM
De-Brushed user
Another really good tip, the brass tubes make much better drill bits for balsa than regular drill bits. I just use an X-Acto blade to sharpen them up, the brass is soft enough to cut. I also glue a small piece of emory paper to one end as a grip.
Jul 21, 2006, 05:16 PM
capncrunch's Avatar
You know what? brass tubes are good for drilling in balsa. just sharpen it up a little and post without reading the thread!

Jul 21, 2006, 05:23 PM
De-Brushed user
My post was in response, and addition to, bob's. I also had something else to add that I found helpful. Now your post, on the other hand...
Jul 21, 2006, 11:14 PM
Registered User
the wiz's Avatar
it's all good. i enjoy reading the post and am glad to have a forum like this, that allows us to do so. it's great that modelers of all skill levels are willing to share what they know in order to help advance the building of rc aircraft. keep em' coming.
Jul 22, 2006, 09:55 PM
I don't know where I read this one but when mixing epoxy, I use a gram scale to mix equal parts of resin and hardener. I place a mixing cup on the scale then add an equal amount of each.
Jul 23, 2006, 10:28 PM
Registered User
I like to put bubble wrap on my bench when I am working on a finished model. It prevents damaging the surface and stops the dings you can get in balsa.
Jul 23, 2006, 10:43 PM
Registered User
don't just check your plane before you fly check your radio... lost one that way
Jul 24, 2006, 07:23 AM
Registered User
If using a solid wire pushrod, don't put an adjustable clevis at both ends. You shouldn't need to adjust the length at both ends, and this set up will allow the pushrod to rotate (due to vibration). One clevis will eventually come off and you won't know it until you had just taken off, pulled up to do a half reverse Cuban 8, and on the way down realize you no longer have an elevator.
Jul 24, 2006, 07:26 AM
Registered User
One more...

I use baking soda with thin CA to reinforce joints. Just sprinkle it on, tap the structure to even it out, and hit it with the CA and get away from the smoke.

I keep an old spice jar (one with holes on the top for sprinkling) filled with the stuff on my bench.
Jul 24, 2006, 07:37 AM
Registered User
Okay, one more...

If a joint is important to you, really important, like between the firewall and the fuse, wing hold down and fuse, landing gear plate and the fuse, then pin the joint using 1/8" dowels. Drill the hole, fill with thick CA, tap in the dowel (~1/2" long), trim and sand. I'd use 3-4 for each side of the firewall and lg plate, two for the wing hold down. Gave me a lot more confidence in the joints. Enough confidence that I stopped using epoxy on these joints for my .45 sized models. Mind you, the joint needs to be very very tight to not use epoxy.

For aluminum landing gear mounted on the fuselage, use nylon bolts to attach it. On a rough landing, the bolts will break before the plywood plate will be torn out.

Similarly, take a look at your engine mount. I used to use the Great Planes engine mounts. They have a triangular web to reinforce the beam. The older ones didn't have this and worked fine. For the new ones, I would take my 1/2" sanding drum in my Dremel tool and reduce this web. I'd rather have my engine mount break on a crash than my firewall.

Which comes to the point of these tips. Think about the order you want things to fail structurally. With the above tips, I could be back in the air the same day, often in just a few minutes.
Jul 24, 2006, 10:21 AM
Registered User
Its better to cut balsa parts little to large and then sand down than trying to cut exactly and after discover that you have to discardehalf of the bits. Saves a lot of boring cutting.

Jul 24, 2006, 10:37 AM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
Originally Posted by Rangifer
Its better to cut balsa parts little to large and then sand down than trying to cut exactly and after discover that you have to discardehalf of the bits. Saves a lot of boring cutting.

Along the same lines,

On stick built models, when ever possible cut longer pieces before cutting shorter pieces. If you cut a long piece too short, you can always use it for a shorter piece later. If you cut the short pieces first, you wind up throwing away your mis-cuts.

- Roger
Jul 24, 2006, 11:25 AM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
This one I'm still testing.

Having had too many expensive bottles of thin cyanoacrylic adhesive go hard on me when I'm in a "not building" stage, I stored my last one in a clean and dry glass jar with a large package of silica gel which absorbs all the moisture in the jar. As I understand it, it is moisture that sets off CA. That was 2 years ago. I got back to building last night and the thin CA was thin and runny as ever! Also, silica gel can be dried out and reused by placing it in an oven.

Jul 24, 2006, 01:08 PM
rebell's Avatar
Originally Posted by Rangifer
Its better to cut balsa parts little to large and then sand down than trying to cut exactly and after discover that you have to discardehalf of the bits. Saves a lot of boring cutting. /Jojje
Better yet, do all your balsa cutting with a laser cutter - whish I had one.

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