Dollar Tree Foam vs Elmers Foamboard - RC Groups
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Nov 11, 2008, 04:03 PM
Registered User

Dollar Tree Foam vs Elmers Foamboard

I didn't think there was any difference in the two, WRONG!

I had heard peopel say put IPA on the paper and it will peel right off. So i went and bought 2 sheets of Elmers and a bottle of IPA and nothing happened. I soaked the Elmers in water with very limited resilts.

On the otherhand, I just bought my first sheet of Dollar Tree foam. Man what a difference! By the time I covered one sheet from one end to the other the end i started on was ready to peel. It really did come off all in one piece! The board was warped long ways when i bought it, and now it's warped the other way, to the short side.

Ohh, the 70% IPA I used smells just like the 151 i was shooting back on Halloween! DO VENTALATE! That stuff gave me a buzz just peeling one side.

Heh, I'm saving the paper to possibly draw up a set of plans on. I can see why people leave the paper on while the cut the pieces out now. I'll probly do that next time.

Anyone with some experiance using this foam have any heads up tips for me/everyone else?

Most of the curve is gone now that I've peeled the backside, just a slight legnthways curve, about the same as it was when i bought it.

Ohh, CellFoam 88 from Hobby Lobby at 5MM is $12 us for two 12" x 47" = 3.9sqft @ 1.50$/sqft

Dollar Tree Foam is 1$ 20" x 30" = 4.1sqft @ $0.25/sqft

Unless i find some glareing issue i cant deal with, I think I'll be buying the Dollartree Foam by the carton.
Last edited by Tripod333; Nov 11, 2008 at 04:18 PM.
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Nov 11, 2008, 04:22 PM
Master Crasher
zultone's Avatar
I find it easiest to cut the pieces off, peel them and shape more or sand as needed, and yeah, ventilation is GOOD. I did it in the bathroom with the vent on and a fan going, and still had an (uncomfortable) buzz going on from it.
Straight water works okay, but not well.

The only issues I have is the quality of it as far as damage at the dollar tree, a lot over here seem to be dinged and dented.
Nov 11, 2008, 04:28 PM
Registered User
you mean it's damaged when you buy it? I remember seeing a pic of someone's workshop(hangar) and seeing an odd shaped box in the background. I now recognize this box as a dollartree foam box. maybe if you bought in bulk you'd have better luck on getting non-damaged pieces?

It seems a bit floppy, but it's comparable to my Cellfoam88, im out of Depron to compare it to. I remember depron being much stiffer.
Nov 11, 2008, 04:51 PM
Master Crasher
zultone's Avatar
It is kinda floppy with the paper off, I've been slicing small pieces with the paper on to use as support in key areas, it's been working well without adding too much weight.

Edit: I really never thought to buy in bulk, but yeah, a lot of it is damaged when I get there. I'm sure they'd sell me a carton of it here.
Nov 11, 2008, 06:10 PM
Registered User
I bought some hobby lobby board 20 x 30 for 1.99 per sheet. I took some of the paper off last night for the first. It comes off very easily compare to $tree. I was also in a Lowes yesterday and squeezed some pbIII that was already damaged on the edge. It seems to crinkle and dent as much or more as the $tree. With it, you also have all that printing and it is blue. The Hobby lobby stuff is slightly different and seems more resilient. My next plane will be made with it. I have never tried the elmers board but around here its 4x the price. I would say its almost as high as epp. I personally never use it with paper as it seems to crinkle more. It is more stiff, but less resilient with the paper. I also took the $tree paper off today for the first time using the warm water bathtub method. Worked almost as well as the alcohol and much nicer aroma. I always rinse the foam once done with either method and paper towel dry and lay it flat. I have never had it warp with all paper removed and layed flat.
Nov 12, 2008, 11:11 AM
Registered User

Leave the paper on!

For the typical backyard / park flyer, the Dollar Tree foam paper is not enough weight to matter, IMO. Elmer's foam board has really thick shiny paper that adds a lot of weight, but Dollar Tree's paper is thinner and lighter. Just leave it on, and the foam is stronger.

Price is a good feature, but not having to do ANY peeling is the bigger plus for me! However, just like other brands, don't count on the paper holding strong enough for components. ie, Don't just glue your servo to the paper surface, it will let go too easily. Cut holes for them to sink down into, and glue them that way. On control horns, either use one that pokes a hole into the control surface, or either has the "backside plate" that accepts tiny screws that go through the foam.

Still one think I haven't figured out. To unwarp Dollar Tree foam, can we just lay it on a flat surface and hit it with a heat gun? Anyone perfected this technique or have better suggestions? To those who do peel it, does it always unwarp simply by peeling the paper?
Nov 12, 2008, 11:50 AM
Registered User
I didnt rinse my $tree after i peeled it. My clear packing tape does not stick to it as well as it does depron or cell88. I'll rinse the next piece i peel and see if that helps.

The $tree doesfold well though. I'm curently working on a "Yackish", it was designed to use a FFF edge fold for the LE of the wing. I taped the LE then folded it on a sharp 90% coutertop edge with no issues at all.
Nov 12, 2008, 12:22 PM
Registered User
I use blenderm now on the $tree foam for hinges. Sticks very well.
Nov 12, 2008, 12:42 PM
Registered User
My take on the two. Simple videos of pros and cons.
Jan 04, 2009, 03:51 PM
Registered User
Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I finally got some Dollar Tree Board, cut out my parts, stuffed them into a garbage bag, used 50% ISP and 2 Capt. Morgan's later, peeled the paper off with no problem. I had bought some Foam from Balsa Products a couple of years ago and it must be Elmer's because I didn't have any luck peeling that.
Cheers, Ozone
Jan 04, 2009, 04:38 PM
Registered User
Elymers foam will peel in one pass, its just that you must soak it for 8 hours. as in put it in the large plastic bag, pour in the rubbing alcohol, turn it over a few times for the first hour, go to sleep, wake up and peel. Adding a bit of windex helps, it gets warm something exothermic, the water content helps to keep it wet for a longer period.

Jan 04, 2009, 05:15 PM
Look out! Too late....
N2UM's Avatar

Dollar Tree Foam vs Elmers Foamboard

I just peeled some $store redi-board last night. I sprayed Grease Lightning on both sides and layed it in the bathtub for about 10 minutes. When I picked it up the paper was falling off. I rinsed it under the shower and dryed it. That was easy!

Gary N2UM
Jan 06, 2009, 08:04 PM
Registered User
I'm not sure the foam board I bought from Balsa Products was Elmer's. It has a Mylar like film on it and sometimes it will peel using the dowel method. Nothing I have soaked it in seems to work. I'm going to use it "as is" where I want structural strength.
Cheers, Ozone
Jan 06, 2009, 08:40 PM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar

Gary...I hadn't thought about Greased Lightning...I need to try that.

I have always used alcohol and it worked well. As far as getting the warp out, what I try to do is after using alcohol to get the paper off, I spray water on the foam and weight it own flat on a table till it pretty well for me, YMMV


Originally Posted by N2UM
I just peeled some $store redi-board last night. I sprayed Grease Lightning on both sides and layed it in the bathtub for about 10 minutes. When I picked it up the paper was falling off. I rinsed it under the shower and dryed it. That was easy!

Gary N2UM
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Jan 07, 2009, 03:17 PM
Oh Yeah!
SteveC68's Avatar
I bought 7 sheets of the $tree foam board a few weeks ago and used one sheet already but left the paper on both sides. With the paper removed from both sides how does the $tree foam compare to depron? I don't have any depron to compare it to, but I see a bunch of scratch build plans around that call out depron and I was wondering if the $tree foam board could be substituted.

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