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Hi

Cheap tricks:

You dont need to do a block. Buy 1/8th sheet and approximate the shape. You can actualy RACE the balsa if you do it right! It also works to do the box directly in styrene if you like. Usually .060 is about right.

Make lots of photocopies of the plans in scale. They are cheap. An easy way to transfer the shape is to use thinner to make a "contact print". Simply(buterate thinner works best) wet the balsa with the thinner and then take a cut out of, say, the side view and press it onto the balsa. This will make a nice mirror image contact print for you to cut to!

When you are done cutting and sanding and all, you need to seal the balsa. As a model airplane flyer/builder, I usualy use aero Buterate or Nitrate "Dope" but there are kinder alternatives such as Krylon acrylics. Fill and sand until smooth.
Another option, but I havent done this in 40 years, is to take nylon salvaged from pantyhose, very fine mesh, and laminate this onto the balsa. The buterate dope MELTS the stuff into a solid. Very strong.
If you dont do the nylon outside, certainly do it inside. Inside, you can use anyting, instant glue, anything, to reinforce the balsa.
You can get a lot of nylon cheap this way. Frankly, I use the stuff when doing shelf model conversions as well. Cyanoacrylate soaked nylon on the inside of that Dodge HOLDS the bumpers on.

Fate
 
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