Whenever you need to use strip, consider buying sheet and cutting your own strip from it. For one, you get the density of wood that you want and secondly it works out cheaper!
Example, a sheet of ¼ x 4” sheet costs £1.95. ¼” square from the same supplier is 30 pence each. With loses from the cutting of the strip, lets assume only 75% of the sheet is used, hence 12 pieces of strip would be obtained. At 30 pence each this would be a cost of £3.60, hence, do it yourself saves £1.65! Simple.
Covering with film
Although very small pieces of film have to be used initially when covering a wing, following this, always cover the large areas first as the resulting off- cuts can usually be used for tail-plane, fin, rudder etc. This is particularly useful, considering the cost of film covering these days
The cost of lightweight ‘model’ filler is very high considering the small size of ‘pot’ that is on offer for sale. Check out your local Wickes DIY store. They sell a light-weight filler that is easy to sand on balsa and is as light as any of the modelling brands. The thing is that you get 2 ½ to 3 times as much with the DIY filler as you do for the modelling brands for the same price!
Do not store pins in a box or you’ll end up with them stuck in your fingers. Use a small piece of Styrofoam to sick your pins in, easy access and less bleeding fingers.
Commonly known as CA or Super Glue, these adhesives have revolutionised modelling. Storage of these can be in the form of the Freezer (for un-opened bottles) and the fridge for bottles that have been opened. Always replace the cap to prevent moisture entering the bottle.
Applying glass bandage to a foam wing joint
When applying glass bandage to the centre joint of a pair of foam wing panels, time can be wasted waiting for the first side to cure before attempting the second side.
In order to save time, use thin cyano to tack the glass tape to the trailing edge of one side, pull the glass tape round the leading edge and back to the opposite trailing edge, tack again with the cyano. The glass can now have the resin applied to it on both sides, saving on time and, as there is always some resin left over, saving one lot of waste resin.
In the picture above, note the use of masking tape to give a neat edge to the resin. Note, remove the masking tape before the resin cures.
Control horn installation
When installing control horns it is very easy for the screwdriver to slip and damage the surface of the model. In order to prevent this, slip a small piece of small-bore fuel
tubing over the end of the screwdriver. This will then shroud the head of the screw and prevent the screwdriver from slipping to the side.
Furry hinge instalation
After installing cyano hinges in one side of the joint, say, in the surface, the hinge can get pushed into the surface even further when pushing surface and wing/tail/rudder together. To prevent this, stick a couple of pins through the hinge on the centre line and this will prevent them being pushed in to one side too far.
Cowl and canopy mounting
On kits and plans, the method of holding cowls and canopies in place is by the use of small screws going into hardwood blocks. Over time, these can strip out of the block or simply work loose. The idea is to save all those left-over pieces of snake inners, cut short lengths equal to the thickness of the block, drill out the block and cyano in small pieces of snake into the block. This forms a sort of rawlplug, which will be resistant to stripping and shaking loose. The best inner is from Golden Rods by Sullivan due to the ridge surface.
Wing Tail alinment
Remember the days of 35 meg radio? If you have a spare aerial left over that is straight then this can be used as an accurate comparator when checking alignment of wing to
fus and tail to wing. Saves trying to control a retracting tape that’s moving and bending.
Some of the ARTF’s and kit models tend to have rather soft ply for accepting servo screws. After drilling the pilot hole for the screw, usually 1.5 mm, harden the hole in the ply with a drop of thin cyano. This will form a good thread that will hold well.
The same method can be used on tapped hardwood or ply for wing hold down bolts.
Various mixing pallets have been suggested to use during the mixing of small amounts of epoxy glue, particularly the 5- minute variety. I think every household must have a redundant Argos catalogue. Instead of throwing it away, mix your epoxy on a page, wait for the remaining glue to set, then simply rip it off, exposing a new page, ready for the next lot of glue to be mixed.
Nylon wing bolts
When you have cut your nylon wing bolts to the required length, instead of leaving the end square, use a pencil sharpener to put a slight bevel on the end, thus allowing them to locate the blind nut in the fuselage a lot easier.
Table for film covering
Whilst the process of film covering can take place on a normal table with a soft covering put on, I find that a table-top ironing board is a far better solution. It can be folded up quickly and stored in a convenient place. Don’t forget, it already has a cushioned top in place!