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  • Bad Raven: Balance lead extensions are pence from China, I bought bulk. I also cut the old balance plugs with lead off and if I get a broken plug body I just solder a new one lead to lead, can extend at the same time.
    Today at 14:17:22
  • Reman: Bajadre, With reference to balance leads, I bought a cheap JST XH crimper, plus a shed load of male/female plugs and pins a while back. It's amazing how many times that lots come in handy. Not just for repairing battery packs, But for things like adding quick release plugs to wiring harnesses so you can do things like pop gimbels on and off camera drones quickly, Or add plugs to the cables of hardwired components so you don't have to desolder them when you need to get them out of the way in a rebuild, And making charging extension leads so you can get the battery right into a Li-Po safe bag and away from the expensive charger. They're well worth adding to the toolbox..... The other day I only spent about 5 minutes hunting for my 4S charging lead before giving up and making a new one. If I didn't have the crimping kit I'd probabbly still be looking. :)
    Today at 14:00:55
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  • Bajadre: Quick question guys is it ok to snip off a broken balance lead and not run it i know i wouldnt be able to balance charge it again but would the pack be ok ? its a 3s 5500mah which the lead got dragged along the floor on sundays bahs :(
    Today at 12:44:55
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    Today at 10:17:20
  • Reman: Like I said, In the past I've had a handful of packs "Go off" at me like fireworks after bad crashes (Usually with RC helis), So it's hard to get that image out of your head while stripping down Li-Po's. :)
    January 21, 2019, 11:22:54
  • shawdreamer: the horror stories will always incite worry when messing about with Lipo's but its the same as everything else when working on electronics alike, alsong as your careful and methodical there's very little to panic about, I regularly recycle 4s's with a single dead cell into usable 3s packs, end of the days its alot more economical, safer and enviro friendly than having to bin them....just a pain that the dead cell is NEVER one of the outer cells so you always end up having to strip a good cell off to get at the bad cell before putting it back afterwards, its like dropping toast, it'll always land buttered side down and inevitably covered in pet fur :angry:
    January 21, 2019, 00:11:16
  • Reman: Just did the one electrical job that still scares me. I dismantled some Lipo's with knacked cells and built usable packs out of the good cells. I've had packs go "VOOOOOOSH" at me in the past so I'm always slightly scared of having bare lipo contacts anywhere near what I'm working on, But all appears to have gone well and one of them is currently doing a charge/discharge cycle to make sure nothings a miss. :)
    January 20, 2019, 22:28:43
  • Reman: My original Dremel Pro made it to 14 years of heavy weekend use (And abuse) before it crocked. Dismantled that but it turned out to be a "Control module" fault, And Dremel made it ni on impossible to get into that without pooching it completely. :(
    January 20, 2019, 22:17:27
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    January 16, 2019, 20:32:55
  • ched999uk: My 28 year old 12v 35w Weller soldering iron failed  :( I didn't fancy forking out £100 for a new one. Stripped it down and found conductor snapped in cable. 10Mins later all back working great. :smiley: ::) I am very happy!!
    January 16, 2019, 17:23:06
  • shawdreamer: "look up there....its a drone!.....and whats this noise?..... no.....no..... it cant be!....NOOOOOOOO.......OOOOOOOOOOOOOPS I DID IT AGAIN, I PLAYED WITH YOUR HEAR....."
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  • Bajadre: defo steveo :) we should get loads of drones together up there so how they handle more that one lol
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    January 08, 2019, 18:38:26
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Author Topic: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?  (Read 5995 times)

Offline Two-Six

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Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« on: January 27, 2016, 15:53:52 »
I have two plans from RCM&E that I want to have a go at building and hopefully one will be ready for when the better weather gets here.  I am not sure which one to do yet.   Its going to be The Cliff-Whacker (a glider) or the Ballerina (an  IC powered plane).

I have never done it before   :shrug:  so here are a few massive noob questions.

I have taken 2 or 3 copies of the plans for both of them already so I can cut the plans up if needed.

Cutting out the parts...How do you transfer the shape of the part from the plan onto the wood? 

I have made a template for the rib parts for the glider. do I do this for all the parts and just cut out and stick on the paper plan parts onto the wood and cut away?  Is there a good glue to use for this? 

Cutting the bits, do I just use a cutting mat or a bit of scrap wood/board.  My cutting mat isn';t flat any more, its slightly warped due to ironing things on it, does it matter if it isn';t totally flat?

What';s the best way of cutting the bits out?  What special tools should I get?

Building board, I bought some cork tiles, I understand I should stick them onto a bit of flat chipboard (or something) and pin the bits onto that.  How exactly do you stick the tiles on, do I use one layer of tile or two?  What do I stick them on with, glue that I can separate so I can use the tiles again?  What sort of board is good?

My plans only show one wing and it seems that I need to build over that.  How on earth do you build the other wing, won';t it be upside down?

Don';t I need to cover the plans and building board with polythene or something?

How should I go about starting this balsa bashing project?

Once I get a plan and start cutting out a few bits and see how they go together I am sure I will have a better idea of what';s required but for now, I could do with a better plan as to how to get going with it.

Thanks for reading :-)
Nighthawk Pro, Trex 450 L Dominator 6 cell *FLOWN*, Blade 450-3D, MCPX-BL, MCPX-V2, Hubsan X4, Seagull Boomerang IC .40 trainer, HK Bixler, AXN Clouds fly,, Spektrum DX7, Taranis, AccuRC

Offline miniconverter

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 18:30:28 »
Buy a kit with all the parts already cut out, won';t cost much more and will save loads of head ache on your first build.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 19:51:34 »
+1 laser cut kits are the way to go, Ben Buckle do some really nice old timer kits, Bella do some nice kits and Phoenix MP do Stan Yeo';s kits which are legendary.
http://www.phoenixmp.com/acatalog/Stan_s_Kits.html
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Offline Two-Six

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2016, 20:22:06 »
There are wood pack for both of those models but I have already bought the wood :-)  I want to do it myself anyway, just for fun. 

I bought a fret saw, a razor saw and a posh scalpel and blades tonight...a few steps closer to getting this woodworking show on the road.
Nighthawk Pro, Trex 450 L Dominator 6 cell *FLOWN*, Blade 450-3D, MCPX-BL, MCPX-V2, Hubsan X4, Seagull Boomerang IC .40 trainer, HK Bixler, AXN Clouds fly,, Spektrum DX7, Taranis, AccuRC

Offline Mark_Felton

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 20:53:01 »
Hi Two six,  looks like your going to have many a sleepless night....I havent built from scratch in many a year and its quite a task.

Lil tricks n hints here http://www.modelflying.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=44694

If you can do the following:
make 2 x hardwood copies of the ribs, and roughly cut the ribs to size and then sandwich them between the hardwood to get the correct final shape or cut out the ribs by eye using the templates, just be careful of cutting nice and accurate or you will end up with a twisted wing.

the main body can generally be cut straight from balsa using the templates, just keep to the old adage of measure twice cut once!

Order enough balsa and ply etc to make mistakes.  If the kit call for 2 pieces of such n such a size, make it 3 pieces, give yourself room for error.

finally, take your time!  having a good cutting board is essential as well as a good pin board for when you come to piecing it all together.  Scalpels do not stay sharp for long have plenty of blades.

The last last bit of advice is, sand the model outside!  Sanding dust goes everywhere!

If it all gets daunting try Slec.co.uk   they can or used to do plans to balsa laser cutting service.

Offline XH558

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 23:00:40 »
Go to B&Q and get yourself some of this

http://www.diy.com/departments/gyproc-handiboard-square-edge-plasterboard-l1220mm-w600mm-t125mm/128389_BQ.prd

It';s flat - you can cut on it - you can pin into it - and when its cut up a bit turn it over ...

I start each new model with a new piece of this - makes you feel clean and ready  ::) ::)

Measure twice - then twice again  BEFORE you cut

Cover the plan with cling film pinned out taut

Photocopy the parts on the plan that need cutting - make more than one copy to allow for ****** ups - then cut out the photocopies roughly....

Glue the rough cut outs onto the correct thickness balsa with Spray Mount http://www.amazon.co.uk/3M-Spraymount-200-Adhesive-Spray/dp/B000J68HBO - or a cheaper equivalent - but Spray Mount IS VERY GOOD
Get the grain direction right  :azn

When dry cut out the shapes CAREFULLY - take your time.

Make ply rib templates to cut ribs out in bulk 
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-04192018_zpse1fdd998.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-12184528_zpsedbeefee.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


If I can build this you can do it too ....

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/Wing_zpsf5475d79.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


Are you sure there';s only one wing plan - can you see this wing has an actual tip on the right and a dotted outline on the left so you can build the other wing...

If there is only one wing turn the plan over - you';ll probably be able to see the outlines through the paper ...

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-22180422_zpsdec2c0cb.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


See my nice clean plasterboard  ::) ::) ::)

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-12184353_zps6206a97b.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


Take your time ....

Take your time ....


Oh - and ... take your time  :rolleyes:

Superglue is excellent but always dry fit first ....

All that cutting and glueing ended up as this ...

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2015-03-04%2022.57.50_zpsovu8icfg.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


So - take your time - make sure you understand the plan - as has been said maybe try out bits first - dry fit - mess with it - try it again - before you do the REAL one...

Oh - and did I say .... take your time  ;) :laugh:


PS - RESPECT to you man ... in this age of ';I want it NOW with the least possible effort'; you are to be applauded for giving plan building a go  :bravo: ~~ :beer2:


« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 23:21:49 by XH558 »

Offline Two-Six

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2016, 23:22:52 »
Great stuff!  Thank';s a lot!  Some great tips here.  I am going to check out the plaster board.  I might have a bit actually. 
Nighthawk Pro, Trex 450 L Dominator 6 cell *FLOWN*, Blade 450-3D, MCPX-BL, MCPX-V2, Hubsan X4, Seagull Boomerang IC .40 trainer, HK Bixler, AXN Clouds fly,, Spektrum DX7, Taranis, AccuRC


Offline Two-Six

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 10:28:33 »
Nice fret saw...Mmmmmm.

I bought some spray-mount once, the can fell off the shelf and collided with a really sharp drill bit puncturing the can....a fountain of spray mount coated just about everything in a 10 meter cube in the garage.....

That was the last can of BA*&^%D spray mount I ever bought..

Honest :-)
Nighthawk Pro, Trex 450 L Dominator 6 cell *FLOWN*, Blade 450-3D, MCPX-BL, MCPX-V2, Hubsan X4, Seagull Boomerang IC .40 trainer, HK Bixler, AXN Clouds fly,, Spektrum DX7, Taranis, AccuRC

Offline XH558

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2016, 14:59:17 »
I was scratch building a 1/10th scale Spitfire (see avatar) and had just finished balsa skinning the wings and was turning them round to put them on the worktop - knocked a piece of timber in the roof that then knocked my lovely heavy metal set square off its mounting pegs on a joist - it fell straight down due to its weight and that phenomena called gravity - and sliced right through the port wing - top and bottom skins and any ribs in the way - leaving a set square shaped hole as it went ....

I was NOT a happy bunny ..... crash repair surgery to a wing - before the plane is finished - is not natural - and I only got to gaze on the beautiful flat skinned wings for about 30 seconds before they were like Swiss cheese :rolleyes: :blink :banghead:

Ho hum - that';s aeromodelling for you  :frantic:

Offline crash pilot

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2016, 16:45:29 »
Go to B&Q and get yourself some of this

http://www.diy.com/departments/gyproc-handiboard-square-edge-plasterboard-l1220mm-w600mm-t125mm/128389_BQ.prd

It';s flat - you can cut on it - you can pin into it - and when its cut up a bit turn it over ...

I start each new model with a new piece of this - makes you feel clean and ready  ::) ::)

Measure twice - then twice again  BEFORE you cut

Cover the plan with cling film pinned out taut

Photocopy the parts on the plan that need cutting - make more than one copy to allow for ****** ups - then cut out the photocopies roughly....

Glue the rough cut outs onto the correct thickness balsa with Spray Mount http://www.amazon.co.uk/3M-Spraymount-200-Adhesive-Spray/dp/B000J68HBO - or a cheaper equivalent - but Spray Mount IS VERY GOOD
Get the grain direction right  :azn

When dry cut out the shapes CAREFULLY - take your time.

Make ply rib templates to cut ribs out in bulk 
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-04192018_zpse1fdd998.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-12184528_zpsedbeefee.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


If I can build this you can do it too ....

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/Wing_zpsf5475d79.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


Are you sure there';s only one wing plan - can you see this wing has an actual tip on the right and a dotted outline on the left so you can build the other wing...

If there is only one wing turn the plan over - you';ll probably be able to see the outlines through the paper ...

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-22180422_zpsdec2c0cb.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


See my nice clean plasterboard  ::) ::) ::)

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2014-10-12184353_zps6206a97b.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


Take your time ....

Take your time ....


Oh - and ... take your time  :rolleyes:

Superglue is excellent but always dry fit first ....

All that cutting and glueing ended up as this ...

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn21/DavidXH558/2015-03-04%2022.57.50_zpsovu8icfg.jpg
Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?


So - take your time - make sure you understand the plan - as has been said maybe try out bits first - dry fit - mess with it - try it again - before you do the REAL one...

Oh - and did I say .... take your time  ;) :laugh:


PS - RESPECT to you man ... in this age of ';I want it NOW with the least possible effort'; you are to be applauded for giving plan building a go  :bravo: ~~ :beer2:

lovely job real nice plane

Offline XH558

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Re: Building a balsa plane..How the flip do you do it?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 20:03:09 »
lovely job real nice plane

A bit more detail on that Eindecker project here  http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=10271.msg86149#msg86149

And here is the 1/10th Spitfire which was the one before the Eindecker - this is the one with the wing surgery  :rolleyes:
http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=8503.msg70642#msg70642

But also it had to have major nose surgery too ....
http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=1887.msg14968#msg14968