BTW I intend to keep a record of materials used and their costs. Here is my shopping cart, with finger poised...!
REF DESCRIPTION QUANTITY PRICE COST REMOVE
3SP260 Spruce Strip 6.5 x 6.5 x 915mm (1/4 x 1/4 x 36")
3SP255 Spruce Strip 5.0 x 12.5 x 915mm (3/16 x 1/2 x 36")
3SP243 Spruce Strip 3.2 x 6.5 x 915mm (1/8 x 1/4 x 36")
PW1404 3.0 x 300 x 1200mm (1/8 12" x 48")
4BW42 Balsa Sheet 2.4 x 100 x 1220mm (3/32 x 4 x 48")
3BW44 Balsa Sheet 5.0 X 102 X 915mm (3/16 x 4 x 36")
3BW49 Balsa Sheet 19.0 x 102 x 915mm (3/4 x 4 x 36 )
DX8 Aliphatic Resin Glue 112g
This will cover the fuselage former's, wing ribs, spars and nose cone, as well as the glue to assemble them. I normally use balsa cement, but figured that a build of this magnitude would require a more sympathetic adhesive, and one that allows a certain movement whilst getting things aligned, as opposed to the balsa cement, that is excellent, but a little too 'fast' and unforgiving.
So, if all goes well, I have material for all the fuselage formers (and plenty of 1/8" ply to spare :-)) the wing ribs, and the stabiliser top and bottom layers, oh and all the spruce fuselage spars as well. I think that's plenty to be going on with, at least until next pay day! :-(
I'm off up to design now to attempt a cut, may the gods of technology be smiling upon me...
SO, yes, it went well! I also learned something too, that if I want to do more engraving, at least simple marking of part numbers for instance, that one needs to chose blue text colour, so as not to use the raster option (as opposed to 'Vector' engraving!)which is the thing that causes the laser to skit around like a mad thing.
Anyhow, here are some pics, I'm mega pleased with the results, never tire of watching that thing work!
After my success with the laser cutting earlier today, I couldn’t wait to get home and dry assemble the newly made components, still virtually warm! I hadn’t got the plan with me, so I simply aproximated the former spacings, just to get a rough idea of things.
I managed to get the dimensions of the spar slots spot on, which is always a hit and miss game if you don’t have the material to hand when transcribing the components from the plan to the CAD software.
I can’t wait to get the fuselage jig made up, which will perhaps be this weekend (if I’m lucky :-))
I absolutely love plywood as a modelling material, and working in this larger scale is terrific, as I said earlier, more like traditional carpentry, with the glueing and clamping of tight joints! I have the 3/32” sheet for the ribs, which I can perhaps cut tomorrow, but actually I’m toying with the idea of cutting them from 1/8” ply, like the fuselage formers themselves. I know there is always a weight consideration, but there aren’t that many ribs in actual fact, so may not be an issue. As I have plenty of ply, I’ll cut both and make the call when I can weigh them.
I think I can say that I managed to achieve pretty much what I set out to do this weekend, namely to get some glue on the newly cut Phantom parts, and also, if I had time, to cut the carbon arms for my 350 quad & the RCExplorer tri, both of which have been sadly neglected of late.
So, down to business...
First, Saturday morning, I blew the dust off of my circular saw, and rooted out a piece of old skirting board that would become the fuselage jig. Then, I high-tailed it round to my local Buildbase, and had a word with my mate Tony, who rather obligingly took the time to run some pine through the dimension planer, then the circular saw, to end up with half a dozen prospective spar members, which are pretty much spot on. All that’s required is to sand them down so they are a snug fit through the rib slots.
N.B I used the leftover 2x1 for the jig pieces.
Here’s the jig:
I used some 35mm screws to hold the pieces in place snugly. As I had the root ribs all cut out, I decided to scribe the other formers straight from the plan, and finally get the last corresponding pieces aligned insitu so to speak.
I like this Aliphatic resin, It smells like PVA, but claims to be stronger, and have a quicker ‘grab’, which it does appear to have. In fact, once it had grabbed, it was quite tricky to move it, but it was possible for slight movement, and I spent a good 10 minutes checking for squareness, tweaking things here and there, until I was satisfied that I could do no more.
Once things had gone off a little, and it all looked good, I trimmed off the surplus spar material (which I needed for the front section). I clamped it all together with the only two rubber bands I could find!
All in all, I was very pleased with how things went, in what is my first real scale model aircraft, or certainly the first in this particular scale, and I must say, it’s very satisfying indeed! Ok, so not everything went to plan, when drawing up the fuselage formers, I had wondered why not all had the notch in the underside for the lower longeron, as this makes no sense, and also, the same for several of the top longeron slots were missing on the plan, something I didn’t really question at the time.
So, I decided to cut slots with my dremel, which I did, which allowed the longerons to run continuously along the length of the fuselage for strength. I also found I’d omitted the notch on the top of F-1! Also, I noticed that F-9 & 10 sit too high on the spars, so I’ll modify the files and cut some more.
Today I have revisited the parts I've drawn in so far, making amendments where necessary, and had a go at re-cutting the parts that needed modification etc. I managed to get what I was after, but it seems the laser is having some temperamental issues, that I noticed last week, with some cuts not going all the way through. Anyhow I persevered with a Stanley knife and below are the results...
I had no 1.6mm ply, so had to laminate 2 x 0.8mm instead. Not to worry!
The parts above are the rib doubler's for R-1 & R3 alongside the modified F9 & 10. The remainder are new parts for the detachable canopy, oh, and lastly, the bottom piece is something I made up to fit underneath between F-1 & F-2 to create a slight bulge up to the nose cone.
I've just ordered up what I estimate to be the remaining balsa wood, or at least the bulk of it anyhow:
REF DESCRIPTION QUANTITY PRICE COST REMOVE 3BW43 Balsa Sheet 3.2 x 102 x 915mm (1/8 x 4 x 36") 7 : Medium £1.28 £8.96 3BW42 Balsa Sheet 2.4 x 102 x 915mm (3/32 x 4 x 36") 7 : Medium £1.20 £8.40 PW302 1.5 x 300 x 600mm (1/16 12" x 24") 1 £2.85 £2.85 SL114-S Modelling "T" Pins 1 £2.08 £2.08 3BW49 Balsa Sheet 19.0 x 102 x 915mm (3/4 x 4 x 36 ) 1 : Medium £4.54 £4.54 Subtotal £26.83 Shipping (First Class/24hr Courier) £6.00 Vat £6.57 Total £39.40
I'm hoping that barring any 'dance disasters', that I will be able to largely complete the basic superstructure and planking, ready for my chosen method of finishing, which will probably be this:
I like the look of the Eze-Kote glass cloth, as it appears to be unobtrusive to the finish, and a nice tough surface to work with regarding the paint spray finishing. I'm largely out of the loop concerning these processes, rather akin to a time-travelling aeromodeller who steps into his Tardis in 1974 and out in 2015! However, I was involved in the decorating industry a few years ago, and the drive was definitely away from oil based products to water-bourne alternatives, so I guess the hobby has gone much the same way. Ray himself specified the use of Ambroid glue, which Google suggests is an adhesive that retains its strength when sanding, but further enquiries of various forums lead me to conclude that it is a product with equaly mixed reviews, but in the end, it was the seemingly sparse supply sources (mainly in the States) which sealed the deal for me.
BTW, here is the revised cutting sheet for the 1.6mm ply components:
Today, I received the balsa stripper I ordered from ebay. I’ve since seen another design of stripper for around £15 that uses an aluminium channel that the tool slides along, and the vendor stated that it was the only balsa stripper that they had seen that actually worked, so as I was contemplating stripping down 7 sheets of 1/8” 4” balsa, I was starting to be concerned that the tool I had ordered may not be up to the job. I needn’t have worried, once I’d tightened up the scalpel blade a bit more, it worked prefectly, and quite easy too. I simply drew the tool down the sheet, using my short cutting mat, and sliding the whole sheet along as I went. As long as you take your time and keep the tool firmly pressed against the timber, it really is a great device.
Here I’ve simply laid the newly cut strips or planks on to the fuselage, If the tool’s cutting angle could be adjusted, there would be no gaps to fill, like forming a barrel...
I managed to get some time on the laser this afternoon, as there were a few parts I wanted to have around for the weekends building plans, so I cut the nose cone laminated discs, and out of 1/16” ply I cut the spare dihedral braces, the air intake baffles, and some sundry parts for the rear servo hatch, for when the planking starts! I also tried test bending around the various curves of the model, and found that the 15mm wide strips I cut are about right to form most of the areas in question, the gaps would then be filled with quickKote filler and sanded until rounded.
So, over the weekend, I hope to get the wing spars cut and fitted, the nose cone laminated and sanded down. if I get any more time, I’ll start the fuselage planking. Well, that’s the plan anyhow!
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