Paper on Balsa Fins

I've read that some folks spray adhesive onto paper and then adhere the balsa fins to them, cut them out and subsequently use them just as
they would painted fins....and paint them of course.
I 'guess' this would replace the step of filling the grain of the balsa to give a smooth finish.
I don't understand why folks do that. Is there an advantage to doing this? Personally I'd just like to fill the grain and paint...but...maybe I'm missing something.
eric
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Or maybe I'm just getting older. Just seems like a shortcut to me. It doesn't matter to me whether it takes a night or a year to make, as long as it comes out nice.
Out of context but: http://www.nauticalhome.com/proddetail.cfm/9500,Charles%20W.%20Morgan
May take a the rest of my lifetime to build, but I'm sure the local library would be proud to display it for me.
Opinion is: take your time and bring something nice to the range...anyone can stick an engine in a paper tube...make it nice and people will ooooooh & ahhhhhh, makes you feel good...makes your time worth while........
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Zman wrote:

If done right, laminating a lightweight fin material like balsa wood can increase its mechanical strength without adding an excessive amount of weight that a strogner material like plywood (a laminated structure) might add. It can reduce fin breakage and flutter and it can give a smooth surface for finishing.
Personally, I would just keep going with your filling and sanding; you'll be doing it a LOT (and not just on fins) and it will pay off in the long run to develop techniques you like and get good (fast?) at.
--
Gary "Fill'n'Finish Rules!" Bolles

summum jus, summa injuria est
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Zman wrote:

Adding the paper layer *does* eliminate some of the filling and sanding... but that is really just an added bonus. The main benefit is the added strength added to the balsa. I like to apply the paper using water-thinned carpenters' glue; and letting the fin dry pressed between two pieces of glass. Add some waxed paper to this "sandwich" to keep it from sticking to the glass.
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Greg Heilers
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I think I'll try it. I've got several plates of tempered glass plenty big enough I use for flattening my waterstones...for chiseles....got plenty of waxed paper.
I'll try it. Thanks Greg.
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forgot...what kind of paper?
On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 01:23:31 GMT, Greg Heilers

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Zman wrote:

Plain old notebook/typing/computer paper works fine for me. Or use graph paper...as it looks really cool in the pre-painting stage...lol. I imagine that the rougher "recycled" type of paper might not be as strong as the "pure and white" stuff. And I imagine that the glue you use would have a bigger impact than the type of paper. I prefer the yellow Elmer's carpenter's glue over the white Elmer's Glue All type. Dilute it with a bit of water. Give a healthy coating to both the balsa, as well as the paper; then slap it together. Squish it between the glass (don't forget the wax paper). When dry, you can add another coat of glue to the exposed paper.
--

Greg Heilers
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Will do. Thanks Greg.
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plain old notebook/typing/computer paper works fine for me.
I've got to get some of those medicine cups, the ones that come on the top of NyQuil etc....mixing cups....even better...small paper ones that greasy spoons put mayo and tarter sauce in.
lol good excuse not to cook breakfast tomorrow / this a.m. go to the local greasy spoon and beg some paper cups lololol !
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even better, save the little plastic gizmos they have for jelly & jam....Oh Gawwwd that's baaaad!!! bring 'em home and wash 'em out to use with hobby crafts! Goin' straight to hell for that one!
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I've been thinking about this strengthing thing, probably so. But I've also been thinking about my FlisKits 'Drake', the angles are 'different' and I'm sure I read on Mike's site about strengthening with 'glass'.
hmmm....I'm not really concerned with altitude or any records with this rocket, I really wouldn't want to see any fins break off on the first launch either. I've given alot of thought to not only the nice filet job of epoxy that Mike shows on his webpage but also a nice filet of glass between fusalage and wing. Just thinking about blending the glass onto the balsa...dremel tool + alot of hand work there I'd imagine unless anyone has any ideas.
The heck with the weight....just use a bigger engine! :)

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Zman wrote:

I think that glassing is probably way overkill for anything less than F-powered; or anything that falls under "model rocketry". The paper strengthening for balsa, is more than enough. Glassing is also quite messy to work with...lol.
And with all those cool Flis Kits you ordered, how could you *not* get:
http://www.rocketreviews.com/reviews/kits/flis_acme_spitfire.html
That one is just too cool to resist...lol.
--

Greg Heilers
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All I can say is 'it's not for me'
lol
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news:lJjBe.3113

I like to think glassing is way overkill for anything less then min. dia. K motors.
I plan to fly a min dia K motor on a paper only rocket real soon.
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I am an extreme new one to this hobby so dia. K just means big to me. What do you think about the epoxy fillets described on Mikes website? Even with Woodglue it's still a good technique I would imagine to limit the 'goo' onto or 'not onto' the tube and fins.
Ok, I just didn't want my fins to break off. "I" would think epoxy would be fine....but not having launched any, I don't know what happens to fins....strange things happen.
I've worked with alot of balsa kits such as the old Ambroid "One Of Five Thousand" train kits from scratch in the 60's / 70's. And I mean from scratch! Working on a No. 7 Mathieson Dry Ice Car right now. and one Western Union Material Car #6.
My old man used to teach me how to make 'em....and I didn't like it...I just wasn't into trains...but...the skills were taught. I guess he was just trying to keep me off the streetcorners...and he did.
Now I listen and learn again....but I like it this time.
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Good attitude.

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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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I'm still gigglin'. Greg, I might not be a dyed in the wool rocket modeler, but I do like to build models. I got the ones I did because of the several reasons: simplicity, cluster/very different, the drake just because I thought it looked something like a Klingon ship (left brain shift) and the Night Whisper (shudder) just because I just darn well liked it :)
Strange enough, I'll get all of these rascals built...eventually , stock up on a lot of engines and then...when I get the urge...just go down to a meet and fly 'em all!
Just for the hell of it :)
and have a great time!
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Waferglass fins are a feature for MR (125g/453g) 24mm 160G640-16BK
Jerry
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Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
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Using glass does not have to be that hard or that messy.
I use 3/4 oz/sq.ft. glass. It is like curtain sheer. I used it on all the fins of my Commanche-3 to prevent rip-off at staging (previous experience). I tacked it on with water based urethane, then followed with another coat or two. By the time the last coat of paint went on, you could not see the weave, and had to look for the edge to find it.
Cut it at a 45 degree angle to the weave. That way all the fibers cross the joint and the edges do not unravel. Just be careful with its shape, as you can deform it pretty easily in this configuration.
I use a rolling cutter on a cutting board to cut fiberglass. Scissors and knives will sometimes snag, and the light stuff deforms pretty easily.
--
Tom Koszuta
Western New York Sailplane and Electric Flyers
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Zman wrote:

Yep, you're headed to HPR in no time. ;)
From your other post, you seem to be a craftsman, not just a "builder" like me, so this might be a how-not-to.
Breaking fins is a pet peeve of mine, I don't know why. Greg's method of wood/paper/thinned glue will make a balsa fin stronger and stiffer enough so that it is worth the effort, IMHO. I go overboard with my models and mount all fins that I can through the wall to the motor mount and I fiberglass or laminate them as well. Little balsa, mostly basswood, some ply.
If you glass you fins/rocket, you will have to deal with filling the weave of the cloth at some point to get a good finish, so you're trading wood grain for cloth weave and overlap.
An important part of strengthening paper/wood is penetration of the adhesive into the fibers of those materials. I sand or peel the glassine off coated tubes before glassing to allow the thin epoxy to soak in. I use thinned wood glues when laminating for the same reason.
Once I've hacked up the body tube with fin slots and over sanding, warped the fins by using too much glue, globbed up the epoxy fillets, put down a layer of fiberglass which looks like a scale relief of the Rocky Mountains, and glued the entire rocket to the workbench with thin CA overrun, I take out a small plastic trash can filled with thinned Fill'n'Finish and dip the entire rocket in to cover all the defects.
Okay, I don't really dip them, but I do use a lot of wood filler to make up for my poor construction skills. IF, I even put a finish on. Yeah, I'm one of those guys who ooooohhh and aaahhhhh the rockets that guys like you build.
--
Gary "Fly Naked!" Bolles

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