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.
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:
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
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.
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.
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare 10.1 (2.6.10)
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
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare 10.1 (2.6.10)
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 !
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
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! :)
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*
That one is just too cool to resist...lol.
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare Linux 10.1 (2.6.10)
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
Now I listen and learn again....but I like it this time.
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!
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.
Western New York Sailplane and Electric Flyers
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
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.
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