Hey I just got the 1903 wright flyer balsa wood model. I never built a
balsa wood model before and I keep reading everywhere that CA glue is
the preferred. Can I use regular super glue or krazy glue, since I
believe both are cyanoacrylate, or do I need some special formulation
of CA. Any hekp would be appreciated--thanks.
yeah I would definately use regular wood glue, liek titebond or
something but, I read that the CA glues have a 12-second set time as
opposed to the 30-minute set time with the wood glues, which means I'd
need to use clamps most likely, correct?
on 10/12/2007 3:03 PM TheKeith said the following:
If you are in hurry to finish it fast, find a hobby store that stocks
the heavier CA glue, sometimes called 'gap filling' CA. Otherwise,
unless the joints are under stress, no clamping may be necessary. If you
do need clamps, the spring clothespins work fine, or you can buy a set
of small plastic clamps from Harbor Freight for a few dollars. I have
this 22 piece set for $5.
Yes, use the GEL variety, the thicker, slower setting stuff. I also
use white glue, which is cheaper. I use the white glue for assemblies
that are going to be pinned down for awhile, CA when I need the
quicker set. I also use the CA for areas that will be finished,
because the white glue is harder to sand and paint.
Also, I have built these as shelf scale models, covering the metal
covered areas with sheet styrene. I use CA for gluing the styrene to
I got back into modelling by first building a Guillows Spitfire, a favorite
kit when younger. I used CA - for about three minutes. The porous balsa
not only absorbed the CA but it went right through the balsa to my fingers.
I had to borrow my wife's nail polish remover to remove the balsa from my
Use Elmer's Wood Glue or plain Elmer's White Glue.
About the time it takes to set, I see. You made several mistakes. Once you
rectify those errors, you'll find that CA's are THE adhesive s of chi=oice
for wood nmodels,specially, balsa models.
1. I mentioned the fact that the closer the wood-to-wood fit, the better
the joint. Use really sharp tools and get a very good,accurate fit before
you apply the cement.
2. parts should be held together by pins to the board and/or other kinds of
clamps. Never use your fingers as a clamp. with CA. What were your fingers
doing any where near the joint.
3.You used far, far, far too much of the stuff, so it slopped all aver the
place and on to your fingers. The tip, rspecially fo thin CA is much too
gross. You can buy applicator tips that are like a fine hypodermic needle,
so you squeeze out only one tiny drop at a time ... just at the joint and
bowheres else. I sometimes put a drop on a toothpicjk nd touch that to the
it wicks in an without any slop. I also use dental pick, which have the
dvantage that you can clean them. There are many other rypes of
applicators you can use.
Which is great, because it really strenghtens the joint.
but it went right through the balsa to my fingers.
Goes to show, yet again why theGullows kits were the worst ones on the
market. They used only the cheapest, softest balsa. Better balsa does not
wick so violently.
Good hobby shops also sell de-bond (bond disolver) which is far more
effective than nail polish remover. Acetone also works better. Always have
some debonder around, because we all make mistakes.. and even after years of
using, also occasionally glue fingers together.
A poor substitute for tight-bond
or plain Elmer's White Glue.
An even more inferior product compared to tight bond.
Since you're new to CA, note that it is the adhesive of choice when you cut
your finger with the sharp scalpel. Jut push the joint together to a good
approximation, dab the excess blood off and put on a drop of CA. Stings,
but works perfectly.Can often (and is used by doctors to avoid stitches. Of
course you can use the "medical" CA at$5.00 /cut, but hobby CA is just as
sterile an works as well. Let's see you do that with Elmer's
I agree that the balsa in Guillows kits leaves a lot to be desired.
But I do not find that a problem. I find Guillows kits among the best
for scale accuracy. If, as frequently the case, I am not going to fly
a kit, but build it for shelf scale, I replace balsa stringers with
basswood or styrene anyway. I also replace a lot of the sheetwood
parts with styrene if it is going to be visible (as inside the
cockpit) 'cause it finishes easier.
I am building their Dauntless and this kit gives alternate plans for
several areas- a flying model surface and a scale surface, such as
tail surfaces. Also alternate cockpit areas if you are not running
the rubber motor through it.
I am covering it with sheet styrene with embossed rivets.
I was a flying model (free-flight rubber (Wakefield) and gliders) builder.
As such I quickly learned that so-called "flying scale" (at least for
rubber and low powered gas) was an oxymoron. Flying scale did not become a
reality untilgood engines came along. at first, only for U-contrlol. Now,
of course, despite the many aerodynamic compromises one has to make very
realistic RC scale is possible and thriving.
Before I dropped aircraft in favor of priod ships, I built many plastic
scale models. Those kits (with upgrades)are available with outrageous level
of detail sufficient to satisfy the pickiest rivet counter-- so why bother
with all the compromises of building balsa scale?
The various kits offered by Model Expo of the wright flyer, and WWI Jennie
look very appealing to meThey are built-up, ultra realistic, very big, and
yo my mind, a far more satisfactory exercise than doing aullows balsa-based
I replace balsa stringers with
In other words, you are using the kit as a sort of 3D set of plans.
That is somewhat extreme in the realm of kit-basing. But hey: Why do
people climb mountains? mostly for the challenge, and because they can.
Good luck to you. Post some pics when you're done. Paull Gullows will sit up
in his grave, smile, and say:that's what I intended all along.
I hope so. Paul was one of my heros. My very first model was a
Guillows Aeronca. This was in about 1947 (before plastics). Never
got it to fly- it got damaged before trimming. But I was so thrilled
to complete it after several years of unsuccessful attempts at
building "stick models." While I likely built far more Comet models
than Guillows, I always felt that the latter were a cut above the
Comet ones I could afford.
Glad to see Estes has continued the Guillow line, but sad to see they
terminated the Comet line. What was the Comet founder- Bill someone.
He lived to a ripe old age, dying only a couple of years ago (know
that even if I cannot come up with his name at present).