Gluing Balsa

Howdy,
I've never built a balsa wood model, but picked up dumas aircraft's F4U Corsair as my first one as it inspired me.
I have my first parts pinned down to a 1/2 foam core board ready for gluing, but now I'm questioning the glue sold to me for this which was Testors Cement for Wood Models. I see several posts about yellow (wood) glue being best.
I also see several posts about 'painting' the pieces with a 50/50 mix of white glue and water.
I was wondering if there was a series of posts like Bill Zuk's series on building a model, but for balsa not plastic and if there was a good website or book that might be of assistance to me in this.
Lastly, I live close to Portland, Oregon and while I know there are modelers here I am having a hard time finding a hobby store with more than 5 kits. If anyone knows of any good source and local modeling chapters I would appreciate it very much.
I also travel to Eugene, Oregon on a semi-regular basis (I visited the shop on 11th) and will make a stop in Boise, Idaho this week if anyone has any suggestions for those areas.
Thank you all for any suggestions and advice.
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I'm hardly an expert but I can suggest 2 books that have helped me over the years.
1. Flying Models by Don Ross- ISBN 0-938710-54-9
2. Rubber Powered Model Airplanes by Don Ross- ISBN 0-938716-19-0
Even if you don't plan on flying your models, these 2 books have many excellent building suggestions that I've used in many static display models.
Good luck, Francis Marion
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Howdy,
Thanks for the suggestions, I shall look them up. I am pleased to see a book that actually addresses Rubber Powered.
When I visited one of the shops and asked about Rubber Powered balsa wood plane kits the hired help said they didn't know what that was. They then showed me where their kits were and of course in big letters across the kits it said "Rubber Powered."
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A couple of recommendations:
1. Testor's wood glue is not a good choice, IMHO. I use yellow carpenter's glue (Titebond, etc.), or super glue. Both are great for balsa.
2. There are a lot of resources available for "stick and tissue" builders on the web. A couple of good ones: www.smallflyingarts.com The Yahoo group "FFcookup" Moderated by John Ernst, this is a very friendly bunch.
3. Painting the pieces with diluted white glue is an option for applying the tissue to the frames, but does nothing for you during construction of the frames themselves. There are a number of techniques used to cover models with tissue, from the traditional dope to glue sticks and spray Krylon clear. Covering techniques are discussed in both forums mentioned above.
HTH,
-Bill (Who currently has a DPC models 16" span Sopwith Triplane framed up and almost ready for covering.)

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Testors cement is okay, and was the standard for decades, but this was before good vinyl (white) glues and CA.
White glue is VERY good for balsa models, though you have to be careful not to use too much or you end up with a heavy model, not a problem if you don't intend to fly it much.
Gap filling (thickened) CA also works well, and really speeds up building time.
The fifty fifty mixture of white glue and water is for covering, not for building the structure.
"K. David Marple" wrote:

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Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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Testors was never the first choice from most stick builders, Ambroid was. Sig still makes thier Sigment, which is about closest match to the old formula.
its faster drying, and has a little more 'give' or flex to it vs the testors or white glue.
Is still a pin and let dry glue.Look for it in shops that do R/C aircraft. Its 'Old School' but stil popular, much stronger than testors, too. If solvent smells bother, stay far away.

Has been overtaken by by the titebond style yellow wood glues, as are much faster drying. Fast enough that you can almost do without pins and clamps. Not so much weight, too.
For larger kits, or gluing Balsa to foam, the new Polyurethane 'Gorilla Glue' foams up as it dries, filling gaps. Very strong, expensive, and slow drying.

This is probably the best to go with, as is the fastest, esp. if you use the kicker. If parts are sanded to an exact fit, the thin CA can be used for the fastest work.lightest weight of all types.
For all these, use saran wrap or other clear wrap over the plans, as no glue will stick to it. Its better than waxed paper.

Back to older methods, I still like dope the best. Not everyone likes the smell, though. Some use the glue sticks now, and some of the larger stick built kit you can use the lighter iron-on types used by the R/C aircraft, if its not going for rubber power.
** mike **
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snipped-for-privacy@rocketmail.com (K. David Marple) wrote:

I think that's the glue I used when I built balsa models years ago, but as others have said there are better wood glues now.
As I recall, normal procedure was to tape the layout plans to foam core board (or cork board or corrugated cardboard), lay waxed paper on top of the plans, and pin the parts down, using the plans for proper alignment. The waxed paper keeps the parts from getting glued to the plans.
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Howdy,
Well mistakes were made.
I totally forget about wax or saran(sp) wrap until after I had pinned down the first 4 piecs and glued 'em, which brings up a question. If I glue them 'carefully' then I'm not getting glue on the paper (which is what the aforementioned wax paper is for). Does this mean I'm not putting on enough glue? Or am I confused about it...pin down part 1 then put glue on 2nd part and pin it down. Because the way I'm doing it now I've pinned down the entire main fuslage and then glued it, but I can only glue one side of it and that doesn't sound very solid.
Lots of work for a simple(?) balsa wood model.
Merry Christmass
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Gluing the piece before insertion and pinning down is definitely better- makes for a stronger joint, though I have seen some folks only glue after all parts are in place. Makes for a heavier structure if you apply enough glue to get thoroughly into joint.
If pinning second side over first, be sure to put a sheet of waxed paper or saran wrap between first and second sides as well as between first side and plans.
I definitely prefer saran wrap or other plastic film to waxed paper- you can see through it much better.
"K. David Marple" wrote:

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Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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in article snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net, Don Stauffer at snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net wrote on 12/24/03 9:07 AM:

But Don, What about TRADITION!
MB
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Since I already use CA, tradition is long gone. I figure just building this type of model I am doing my part in keeping a tradition alive :-)
Milton Bell wrote:

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Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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Don,
While I never really got into building "stick n tissue" model airplanes, my older brother (just turned 68 this past Sunday) sure did, and he used a technique that our mother showed him, when he was preserving dried leaves for a biology project.
The technique goes like this: Lay the wood model airplane plans down flat, on an ironing board (OK, so no ironing board? No problem, just lay them on a piece of cloth, like an old bedsheet, on the kitchen counter!), place a sheet of waxed paper on top of them, then open up a grocery bag (good old heavy kraft paper), and lay that on top. Take the family steam iron (or any iron such as one might use for ironing a shirt!), and when hot, press out (iron) the craft paper. The resulting heat will drive the wax from the waxed paper into both the kraft paper (the grocery bag paper) and the model plans. When done, this makes a set of model airplane plans that one can pin and glue on, but nothing, not even CA glue will stick to, and one doesn't have to contend with that pesky saran wrap either!
Art Anderson
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in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m29.aol.com, EmilA1944 at snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote on 12/26/03 2:26 PM:

Great idea. Wish I'd known that 50+ years ago!!
Milton
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EmilA1944 wrote:

Now THAT'S a...er...hot...idea!
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- Rufus


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I guess I should have expanded the statement about CA sticking to the plastic wrap. It does, but it is not a problem- the sticking isn't that much. One tug and the wrap comes clear.
One problem with CA is that occasionally, when pinning the second side over the first, thin CA can wick down along a pin. Just make sure you do not locate any pins immediately adjacent to a glue joint. The glue can wick down along the pin and get below the wrap into first side. Makes pin hard to pull out too :-( Thicker CA doesn't do this, and just, as I said above, keep pins away from glue joints. BTW, this problem exists with waxed paper, too.
EmilA1944 wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@rocketmail.com (K. David Marple) wrote in message

probably, yes.
But not a major problem. Its sort of like 'tack glueing', after you unpin from the backingboard, reglue the joints from the other side.
Besides not getting glue on the paper(and not having to razorblade the balsa from the paper) the wrap or wax paper lets the gluejoint be smooth on the outside, making covering easier later, as very few glues sand easy, esp. when next to soft balsa stingers.
A glueblob is a PITA in that case, and can tear thru the wet silkspan when time for covering. So wipe the joint smooth before the glue dries.

with the clear wrap, youcan build very fast this way with the thin superglues, but it will wick right thru waxpaper, glueing the whole together.
If its still pinned, you can slide strips of the wrap under where the gluejoints are to be, then superglue away.
The other glues wont penetrate the joint well enough from top glueing only, but will be strong enough to handle and doubleglue later.
With the sigment, a way to speed assembly was to preglue the spots where the balsa bits would meet, let dry, then pin all together, and hit the area with a hot thinner like MEK or acetone, and it would melt the sigment together, then dry fast. That was the speedbuilding method before superglue came on the scene.
strong joints are needed, as if this is for rubber power, you can have a terrible failure as the fuselage implodes when the rubber is wound fully. There are few sights as sad as this. Crashing or losing the FreeFlight are shawdows of the pain when looking at the ball of wadded up sticks and painted tissue in your hand.
Enough of the darkside.
even though pinned down, you can lift the joint to get glue on it, then press back down for the slower non CA types.

Think of it as cheap therapy. Its a little bit of a learning curve, but doesn't take long to get good at.
Besides, building is fun in its own right.
If its to be a flier with rubber power, look into gear reduction for the prop, a simple one can be made from spares. You can get amazing flights this way.
Sig still sells a lot of handy equipment for FF, like DT fuse and thrust bearings.
Radio control gear is small enough now that parkflier sized R/C gear can be used to control.
If not to fly, but sit on a shelf or hang from ceiling, weight isn't an enemy, add on the paint and glue.

To All!
** mike **
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Well, It is apparent that a lot of you have not built many balsa sheet/stick/tissue models.
Not a single one of you has mentioned the point where you go into the bathroom and "borrow" a double edged razor blade from your father's stuff . Because of the previous omission, nobody has mentioned the return trip to get bandaids to repair your sliced finger.
Further not one mention of "Banana Oil"
And still yet no mention of your first "Exacto" or Swann-Morton scapel
And further still, how you explained to your mother about the disappearance of her waxed paper or film wrap.
Jiminy Christmas, you are leaving out some of the most memorial parts.
At least with plastics we don't mention "DOPE" in conjunction with modeling anymore.
Oxmoron1 MFE Proud owner of an autographed photo of D.T. Packard (Cleveland Models).
Also Season's Greetings for whichever Holiday you celebrate. Planning Chinese New Years BASH will start just after "Boxing Day Blowout"
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OXMORON1 wrote:

AAaaahhh, Cleveland Models! Now there was a chapter. Cleveland and Joe Ott were the standard setters back in the 1940's. Memories, indeed.
                            Bill Shuey                         Who is giving his age away here!
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in article snipped-for-privacy@starpower.net, William H. Shuey at snipped-for-privacy@starpower.net wrote on 12/24/03 5:13 PM:

Joe Ott! Now there's a name I don't hear everyday. Remember the Ottomatic Construction technique, where formers were installed around a tube? Got a lot of those things back in the '40s when balsa wood was a rare commodity. Bill, you are the first one I've heard mention that brand. Yes, you did give away your age! Hey, who cares. It was a great time to begin modeling.
MB
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Milton noted:

Didn't Comet try to revive those old Ott kits back in the 70's or 80's.
Rick
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