Already admitted that I am not good at free hand cutting the bevels on control surfaces. So instead I have been cutting off part of the foam board and replacing it with balsa. In this case I took a 3/16″x3/8″ strip and cut a 45° bevel on the table saw. So as shown below, the aileron is separate from the wing. Vertical and horizontal stabilizers work the same way. Then I use brown kraft tape to attach the pieces to one another for the control surface hinge.
A large foam board model with some interesting construction ideas.
Here is something interesting. Spektrum is now offering a receiver that does not need an external antenna! Remarkable. Just ordered one for the FT Simple Scout.
In this post I used a small, hobby table saw to cut the 45° bevel in the horizontal stabilizer. I left the stab in the surrounding foam board to maintain a line parallel to the saw blade, but removed the bottom few inches to adjust the saw cut.
The table saw is small so I needed to extend the fence to accommodate the the foam board that extended far beyond the table. To do that I taped a couple of yardsticks together then hot glued them to the table saw fence.
After the bevel has been cut I find it easiest to apply the tape hinge while the entire horizontal stabilizer / elevator assembly is pinned down.
To get the tape hinge centered I put a couple of pins toward the end of the stab as guides. The tape is 3/4″ wide so I put the pins in 3/8″ from the hinge line. Works great.
After you remove the fuselage sides from the building board the next step is to glue in the cross members. An earlier post showed how to accurately cut the cross members using a guide. Next step will be to glue the cross members in. If the wood was larger than 3/16″ we might use building pins to hold the parts together while they dry, but with small wood sizes you run the risk of splitting the wood. So instead I use tape.
i had a question about tracing lines from the stab slots onto the balsa below. Here is a step by step. I used a small hobby table saw to cut the balsa. And then a small 5″ disc sander to clean up the edges. An X-ACTO saw and some sandpaper will do just as well.
If you are building the FT Simple Scout with the balsa stick rear fuselage, you may find that after gluing in the cross members the stabilizer tabs on the fuselage are slightly off from the stabilizer slots. One way to correct this is to make a spacer from balsa for a better fit. Could be a good idea to have the spacer in place before you glue in the last cross member. It might work with foam board. instead of balsa.
If you are building foam board models sooner or later you will need to cut some bbq skewers. The problem is getting a nice, clean cut. I’ve tried scissors, side cutters, and xacto saws. None work that well. Seems like they all leave strands of bamboo sticking out. But I came across these Fiskars in the garage and tried them out. Nice, clean cuts; no problem.
Just a couple of details about building with balsa sticks. Longerons are the long, weight bearing elements. The cross member supports add to the strength of the structure and also make assembly easier. The 3/16″ balsa tab fits into the horizontal stabilizer. If you view the plans for the Flitetest Simple Scout you can see where the balsa tab replaces the tab from the foam board fuselage side.
The bottom of the fuselage on the Simple Scout runs at an angle to the tail. So when cutting the balsa sticks the bottom needs to be cut at the same angle. The top of the stick is square, so no need to cut an angle. I made this cutting guide from a couple pieces of scrap foam board and one piece of 3/16″x3/16″ balsa stick. Just make your mark, then cut or sand the stick and glue it in place. Works really well to give you nice tight joints.