Occasionally you need to make a piece of warped foam board straight and usable. For me it is the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, rudders, and elevators. Not so much a problem with fuselages and other parts that have panels that are bent and glued. Those tend to automatically straighten out any warps. So I usually take 2 warped pieces at the same time. Put a couple of strips of foam board under each end, then add some sand bags in the middle. If you get too aggressive with lifting the ends and adding sand bags you will end up putting wrinkles in the paper covering right where the sand bags sit. It normally takes a few to several days for the boards to straighten out. These pictures were taken outside in Chicago on a cold day. The warmth of being inside the house will be a better place to do this.
When building foam board models you can use pins and tape and tape dispensers and glue guns to hold things down while you work on them. But you may want to make a few sand bags. They will come in handy. I use Ziploc sandwich type bags, one inside the other. You can buy sand box sand at places like Home Depot.
The little red pins are used to hold balsa parts together while the glue dries. Or to hold parts in alignment. They can also be used in foam board construction. The vertical stab and rudder are pinned down to make it easier to apply the tape hinge. Hard to do just holding the parts together while applying the tape.
The elevator of the Aeronca has a very narrow connection between the left and right side. If the elevator is being built with balsa and hardwoods there would be no concern about connecting the halves. But foam board does not have the torsional strength of balsa in this application. An exact foam replica from the plan would give a very narrow strip of foam board to connect the halves. So I decided to add a joiner made from 3/16″ x 1/2″ firm balsa. The middle pic shows what that looks like. Next is the need to cut a 45° bevel on the leading edge of the elevator. Normally cutting a bevel in foam board is easy, but with the addition of the balsa joiner the task becomes more challenging. Two possible ways to make a bevel in the balsa. One is to file or sand the bevel in the balsa before gluing it in to the foam board. Another is to use a power tool. I used a Microlux table saw. Just set the fence and make the cut. Comes in very handy.
So I have spent a fair amount of time looking at hot glue guns. On Amazon I noticed that some with different brand names look the same. The images below are of the TopElek, ccbetter, and BluSmart. And there are about three or four other brands that all look the same. Just more information for the smart shopper.
At the risk of getting deep into the weeds I’ll do this anyway. The picture below shows two glue guns and their glue bead samples. The gun on the left is the battery powered gun mentioned in a previous post while the gun on the right is a Surebonder DT-200F. As soon as I started using the gun on the left I noticed that it was easy to get a glue bead that was pretty consistent. It just seems more precise. They are both mini models which are good for smaller projects.
Heard about battery powered glue guns. Some have the battery in the handle or base. Others have a separate battery connected with a cable. Saw this battery powered glue gun at a local swap meet. I think it was $5.00. Already had the 5,000 mAh 3 cell battery sitting around. The gun has an XT60 connector. All I needed was a long enough power cable and an adapter. Bought a 36″ power cable on eBay and happened to already have the adapter from XT60 to Powerpole. It’s an inexpensive gun that I really like because it is easy to get a consistent bead of glue. Not all guns give you that. There’s no brand name on the gun but I have seen what appear to be identical guns on Amazon under names such as: Outfield, BluSmart, ccbetter, HXYTECH, TopElek, Vastar, WEIO, and others.
In a previous post I talked about strictly using Powerpole electrical connectors. The only problem that I have encountered is when I try to separate two connectors. When putting them together one slides up into the other using the slots on the side. Sometimes when you try to reverse the process it doesn’t work so well. So I use a couple of pliers or a small channel wrench. Works great. Haven’t broken one yet.
Building a wing for the FT Simple Storch. At one point you need to add a trailing edge spacer made from foam board. Wanted to get the long thin strip glued flush to the edge, so I made a gluing fence. The idea is to pin down the fence, then the wing touching it. I use balsa modeling pins. When you put the glue on the spacer strip you just need to push it up against the fence, then press down until the hot glue sets. These fences some in handy for lining things up during construction.