Foam board wheels are not very durable. The question is what to do about it. I came across some 1-3/4″ I.D. rubber O-rings recently and thought they might be useful to add some durability to the foam board wheels. The process begins with gluing the artwork to the foam board. There are places on the Internet where you can buy excellent art work for just a few dollars. Then cut the circles out. I used a Logan WA8001 FoamWerks Foamboard Circle Cutter available at Amazon. Glue the rubber O-rings to the wheel. Don’t forget to use the doublers behind the wheel for added strength. And you may find a Center Finder useful to find the exact place where the axle needs to go though. I bought the O-rings on ebay from Mr. O-Ring. Finally I used some rivet parts to act as a bushing inside the wheel. See my Rivets post HERE. The O-ring is 1/4″ thick so the finished wheel is 2″ diameter. Probably suitable for a smaller model such as the FT Minis. I am looking for larger O-rings or something similar. I fly from a grass field and have found that something more like a 3″ diameter wheel will allow me to taxi and get off the ground.
While I was working on the FT Speedster I was amazed to see the skewer fall out on the floor! This is the skewer that holds the back end of the power pod in place. Lucky I wasn’t flying. A couple of short pieces of tubing will hold it in place.
Finally went out to fly the FT Old Speedster for the first time. Things didn’t go well. When I went to taxi around it veered left when I gave it throttle. Then when I took off it kept wanting to climb even with several clicks of down elevator trim. The Speedster doesn’t have any down or right trim built into the motor mount. Every balsa model that I have ever built had both down and right trim. Lacking any other insights I decided to do that with the Speedster. I made a new firewall with a larger hole to pass the motor cables through. And I am going to use the X-mount and blind nuts with socket head cap screws. 4-40. To see the solution that I plan to use for down & right thrust, see a previous post here.
The Flite Test Simple Scout comes with dummy engines; a nice detail. Thought it might be a good idea to paint them to set them off a bit from the brown fuselage and black cowl. So I went with aluminum Rustoleum. The skewers that come with the kit can be used to hold the engine parts while you are painting. I used sandbags to hold the skewers in place on the table. And then the skewers can be used again to guide the parts to the exact right place on the fuselage when you hot glue them. The one picture shows the parts painted black. Bad idea. It blends in with the cowl.
I needed to build a couple of the short power pods. There is a small oval hole just behind the firewall. My thought is that it is there in case you want to pass wires through to connect to the battery. Found a neat way to make the hole. Logan FoamWerks makes several products for cutting foam board. I used the medium sized hole cutter. Worked out really nice. Buy at Amazon.
The FT Servo Tester looked like a good idea when I bought it over a year ago. The FT youtube video shows exactly how to use it. The tester has been sitting on my bench waiting to be used. So today I went to use it and discovered that the tester that I purchased is not quite the same as the one in the video. No big deal. The pics below show how to use this model.
Several of the FT foam board designs use packing tape over the dihedral joint. The FT build videos show a tape dispenser that makes the process much easier than using the rolls of tape that you buy. This dispenser is weighted so you can tear a piece off with one hand. Here is a link to one that I bought on Amazon.
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.
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.