Not all mini glue guns and mini glue sticks are equal. When I was using my Aldi Workzone gun I needed to put in a new glue stick. I squeezed the trigger half way before any glue came out. Wasn’t sure what the problem was. What I discovered after taking some measurements and doing some research is that the Aldi gun takes 5/16″ (.31″) glue sticks and what I put in was a 9/32″ (.28″) glue stick. it doesn’t sound like much of a difference. But if you try to put the larger glue stick into a smaller glue gun, it won’t fit. And if you put the smaller stick into a larger gun not much glue will come out when you squeeze the trigger. My assumption was that all mini glue guns and glue sticks were the same. Not so. The point is that if you use a mini glue gun, just know what size it is so you buy the right size glue sticks.
When you are using glue guns you will have the problem of hot glue dripping out from the tip. If you put a piece of cardboard under the gun that will solve that problem, but there’s another way. In the middle is a glue gun holder with a small ceramic tile under the glue gun tip. The neat thing is that the glue will easily peel right off the tile. And you don’t really need the holder, just a ceramic tile as shown on the right will work fine.
Never liked to solder. When I first started flying electrics I was using Dean’s connectors. And at some point you probably need to solder connectors to ESC’s or batteries or something. Many years ago I discovered Anderson Powerpole connectors. I was attracted to them because NO SOLDERING!. The connections are crimped instead. If you have ever used a wire crimper before you can figure out what to do. If not, there are many Powerpole tutorials and how-to’s on YouTube. Besides not needing to solder, the other benefit is that while very secure, they are easy to connect and disconnect. You hear a little click. And after more than 15 years of using them and many hundreds of flights I have never had a problem.
I had this old wire bender in the garage; hadn’t used it in years. And I needed to bend some wire for landing gear. You need to put the wire bender in a vise. While I have a bench vise in the garage I decided it would be nice to have one in my shop in the basement, but I didn’t want to drill holes in my Formica work bench. Harbor Freight has a vise that you can clamp to the edge of a work bench; no holes needed. It has been working great.
During the past few months I have looked at information about many hot glue guns; never saw this before. On Amazon there was a link for the TopElek Glue Gun. I clicked it. If you have ever bought from or browsed Amazon you have seen the detail photographs to the left when you view a product. One of those images says that their glue gun has a quicker heat-up; 1.5-3 minutes as opposed to 5 minutes of the “others”. It received 4 1/2 Stars with 209 customer reviews.
It’s difficult to neatly cut bamboo barbecue skewers. Seems like there are always strands hanging out or the tool that you are using cuts and crushes. This Fiskars tool is something we use in the garden and, as it turns out, it works great for cutting bamboo skewers; nice, clean cuts. You can probably pick one up at your local hardware.
Up until I started building foam board planes I hadn’t used hot glue guns. Now I am getting the hang of it. The mini glue guns are inexpensive, usually under $10 and they often come with several glue sticks. So I am trying out different brands to see the pros and cons. When I get that figured out, I’ll do a post to share what I discovered.
The under camber 50% score cuts on the FliteTest Old Speedster and the Old Fogey wings need to be opened up a bit before gluing. One way to open the score cut up is to use sandpaper. To get a really even sanding job I use this sanding sled. It is easy to make from scraps. Use pairs of triangles for added strength. The box channels on each side help to prevent warping, especially if you use spray adhesive, like 3M, to adhere the sandpaper to the foam board. It works on both the wing center section and the wingtips. Sand both edges, front and back.
Occasionally the slots or servo openings on your foam board models need to be made a bit larger. And it is true for scratch built models or kits. This tool is handy for cleaning up or enlarging those holes. The paint stirring stick can usually be had for free at your local hardware. You may need to trim it a small amount. While you are there pick up a package of self stick sand paper. Use a finer grit, say 150 or 200.
My first FliteTest build is an Old Speedster. I bought the speed build kit. The top half of the fuselage is white poster board. Decided that I would prefer black, so I traced the white parts from the kit onto black poster board. Simple enough. The only problem was making 1/8″ diameter holes to slip over the bamboo skewers sticking out of the front where the powerpod slips on. Found these Fiskars 1/8″ single hole punch online at both Amazon and eBay. Made for a neat build.