If you build foam board models from balsa model plans, occasionally you need to modify the drawings; add doublers, change the LG mount, etc. With a few drawing or drafting tools it is easy to do. I use the cutting mat board along with a T-square and 45˚ triangle to add details to plans before cutting them out to make templates. These will come in handy for the FT Simple Scout project.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am not good and cutting the bevel in control surfaces free hand. So I use a table saw. I have another post coming soon to further explain that process. And then I use Kraft tape as the hinge. The problem comes when you try to put the tape on the two parts properly centered. A classic case of needing three hands. To solve the problem I just use balsa pins to hold the two parts together while I apply the tape. Works great.
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.
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.
Another tool used in balsa model building that can come in handy for foam board models. The Easy Cutter is great for making clean cuts in skewers and popsicle sticks. And if you need cuts at angles, the Easy Cutter has a protractor that gives you pretty close approximations of several angles. I checked a couple of online suppliers and this product is still available.
After building balsa model airplanes for many years I have accumulated a variety of building tools. Not all work with foam board, but many do. The Master Airscrew Balsa Stripper is one of them. It easily cuts perfectly straight lines in standard foam board. The specs say that the maximum width of strips is 1/2″. Uses a #11 X-ACTO blades.
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.