Your Technigue to Skin a Wing with Balsa - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 01-18-2003, 09:13 PM   #1
County C
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Your Technigue to Skin a Wing with Balsa

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Maybe some of you more experienced builders and not so experienced builders can pass on some tips and teqniques to skin a wing with Balsa. What is your favorite way of accomplishing the task?
Personally I've tried a few, and I'm not really happy with any yet. I've tried "white" glue and pinned the be-jesus out of the skin to get it to stay down (a million holes) and I've tried weight to hold the skin down but the weight is not evenly distributed and it's hard to maintain wash-out. I've even used a vacume bag but you really have to control the vacume and the wing should be in a saddle (trust me I crushed a 3/4 complete wing). I've painted on a thin film of "white" glue on the ribs and skin let it dry then used a hot iron to iron down the skin and polimerize the dry glue but that left the skin a bit rippled (excelent bond though). Currently I'm using med CA and laying down the skin but man there is no room for error.
Now for most of these tecniques I've only tried once then moved on as the results were not what I expected but just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it not a good method. If I was a betting man I'd say I did quite a few things wrong.
Anyway, lets hear what you've had sucsess with and even what didn't work for you. After all I fessed up to crushing 1/2 of a 90" span wing.

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Old 01-18-2003, 09:40 PM   #2
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White glue is water based, it makes the sheeting warped real soon.

use 24 hour Epoxy, thin it down with something that won't attack foam. Spread the epoxy on the sheeting and not the foam wing. Then put the wing back in its shank and put blocks building blocks, 5 of them. Leave them for 24 hours.

Saw this on a video made by Rc city. They produce pattern plane kits and all of them are foam sheeted.
I have done one wing so far. Did one side with yellow carpenter's glue and that warped. Did the other half with epoxy, no problem.
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Old 01-18-2003, 11:06 PM   #3
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I find someone else to do it....

Seriously though, It takes two of us using CA to get the sheeting down. The results are not always perfect, but that is what they make sandpaper and filler for....

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to catch up.
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Old 01-19-2003, 07:03 AM   #4
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what type of wing are you talking about?

I am guessing, because you are using CA, that it's a built up wing with ribs, not a foam core wing.

Bob Hudson, MAAC 9709L
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Old 01-19-2003, 09:45 AM   #5
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It's a built up wing for a DH-88 Comet That's currently on the bench. Inboard ribs are 1/8 and Outboard ribs are 1/16. Live and learn!!

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Old 01-19-2003, 08:50 PM   #6
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Always a problem......I use contact cement for this tast. LaPages Gel stuff if on wood, or the latex version if on foam..
Make the sheeting larger than needed and cut to size after cureing.
Some guys don't like this method, but it has always worked well for me...
Brian Graham
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Old 01-19-2003, 09:01 PM   #7
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I use white glue, pins and masking tape.

White glue the ribs and spar (or where ever sheeting will touch).

pin the leading edge of sheeting, away from ribs,

then I use masking tape to hold sheeting to ribs using tape from leading edge to trailing edge.

Did that make sense, if not I could take a pic and post.

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Old 01-21-2003, 08:04 AM   #8
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Not sure of the wing shape but, I like to cut a foam core and use the waste material to sandwich the skin to the wing. Yes, even with built-up wings.
MAAC# 12719
Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere - (If it ain't broke, don't fix it).
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