Sheeting Foam Wing Cores - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 12-30-2003, 08:54 PM   #1
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Sheeting Foam Wing Cores

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Hello all.....
I have just ordered a Sig Kougar kit . This kit has foam wings. I have no experience in sheeting foam wing cores but any tips, Do"s or Dont's, that you the members could provide me with would be greatly appreciated.
Some of my concerns are: Edge gluing the balsa sheeting together, tips on getting a good cut straight edge, what types of adhesives are used to glue the sheeting to the foam,.
So feel free to fire me off as many tips as you can as I can use all of them.
Thanks again, best regards, and let me take this time to wish ALL a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Old 12-30-2003, 10:20 PM   #2
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I built this kit a couple of years ago it's a fairly simple
constructed kit that goes together well. Typical SIG quality
just follow the instructions closely and you'll be fine as they
are very clear. To glue to sheets together mate to edges that
fit well and use masking tape to tape together laying flat on
waxed paper, then flip it over to expose joint and glue with white
glue close joint and lay on flat surface, wipe excess glue away
and weight the sheet till dry. Use 3M spray adhesive to glue
completed skin to foam ( be sure to use type that won't eat foam )
place the wing panel back in the saddles they came in and tape
securely. It's easier than it sounds and is clear in instructions.
I've heard 3M that won't eat foam is becoming hard to find
but this is very important. You'll love the Kougar.
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Old 12-31-2003, 04:03 AM   #3
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I concure with ratherbflyin. The masking tape method works the best to mate two sheets edge to edge. Just make sure the two sheets match together with little spacing in between. Sometimes stacking the sheets and lightly sanding the two edges together will clean up any inperfections. (I do mean lightly!).


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Old 12-31-2003, 04:38 AM   #4
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Many are now using polyurethane glue (Elmers Pro Bond) for bonding the balsa skins to the foam cores. You can find lost of info on the net on this glue. The benefits are a much stronger bond than 3M77 spray and lighter than epoxy which are the two most popular alternatives.
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Old 12-31-2003, 07:14 AM   #5
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I do not like white glue of any kind for joining sheets to make the wing skin,although I have always used the masking tape method.I find any of the white glues swell the wood somewhat and are harder to sand for a really invisible joint,and I always use thin CA now for this job.
A cheap aluminum yard stick will allow you to check the edge of your 4" sheets for straightness and can be used for a small clean up cut with a SHARP # 11 blade in your knife.
I usually do a very light sanding pass of the mating edges of the 4" sheets with a long straight sanding bar too putting in a very slight bevel so that the resultant seam is really just about invisible.
All the above sounds very involved but really is quite easy as you develop the skills ,and doesnt take much longer to do than it took me to type this note!
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:18 AM   #6
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I guess the joining of balsa sheets is a personnel thing.I prefer carpenters glue and masking tape.However,to bond to the foam cores,nothing beats Dave Brown's sorgum glue or a good latex contact cement.Dave Brown's is the best cause once it's down,it don't move.Latex contact cement is next best but if you use a vacubag system with it,it grabs jsut as good.
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:58 AM   #7
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As far as making up the skins is concerned, if you have access to a Jointer, this is the most accurate way to true up the edges of the individual sheet balsa prior to gluing. Pica “Glu-it” is an easily sandable adhesive for joining the sheets together. Taping the full length of the sheets over a perfectly flat surface then folding open to lightly glue will give the best results. Electricians tape can be used instead of masking tape and will not adhere to “Glu-it”. Patience is needed until the adhesive dries completely.

A ¼ sheet palm sander with 220 grit or 400 grit works well to produce a good finish. Sand both sides over a flat, hard surface as little as possible to obtain ridge free joints. You should also block sand the foam cores and thoroughly vacuum them and the skins prior to bonding.

Another material that can be used to adhere the skins to the wing is a professional grade water based contact cement - LePage® “Press-Tite Green”. This material is relatively inexpensive, odourless and holds very aggressively. It is really simple to use – just follow the directions on the can. (Except for the part about using a mallet of course)! The skins will curl away from the adhesive side and this will help with placement prior to final bonding. Use wax paper between the skins and the cores until everything is properly lined up, then slip out and press the surfaces together.

"Simplicate and add lightness"
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Old 12-31-2003, 10:51 AM   #8
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Ian is correct about it being a personal choice and all of the
suggestions are good ones. I used Weldbond glue which dries
fast and clear, cleans up easy with water and is really strong.
Only draw back it doesn't sand as well as yellow carpenter type.
As long as you wipe off excess before it dries it isn't a problem.
CA is expensive compared to carpenter glue, l avoid the fumes,
and l don't glue my fingers to the sheet l prefer to save
my CA for other applications that demand it. Use the green
painters masking tape if you can, apply just enough glue to cover
don't drown it, when you close the joint it will ooze out wipe off
excess well cover with wax paper and add weight, l didn't have
a problem with wood swelling. Once the entire skin is ready
for a section ( you do the two bottom wing halves then the tops)
apply the glue to the balsa skin wait for a few minutes till it tacks
up then "roll" it on the foam wing carefully to ensure full contact.
Then add the cradles that the foam cores came in, tape securely.
Add the LE,TE, Tips, trial fit wing halves, adjust where needed,
and join wing with supplied ply joiner. Easy right
Like l said before just follow instructions and its not difficult.
Your choice of glue is a personal one as long as you get results
your happy with. Good Luck.
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Old 12-31-2003, 02:22 PM   #9
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Hi Folks,
I use Probond for glueing balsa skins on all surfaces. I don't even edge glue the sheeting. Just tape the sheets together to make the skin and spread enough Probond on the skin to have a slight sheen. Then lay the skin on the foam, put the foam part in it's orginal chucks, and put a lot of weight on top. Must have a straight and strong bench for this. The Probond will expand to glue the balsa sheet edges together. Works great.
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:31 PM   #10
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I've tried a few different methods, 3M77, pre-joining sheets using white glue or CA, applying white glue to the balsa letting it dry and ironing it onto the foam and Pro Bond. Of all the methods I've tried I like sheeting foam just like sarawnty described.
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