Oops! 1/16" instead of 1/8" - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:26 PM   #1
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Oops! 1/16" instead of 1/8"

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Hi all,
was working on my SIG Super Chipmunk this morning.
Did the top part of the fuselage planking (was a PITA!)
Then discovered that I used 1/16" balsa instead of the 1/8" that was called for.
Should I tear off the 1/16" & start again or just leave it?
I had to steam (nevermind "water" as the instructions say) the wood to get it to work on the 2" curve with the 1/16".. I think it'd be a nightmare doing the 1/8".
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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I've used windex on the past, makes the wood supple to work with.

If the 1/8 is needed for strength, you could always laminate another 1/16th piece on top. Try wetting the wood and bending it properly without glueing. Tape it down or connect it somehow in place.

When it dries, the shape should be correct or very close, then glue it.

Just an idea

Bob D.
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Old 06-18-2007, 05:26 PM   #3
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Thanks Bob!
Actually tried water, then Windex..then went to the kettle for steam
The laminating is a great plan! (and will cover up some of my boo-boos!)
I haven't built a kit in many years..what can I say!?
Might try a PVC tube wood steamer next time have to do thick bending/forming though.
Thanks again!
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Old 06-18-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
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Balsa bending

If you can find some concentrated ammonia, typically a commercial cleaning product and mix it with water as strong as you can, 50/50 should be OK. Wet down the balsa with the mixture in a mister (like the wife uses for her plants). Tape or other wise temporarily attach in place, let dry and then glue-up. The ammonia softens the wood fibres more than plain water, you may notice it turns the balsa a little yellow, but that will dissapppear when it dries.

Robin Boomsma
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Hub City Radio Control Club
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
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Hi again,
was doing some research on wood/balsa bending.
The boat modeling people seem to say that ammonia is a no-no ( bad for bonding/wood structure).
Not that it matters much when I do a pile driver with it..but..

It seems that for the past several hundred years, the wood folk were always steaming the wood before planking it.

Got me a very wide pot (could use a frying pan also, I suppose), added water, put a metal rack over the top, placed my balsa on it, covered that with the lid & let it steam for 5 minutes.

The wood formed like dream!
Used rubber bands & let it dry..then glued/laminated it after.
It was perfect!

Worked for me anyway!!

Thanks again for the input everyone!!
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