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Workshop Tip — Laminating Balsa Parts

Posted: September 2nd, 2014, by AircraftWriter

As my online Build-Along for a Sopwith Camel continues, we recently did some lamination work on a tip wing, and suspicion it would make a good How To. This technique has been used for decades though to a new era of RC indication builders competence be value explaining in detail. Here’s how we did.


There’s zero outlandish about a technique. we use soothing A-grade (often referred to as “Contest Grade”) balsa, good aged TiteBond yellow timber glue and some Ammonia from a grocery store.


For a core trailing corner of a tip wing, we indispensable 5 layers of 1/16-inch balsa and we cut strips regulating a true edge. The strips are a small wider that a finished tallness of a wing ribs in that territory of a wing.


Fill a kitchen penetrate with prohibited H2O and afterwards flow in about half of a ammonia in, (that’s about 30 oz. of Ammonia to 2 gallons of water.) Open a window for correct ventilation. Place a strips in a resolution and use a accessible weight (like a hammer,) to reason a strips submerged for about 2 hours.


Remove a balsa strips from a penetrate and clean with a towel to mislay entrance water/ammonia. The strips will be good and bendy during this indicate and we used an aged engine cowling to do a initial bend. Use some cloth pins and clamp a strips as shown here.


Don’t use any glue. This hook does not have to exact, it is only a initial step. Now let a strips dry overnight.


Here we see a strips now have a “set” and are still really bendy and flexible. They are also still a small damp though not wet.


To form a correct figure for your model, use your skeleton and make a combining retard to match. we used 3/4 in. hunger and a plywood bottom board.


To forestall a glue from sticking, we cover a plywood bottom and a combining retard with Great Planes Plans Protector transparent material.


Now churn adult a strips with glue and afterwards hang them all together.


Start during a core and use nails to “clamp” a strips firmly around a form block. Don’t worry about entrance glue oozing out. Just clean it divided with a paper towel.


The critical thing is to bake certain to request adequate vigour with a nails to discharge any gaps between a strips and between a strips and a form block. When satisfied, place a whole thing in a comfortable area and let dry completely. Titebond dries quickly, though we customarily leave it for about 2 days to make certain it is totally dried.

That’s it for now. Be certain to stay tuned. we will refurbish this Post when a glue has dusty and afterwards I’ll go over how a finished lamination is trustworthy to a wing. Until then, go build something!