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  1. #1
    jstyle13's Avatar
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    Help a noob get setup

    18 years after my father and I spent a year kit building a Telemaster 40 and I then subsequently spent 8 seconds taking it off on a first flight at my grandfathers farm and smoking it into the ground thus ending our RC aircraft building/flying endeavor, I've decided to pick it up again. I've spent a lot of time researching on the forums here and elsewhere what I need to get started. I plan on building a Sig LT40. I've figured out most all the things I need to get started as far as tools and equipment and Im ordering/buying that stuff now. I also recently bought a Sears craftsman 6 ft work bench along with some shelving and cabinetry to make a separate building/hobby area in my garage. I'm trying to plan out my work space before I get building.

    One thing I'm confused about is a building board set up. The Craftsman workbench has a 1 inch think MDF top. If I can figure out that the top is level, can I not just put something soft enough to pin into (i.e. a ceiling tile or dry wall) and frame up on that? I'd love to get a magnetic board system, but I don't have the cash to sink into that right now. I've read a lot of threads on building boards and I've been looking at pictures of other peoples workshop setups trying to figure out if I should build on top of the Craftsman. Obviously if I had unlimited funds and more space in my garage I would get some huge sturdy metal top, metal framed bench to build on. I may be over thinking this somewhat, but I've read a lot of stuff that says its really imperative to have an absolutely flat surface and I'm just unsure if I can build on top of that bench or need to buy or make a separate building board to lay on top of the bench (like a 2x6 hollow core door)and build on that. I guess as long as the Craftsman top is flat that should be adequate correct? Since I plan on progressing to some more in depth models after the Kadet, I want to get it right from the start.

    Thanks!

    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #61

  2. #2

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    You should be fine with that assuming it is dead on flat, although it may be a little small for some projects. It shouldn't be too hard to build a flat work surface over that work top if it does turn out to have issues. Before sinking $100 into a precision straightedge, have a look at this article on making your own.

    http://investigationsblog.wordpress....-straightedge/

    And welcome to the hobby.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  3. #3
    sticktickler's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    You're on the right track! I simply built two 4'x8' shop tables (see pic below) and covered them with 3/4 ply then a sheet of the buffalo board or chip board easy for pins to push into. You could cut one to the same size as your top for a custom look. You may want to paint a coat of cheap white latex on it that helps you find things on it because it's rather dark in color.

    It's best to keep things simple low cost and just buy what you need to get the job at hand done and try not to reinvent the wheel. The tools will start to fill your shop as your building skills grow and you decide what you need for more complex projects. Things like scroll saws, belt sanders and the all useful Dremel tool are huge time savers. I just bought a small air die grinder with small sanding disks what a wonderful tool (see pic).

    Some of the basics things you'll need are sanding blocks you can make these yourself in many sizes or buy them nice extruded aluminum ones from Great Planes, lots of sandpaper many grits, Xacto blades and handles, thin blade pull saw (see pic below) , Epoxy brushes, T-pins and small clamps can never have enough clamps cloths pins can help too and make some long sand bags to hold wing sheeting down. Try Harbor Freight for clamps and good affordable tools (many mentioned above) for your shop. harborfreight.com (they also have stores in some cities.)

    The very best advice I could provide you even before you start building is to search the AMA and your area for a flying club. You can lean a lot from like minded guys and many love to help the new flyers. Having a nice shop filled with tools is great but once your plane is built it's best to keep it off the building table. So to prevent the events you described with your first experience with RC planes get some help and learn to fly with some proper training or the same thing will likely happen again. This is a skilled learning curve and it takes time to build the reflexes to control the model. Spending time on a quality RC model airplane PC simulators (not video games, I like the Great Planes RealFlight) will help build them skills very quickly minimizing risk to plane, property and others. Welcome back to this wonderful hobby and good luck.
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    Jason Niemier River City Graphics Mason City IA
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  4. #4

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Sticktickler, I don't know if recommending HF is such a good idea. Almost everything I bought from HF was garbage that either fell apart taking it out of the package, died very quickly or needed extensive rework to get it to work properly. The only HF tool I still have is a bench top drill press and that's only because I was able to repair its problems enough to make it usable

  5. #5
    hugger-4641's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    My building table is just an 8' chipboard/veneer table with a sheet of 1/2" dry wall laid on top. My church was discarding the table from one of the sunday school rooms because the top was chipped and the legs were loose. I fixed the legs and the top didn't matter for what I was going to do with it. 

    By the way, welcome back to the hobby! I work in Clarksville and my daughter lives in Murfreesboro, if you need any help and can't find anyone close, feel free to give me a shout.
    Jerry
    AMA -922698 Nomal people scare me, but not as much as I scare them...

  6. #6

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    I like to make my work benches out of used doors I have found that you can usually get really good used doors ( I like Solid Core ) from Used building supply places..They can even be slightly damaged as long as they are flat.The damaged doors are usually quite cheap..Go for the widest possible..Then on top of the door I put a layre of 1/2" donnaconna..Its like ceiling tile that comes in a 4ft by 8ft sht...I set mine up on top of saw horses and that way you can put a shelf part way up for storage...
    Ken , Biker BC Cub Brother #6 Ultra Sport Brother # 100 Tiger Club # 7 Pulse Brother # 1 Sig Brother # 58 Top Flight Brother # 9

  7. #7
    sticktickler's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    ORIGINAL: Hydro Junkie

    Sticktickler, I don't know if recommending HF is such a good idea. Almost everything I bought from HF was garbage that either fell apart taking it out of the package, died very quickly or needed extensive rework to get it to work properly. The only HF tool I still have is a bench top drill press and that's only because I was able to repair its problems enough to make it usable
    When it comes to power tools regardless where they are bought, caveat emptor "let the buyer beware". I still defend Harbor Freight as a wonderful place to buy consumables like sand paper, razor knife blades, epoxy brushes, rubber cloves, smalll hand tools & clamps and other low cost items any good RC shop uses often. Your opinion was noted and disregarded!
    Jason Niemier River City Graphics Mason City IA
    Quality RC Graphics

  8. #8

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Before you fly....get with a club and an instructor to keep the crash from yapping again
    And good luck

  9. #9
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    RE: Help a noob get setup


    ORIGINAL: sticktickler

    You're on the right track! I simply built two 4'x8' shop tables (see pic below) and covered them with 3/4 ply then a sheet of the buffalo board or chip board easy for pins to push into. You could cut one to the same size as your top for a custom look. You may want to paint a coat of cheap white latex on it that helps you find things on it because it's rather dark in color.
    I've decided to use the craftsman bench for now. To the best of my ability I've come to the conclusion that the thing is pretty darn flat and that i should be OK to use that as a solid base to put something on to build on. Being that it's only 6x2 I want to have a portable building board so I can remove whatever I'm framing up while it dries to work on something else. Could I just use a 48"x16"ish piece of dry wall or ceiling tile laid onto my craftsman top as my primary build board? Would I be able to pickup a 1/2" piece of dry wall with a wing or horizontal stab without warping and messing it up? I wanted to order one of the 48" Great Planes build board but apparently they don't make them anymore or everyone online is out of them.

    ORIGINAL: hugger-4641

    My building table is just an 8' chipboard/veneer table with a sheet of 1/2" dry wall laid on top.
    All of the sheets of drywall at Lowe's were all 4'x8' or bigger. Can I cut down the drywall sheet with a saw without trashing most of the dry wall sheet or making it unusable? I've never cut or messed with dry wall before. And how do you know that your table is flat and that the drywall is flat as well? Am I over thinking the whole "flat work surface" thing???

    ORIGINAL: jetmech05

    Before you fly....get with a club and an instructor to keep the crash from yapping again
    And good luck
    Ya I plan on doing this for sure. We did this with the Telemaster twice. But each time we went out to the field, some grumpy old guy found something wrong with it and told us to go back home and fix it then come out again. Both times everyone was pretty unfriendly and didn't want to bother with some teenage kid and his newly built Telemaster. So needless to say I didn't really want to go back to that particular field and decided to go it alone. Hopefully I will be able to find a much friendlier group of guys this time willing to help a new guy get going.

    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #61

  10. #10
    sticktickler's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Yes ceiling tile works just great and is low cost buy a few of them.
    Jason Niemier River City Graphics Mason City IA
    Quality RC Graphics

  11. #11

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    I've used drywall sheets for years and I used to do a lot of building. Yes you can pick up a sheet with something on it as long as you set it on something else that is flat.

    Drywall is easy to work with and sometimes you can get a broken piece from Home Depot, Lowes or a lumber yard . When you get it just measure out what size you want, lay it flat and cut one side with a box knife then stand it up and cut the side that you didn't cut . Once cut on one side the other side will bend so you can see where to cut. NOT a big deal, you just have to do it.

    Once you cut it take some tape ( any kind ) and tape all the edges . If you don't you will have a white streak across your belly . lol

    You can put pins in it and cut on it as long as you don't go to deep . I used to use one side to build on then flip it over and do my covering on the other side. I did this in a 5th wheel for 12 years. And yes I think you are over thinking the whole thing. ENJOY !!! RED

  12. #12
    hugger-4641's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    The table is flat, but the drywall will even out any minor sags. If you have any doubts, you can use a straight edge or a 4' level to make sure your table is flat enough. You don't need a saw to cut dry wall. just a straight edge and a good utility knife will do the trick. They make a "T" square for drywall that makes this even easier, but you can use a metal ruler, a level, or any other suitable piece of metal as a straight edge. Use the straight edge as a guide for the utility knife and all you have to do is score the drywall 1/4 deep and break it off. It will break off nicely where you scored it, you may have to make a follow up cut through the backing paper if it doesn't tear off or break clean through.
    Jerry
    AMA -922698 Nomal people scare me, but not as much as I scare them...

  13. #13

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Jstyle13,
    That happens sometimes, sorry about that. But keep looking, having an instructor makes all the difference in the world. I went the same route as you, but as an adult. Couldnt find anybody to train me. It took me two years and 12 planes, repairing, building new, until I could fly decently but not great. I met a nice old guy that buddy boxed me for two flights and that cleared up almost all my problems. This was about 20 years ago. So now I teach in our club because I dont want anybody turned away no matter what age. We try to be as friendly as we can, to a fault sometimes.
    Edwin

  14. #14
    hugger-4641's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    There are several clubs in your area, there's an Rcu member named gboulton who was a member of a club in Murfreesboro and also flew with some of the guys in West Tenn. I think he still lives in Smyrna, you might look him up and get some advice from him as to which clubs in your area might be the best bet.
    Jerry
    AMA -922698 Nomal people scare me, but not as much as I scare them...

  15. #15

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    jstyle13-
    Just FWIW, a hunk of drywall isn't a bad working surface but is a little hard on the fingers when pushing a lot of pins in. Just note that there is normally a taper on the "paper" side that starts about 3" away from the long edge. This is so that when the seams are eventually mudded and taped, the end result is a flat wall. You will want to cut this taper off and use a clean edge for your building board. Either that or your building area will get slightly smaller.

    Welcome back to the hobby. Hope all goes well.

  16. #16
    jstyle13's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup


    ORIGINAL: hugger-4641

    There are several clubs in your area, there's an Rcu member named gboulton who was a member of a club in Murfreesboro and also flew with some of the guys in West Tenn. I think he still lives in Smyrna, you might look him up and get some advice from him as to which clubs in your area might be the best bet.

    Appreciate the advice. There are a few local clubs here on the south side of Nashville. Before I get to far into the build, I plan on getting in touch with them this spring so I can hopefully go out one weekend and meet some people and get some advice.

    ORIGINAL: gravity tester

    Just FWIW, a hunk of drywall isn't a bad working surface but is a little hard on the fingers when pushing a lot of pins in. Just note that there is normally a taper on the "paper" side that starts about 3" away from the long edge. This is so that when the seams are eventually mudded and taped, the end result is a flat wall. You will want to cut this taper off and use a clean edge for your building board. Either that or your building area will get slightly smaller.
    Ya I think an 48"x18" sheet of drywall laid over my craftsman bench is going to be the way to go for me. Thanks for the help. Going to place an order from Tower Hobbies for my supplies this week and drive up to Hobby-Lobby here in town to buy the Kadet! Can't wait!
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #61

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Look in the crafts dept at Wally world, they have thin foam sheets, they work great on your work bench. Perfectly straight and you can easily put pins in.
    And it's a good idea to put wax paper over your plans. The bench you have is a good start, maybe you want to pick up another table or bench, you'll be running out of space soon and putting things on the floor can be fatal for them...

    As far as tools go, a Dremel helps a lot, a cordless drill and a sander will help a lot (I bought a hand sander at HF for $10 and it works great).
    You will find yourself running to the store while you build your plane, there is always something...I'd make sure I got all the parts you can't get at a local store like wheels, tank, spinner, covering.

    Also you will need an iron for the covering.
     

  18. #18

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    I use a 2'x4' shelf board, formica on both sides, (Lowes or Home Depot). Its straight and works good for medium sized planes. Accoustic tiles will stick to it pretty good too.
    Edwin

  19. #19
    sticktickler's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup


    ORIGINAL: hugger-4641

    There are several clubs in your area, there's an Rcu member named gboulton who was a member of a club in Murfreesboro and also flew with some of the guys in West Tenn. I think he still lives in Smyrna, you might look him up and get some advice from him as to which clubs in your area might be the best bet.
    Hey hugger I thought that Lightning looked familiar, she's still flying good lol.
    Jason Niemier River City Graphics Mason City IA
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  20. #20
    hugger-4641's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Yes she is! Thanks again!
    Jerry
    AMA -922698 Nomal people scare me, but not as much as I scare them...

  21. #21
    MTK's Avatar
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    RE: Help a noob get setup


    ORIGINAL: jstyle13

    Ya I think an 48"x18" sheet of drywall laid over my craftsman bench is going to be the way to go for me. Thanks for the help. Going to place an order from Tower Hobbies for my supplies this week and drive up to Hobby-Lobby here in town to buy the Kadet! Can't wait!
    Drywall needs full support underneath. If it overhangs a couple inches it's not a biggie. But if it overhangs a foot or more, the overhangs will sag in time. When I was early in my RC activities, 35+ years ago, I was poor so I used hollow core doors from Home Depot. A 7' x 2 1/2' door cost around 12$ as I recall.I think someone mentioned solid core doors and that's even better. If you can find one used for cheap, buy it and use it directly over your Craftsman top. Then the sheet of drywall on top of that, trimmed to minimize overhang. It will serve you well for many projects and years.

    Regards,
    MattK
    (Rcmaster199@aol.com)

  22. #22

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    A buddy just bought a damaged solid core door from the hardware store for half price.
    Edwin

  23. #23
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Hey sticktickler, that is awesome stick in your post. [X(]
    Keep your wings level
    Club Saito Member #693

  24. #24

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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    I have been building on this from manards store and they are nice for pins plus i put two together for a 8ft top. joe http://www.menards.com/main/home-dec.../p-1497612.htm

  25. #25
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    RE: Help a noob get setup

    Here is a quick build thread of my work bench http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10...m.htm#10732121 I had the wood on had so I hand no additional expense. The ply was a "cheap" sheathing grade with lots of knot holes and such. I don't know if there is such a thing as cheap plywood.[&:] That didn't matter as I was putting a replaceable working surface on it anyway. If I were to do it again I would not make it as wide. It's hard to reach to the back to grab anything. If it were standing in the middle of the floor it would be a different story. Other than the width I would not change a thing. The bottom shelf makes it plenty ridged so sanding and moving stuff around does not cause it to shake or wobble. It is "belly button" high at about 42 inches. This way I can stand or sit on a tall chair or bar stool and work. It took a whole sheet of ply to build the frame and legs and another sheet for the top. The 1/4 laun ply is fairly cheap. Attach the bottom first. It is still pretty flexible at this point so make sure it is level and flat in all directions before screwing the top on. After the top is on it is completely ridged.

    Ken
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