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  1. #1

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    Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Hello all. I am thinking of building an out-building on my property for the purpose of having some shop space. This would be an unheated and uncooled space the majority of the time. I might use a small propane space heater during the winter. I would devote an area to my RC glider hobby. So, my question is, can I build planes in such a space, as well as store planes in such a shop without damaging them?

    Our winters can get down to 0 degrees at the coldest. Our summers can top out at 105. I am unfamiliar with what balsa wood can take in the way of temperature and humidity fluctuations before warpage occurs. As owner of many guitars over the years, I can tell you that spruce, mahogany, and rosewood can definitely expand and contract to the point of damaging an instrument beyond repair. I don't want to find planes with twisted wings. Any feedback on this subject would be appreciated.

    Where do you store/build your planes?

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    you said it , too much heat or too much humidity , will ruin the airplane

  3. #3

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    My other home is in the mountains just outside of Yosemite and it snows, rains and gets over that 105 mark. I had a 10X12 tough shed built and I finished it inside myself. It is wired for electricity and even has a water line running from my well. I insulated it then used 5/8 Sheetrock. The temps get down into the 20s but as I recall 23 was a cold day. I used a small electric heater in the shop and had a small A/C in one window. This was for me and not my planes so when I wasn't out there building it could get very hot or cold. None of my planes ever warped and none of the covering ever got brittle.
    My shop here in Vegas is also insulated and I have heat and air in it but again, only when I'm out there. No problem with my planes. If you get a lot of moisture inside any shop or garage it could cause a problem but humidity isn't a big problem here except once in a while during the summer monsoon season when all our storms hit us.
    If you do something like I did and insulate there shouldn't be any problem with warping your planes. Most people store there planes in the garage and not a lot of them are insulated. I see no problems where you are living.
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  4. #4
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    I use a 10x16 Morgan building. It has heat/air but I only run it when I am going to be out there. I don't have any issues, and keep everything out there. I should also say it is VERY well insulated and sheet rocked, and it does not have any windows. We get 100 plus degree summer days and have several days below freezing in the winter. Having the building well sealed helps protects from heat and cold spikes. I have friend that hang there planes in the garage, They have covering issues from the heat I don't have.

    David
    I never want to see a crash. But I don't want to miss one either.

  5. #5
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Until I put heat in my shop I had some issues with epoxy curing properly. After about 5 years of working in the cold I decided my life quality would improve with a heater...it did.
    A guy who used to live on this site and now is rarely here due to the "upgrade".
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  6. #6

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Humidity is more an issue than heat. Wood, balsa included will swell and shrink across the grain with humidity changes. Every thing expands and shrinks with heat, some things more than others. But it is a more uniform size change. Green wood is the most prone to warping as it dries out and twist, mainly because it is stacked tight and looses moisture from one side prior to the other. Look at a stack of premium hardwood for furniture. It is stacked with cross pieces so 80% or 90% of the wood is exposed to air and the changes are more or less uniform.That keeps things almost flat.

    I live on the central coast of California. Not a great deal of temperature changes compared to Michigan or New York where I lived before. We do get big changes over the matter of a couple hours. It is not uncommon to hit 90 during the summer day to wake up the next morning with a temp of 50, or even go to bed with that outside temp. and then reaching near 90 mid day the next day. This doesn't seem to bother my planes and they are in an unheated, un-cooled garage. What I did do for "ME" was cut 2" foam sheeting and pack it into the Garage Door. Winter days were awful for working in the garage and most summer days after noon were way to hot to work. Our garage door faces south west, and was a dark brown color, so the heat was a real problem. I packed in the Foam and painted the outside a light color and the world changed in my shop. There are some days when the heat has been high for a couple days and it get uncomfortable to work, and then in the winter, I have to run my little electric heater for a few hours before I go out to work, but just insulating the big door really changed things for the positive for working in the garage year around. And it is not an air tight door.
    My stacks of balsa sheets still lay flat year around.
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  7. #7

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Ive never tested CA or epoxy in cold temps but I know for a fact that Tightbond will not work if the temperature is below the directions on the bottle.

  8. #8

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Epoxy won't cure if it's too cold either. I tried to do some gluing in a sub 50* garage and found the West Systems fast set I was using wouldn't get past the "gel" stage. CA may work in the cold, epoxy definately won't

  9. #9
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Hi folks,

    I work in two locations as often seen in many pictures posted over time.

    Downstairs in the finished part of the cellar where I have all my supplies or the unfinished part where I have circular saw, drill press and work benches with a vise.

    Upstairs in the dining area where I have more space to move around wih 6 ft.to 8 ft. wing spans.

    My hangar is my living room.

    I do not have an environment problem.
    65 F to 72 F (18 C to 22 C) and 50% to 70% relative humidity all year round.

    I have place to build a guarage but I do not have one.

    Do not call me "lucky"; it is planned that way.

    Zor

  10. #10

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    I have to say, I've yet to hear any stories of planes becoming damaged. I wonder how often it occurs?

  11. #11

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!


    ORIGINAL: Brian Patrick

    I have to say, I've yet to hear any stories of planes becoming damaged. I wonder how often it occurs?
    Not often. I'm sure there is some warpage in different states with a lot of humidity but not enough to really notice. I always worried about it when I lived in the mountains of Calif. but it never happened. Here in the desert our problem is the lack of humidity. The first year I moved here I found one of my cabinets had a crack in it so I bought a small humidifier. One friend of mine plays the guitar and has a couple very nice ones. He found a crack in the back of one of them then bought a big humidifier for his house. Funny but it is drier here in the winter and you have to use hand creams or the skin cracks open and gets very rough. Desert living is a bit different.
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  12. #12
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    I don't worry about my finished planes at all....I leave one in the trunk of my car all the time which can probably hit 130 degrees in the summer sun. The winters are nice and cold here, too.

    I take better care of the unbuilt kits. For preservation of the plans and the woof, I try to keep them away from high humidity areas or places with large temperature swings. Even then, not sure if it'd make a difference either way.
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  13. #13

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    It's sounding pretty safe.

  14. #14

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    It is. The shop I had before I made my move and the shop I have here has heat and air but not a lot of people can afford to heat and cool a shop just to protect there airplanes. My last shop was 1000 sq. ft. and it was my old Mobil home that I lived in before I built my new house. I kept the heat on during the winter and set at 40 degrees to keep things like the plumbing and toilets from freezing. The planes are pretty tough and don't require a lot of care. I on the other hand like my creature comforts so heat and air are a must.
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  15. #15

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    My friend stores all his planes in his barn, hanging from the trusses. They are all in good shape, though some of the older ones are showing signs of distress where the dope is cracking, but thats more of an age issue than anything else as some of his planes exceed 20 years. In IL the temps swings are great, from well under 0 to over 100.
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  16. #16

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!


    ORIGINAL: acdii

    My friend stores all his planes in his barn, hanging from the trusses. They are all in good shape, though some of the older ones are showing signs of distress where the dope is cracking, but thats more of an age issue than anything else as some of his planes exceed 20 years. In IL the temps swings are great, from well under 0 to over 100.
    You forgot to mention HUMID!!!!
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  17. #17

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    I store many of my planes at our field. They can be found scattered about the field in little pieces.

  18. #18

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!


    ORIGINAL: Gray Beard


    ORIGINAL: acdii

    My friend stores all his planes in his barn, hanging from the trusses. They are all in good shape, though some of the older ones are showing signs of distress where the dope is cracking, but thats more of an age issue than anything else as some of his planes exceed 20 years. In IL the temps swings are great, from well under 0 to over 100.
    You forgot to mention HUMID!!!!
    Humid! There, is that better! Yes, it does get humid here. Until I spent a couple days in Las Vegas in August I had no idea what people meant by a dry heat. Now I do, standing outside in 105* weather in LV, is sure a lot more comfortable than 85* with 75% humidity.

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  19. #19
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!


    ORIGINAL: acdii

    My friend stores all his planes in his barn, hanging from the trusses. They are all in good shape, though some of the older ones are showing signs of distress where the dope is cracking, but thats more of an age issue than anything else as some of his planes exceed 20 years. In IL the temps swings are great, from well under 0 to over 100.
    I wish I could understand that cracking dope.

    Perhaps some dope composition has changed over the years or some dope manufacturers had their own.

    I have here some over 50 (fifty, no typing error) year old models and the dope shows no sign of cracking and the fabric (old silk srockings from my mother) is still tight as a drum.

    The dope used in those years, late 1950s and 1960s was branded "Berry Brothers".

    I find this interesting. Perhaps it is the temperaure range reported from 0 to over 100 ?

    Zor

  20. #20

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    I have a plane that is ready for field storage right now.

  21. #21

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!


    ORIGINAL: acdii


    ORIGINAL: Gray Beard


    ORIGINAL: acdii

    My friend stores all his planes in his barn, hanging from the trusses. They are all in good shape, though some of the older ones are showing signs of distress where the dope is cracking, but thats more of an age issue than anything else as some of his planes exceed 20 years. In IL the temps swings are great, from well under 0 to over 100.
    You forgot to mention HUMID!!!!
    Humid! There, is that better! * Yes, it does get humid here. *Until I spent a couple days in Las Vegas in August I had no idea what people meant by a dry heat. Now I do, standing outside in 105* weather in LV, is sure a lot more comfortable than 85* with 75% humidity.*

    When I was in the Army I spent a lot of time in Chi Town, they pulled my young beach bumb butt out of Calif. and stuck me in Missouri. A lot of friends were from Chicago so I spent a lot of time there. I think due to the lake it was more humid there then in the Ozarks? I know it was colder in the winter too when I met the Hawk for the first time. If a plane is going to be effected anyplace it would be there.
    Yes, Vegas is a dry heat but so is fire!!
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  22. #22
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    I live in Oklahoma and the last 2 years we have had summers with 100+ days of over 100 degree heat, and during the winters we do get cold with days below freezing. I store all my planes in an un-insulated and I haven't ever had a problem with damage from the environment. The planes do just fine being stored in that heat. We do have pretty low humidity here so warping isn't a problem, but I think in higher humidity that might be an issue.

    Hope this helps

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  23. #23

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Yes, RCKen, that did help! The temp and humidity changes in my area are less extreme than in yours, so I am willing to take my chances. I think there ate more RC planes stored in garages than anywhere else, and reports of warpage are not the rule.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Brian

  24. #24

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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    Once covered correctly chance of warpage is slim since the covering keeps everything straight.  Its more of drying out and weakening the glue joints that would be more likely to happen.
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  25. #25
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    RE: Where you build and store your planes? Temperature!

    West Central Fl 2 miles from cost. Hot and humid in summer.. cold and wet in winter.. no issues in unheated garage.
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