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  1. #1

    building my first kit I have most of the tools

    Ok my question is about building table suface? I have a good 6 foot plastic banquet table. What should I buy to put over it
    To pin down my pieces for building?

  2. #2
    3136's Avatar
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    I'm not sure one of those plastic tables will be flat enough.
    Some people use hollow core doors, but they warp after a year or so.
    A solid core door works well but is a bit more costly, that was a bit big for my area.
    I used two layers of MDF laminated together, then I screwed some hollow square steel pipe to the back, two down the sides and one diagonally to stiffen it up and keep it flat.
    Then I glued some cork tiles to it.
    Then got a laser and checked it for flatness. Only the joins were a little raised, so sanded smooth.
    I have been using that for around three years and checked it with the laser about 6 months ago and it's still nice and flat.

    Whatever you use it must be dead flat!
    Balsa USA brother #1
    Top Flight brother #08
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    Mark

  3. #3
    Zor's Avatar
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    I can tell you what I use

    Hello,

    I have a 3/4" thick BC fir 7 ply 48" long and 20" wide sitting on an old office desk.

    I check its flatness using a 36" long steel ruler that I place in different orientation; lengthwise, crosswise, in both diagonal and any various orientation. If I cannot pass a sheet of writing paper 0.003" thick underneath the ruler with the ruler in both edges on the surface then I think it is flat enough for our purpose.

    Using both edges of the ruler proves that both the ruler and the plywood surface are within 0.003" and that is certainly good enough.

    Some may say we cannot push pins in that plywood. I grab the pins with 5" visegrip and hammer them in just so they are solid. I do not put pins through the balsa ( or wood of the model structure ). I put pins at an angle to hold the parts in location. Not many pins are needed.

    If pins can be pushed by fingers then the material is too soft and its flatness cannot be relied on.
    Now do whatever you are comfortable with. Just make sure you have a flat surface when needed.

    Zor

  4. #4
    thailazer's Avatar
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    If you are just getting started kit building, a 2 foot by 4 foot ceiling tile does nicely for accepting T-pins. You can tack your plan to it and cover it with waxed paper. Like Zor says, check your table for flatness and shim it at the floor if it is not level.

    Kit building is very rewarding and nice to see someone new getting into it. By the way, take the time and make yourself a few sanding blocks from left over 1 by 2 firring strips covered with a few different grades. I find my builds go really well if I have good sanding blocks to use. There is something very satisfying about getting a perfect fit with balsa. You can also buy some hobby saws but used hack saw blades do just about as well if you are just getting started and want to save money. Have fun making dust!
    Tiger Flyer #49

  5. #5

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    I have a variety of different sizes of planks onto which I've contact glued whatever building supply sheeting accepts dressmaker pins....these days "sound insulation boards" is what I would look for (taking some pins with me to see what works in reality).... the different sized planks are geared to different sizes of model structures (fuselages, wings, tail surfaces)...... that way I can set aside a sub-assembley for the glue to dry, work on other pieces, etc.

    If your table is flat you can use even springy planks as they will conform to the flat table. But if you table is not flat or your building plank extends beyond the flat table surface, make your planks flat...... for long, flat planks, consider salvaged (or new) folding closet door panels which are typically flat but also light.

    Right angle iron that has a crisp/sharp corner edge, perhaps 3 or 4 feet long with 1.5" sides.... available cheap at a metal retailer... makes a good, cheap straight edge, using the 90degree corner against a potential work surface.

    good luck

    Michael

  6. #6
    Leroy Gardner's Avatar
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    Personally I think sheetrock makes the best pin boards, it comes as light and standard heavy weight and its cheap, you can get a damaged sheet at building centers for very little $. Ceiling tiles thickness is not uniform and they don't hold pins well and they are to short for many builds. Regardless what you use if the surface under your pin board is not flat in all directions it won't make much difference..
    Leroy Tiger Club # 53, TF 1/5th P-51 mustang
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  7. #7
    3136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zor View Post
    If pins can be pushed by fingers then the material is too soft and its flatness cannot be relied on.

    Zor
    That's not right Zor, my cork floor tiles are dead flat, lasers don't lie, if it's uneven a laser will pick it up. Just re checked it 2 min ago, still dead flat 3 yrs plus.

    One thing I will stress is to secure the back with rhs steel pipe or angle iron. I used an ex kitchen bench once, (cork topped) but even though it was an inch thick it still sagged in the middle over time.
    If I put angle iron on the back it would have stayed flat, pity, it was a nice bench
    Making a really good surface will take time and money but will serve you well for many many builds.
    Balsa USA brother #1
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    Mark

  8. #8
    Zor's Avatar
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    Please disregard my posting

    Blue text by Zor

    Quote Originally Posted by 3136 View Post

    That's not right Zor, my cork floor tiles are dead flat,

    Good for you. You did not show within what tolerance the laser is giving you.
    I showed that I verify within 0.003 inch.


    lasers don't lie, if it's uneven a laser will pick it up. Just re checked it 2 min ago, still dead flat 3 yrs plus.

    Sorry I do not know how lasers give you a value of flatness and you did not mention.

    One thing I will stress is to secure the back with rhs steel pipe or angle iron. I used an ex kitchen bench once, (cork topped) but even though it was an inch thick it still sagged in the middle over time.
    If I put angle iron on the back it would have stayed flat, pity, it was a nice bench
    Making a really good surface will take time and money but will serve you well for many many builds.
    I did not mean to misinform you; as I said I posted what I use and how I check its flatness.

    Regards from Zor

  9. #9
    3136's Avatar
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    "Sorry I do not know how lasers give you a value of flatness and you did not mention. "

    Oh dear me!!!!
    Balsa USA brother #1
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    Sig brother 104
    Cub brother #206

    Mark

  10. #10
    TomCrump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3136 View Post
    "Sorry I do not know how lasers give you a value of flatness and you did not mention. "

    Oh dear me!!!!
    Get used to it. LOL
    Tom C

    Sig Brotherhood # 120

  11. #11
    Zor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3136 View Post
    "Sorry I do not know how lasers give you a value of flatness and you did not mention. "

    Oh dear me!!!!
    3136 ,

    I always appreciate learning more.

    Which laser unit are you using ?
    Briefly how do you proceed to measure the flatness ?
    What accuracy do you get on your working surface using the laser ?

    Any help to my knowledge ?

    Zor
    Last edited by Zor; 11-09-2014 at 08:13 AM.

  12. #12
    thailazer's Avatar
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    Let's not scare RC world away. There is no way you need to have incredible flatness as getting the table reasonably flat with a straight edge is fine. I've built wings with 1/8 inch warps in the past that trimmed out just fine and flew great. If you want to have great precision in your shop and in your builds, that is fine, but it is certainly not something a new builder needs to worry much about.
    Tiger Flyer #49

  13. #13
    Zor's Avatar
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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer View Post

    Let's not scare RC world away. There is no way you need to have incredible flatness as getting the table reasonably flat with a straight edge is fine. I've built wings with 1/8 inch warps in the past that trimmed out just fine and flew great. If you want to have great precision in your shop and in your builds, that is fine, but it is certainly not something a new builder needs to worry much about.
    Thanks thailazer for saying it again.

    The straight edge of my 36" ruler as I described in post #3 is good enough.
    Not being able to pass a 0.003" sheet of writing paper underneath is not a requirement.
    It just happened that the surface of the plywood was and still is that good.

    I checked it again a few days ago as I am preparing to build my Kadet Senior kit.

    Best 2 U from Zor

  14. #14
    thanks guys i have learned alot

  15. #15
    smithcreek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer View Post
    Let's not scare RC world away. There is no way you need to have incredible flatness as getting the table reasonably flat with a straight edge is fine. I've built wings with 1/8 inch warps in the past that trimmed out just fine and flew great. If you want to have great precision in your shop and in your builds, that is fine, but it is certainly not something a new builder needs to worry much about.
    Yeah, I try to get it as flat as I can with what I have, but talking in thousandths of an inch is getting way out of hand for rc plane building. It only take a few hours to frame a typical open structure wing, so find the flattest surface in the house (kitchen table, coffee table, dining room table) and take it over for a few hours in the evening. Throw a piece of sheet rock on it and build. If you don't finish, pick it up, put it aside and break it out the next evening.
    Last edited by smithcreek; 11-10-2014 at 10:51 AM.
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  16. #16
    Zor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post

    Yeah, I try to get it as flat as I can with what I have, but talking in thousandths of an inch is getting way out of hand for rc plane building. It only take a few hours to frame a typical open structure wing, so find the flattest surface in the house (kitchen table, coffee table, dining room table) and take it over for a few hours in the evening. Throw a piece of sheet rock on it and build. If you don't finish, pick it up, put it aside and break it out the next evening.
    The fact that my building board happens to be within 3 thousands of an inch is just good luck. It is not necessary. I build downstairs ( finished cellar side ) and the board sits on an old office desk that is also sufficiently flat.

    Doping in the house in winter time _ _ _

    I bring the building board upstairs on the dining room table ...
    I open the dining room window part that opens 24" x 32" ( it has an aluminum screen on the outside ) and place a 20" fan on the window sill blowing the air out. I open windows in the front to provide cross ventilation and I proceed to dope the model parts being painted. I do not inhale dope curing although I love the occasional smell ( intentional ). It is perfume to me . . . . L O L .

    Enjoy your build _ _ _ there is always a solution _ _ _ think and find it.

    Zor

  17. #17
    thanks

  18. #18
    Zor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcworld2000 View Post

    thanks guys i have learned alot
    Hi ... rcworld2000,

    Did you make a choice for your building surface ?

    Hace you started your build ?

    Zor

  19. #19
    yes a door and ceiling tile

    and yes i have stab and tail done..

    been working alot

  20. #20
    Zor's Avatar
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    New work surface for me Zor

    Quote Originally Posted by rcworld2000 View Post

    yes a door and ceiling tile

    and yes i have stab and tail done..

    been working alot
    Hi rcworld2000,

    Glad to read that you are on your way building.

    Some pictures at your convenience if posssible ?

    A little story that may end up helping many new builders _ _ _ _

    I had 100 Tpins and used to put them back in their envelope when removed from the board.
    I now could find only three. Gremlins know where they hid that envelope.
    Trip to the LHS and I now have 103
    While there I queried about what they have for a building surface into which pins could be easily inserted with fingers. They had nothing.

    I was disappointed but curious so I went to the recent competitor.
    They had some very dense foam sheets about 1/4" thick measring 30" x 20" at $2.00 a sheet (Canadian money) so I bought two to buiild the Kadet Senior wings and the rest of the build.

    Back home I made tests with the new Tpins. They go in nicely using just my fingers and they are solid enough in there for the purpose.

    This foam is very dense and quite rigid and may be what some fellows use to build some model airplanes.

    No more 5" visegrips and light hammering to place a few pins in hard spruce plywood.

    Zor
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