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Building Surface

Old 03-30-2015, 09:57 AM
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gramps05
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Default Building Surface

What is the best flat material used for building wings, bodies on.
Old 03-30-2015, 01:40 PM
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JohnBuckner
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I use a 4x8 sheet of Cellotex half inch thick cut to match the shape of my building table. White on one side brown on the other and either side can be used. About 18 bucks a sheet is I believe what I paid for the last one. Takes pins well and an excellent surface for most types of building.

John
Old 03-30-2015, 05:20 PM
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52larry52
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I have a repurposed 30" x 60" metal office desk with a 24" x 48" ceiling tile as the actual pin receiving build board. Works good for me.
Old 03-31-2015, 07:27 AM
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KW_Counter
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I built a 24" x 60" magnetic building board.

KW_Counter
Old 03-31-2015, 09:28 AM
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RCPAUL
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Homestead. Available at Menards.
Old 03-31-2015, 02:20 PM
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I use the ceiling tiles also. On top of a plastic folding table.
Old 03-31-2015, 03:21 PM
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bikerbc
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I have Two . One is a solid core door with a ceiling tile top and one is a slate counter top 2x4 ft that I use for my wing building table . I have a ceiling tile top on it too . I got the slate counter top for next to nothing from a friend in a cabnet shop .The solid core door came from a used building supply place . I picked over a few untill I found a straight one . Most of them are straight but have some other defect like a chunk out of a corner or something . Usually nothing that will spoil a good building table . The nice thing about the slate wing table is that it is very flat . If you go to cabnet shops very often they will have broken pieces that they can't use and you can pick them up quite reasonably .
Old 03-31-2015, 06:07 PM
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j.duncker
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What ever you get make sure it is FLAT.

I used old marble countertops and glued 3/8th thick cork sheet to it. This takes and holds pins well.

I would use the clear sheets that came off film covering to protect the surface.

Have a space about 2 inches wide at the front set up as a cutting surface. a sacrificial strip of MDF was my choice.
Old 04-01-2015, 01:54 PM
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bikerbc
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as j.duncker said flat is very important for your building surface to be flat . It is more important for it to be flat than it is to be level . If it is flat it is much easier to level .
Old 04-01-2015, 05:16 PM
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I use a hollow core door and a piece of 1/2 inch drywall to pin into. For small builds, I have put a smaller piece of drywall on top of my tablesaw.
Old 04-01-2015, 07:28 PM
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bikerbc
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I know lots of guys use drywall,I never have . I would like to try sombodys out . I guess for smaller builds drywall would be handy because you could pick it up and move it if you had to , like if you needed to use your saw .
Old 04-04-2015, 12:03 PM
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Gray Beard
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Best is a relative term as you can see. I use a soft pine board I made a very long time ago and when needed for wider wings I just add on to it. I have flat braces under the board to keep it flat and every few years I run it through an over head sander to remove the cut marks and writing. Several of the guys use a flat metal board and magnets instead of pins.
There really isn't a best.
Old 04-05-2015, 02:27 PM
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Mine is 3/8 plywood on a steel angle frame. The surface is durable but soft enough to hit dressmaker's pins
in with a tiny hammer. I use bricks as a building jig. Masking tape is my friend for holding parts together too.

What ever you get make sure it is FLAT.
For sure. When I put my building board on my portable work bench I line it up with a pair of long straight edges.
Something's not quite square with the workbench, I have to pack one corner of the building board about 3 mm to
square it up prior to building.

John.
Old 04-05-2015, 04:05 PM
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I use 1/2" sheetrock, it's inexpensive, flat and takes pins well. I cut a 4x8 sheet in half length way, saving the other half for when the first half needs replacing. You can get many builds from each half. I use a hollow core door on top of a desk as the base of the building bench.

Last edited by bhady; 04-05-2015 at 04:09 PM.
Old 04-06-2015, 03:13 AM
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slipknot 26
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Magnets all the way!!!
Old 04-06-2015, 04:39 AM
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FlyWheel
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I can't see using drywall (gypsum board) as a build table, not if it is the same stuff used in cheap apartment building walls! It weighs a ton and breaks very easily if not handled very carefully. Also I've tried pushing enough pins in this stuff to hang pictures to know the pins chip it and tend to leave potholes in the board (the pin holes stay forever too). That is if they even hold at all. Unless there are different types of gypsum that I don't know about?

I use a 36" wide hollow core door which I place on top of two very straight 2x4s set on top of sawhorses. Making sure everything sits flat before laying the plans down, of course. This system lets me break it down and store it away when I don't need it. On one side I have laminated some sort of insulation material the name of which was not on either the sheet nor the rack @ Lowes I got it off of, just the generic name "insulation board". It looks like someone took shredded paper, turned it into pulp and them loosely pressed it into a 3/4" thick board then dried it.

I've shied away from magnetic boards because pins are very, very cheap compared to magnets. Especially for large complex structures where I may need a very, very large amount of them! Also if I come up against a situation where magnets won't work, only pins it's very difficult pushing them through steel. I can easily slide a thin sheet of steel between my plan and my pin board if I ever come up on a situation where only a magnet will work.

Last edited by FlyWheel; 04-06-2015 at 04:41 AM.
Old 04-08-2015, 05:28 AM
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The best way to make sure it is flat is with a flourescant tube.
They are made to very strict standards.

Good Luck,
KW_Counter
Old 04-10-2015, 05:37 PM
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FlyWheel
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Neat trick, I happen to have six 12 footers hanging from the ceiling of my shop too.
Old 04-11-2015, 01:52 AM
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slipknot 26
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I've shied away from magnetic boards because pins are very, very cheap compared to magnets. Especially for large complex structures where I may need a very, very large amount of them! Also if I come up against a situation where magnets won't work, only pins it's very difficult pushing them through steel. I can easily slide a thin sheet of steel between my plan and my pin board if I ever come up on a situation where only a magnet will work.[/QUOTE]

I do use pins in addition to the magnetic board, the initial invesment in the magnets was minimal. I have magnets that will hold a 1/2" thick x 3 " wide x 36 " long stock rock solid to the board. You will always need pins in addition to a magnetic board but just a few here and there. I'm sure we have all built enough models to know that we all do what works best for us. To each his own. I much prefer the magnetic board.

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