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Scratch building from original plans

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Scratch building from original plans

Old 03-25-2007, 08:08 AM
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Default Scratch building from original plans

Ok I have never done this.
I have some questions so bare with me please.
I have several original kit plans. Some full scale and some not.

1. How do you get a plan up to full scale to be able to copy?
2. How do you make a template off a full scale print? My guess is tracing paper? Then cut it out, transfer this to something more rigid (cardboard)?, then cut that out and transfer this to the balsa sheet to be cut?
3. How are you guys cutting out the fuslage? Modeling knife? saw? How about cutting out the ribs?
4.I take it you can buy the leading and trailing edges?

Any other info on scratch building appreciated.

Thanks
Old 03-25-2007, 08:36 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

UKIE ! All good questions Its great you are interested in this! I wish you were nearby so I could show you how much of this is done.

OK here are the short answers:

1. Tileprint.

2. Tracing paper or use Tileprint's select tool to just print the parts you need.

3. The tool depends on the material being cut. For cutting sheets less than a 1/8 inch thick a few slices with a modeling knife will do. Any thicker A saw would be better.
Ribs are usuallly cut in rectangles which we will call blanks, one for each rib. Then the blanks are stacked together with a template on each end, then you use a saw or knife to whittle away the larger cunks sticking out till you get close to the template edge. Then sandpaper the rest. You have sandpaper right? You will definitely need sand paper.

4. Sometimes... Other times you use the specified size wood indicated on the plan and sandpaper this to its proper shape. Oh! Did I mention you will need sandpaper?

More about Tileprint here:
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_1369249/tm.htm
Tileprint is only second to Windows to me.

I hope some of this helps!

Robert
Old 03-25-2007, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

1. Just take it to a local copier and they can do what you need to scale it up to the right size.
2. You can trace it out, scan it to your computer or even print it directly off the plan if need be. When copying plans, I always get two copies made. One for building then one for cutting out templates. The extra cost involved is minimal. From there I cut out what i need a little outside the lines(about 1/4") then glue to a sheet of that there poster board that you can get at the dollar store( 2 or 3 for $1). Then cut out on the lines and you have a template. When tracing to balsa I always give a bit of extra so that i may sand down to the right shape(1/8" extra is enough.
3. Fuse is cut out with a modelling knife if it is a 1/2a size profile, and anything larger gets the scroll saw or band saw, whichever is being used at the time.
Ribs can be cut one at a time, but two rib templates, one at either end, bolted through a stack of blanks works pretty quick. Get the rib outline done first then for spars pick a piece of balsa one size smaller than on the plans and glue a piece of sandpaper to it then ust it to make your spar slot.
4. You can buy leading and trailing edges, but around here they don't carry them so I just make my own, or easier yet, modify my leading or trailing edges to something that works for me. Easy to do and keep the same profile and/or design.

Hope this helps a little for ya.

p.s. only one other little building tip. Remember to install the flap/elevator control rod and leadouts BEFORE sheeting center section!


I see you beat me to it there Build Light. Shows how slow I type!
Old 03-25-2007, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Two fiddly things worth doing: (1) make up a materials sheet so you know what you need to complete the job; (2) make up a building flow chart. This will keep you from finishing something and having to rip it up and fix something you forgot. I usually build the stab and elevator first just to have something finished and underway.
Old 03-26-2007, 07:44 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Hi Ukie

Welcome to the "scratch building society". All the info given so far is spot on, BUT, what designs do you have (ie names) as this may assist other posters to jump in with answers to the more ticklish question you will ask and more importantly help you with short cuts.

Ployd
Old 03-26-2007, 02:19 PM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

UKIE,

Before you scale up a plan, look it over carefully to see if it has all the things you need. For example, if it is a built up fuselage, does the plan include the shape of the formers or just where to place them. Same with the wing, do they only provide a top view or does it include rib shapes.

If the design uses a tapered wing, you need at least the root and tip rib shapes. Some plans show each rib.

Some designs have only an isometric view to assist assembly but discourage producing your own kit. If you get one of these, make a tracing of ALL of the parts in case you crash and have to reproduce them.

Sometimes it is better to purchase plans from someone who has reproduced the plan in full size. A lot of work goes into some of them.

Good luck,

George
Old 03-26-2007, 05:18 PM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Great information everyone! I like the stacked rectangle blank idea. Nice way to save some time.
Yes I have lots of sandpaper lol.. Being a Machinist, I would like to be able to import to my computer say the shape of a rib into my Mastercam software at work, then I could make templates out of 1/8" aluminum sheet. Would make for a durable template.

The plans I have are nothing special.
All of these are original: Baby Flite Streak, Jr. Flite Streak, Flite Streak, Magician 15, Magician 35, Ringmaster, Ringmaster Jr., Twister, ME-109 Messerschmidt, Winder, Voodoo, Jr. Satan, Combat Kittens, Yak 9.

I would really like to do the ME-109 and the Yak 9. ME-109 is full scale, Yak 9 is not.

gcb, Your right on the amount of work they take to make. For the $10 that alot of guys want for reproduced plans, it may be worth it.

Thanks all!!
Old 03-29-2007, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Hey UKIE, as an OLDTIMER scratch builder one item needs to be discussed. When using balsa and plywood, the direction of the grain is one that needs to be taught. There are books that go into detail about this, but basically ribs are cut with the grain and wingtips are a composite of differant angles on the grain. Also there are differant weights of balsa; very light for F/F, R/C and a slightly heavier weight for U/C, boats etc. How you position the grain direction gives you the added strenght needed for light weight and durability. I'm sure there is someone near you with skills needed to get you on the path to the art of scratch building. If not check with a woodworker or furniture maker their knowlege would be helpful. Once you get hooked on your own work you'll NEVER buy an ARF again!!!
Old 03-29-2007, 10:29 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Agreed. Best to read this useful info on Balsa wood. It will only help!

http://www.sigmfg.com/IndexText/Balsa1V3.html

This is just the first page. Click button at bottom of page to advance to next page.

Robert
Old 03-29-2007, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Speaking of balsa, you might want to go onto the SIG site and look up the uses for A,B, and C grain balsa. I have made sheet stabs, etc. out of "A" grain only to have them warp. My fault, I should have used "C" grain. Read and heed!

George

Edit: Oops! Sorry Robert, guess you typed faster than me.
Old 03-29-2007, 04:29 PM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

quagmire303 , Great stuff. Never new about the wingtips being a composite of different angles on the grain. Small details that I never paid attention to as a youngin', but real nice to know about now. Also the weight of the balsa. Some of the new kits say Contest weight balsa. Not sure how this is classified. What weight is contest weight?

That Sig link is great. Never researched balsa, but again I was a little shaver. Much more interesting at 41.

I have never flown or built a built-up fuselage type control line plane. they never really appealed to me back then, but now I think they are the caddy of control line. These types of planes look elegant. Like the Super Chipmunk or something along those lines. I need to buy a kit and give it a try.

Thanks
Old 03-29-2007, 08:56 PM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

Balsa wood can be found in a large range of density.
Contest balsa is much lighter in density than the average balsa wood. Contest Balsa is generally considered to be less than 8 pounds per cubic ft. in density.
However...
Just because a piece of wood falls into this catagory does not mean it is a superior quality. It still needs strength. If a piece is really spongy it likely is not usable where strength is needed.

Robert
Old 03-30-2007, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans


ORIGINAL: UKIE
quagmire303 , Great stuff. Never new about the wingtips being a composite of different angles on the grain. Small details that I never paid attention to as a youngin', but real nice to know about now... Thanks
I assume you are referencing rounded wing tips that consist of multiple pieces to add strength. But even on the wing tips that consist of a sheet outline with bracing triangular pieces for support, most of us do it wrong (even most kit manufacturers). Those triangular pieces are called gussets. Most of us in CL find it easier to hack off a 90 degree corner chunk from a sheet than to make it correctly (with the grain running along the longest edge, for balsa). I guess the reason is because we tend to overbuild in some places and really don't need the extra strength a proper gusset affords.

Perhaps gussets are a lost art...ask a free flighter. []

Not sure how we drifted from enlarging plans to building techniques, but it's all good stuff.

George
Old 04-02-2007, 06:32 AM
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Default RE: Scratch building from original plans

ORIGINAL: UKIE

Great information everyone! I like the stacked rectangle blank idea. Nice way to save some time.

Thanks all!!

A hint about the stacked blank idea.........................

Stack twice as many blanks as needed for one wing. Taa Daa...... you wind up with two wings worth of ribs AND....... the taper that winds up sanded into each rib's edge is appreciably lessened.

At first, I thought that I might be wasting balsa to have an extra set of ribs. Turned out that I built wings with every "extra" set I ever produced. Matter of fact, the last couple of times I made up ribs, I stacked enough blanks for 3 wings. All three were the smoothest I ever built. And when I was "dealing out" the three sets from the big finished stack, after I got the three stacks, I numbered them. Then I selected a "best wing set" and a "worst wing set". Turned out that all 3 wings flew like gangbusters, but I'd do it the same way again.

BTW, yes, the stacks get pretty large. But it's still worth doing. You'll discover that finding bolts long enough is a minor effort, and that the threaded rod that works great is not only easy to find, but long enough for about any stack.

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