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Filler choices.

Old 03-18-2007, 11:00 AM
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Darkbird
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Default Filler choices.

Trying to decide what to use for filler when building. What I'm looking for is a readily available alternative to the commercially made "hobby" fillers. Something you can find at your average hardware store that won't add a ton of weight to a plane, should be reasonably easy to sand. Also don't want to mix something up unless the finished mix can be stored for awile. any ideas would be helpful.
Old 03-18-2007, 11:10 AM
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WhiteRook
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Default RE: Filler choices.

Bondo works great , but its too heavy. spackle is not strong enough for major fills, i'd
go with epoxy and micro ballons mixed really thick.
Old 03-18-2007, 11:12 AM
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khodges
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Default RE: Filler choices.

Dap filler putty, made for drywall repairs, or Plastic Wood, or equivalent will work. Both are heavier than purpose made fillers for balsa, but if you're just filling cracks and dents, the amount remaining after sanding should be minimal. The Dap is especially easy to sand, and is a less grainy consistency than wood filler.
Old 03-18-2007, 01:25 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

MinWax makes a lightweight wood filler. For small stuff, I use Fast N Final lightweight Spackle. For places where chipping is a conscern such as edges, or for strenght, I use phenolic microballoons.

Scott
Old 03-18-2007, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

Try the Elmers wood filler. It looks and sands exactly like the stuff the LHS sells in the white platic cans. Buy it at Walmart for under $2.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

How much weight does it add to the plane?

I just keep picking up the tube and thinking it is really heavy compared to light weight spackle.
Old 03-19-2007, 12:58 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

I use Fast and Final all the time, unless the area needs strenght, then I use Bondo. Before covering I mix the spackle with water into a rather thick mix and brush on all wood. It raises the whiskers on the wood and fills minor holes and sands off nice, leaving the wood nice and smooth.
Old 03-19-2007, 01:14 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

If you are needing a filler to smooth the surface prior to covering, go to your home improvement store and get a tub of Red Devil lightweight spackle. You will swear that the tub is empty. It adds virtually no weight to the model, sands well, and once sealed with Nitrate dope, will not come adrift. It is the best product that I have found. It's inexpensive, works well, does not shrink, and weighs next to nothing.

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Old 03-19-2007, 01:36 PM
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ag4ever
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Default RE: Filler choices.

That is what I used on my trainer, and what I bought at the begining of my current build.

I am going to fair in the bottom part of the wing to the fuse, should I used the light weight spackle for that? I plan to put a sheet of balsa vertical on the wing scribed to the wing profile, then either fill with spackle or with balsa some how.
Old 03-19-2007, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

Lepage poly instafill, at home depot or lumber/paint store.
Old 03-19-2007, 07:39 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.

I use it exclusively for filling and fairings. As I said, it adds virtually zero weight to the airframe. Here is what the fairing looks like on my 1/5th WACO.

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Old 03-20-2007, 02:16 PM
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Darkbird
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Default RE: Filler choices.

got some good ideas here guys. was just able to get back to this as I was busy all day yesterday. Think I'll try the elmers and the red devil when I get a chance. Driving truck for a living makes it hard to find much building time.thanks for the help and for anything further.
Old 03-20-2007, 10:16 PM
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John Sohm
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Default RE: Filler choices.

I have a question for you guys, has anyone tried mixing microballoons with Bondo to make a lighter filler? I mean Bondo is just polyester resin mixed with talc to thicken. I see no reason it shouldn't work and I think I'm going to try it on my next project.
Old 03-21-2007, 12:10 PM
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Default RE: Filler choices.


ORIGINAL: John Sohm

I have a question for you guys, has anyone tried mixing microballoons with Bondo to make a lighter filler? I mean Bondo is just polyester resin mixed with talc to thicken. I see no reason it shouldn't work and I think I'm going to try it on my next project.
Why would you want to add that much weight? If you need to add that much strength, I would reccomend adding a little wood to tighten your joints, and stay away from the Bondo, or anyother polyester filler. That stuff gets real heavy real quick.

Bill, AMA 4720
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