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Balsa filler

Old 08-14-2002, 02:34 AM
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Default Balsa filler

What is the best product for filling small dings and imperfections in balsa? Something that spreads and sands easily, and shrinks little?
Old 08-14-2002, 02:44 AM
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Default Balsa filler

Spackling compound works well for me. Cheap and sands easy.
Old 08-14-2002, 03:23 AM
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Default Balsa filler

If they're just small dents and dings, you can use ammonia; I use Windex. Just spray it on and put a hot iron on it. It will cause the wood to swell back to where it was. A light sanding and you'll never even know it was dinged. I just use regular spackling when that isn't possible. I use some kind of light spackle, works well and weighs very little. Dan
Old 08-14-2002, 04:53 AM
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Default Balsa filler

Check out my thread in Questions & Answers...I like using spackling for filler, but I couldn't get the covering to stick to it...might be a little more info there for you...

Bob
Old 08-14-2002, 04:56 PM
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Default Balsa filler

baking soda and thin ca
Old 08-14-2002, 07:43 PM
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Default Balsa filler

Originally posted by funfly33
baking soda and thin ca
Baking soda and CA will not sand easily. It is however great for doing repairs.
Old 08-14-2002, 08:15 PM
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Default Balsa filler

I go the the local Wallmart and get "Elmer's Wood Filler" (for light woods). I tried the spackles and light weight stuff, but had many problems with them. Elmers goes on easy, sands great, and you can even water it down after you apply it to smooth it out so it requires even LESS sanding! (Cheap too!)
Old 08-14-2002, 10:48 PM
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Default Balsa filler

I just use water to swell the wood fibers if its very light. Otherwise, light weight spackling. Dont confuse it with the thick heavy stuff. They usually sell them side by side. I even use it to fill the weave on my glass jobs. Nothing sands easier than that stuff.
Edwin
Old 08-15-2002, 02:05 AM
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Default filler

Try Durhams Water Putty available at Home Depot. $1.50 for a 1lb can that will last forever. It is a powder that you mix with water. Sands good has the same color as balsa, paintable, sticks tight, cheap and you can even mold parts with it.

What more do ya want?
Old 08-15-2002, 02:48 PM
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Default Balsa filler

Hmmm!! That sounds interesting. I'll have to look that up. It might be another alternative to wing fillets. I normally use reson and micro balloons for the smaller wing fillets.
Edwin
Old 08-15-2002, 04:58 PM
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Default Balsa filler

WHILE YOUR AT HOME CHEAPO, CHECK OUT "FAST N FINAL" IN THE SPACKLE AREA. EXTREMELY LIGHT WEIGHT, SANDS EASY, AND HAVE'NT FOUND THE PROBLEM WITH COVERING NOT STICKING TO IT. WATER WILL SMOOTH IT OUT TOO. DRY'S PRETTY FAST. IT COMES IN A RED AND WHITE TUB. IT COSTS ABOUT $3.00 AND THERES ENOUGH FOR 100 PLANES. GREAT STUFF!
Old 08-15-2002, 09:15 PM
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Default Balsa filler

My LHS carries NHP Microfill model filler, comes in 10 oz container, your choice of balsa color or white. I have used light spackle from the hardware store, but the NHP product is definitely finer grained, sands very easily. Makes a great grain filler, sands down very smooth, dries fairly quickly in thin coatings, takes a little longer when filling larger cavities. No problem with adhesion of film covering. It is water-based, and if you try to smear it lightly on dry balsa it has a tendency to not stick well, so I wipe the balsa with a damp (not wet) sponge first, just to put a little moisture in the wood. That allows the Microfill to bond quickly and easily. I usually work it into the wood with my finger tip to fill the grain without building up much thickness, or spread it with a little chip of sheet balsa to fill cracks. When it dries and you sand it down, it hardens the surface somewhat, making it a little more ding-proof. One container will do at least 2-3 models used liberally.
Old 08-16-2002, 01:01 AM
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Default Balsa filler

The best filler I've found is "Evercoat #417" available where bodyshop supplies are sold. It uses a hardner like bondo, sets up quickly, sands easy and does'nt shrink. Best of all, it's the same color as balsa and does'nt show through the covering. I would not be without it.............Jerry
Old 08-20-2002, 04:53 PM
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Default Balsa filler

I use Sears lightweight spackle colored with a bit of tan craft paint. It goes on easy, sands easy, and covering sticks to it well.

Warning -- I got a different brand of lightweight spackle that was labeled with some promise along the lines of not needing to be sanded -- they apparently meant to say that that other stuff was not able to be sanded. Just check the labels and be sure that what you get is the lightweight stuff and that it says that it's easy to sand.

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