A little while ago, my good friend Neil asked if I would be interested
in reviewing a built-up model kit. Of course I said yes, but it soon
dawned on me that I didnít have a building board I could use to make the
built up 100Ē wing. Indeed, I have always shied away from built-up wings
preferring the quicker albeit heavier, foam wings. I originally cut
these using a wing bow and templates, but given I now have a CNC machine
to make the process even quicker, I havenít seen the need for a building
board on most occasions. Although there have been times when Iíve made
do with the workbench but that has not been ideal. Not being able to use
pins or being able to move the work whilst the glue is drying so I can
get on with other things.
However, I suppose in reality, In most cases I had an excuse to just cut
a new wing which gives in some cases a more accurate and quicker build.
This has now changed to Iíve had to ĎMan upí to the task and find a
Looking around the world wide web I have been unable to find any
building boards that are commercially available, well not for a
reasonable fee. So having perused a few forums and mulled over a few
ideas, and a tour around local wood yards only to be disappointed in my
quest to find some good quality block board that wasnít warped. More
head scratching resulted in a shopping list to be obtained from the
local DIY mega store.
Visiting my local B&Q, I purchased a big sheet of 9mm MDF that was cut
by the store at no additional cost to my required dimension. Overall,
itís cheaper to buy the big sheet and get it cut than to buy the smaller
pre-cut sheets. I also checked out the timber racks and came away with a
pack of 30 x 12mm battens and all for less than £20.
On arriving home, I quickly cut the
battens to length, opting to space them out longitudinally with inter
dispersed cross braces and two cross braces at the ends. These were
glued to one of the pieces of MDF using Epoxy laminating resin and then
the other piece of MDF was glued on top again with resin, effectively
making a MDF / Batten / MDF sandwich. I put the whole assembly in my Vac
bag held flat on to my building bench with weights and left it overnight
to cure. The use of the Vac bag wasnít absolutely essential as just
weighting everything down on my bench would have been sufficient
assuming the bench is flat and true to start with, but I had the vac bag
to hand, so I used it.
The following day with the aid of my Router, I trimmed the edges, making
a great mess in the process; routers are good for making a mess! I
checked everything to ensure the board was true and was pleasantly
pleased with the outcome. I reckon I could have used 6mm MDF and made
the structure a little lighter, but hey, this is good for me.
MDF is not the best material to
stick pins into, which will be required to hold balsa ribs and strip
balsa or spruce in place, so having purchased a couple of sheets of 3mm
Light Ply at £6 each, I stuck this to one side of the home made block
Now sealed with sanding sealer and sanded smooth, I am really pleased
with the outcome.
Iím now good to go having made my own building board for around £18,
although I paid a little more for the larger sheet material, but with
enough wood left over to make another.
Well, nothing left but to use the building
board to make the Gold Cloud Glider. I'll report on the build and flying