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Building Board

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 building board.

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.

DF 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 board with Evostick.

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 later.




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