Alternatives to Elmer’s CWF

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Michael Garretson, May 18, 2019.

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  1. May 18, 2019 #1

    Michael Garretson

    Michael Garretson

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    I can’t seem to find CWF anywhere near me. My wife picked up some Minwax Stainable Wood Fuller, and some DAP Plastic Wood All Purpose Wood Filler. Will either of these be an acceptable alternative to CWF? My local Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s doesn’t seem to stock it. Thanks.
     
  2. May 18, 2019 #2

    BABAR

    BABAR

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    For me, if i color my balsa at all, I paper it.

    Some people swear they can fill it with hi fill primer and sanding.

    But if you are looking for “the real thing” here are some options

    Ace hardware available at least at my local store in Tennessee or for ordering
    https://www.acehardware.com/departm...jTgy3vKQGAw_Ee656S0TkUNlbSr5ADhkaAoRyEALw_wcB
    For tube 3.5 oz

    Or
    https://www.acehardware.com/departments/paint-and-supplies/patch-and-repair/wood-filler/10166
    For 8 oz

    Amazon prime

    https://www.amazon.com/Elmers-E842L...penter+wood+filler&qid=1558216363&s=hi&sr=1-3


    Walmart online. About $15 shipped, but wow 32 oz. I don’t recommend this, unless you build like Jim Flis it will dry out before you use it all
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Elmer-s-...92suzmBYiOQSXe6sAkm49mjRiMrngWK4aAvQCEALw_wcB
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  3. May 18, 2019 #3

    Michael Garretson

    Michael Garretson

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    Thanks for the response. I guess I’ll order some online. In the meantime I have about fifteen rockets that need finishing. Will what I have work until then?
     
  4. May 19, 2019 #4

    BABAR

    BABAR

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    Is there an Ace hardware store in your neighborhood? They may have it in stock, they do at mine.
     
  5. May 19, 2019 #5

    BABAR

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    FIFTEEN!

    There has got to be a story there.
     
  6. May 19, 2019 #6

    kuririn

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    Welcome, kindred soul. About the only thing I hate more than filling and sanding is assembling parachutes.
    Any wood filler should work, including sanding sealer, but if it's thick it needs to be thinned to brushable consistency. either water or some solvent to thin, depending on what it's base is. Refer to product instructions.
    In a pinch, I've used Varathane sanding sealer, homemade sanding sealer (MEK and Styrofoam), and currently I'm trying an Aussie product called Timber Mate. They all work, most of us prefer CWF cuz it's water soluble, water cleanup, and no volatile fumes and brain damage.
    Laters.
     
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  7. May 19, 2019 #7

    Dugway

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    The DAP color changing stuff from Home Depot works great, I use it all the time.
     
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  8. May 19, 2019 #8

    Michael Garretson

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    Well the story is pretty simple. After retiring from a successful business career, I got bored and decided to go back to school and get my teaching certificate. I'm now a middle school science teacher. As part of the STEM enrichment program our school has, I thought it would be fun to host a rocketry class. Each class is roughly a semester long, and my first class started at the beginning of this school year.

    I was into rocketry when I was that age (late 60's/early 70's), and dabbled again with it when my own kids were younger (late 80's to early 90's). While I don't have any of my original rockets. I did have about 30 finished rockets, and about the same amount of unfinished kits, from when my kids were young. These unfinished kits became the initial rockets my students built, and we flew my finished rockets as well.

    To say that I was bit hard by the rocket bug is an understatement. I can safely say that I've had as much fun, or more, than my students.

    Since the beginning of the school year we've built everything from Estes E2X kits, to an earlier version of an Estes Saturn V, and pretty much everything in between. The student's enthusiasm is contagious, and I've had a blast introducing these students to rocketry.

    The fifteen or so rockets that I mentioned earlier are mostly built, but unfinished, Semroc rockets. While I love - and have about 100 kits in my build pile from Estes, Quest, and Custom - the Semroc models - at least to me - take me back to the old 60's and 70's Estes kits that I started with. I'm kid of rusty on the finishing side of things - hence my question about alternatives to CWF.

    I guess I'm just an older guy that's very much enjoying my second childhood.
     
  9. May 19, 2019 #9

    Michael Garretson

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    Thanks for all of the info and suggestions. I'll give the stuff I already have a shot and see how things work out. I'll also be placing an order tomorrow with Amazon for the actual CWF. Thanks again.
     
  10. May 19, 2019 #10

    Michael Garretson

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    Yep. assembling parachutes have been the bane of my BAR existence. I have come to really appreciate the per-assembled Estes chutes.
     
  11. May 20, 2019 #11

    jqavins

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    I've been having very good success with this:
    [​IMG]
    Work it in with a hotel key, expired credit card, or the like. Sand with 400 grit, and yer done. And it weighs practically nothing. I also use it for aesthetic fillets, over the top of the glue fillets that have actual strength.
     
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  12. May 20, 2019 #12

    Michael Garretson

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    Thanks. I'll give it a shot. I'm sorely inexperienced with finishing balsa. I used to just sand it, prime it, and paint it. Looking to up-grade my builds - and get rid of the "grainy look."
     
  13. May 21, 2019 #13

    BABAR

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  14. May 21, 2019 #14

    Michael Garretson

    Michael Garretson

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    Thanks for the info. I read a similar thread that seemed much more involved - and difficult - so I left it alone. This one seems much easier, so on my next build I'll give it a shot.

    I figured that papering the fins would be a harder process than filling/hiding the grain with CWF (or something similar). Is that true?

    Also, as I understand it, you have to paper them before you attach them to the body tube. For the ones I've already built I guess I'm stuck with trying my best at filling them.

    Any suggestions on what grit of sandpaper to use? I've seen everything from 200 to 400.
     
  15. May 22, 2019 #15

    neil_w

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    I paper all my fins with label paper. It’s a different deferent sort of effort from filling with CWF. I prefer it.

    Of course, I make it extra hard on myself with curved and/or complex fin shapes with rounded edges.

    I could paper a set of trapezoidal fins with square edges in about 5-10 minutes I reckon.
     
  16. May 22, 2019 #16

    AfterBurners

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    I believe I've TVM in one of videos cut it down with water and thin it so its more user friendly and you can spread it with a brush.
     
  17. May 25, 2019 #17

    BABAR

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    Label paper works great for appearance. Doesn’t add as much strength as white glue,IMO, but it is a lot easier.

    One “gotcha” to avoid, papering fins does NOT correct for wrong grain direction. So if your fins are square or diamond shaped, some light pencil marks on the paper (don’t use ink, it will bleed through paint) to keep track of root end forward edges is advised. I speak from experience!
     
  18. May 30, 2019 #18

    RocketT.Coyote

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    When my Elmer's wood filler dries out, I just add some ammonia window cleaner to soften it up for application.
     
  19. Jun 11, 2019 #19

    Tom

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    Why not just water?
     
  20. Jun 19, 2019 at 1:07 AM #20

    BSNW

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    I seal all my balsa with BIN. It's a white pigmented shellac. Cleans up with ammonia and water. Completely seals wood. Two good coats....sand smooth prime and paint. Glass smooth finish. A quart will last years. $15-$20. See it's use on my Estes Conquest build thread. I like this product very much.
    Andrew
     
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  21. Jun 19, 2019 at 1:12 AM #21

    BSNW

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    See post #45 and after on the Estes Conquest build and musings....you can get it at Home Depot
     

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