- May 21, 2014
- Reaction score
Is this even worth attempting or would it be a colossal waste of time?
For beveling, how about a hobby plane? The David Combi plane on this website was highly recommended by John Boren in a thread about the new Honest John, and how to taper the fins.
I actually have. But not having used one, I've been skeptical. Not of the quality, but of my skills. It's still high on the list but I'm exploring other options before I settle in and start destroying fins lol.Have you considered a Great Planes sander block?
They have them in 5.5", 11", 22" and others...
I'll have to watch that one and see. I thought about fixed angle set ups, but you'd need one for each individual rocket's fins. They all have different thickness of fins and different angles. Still may end up being the only viable option for the bevel impaired.I think for balsa you are better off making a fixed angle sanding jig.
Maybe like this?
Masking tape. Masking tape prevents over-sanding. Mask off the boundaries and use a sanding block, tell us how it goes (use scrap balsa to make a practice fin).I'll check that one too. I have several builds coming up that require beveling for proper finishing.
220. 320 and 400 to finish up. The fins are then papered, beveled edge sealed with CA, and sanded with 400. Note that the 220 I used is the red "3M pro grade precision" stuff, which seems to have a different texture compared to the wet/dry black sandpaper, like the binder goes over the grit as well rather than just underneath. Not quite sure how to describe it. It does clean easier though, and the sheet is thicker. Also, I dry sanded.What grit do you use? 320 seems like it would cut through the tape.
Ok, Micro doesn't get to comment. That boy bevels fins in his sleep. Correction. He bevels tiny fins in his sleep. He is not allowed to make me look bad lol.Incongruent is right on here:
Plain old masking tape makes a wonderful sanding stop for Beveling and Airfoiling Balsa and Basswood. Competitiion flyer have used this technique for decades to create true airfoils on Glider Wings and Helicopter Rotors. It's even simplier creating very level bevels. All thats needed is a good level surface and a sanding block.
A sheet of Plate Glass makes a wonderful sanding base.
It adds minimal weight but you can test it out ahead of time with a fine digital scale and some scrap balsa.That's a good idea. How much weight does it add?
And that brings up another question. CA vs Wood Hardner. Pros and cons?
I use thin CA to strengthen balsa as well, but according to Apogee, wood hardener is better since it soaks through the balsa rather than just stiffening the surface. I might try medium CA since it doesn't run as easily as thin and gets sanded smooth anyways but I've misplaced my bottle again.It adds minimal weight but you can test it out ahead of time with a fine digital scale and some scrap balsa.
I use thin CA as it is the consistency of water, can cure instantly (with accelerator) and can be used on paper shrouds as well.