Balsa filler question

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graylensman

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I decided to try a new technique: thinned DAP Fast N Final. I've read tips about using Elmers', and I figured the DAP stuff (laying around the house) is similar. So I used water to mix it to a cake-frosting consistency. Then I used a brush to brush it on (a V2 nose cone).

The filler, while viscous in the cup, became rather like runny cottage-cheese upon brush application, almost like the brush sucked the moisture out of the filler. I applied a coat, let dry about an hour or so, and sanded with 300 grit. I still see balsa grain, and I'm not sure how much better/easier this is instead of old fashioned sanding sealer.

Question to all you finishing demi-gods out there: how many coats of this will i need to apply?
 

flying_silverad

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Generally, if I "paint" on some watered down glue first (and let dry) I usually only need one.
 

Micromeister

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Greylens!
If you don't mind the smell, or have a spary paint booth or area. 3 coats of sprayed sandable primer usually completely fills bodytube spiral seams and basswood grain. Balsa usually takes a second 3 coat application.
I haven't used a balsa filler of any kind in the last 5 years, since if discovered this method, It's quick, easy and at .91cents a 12oz can fairly inexpansive. I use "soft and silky" or something like that sandable auto primer from K mart... Shoot i'm ordering the stuff by the case now:) I'm using it on all size models from Micro-Maxx to Upscales like my 60" BT-80 O. T.
Only drawbacks, it has a smell and you need some kind of area to control the overspray, See articles in Sport Rocketry or on the Narhams.org library web site for booth/blower plans:D
If ya build lots of MR's it's worth a look:D
 

graylensman

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Thanks for the tips, guys...

Micromister - that spray sounds ideal; unfortunately, my building arrangements aren't. :( Part of the appeal with the fast fill is the remarkable lack of fumes and the water-based cleanup.

Silverad: how watery do you make your glue (I'm assuming it's white Elmers)?
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by graylensman
Thanks for the tips, guys...


Silverad: how watery do you make your glue (I'm assuming it's white Elmers)?
I use Elmer's Yellow carpenter's glue. For fins, I thin it 2 parts glue to one part water. A little thinner for the body tube. Once you start using it, you can adjust it to your liking...


MICRO...I have about 12 rockets that need paint...where do you live?:D :D :D ....Just kiddin...
 

Micromeister

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Flying!
In far Southwest Washington D.C. It's a dinky little Townhouse, but I've got 2 Booths up and running, if you'd like to make the drive, you're more than welcome..couch sleeps fairly well:) Here's a pic of the Large booth, 3'x3'x7'
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by Micromister
Flying!
In far Southwest Washington D.C. It's a dinky little Townhouse, but I've got 2 Booths up and running, if you'd like to make the drive, you're more than welcome..couch sleeps fairly well:) Here's a pic of the Large booth, 3'x3'x7'
It is tempting. :D
 
A

Austin

Graylens....


Sorry to hear about that filler...I stick with the old standby, either Elmers or Evercoat Formula 27.

Carl
 

graylensman

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Okay... sounds like I need to get the specific Elmer's brand stuff. Silverad: do you sand after the application of H2Glue-O?

I'm not trying to be dense (at least not on purpose :p ). I want to improve the finish on my rockets, and I figure getting exact info will reduce the amount of experiments (read: dreadful mistakes) that I will make. :)
 

graylensman

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Yeah, if there's one major change TRF has wrought in my rocket building, it's a growing concern for the quality of finish. Back in the day (as all the cool kids say) I'd slap on two coats of sanding sealer per the Estes instructions, two coats of white, lament the still-visible grain, and launch that bird.

Now, I want to fret more over how it looks. Thanks a whole bunch yoos guys:mad: :D
 
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Austin

hahaha...omg man...I didn't know we were THAT bad! I have a rule I follow...

The finish is in the primer ; paint is used just for coloring...

Carl
 

Micromeister

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Very true Carl,
Mine is " If you can see it in the primer, you'll see it when it's finished".
Isn't it the "joy" of balsa and primer dust that runs through our veins.. or is the Coor's..NO Bass Ale Yeah....No maybe balsa... Ahhh I need another...
 
A

Austin

No...Bass Ale, err Sam Admas Light, err...oh, never mind; I like em all. About the only time alcohol and rocketry mixes is when you're building or talking about em.

Carl
 

wwattles

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My Tripoli club here in San Diego has a pretty strict no-alcohol, no smoking policy out at our launch site in the desert. Sometimes, though, it feels like we're the only ones out there who AREN'T drinking (lots of drunk motocross and ATV folks out there... scary). I'm pretty sure the Boy Scouts who were launching about a quarter mile away were sober too, but I didn't go check...

There is one guy in my club who has a beer can rocket...

WW
 

Aerobee300

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I've been using good 'ol "Aero Gloss" Sanding sealer. Same stuff I used back in the 70's .... seems to work very good ... adds strength to the wood and if I'm patient enough and do enough coats I can achieve a very smooth finish !

I sure would like to cut some corners on the coat the balsa ... wait for that coat to dry ... sand ... apply again .... over and over untill I'm satisfied routine !!! One reason it takes so long for me to finish any given kit !

Anyone even use "Deft" sanding sealer ???
 

Silverleaf

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Aero Gloss..*drool*

Ya know, call me crazy, but Aero Gloss has went through the roof for price. Usede to be able to buy a bottle for $2.85..now 6 fricking bucks.

I love Aero Gloss..
 

graylensman

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Well, I applied a coat of thinned yellow Elmer's. Then I tried a brand new tub of DAP DryDEX. It goes on pink, and when it's dry enough to sand, it turns white. I thinned it a bit with water, brushed it on, and...

Eureka!!! Sanded it down and it looks like nearly every pore in the balsa is filled nicely! And the weather is warming up, so I'll be able to get outside and spray primer and paint. Pics to come!
 
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