How to put a wooden peg into balsa

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neil_w

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Subject lines says it all. Or most, anyway.

Given a balsa nose cone, or transition, or bulkhead, or whatever, what's the actual process for installing a wooden peg into it for screw-eye mounting? I would need to do it with nothing more elaborate than a cordless drill, if possible.

Example questions I would have are:
1) What size hole to drill for a snug fit with a 1/4" peg?
2) How do you hold the balsa part while drilling, without damaging it? Just in your hand?
3) How deep do you drill the hole?
4) Do you cut the peg to length before insertion, or trim it afterwards somehow?
5) Profit!

I'm a little (ok, a lot) fuzzy on the process, and don't have a pile of spare nose cones to experiment on. A little step-by-step procedure would be most helpful. Thanks!
 

K'Tesh

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Subject lines says it all. Or most, anyway.

Given a balsa nose cone, or transition, or bulkhead, or whatever, what's the actual process for installing a wooden peg into it for screw-eye mounting? I would need to do it with nothing more elaborate than a cordless drill, if possible.

Example questions I would have are:
1) What size hole to drill for a snug fit with a 1/4" peg?
2) How do you hold the balsa part while drilling, without damaging it? Just in your hand?
3) How deep do you drill the hole?
4) Do you cut the peg to length before insertion, or trim it afterwards somehow?
5) Profit!

I'm a little (ok, a lot) fuzzy on the process, and don't have a pile of spare nose cones to experiment on. A little step-by-step procedure would be most helpful. Thanks!
Neil

I'd suggest drilling it slowly while holding it in your hand. The hole should be 1/4", or a few thousandths of an inch smaller. Depth shouldn't matter, that much, so long as the plug goes in deep enough for your comfort. Cutting the peg off with a razor saw is fast and easy.
 

EXPjawa

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A lot of the pegs I've found are actually undersized by a bit, so you might have to resort to letter/number drill sizes to find a good fit. I've often started with a pilot drill by holding in my hand, then clamped a larger bit into the vice and turned the cone on it by hand. Sort of like a manual lathe. You can sort of roll the cone between your hands if it isn't too big, while pulling it down onto the bit.
 

neil_w

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Thanks for the responses.

I've often started with a pilot drill by holding in my hand, then clamped a larger bit into the vice and turned the cone on it by hand. Sort of like a manual lathe.


Ooh, I like that idea. That'd be a pretty "safe" way to start, not likely to destroy anything using that approach.
 

Micromeister

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Another option is to forget about the dowel.
Drill or gouge (precision is not really required) in your balsa nose cone to a depth of about 1/2" or more. Tie an overhand loop in 90-130lb kevlar about 1-1/2" long.
insert the kevlar into the hole with the knot touching the bottom of the hole. Mix and Apply your favorite 5 minute or 30 minute epoxy. Pour into the hole centering the loop in the epoxy. Once cured you are good to go, Just tie on your shockline or shockcord.
I've used this process on models from 7g Micro Maxx models to 5- D12 Clustered BT-101 3-X UpScale Laser-X MPR models and just about every size in between. Never had a single epoxy plug pull out and saves a bit of mass omitting the Dowel & Eyescrew.

It's just another option that works really well.
 

neil_w

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Another option is to forget about the dowel.
Drill or gouge (precision is not really required) in your balsa nose cone to a depth of about 1/2" or more. Tie an overhand loop in 90-130lb kevlar about 1-1/2" long.
insert the kevlar into the hole with the knot touching the bottom of the hole. Mix and Apply your favorite 5 minute or 30 minute epoxy. Pour into the hole centering the loop in the epoxy. Once cured you are good to go, Just tie on your shockline or shockcord.
I've used this process on models from 7g Micro Maxx models to 5- D12 Clustered BT-101 3-X UpScale Laser-X MPR models and just about every size in between. Never had a single epoxy plug pull out and saves a bit of mass omitting the Dowel & Eyescrew.

It's just another option that works really well.
I like that idea too, sounds fun. :) Might just try that first.
 

Woody's Workshop

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I've always used 3/8" dowel. I haven't doweled any BT-5 or 20 cones, so have nothing to say about 1/4" dowels.
I use a 23/64" bit, 1/64" smaller than the dowel.
Since I use oak dowels, wood glue doesn't penetrate the dowel very well.
I use epoxy most of the time, cut the dowel down after gluing.
I use brad point bits, leaves room at the bottom of the hole for pooling of excess epoxy.
I just hold nose cone/adapter in my hand when using a cordless drill at low speed.
 

Scotty Dog

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I use a can,cup,BT, whatever fits the bill for holding NCs.
I'm a big fan of balsa NCs..just cuz. Part of the artist in me I guess. Get a joy looking at a nice smooth finish.
And I know that at around $14 a pop for the 80s,ya don't want to turn them into kindling wood.
So, that said..I would do a trial run on some scrap to check the fits.
I now have a lathe but have yet to use it...:cyclops:

nc418f.JPG
 
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