10 to 12 years ago I conceived the idea of building my own CNC machines for Foam cutting and routing, and after moving to Europe for a few years and then career and the lack I space I bench the idea, and kept buying parts for the machines. about 4 weeks back a friend and myself where chatting and he said he has space by him lets build it. The Foam CNC requirements changed over the years, so the CNC Foam cutter changed as well, but the CNC router, was still a go. I’m not sure what the feeling is among local modellers is with regards to DIY CNC, but I will take some pictures along the way. Feel free to ask questions and I will answer them as best I can.
We started assembling the machine now having framed the table and put the Gantry base on. All the alignment is perfect. This is all lying on the gravity feed Foam cutter we made for Long wings a little while back.
I was lucky enough to be given a 1/5 hp fridge compressor. Now I have been told that some of the compressors take little longer to build up pressure, bigger is better, but who cares anyways. I want to vacuum bag wings and build a compressor was what I need to do.
Before we start out we will need a few supplies
– 1 Fridge Compressor = Free, ask at the local scrap dealer, or Friends.
– 1 Supco 3 n’ 1 (Starter, Relay, Capacitor all in one Unit) = R490 ($66) from Patriot supply in the States Not needed if you have one
– 1 Vacuum Gauge for a motor Car Carburetor , for Measuring vacuum and help setting the Pressure Switch = R149
– 1 Carburetor Vacuum Goody, I find the right name = Free (used to make vacuum switch.)
– Digital SMC vacuum switch from eBay for R215 ($20). Makes life easy and very effective
With there being so many adhesives on the market which is the correct one for me to use?
Here is a basic list of adhesives, and while there are more you certainly don’t need everything one reads about to get a plane in the air. There are no right or wrong answers here just differing applications, right tool for the right job
ACETONE – ABS plastics take some off cuts dissolve it in acetone so it makes a paste like toothpaste, glue your ABS plastics together with this mixture, it will weld/ fuse the two parts together you can tack glue it with Thick CA if you don’t want to masking tape it together.
ALIPHATIC Resin – for surface where you will be sanding down use ALIPHATIC RESIN – ALCOLIN PROFESSIONAL it’s the only aliphatic resin on the Market in South Africa, I am aware of but there will be definitely others overseas. Check one of my previous posts there is a picture there, want to see the results check MAD’s build. Joining wing sheeting, stringers, i.e.: any place where you will be sanding down and covering
CA – use CA, for it for taking or places where you need to glue things together fast and soak the wood for a better bond. You could glue your entire plane together with it but its expensive and nasty if inhaled too much. CA goes brittle when used with accelerator directly, trial fit your joint spray accelerator on wait a minute or two minute then put on the CA, you be surprised how good a joint this makes and crack free no brittle. Use it for repairing Fiberglass cowls (with Micro balloons), joining ABS plastics
Being a manufacturer of slope soarer kits I am probably committing business hara-kiri by writing this article and encouraging you to design and build your own slope soarers. Well, there is nothing to hide, all the information is readily available in easily accessible books. Besides, there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from designing and building your own models. I should know, my creations number over 50.
A slope soarer is probably the easiest of radio control model aeroplanes to design yet surprisingly few modellers attempt it (fortunately for me and others like me!!). There are probably a variety of reasons for this ranging from not having the facilities, lack of time to not having the confidence or necessary knowledge. The purpose of this article is to address the crisis of confidence by providing a few simple rules that will help you design a successful model. For me the hardest bit of designing a new model has always been acheiving a pleasing shape and an attractive colour scheme. Hopefully you will feel the same way after reading this article.
Stage One Design Decisions
The first step in the design process, whether it is designing a new model aeroplane or a new kitchen is to identify in your mind what the design criteria are. You need to draw up a simple design specification i.e
Type of model – Trainer, Intermediate, Aerobatic etc.
Not having tools has never been an excuse not to build an aircraft. My first aircraft’s where built using a pencil, a ‘snap-off’ blade craft knife, a coping saw (for ply), a sanding block, a Hand Drill and a 45cm metal ruler. The Rule of thumb is do not buy a tool unless you are really going to use it, otherwise you end up spending a small fortune on tools that gather dust or frustrate you. If you keeping running into the same problem then
buy the tool to solve the problem, else save the cash for more building materials.
We all know the saying “A bad workman always blames his tools” well when building planes it’s no different, learn to use your tools properly. Pay close attention to a tools capabilities and limitations as having a #11 blade snap or shatter in your hands can lead to a lot of blood loss. Always practice on scrap wood with new tools before using them to familiarize yourself with them, practice always make perfect.
Just remember you can cut, sand or plane wood short but you cannot cut, plane or sand it longer. Just be patient and try first then use it.
Let’s first start this topic with Type of wood and there Substitutes, for the main reason there are loads of different woods we can use in modelling and depending where you are in the world, the names may differ but the wood is still the same.
So not all of the time can we get the wood we need like Spruce for example, or it just because it costs an arm and a leg. But here are some useful substitutes in my opinion