Starting the 1:4

1:4 MaterialsWell, to start things off this post is a bit late. As I mentioned in a previous post, this time of year is very busy for my wife and I. I did manage to get out and pick up some supplies. A trip to Home Depot yielded some Gorilla Glue for the frame and some Titebond III to make the laminate that I will use as a plywood substitute and thinned a little it should work well as a sealer to replace varnish on the 1:4.

After looking over the wood at HD and finding all of their lumber riddled with knots, I decided to head over to Southern Lumber. Since I was planning to use clear vertical grain Douglas fir for the aircraft build I decided to use DF for the 1:4 as well. I have heard that DF is more difficult to work with so it makes sense to experiment a little with it before buying a bunch for the full size aircraft.

WorkspaceAfter I got home I set up a little workspace at my desk and set up an area for testing the ply material layup. I cleared the space and prepared the surface, laying out some 6 mil sheeting and taping it down to the desk top. After the work surface was ready I started the first piece of the paper laminate by covering a 1′ x 2′ sheet with Titebond III. Once the glue was brushed over the entire sheet I let it set until slightly tacky to the touch, once it was ready I added the second sheet and smoothed it out, making sure any air bubbles had been worked out, you can see these steps in the pictures below.

Later in the day I checked out how things looked. I was not pleased with the results.

let it dry under a little weightmake sure glue is spread out evenly spread the glueAfter all was said and done, the end product was wrinkled, warped and in general undesirable. Thinking back to my days doing some bookbinding I remembered that glued paper products need considerable compression and dry time. I am going to experiment a little more with the laminating process. I still have hope for the it working well as a stand-in for plywood.

Next week I should have time to start the milling. I know what size pieces are included in the spruce kit so I can start with those. Once I have the lumber milled I can get started with the bulkheads. Hopefully I will have figured out the ply stock issue by then.

Till next time, blue skies and tailwinds,