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2019 Build Along: Just another Stick? No, a really BIG Stick. AKA: the GIANT STICK.

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Update, a couple guys on RCG have been very helpful and now I have the build manual and the magazine article in.pdf format to read. This hobby really has some helpful and nice people!
 
Which airplane, the nuttin huny? :p

This hobby really has some helpful and nice people!
Count yourself among that population. (y) So excuse me if I think that is the fugliest hunchback beast of an airplane. That's a compliment. :)
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
So excuse me if I think that is the fugliest hunchback beast of an airplane. That's a compliment. :)
It's certainly a "unique" look and style! :) It really looks better with the wings on - I'll post a pic when time permits this weekend. The motor for it arrived in good shape as well.
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
A quick distraction that is sort-of Stick related. I went to a swap meet this morning and ran across this beast, marked as a "Nothin' Extra", which is basically a variation of the Stick design. A buddy of mine picked this same plane up in a different color about 2 years ago, complete with an over-sized gas engine. We tried a few times but couldn't find anybody who knew what the heck it was, so we assumed it was some kind of "Frankenstein" build or maybe a bash of a few different planes. Turns out we were wrong! So this plane was sitting on a table for sale, with an asking price of $125 - no engine or electronics, never been flown. It's a big plane, probably worth close to their asking price, but nothing I wanted/needed, and I knew Mike wasn't looking to spend that kind of money for a second one as a bare fuselage.

About 30 minutes later the people running the swap meet started doing some auctions on various planes and this one came up so I gave an opening bid of $5.00 just to get things rolling. However, the bids did NOT roll! Nobody else bid on it, although quite honestly I don't think the organizers were making a big enough deal about the auction so many didn't even notice it was going on. No other bidders, so the seller declined to sell it for $5.00. Can't blame him, I wouldn't have sold it either. A few minutes later the auctioneer found me and told me the seller wanted to see me about making a deal so he didn't have to take it home, and he asked for $20. I couldn't argue with that price so the deal was done. Again, I didn't really want it (but I can't pass up a great deal) so after it was loaded I called Mike to see if he wanted a spare for $20 and he thought I was kidding. He jumped on it quickly, so now I just need to hand it off to him in the next few days. Some days I feel like a drug dealer for RC planes! :)

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That seems to be an unreal number of swap meets you have access to. I'm envious!
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Here's a better picture of the new "Nothin' Extra" Stick, along with the 1.6 sized electric motor that is currently planned for it. I think it looks pretty good out in the daylight, especially compared to the dark indoor picture. It'll still never win any beauty contests... :)

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I've been pulling your chain about the looks of this airplane but truthfully I found it very interesting for some reason I couldn't quite put my finger on. Today it dawned on me, the utilitarian design and big payload capacity remind me of some portable military field drones I've seen photos of. I think the Israeli army used something that looks like this for reconnaissance.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Back to working on the Stick, although at a slower pace as I'm spending more time on the road for work than expected. The pushrods and cables for the tail surfaces are going in now while I wait for delivery of my servos. The rudder is getting a pull-pull setup and I've decided to stick with standard pushrods for the elevators. I had considered doing pull-pull cables for the elevators as well but decided against it.

Here, the pull-pull "snakes" are installed and trimmed, and the elevator pushrod tube is being roughed-in.

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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Happy Holidays, Joker! How's this monster coming?
Quite honestly I haven't touched any of my projects for the last 6 weeks or so. Work has me traveling much more than planned so when I'm finally home on the weekends I just want to relax. The plan for this long weekend is to get into the shop and do some re-organizing, and possibly even build some storage racks for my bigger birds.
 
Hey Joker,

Can you post up pics of your shop? I would like storage ideas. I have all my planes (mostly parts) in the garage on a shelf I built. Always looking for ways to organize better.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Looks like I'll be able to start this build up again very soon, as Balsa USA has now released Oratex covering. It appears to be a direct replacement for the SolarTex I love so much for planes like this. It'll have the fabric weave visible, and isn't a gloss finish. But first, I'll need to finish up a couple other projects that need to be ready for spring!
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Hey Joker,

Can you post up pics of your shop? I would like storage ideas. I have all my planes (mostly parts) in the garage on a shelf I built. Always looking for ways to organize better.
I'll see what I can do. My shop is pretty cramped with racks and work-in-progress so getting a decent picture may be tough.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
Remember this beast? It's been over a year since I touched it, and now that a couple other big projects are done or wrapping up I decided to do a little work on it again. For quite a while I just didn't have a vehicle (or trailer) capable of carrying it to the field, so there wasn't much reason to work on it. This beast should just barely fit into the back of my Grand Caravan Mobile Hangar.

For those unfamiliar with this build, it's a vintage kit I got on RC Groups from a seller in Nebraska, powered by an old-school Quadra 50 gas engine. Old kit, old engine. Wingspan is 106", flying weight is around 20 pounds. It's not an aerobatic plane, more of a cruiser based on the fairly small control surfaces.

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The first thing I decided to get done is fixing the curve of the horizontal stabilizer and rudder. Somewhere along the line I screwed up cutting the curve and created a flat-ish spot or two. The fix is easy - just add some additional balsa and sand it to shape.

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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
With the "filler" strips added to the low spots I was able to trim and sand most of it right back off. :) It did the trick, and I'm now happy with the curve of the tail. For a size reference on these pieces, the sheeting is made from 3" wide balsa sheets. I'm planning to apply some balsa filler around the bracing I made for the support wires, just to smooth it out and make sure the ply I recessed into the sheeting doesn't telegraph through the covering.

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Getting a nice even rounded edge has always been a bit of a pain. On smaller pieces it can be eyeballed with good results, but here I'm dealing with a couple feet of edge that needs to be round. The razor plane and sanding block get me close, but to finish it off and get it even I made a simple sanding block. A hole that is the same size as the thickness of the leading edge is drilled through a block of balsa (harder wood would probably be better) and then the block cut in half to reveal 1/2 of the drilled hole. A piece of sandpaper is then stuck into the exposed drill hole, and used to sand the edge to a nice, even shape. It's crude, but effective, easy, and cheap. If I knew I'd be using it again after this plane I'd have gone with hardwood.

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speedbirdted

Legendary member
Getting a nice even rounded edge has always been a bit of a pain. On smaller pieces it can be eyeballed with good results, but here I'm dealing with a couple feet of edge that needs to be round. The razor plane and sanding block get me close, but to finish it off and get it even I made a simple sanding block. A hole that is the same size as the thickness of the leading edge is drilled through a block of balsa (harder wood would probably be better) and then the block cut in half to reveal 1/2 of the drilled hole. A piece of sandpaper is then stuck into the exposed drill hole, and used to sand the edge to a nice, even shape. It's crude, but effective, easy, and cheap. If I knew I'd be using it again after this plane I'd have gone with hardwood.

View attachment 161629
I used to do exactly that and at one point had to have had at least 20 of those things lying around in varying sizes. These days I'm smarter and make my leading edges all from square sticks turned 45 degrees so you only have one pointed edge to sand off rather than two and the process is all much easier.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
I used to do exactly that and at one point had to have had at least 20 of those things lying around in varying sizes. These days I'm smarter and make my leading edges all from square sticks turned 45 degrees so you only have one pointed edge to sand off rather than two and the process is all much easier.
That would work well on a wing, but with this surface it would have complicated the build quite a bit.