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Headbang

Active member
I have thought about making my own laser engraver/cutter for ply/card/foamboard - the FliteTest kits are laser cut so I don't think the fire risk would is too great, however I don't think I could leave it alone - just in case ;)
I have used the laser cut kits, and the ones I cut with a needle cutter, I prefer needle cut and hand cut over the laser cut. laser cutting leaves a bit of a lip that is hard to work with sometimes. I use a home made mpcnc machine with a needle cutter for foam board and card stock. I have a drag knife for vinyl and scoring card stock. I use a router for ply. I just got a 3d printer, now all my horns and some firewalls will be printed! I still like wood firewalls for applications where I over push the motor, wood does not melt.
 
Hi everyone
More questions (groan!!) about building the TT
1.Looks like I need a pair of these
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/z-bend-pliers-heavy-duty-90-degree-up-to-1-16.html
-For bending control wires-Correct?
2.Bought FT foamboard for £2.50 a sheet-good value?
3.Might be difficult using college laser cutter to make firewalls/horns -does anyone make /sell them in the uk?
4.Need push rods-do HK sell them ??
5.For foam wheels are these ok?
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/light-foam-wheel-diam-55-width-18-5mm-5pcs-bag.html
ie as light as possible

Thanks
 

FDS

Well-known member
£2:50 is fine.
No need for Z Bend pliers, watch the video, use regular ones. Needle nose for small Z bends and larger ones for modified Z bend. If you own no pairs of pliers Z bend ones are worth it.
Nobody makes or sells FT laser cut parts apart from Graupner. Anyone making them to sell will be in breach of the Creative Commons non commercial licence but you can do so for your own use, I make both printed and laser cut ones but they are extremely easy to make without a laser at all. PM me if you want a full hardware kit, I can probably sort one out for you for the cost of postage. This is why I said it was better to buy the full speedbuild kit. They are available from Sussex Models. You could save the sheets of FT board for the next build, I guarantee you will make more than one plane. Honestly getting the kit is faster and easier. I have been making stuff for 20+ years and was glad I got the kit first time out.
Foam wheels like that are fine, however that listing has no info on the axel size, which makes buying gear wire much harde . Or buy the Edge 540 landing gear pre packed set if you want easy to get hold of.
I linked the source for push rods in this thread, you want 1.2mm music wire from Cornwall Model Boats or a K&S metals stockist. You will need linkage stoppers, those can be got at model shops or HK.
I would buy in a shop if possible then you can be sure that your rod and linkage stoppers are compatible, as they come in different sizes.
 
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Headbang

Active member
You get more control on zbends without the special tool imho. 3d printers are more accessible these days then laser cutters or milling machines. I have cut all the ply parts by hand, it worked out fine. But 3d printing them is the way to go! You can find most files needed on thingverse.
I second a speed build kit for your first one. My first was a sea duck. I am so glad I got the speed build kit. Was able to focus on the how with all the right parts. Enough to go wrong in a build without having to worry about having the wrong parts. Also building a speed build kit helps you understand the why of the cuts on the plans for future scratch builds.
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
Got any plans or advice for that needle cutter?
Pretty sure this is the longest running thread on the forums (iow, it'll take you a bit reading from the beginning!!) :LOL:
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/cutting-foam-sheets-with-a-needle.24251/

Most designs are based on the Mostly Printed CNC Machine.
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:724999
(there's a metric and English version.)

If you don't have a 3D printer (or access to one) send me a PM or others here can help (I think someone offered a "printing service" here awhile back.)

While it might seem a daunting task, there is TON of examples built and lots of people to help you through the process...
Some knowledge of electronics/soldering, basic mechanical skills would be very beneficial.
 
Hi
Thanks again to all.
I’m interested in how you make your own firewalls and horns without a laser cutter.
Surely those curves on the horns are too difficult to make accurately?
Cutting the square out of the firewall accurately looks tricky as well
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
 

Headbang

Active member
Hi
Thanks again to all.
I’m interested in how you make your own firewalls and horns without a laser cutter.
Surely those curves on the horns are too difficult to make accurately?
Cutting the square out of the firewall accurately looks tricky as well
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
I used a hack saw and a dremel to shape my first ones
 

FDS

Well-known member
If you use modelling ply you can cut it out with a knife, drill the holes by hand with sharp drill bits.
Cutting plastic cards up for control horns can almost be done with scissors. Cutting plastic sheet is easy, by half scoring then breaking, sand the edges smooth, job done.
Fire walls don’t actually have to be perfectly square, since as long as the motor is central the rest doesn’t matter that much, you can adjust the edges with a hand file if the first ones you cut are not perfectly squeezed are, as long as the power pod is square it’s not a problem.
Draw it onto the ply or stick the template on with spray tack again, then use a steel rule and knife to cut out the square. I do a strip of ply then cut the square firewalls off the strip. Pilot the holes with a small drill bit, I use a pinning vice and 1.3mm bit for that.
Again, if you use the pre cut kit you can learn all this stuff and get the tools over time as opposed to needing all of it AND the skills to get your plane airborne. With the speedbuild kit you only need to watch the video and have a single Stanley blade, straight edge and a hot glue gun to assemble it.
 
If you use modelling ply you can cut it out with a knife, drill the holes by hand with sharp drill bits.
Cutting plastic cards up for control horns can almost be done with scissors. Cutting plastic sheet is easy, by half scoring then breaking, sand the edges smooth, job done.
Fire walls don’t actually have to be perfectly square, since as long as the motor is central the rest doesn’t matter that much, you can adjust the edges with a hand file if the first ones you cut are not perfectly squeezed are, as long as the power pod is square it’s not a problem.
Draw it onto the ply or stick the template on with spray tack again, then use a steel rule and knife to cut out the square. I do a strip of ply then cut the square firewalls off the strip. Pilot the holes with a small drill bit, I use a pinning vice and 1.3mm bit for that.
Again, if you use the pre cut kit you can learn all this stuff and get the tools over time as opposed to needing all of it AND the skills to get your plane airborne. With the speedbuild kit you only need to watch the video and have a single Stanley blade, straight edge and a hot glue gun to assemble it.
Thanks !
 
Thanks for the suggestions .
I know I probably shouldn’t be scratch building my first one but I enjoy a challenge even if it is a steep learning curve!
Have got lots of old knackered mini whiteboards at college which I,ve used for scratch building buildings etc for Airfix models,cos they take the Humbrol glue.
Am thinking they are about the same thickness (Will check tomorrow)as a credit card so might do for the horns as can cut them with scissors
If not credit cards are good
FDS I agree -Definitely want to use modelling ply for fibreboard as but not sure where to get it from.
Any suggestions,eg
https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/advanc...arch=0&queryFromSuggest=true&userInput=PLywoo

Sounds good stuff if you can cut it with scissors.
Ps apologies if I’m asking questions discussed in other forums,not very good at navigating around.
 
Ah
That should have said fire board not fibre board
Also agree about not buying z pliers.
Made mudguard stays for pushbike using old metal coat hanger and bending those to shape in vice.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
it is a great plane and has the easier tricycle landing gear. for a little cheaper you could do the Eflite Timber. it is a tail dragger but takes off so quick it's easy.

for that price though, you could build multiple FT models and know you can rebuild for a few $'s.

just saying.

me :cool:
Sorry, going to butt in since I've flown both the Timber and the Apprentice. My dad actually solo'd for his "solo" pilot license in our club using the EFlite Timber, but was working with the Apprentice for a lot longer, and we noticed these things between the two:

- The Apprentice has a NICE, LONG glide path. You can cut the motor from 150-200 ft out from the runway and glide that sucker in for a nice touchdown on the runway.

- The Timber is very forgiving, thanks to its wider stance and large wheels on the front landing gear, but it also wants to drop a LOT faster than the Apprentice when you're not using flaps (something I don't recommend for beginners learning to takeoff and land). That said, it was something my dad actually LIKED, because he kept feeling like he was flying past himself to land (never mind that he still had another 500' of runway to touch down on!)

Different styles of wings, different lift capabilities, different planes. Is one better than another? I'd say they're about the same, but just a matter of preference on your style of flying. :)
 

Headbang

Active member
Timber can be a monster, or a loving mother. Depends how you set it up. I have landed using 5ft of runway, taken off in 3ft of runway. I gave mine away just tonight! Going to a good home. Not sure it is a good solo trainer, but I have seen someone teach themselves to fly on it solo. I used it as my 20yr come back plane. So it is possible.
 

FDS

Well-known member
Hobby ply is sold by Cornwall Model Boats, it’s also sold in sheets in some craft shops like Hobbycraft.
You are still doing everything you would do in a scratch build with a pre cut, except cutting out. It’s fine for those in the US who can get control horns and firewalls for $5 per strip and but DTFB to build with, but here you end up spending more/the same as the speedbuild to have more hassle and sometimes a worse result.
My offer of supplying the hardware kit still stands if you want to cut out digging around for everything.
Old whiteboards sound useful for sheet plastics.