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Willy Nillies J3 Cub Balsa Build Along

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#1
Well, the kit arrived today so I may as well get cracking on it! I finished building my buddy's Slick and cleared my Citabria re-build off the table for a couple days, so the attention now is on the Build Along.

This kit is in it's beta phase, and so far it's not been too difficult without instructions. I did print the basic step-by-step from the Willy Nillies website, but the design of the Cub is a bit different as it uses stringers top & bottom instead of sheeting. I also had to do a little head-scratching to figure out the battery box door and some details regarding joining the wings. It looks like there is supposed to be sheeting for the top & bottom of the wings, but there was none with the kit so I'll use sheet from my own stash to make it work.

I do like how easily the wings go together, although it would be easy to build a little twist into them if the builder isn't careful.

Last, instead of taking tons of pics and blah, blah, blahing about each one I'm going to play with my GoPro instead and do a time lapse. Here's Part 1:

 

mach1 rc

Well-known member
#2
Well, the kit arrived today so I may as well get cracking on it! I finished building my buddy's Slick and cleared my Citabria re-build off the table for a couple days, so the attention now is on the Build Along.

This kit is in it's beta phase, and so far it's not been too difficult without instructions. I did print the basic step-by-step from the Willy Nillies website, but the design of the Cub is a bit different as it uses stringers top & bottom instead of sheeting. I also had to do a little head-scratching to figure out the battery box door and some details regarding joining the wings. It looks like there is supposed to be sheeting for the top & bottom of the wings, but there was none with the kit so I'll use sheet from my own stash to make it work.

I do like how easily the wings go together, although it would be easy to build a little twist into them if the builder isn't careful.

Last, instead of taking tons of pics and blah, blah, blahing about each one I'm going to play with my GoPro instead and do a time lapse. Here's Part 1:

Nice project!!! I've never done a balsa build before and you make it look so easy
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#5
Here's Part 2 of the build. So far, I'm very impressed with the quality of the laser cutting! As you can see in the videos, the pieces come out of the sheet with very little effort. My apologies for doing much of this build at the edge of the video picture, I really need to remember to build in the center of the mat.

A suggestion for an update to the kit: the firewall former should be installed before gluing the sides in place. If I remember correctly, the instructions say to do it afterwards. Also, some small ply pieces to epoxy around the 90* bend inside the fuselage would make for a much stronger piece with minimal weight penalty. I'm going to add a piece before sandwiching the wire between the two laser cut pieces. Last, I like the small doublers for the front wing mount dowel. It would be helpful to call those pieces out in the plans so people know what they're for. I am 98% sure I guessed right! :)

 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#7
Here is Part 3, which was where I finished up Day 1 of the build. My camera's battery died without me knowing, so some action was missed. It was mainly test-fitting aileron servos, so nothing too major. By the end of the day today I'm hoping to at least have the plane ready for covering, but my flying buddy Mike is coming over to get his Slick, the Packers are playing the Bears, and other distractions may get in the way. :)

 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#9
The "sponge" is actually a piece of a flat pool noodle with a piece of adhesive-backed sandpaper stuck to it. It's one of my favorite sanding tools for very light sanding (like this entire kit). It spreads out the sanding pressure compared to using just paper in my hand, and it conforms to light radius curves nicely. Completely flat areas usually get one of the sanding blocks, but if there is any curve to the piece I reach for this sander.

thumbnail_IMG_1746.jpg
 

Willy Nillies

Well-known member
#11
Awesome way to do a build log! Kudos!

We apologize for the missing center sheeting..... :-( but it looks like you figured it out just fine.

The elev/rudder pushrods should cross just before they exit at the tail. Then straight through mid fuselage guide to wing trailing edge bulkhead. At least that's the way we designed it to work.... :)

Keep up the great work!

Sincerely,
Doug and Becky
WillyNillies.com
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#12
Awesome way to do a build log! Kudos!

We apologize for the missing center sheeting..... :-( but it looks like you figured it out just fine.

The elev/rudder pushrods should cross just before they exit at the tail. Then straight through mid fuselage guide to wing trailing edge bulkhead. At least that's the way we designed it to work.... :)
If the missing sheet is the biggest problem I have I can't complain. The quality of the kit so far has been "A+", with only a few bits of the ply cutting not 100% through the wood. This quality is the complete opposite of the quality I've seen from the cheap-ish Chinese kits on the market.

For the pushrods, I think I saw what you had planned as I was running the pushrods to my servos, but the problem probably came from the very short arms on my servos. Not a big deal, I was able to make it work and only need to finish a few slight modifications for it to run smoothly to the control surfaces now.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#14
Awesome way to do a build log! Kudos!

We apologize for the missing center sheeting..... :-( but it looks like you figured it out just fine.

The elev/rudder pushrods should cross just before they exit at the tail. Then straight through mid fuselage guide to wing trailing edge bulkhead. At least that's the way we designed it to work.... :)

Keep up the great work!

Sincerely,
Doug and Becky
WillyNillies.com
Do you have a link to a website catalogue for your models? I would like to try one
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#19
Do you know of a good website to check out for what I would be looking for?
They have everything on their store you need. I’d recommend starting with one of these to get started with balsa and then look for other sites that sell larger stuff. I know it’s not exactly your style but I think it will be the best option.
 

Willy Nillies

Well-known member
#20
If the missing sheet is the biggest problem I have I can't complain. The quality of the kit so far has been "A+", with only a few bits of the ply cutting not 100% through the wood. This quality is the complete opposite of the quality I've seen from the cheap-ish Chinese kits on the market.

For the pushrods, I think I saw what you had planned as I was running the pushrods to my servos, but the problem probably came from the very short arms on my servos. Not a big deal, I was able to make it work and only need to finish a few slight modifications for it to run smoothly to the control surfaces now.

Thank you for the compliment. We are doing our best to make kits that we would buy and build.

The servos we use have a what we consider a medium length arm that we plan for. We figure that if your servo has a little longer or shorter that it should still be able to made work relatively easy without binding.

We appreciate the feed back as always!

Sincerely,
Doug and Becky
WillyNillies.com