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Author Topic: Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!  (Read 16270 times)
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Flyguy
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« on: January 22, 2014, 03:19:52 PM »

Hi - with the nasty weather I'm thinking it's a good time to try to get back into indoor after 22 years; the other motivation is that I have some areas where I think I can fly ministick. I hope members don't mind me posting a few pictures of my trials and tribulations!

I still have two EZB's sitting in storage and two nearly-finished ministicks. The ministicks just need to have the wings covered, the wing posts and tubes made, so this seems like a good place to get some practice. I had just gotten into ministick in 1992, but it was frustrating - there is about a 10" ledge in the Columbia Rotunda up about 40 feet or so and the first mini I made landed right on that ledge, I couldn't get it off even with a stick attached to a balloon. So I built another one for the next flying session and guess what - same thing! I was so frustrated that I decided to build two at the same time, but we lost the Rotunda at that time so they've been sitting since 1992.

The forum has lots of helpful posts, I was happy to find one about old balsa - I have a nice supply of balsa from Micro-X from 1970 (yikes), but apparently it should be OK to use it.

So my first goal was to get the wings covered without totally messing them up. I broke the first wing umpteen times (don't have my indoor hands anymore!), but eventually got them covered without destroying them, they are in the first photo. I made 1/32" wing posts and condenser tubes for the first one, but used 3/64" tubes and posts for the second one, it's just easier to handle. It doesn't appear to make much difference because they both came out to .55 g. That's kind of heavy, so I checked the components and it's was mostly the fuselage, which I used outdoor balsa for.

Next, trying to build one from scratch. Fortunately I still have my micrometer stripper and other tools. I drew up some plans and made the forms (used circles and ellipses cause it looks nice). I used to use cardboard, but this time I used 1/32" bass because it's easy to sand. CA'd the edges, as Larry Coslick notes, which both seals them and makes sure that the plan edges don't curl up. Wrapped the balsa last night and finished them today. Second photo shows the wing/stab on the forms, third shows them off the forms.

My main worry was being able to cover them without ruining them. Fourth photo shows that I didn't totally screw up, but still need practice. Wing with posts came out to .094g, not bad, but after breaking it a few times and repairs, it's around 0.10 now! Reduced number of screw ups from about a dozen to about six, so there's some progress!

Still have my Nolan EZB prop jig, so using that to do the prop, as shown.

Boy these build really fast, hoping to finish today. Larry
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Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!
Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!
Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!
Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!
Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!
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Flyguy
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 07:44:40 PM »

OK, been working away. Got the stab and rudder attached to the boom, photo attached. Finished the prop, final weight was .14g. Got the condenser tubes on the fuse, total weight of fuse/stab/rud/tubes was .19g. Done! Really surprised that the total weight is .43g, right on target. This is encouraging because it tells me that it's not that difficult to build a mini to weight, I didn't do any fancy building or balsa selection, even broke it a few times, and it's still on weight. So I can focus on the flying. From living room tests, this mini flies noticeably slower than the other two, I guess its the weight difference. Can't wait to try them out in a larger space!

On to the micro. The minis make 8-10 ft. circles, and my 11 sq. ft. living room is too small for that. For the 'micro', aka living room stick, I basically scaled down my mini design to 5" with some small changes. Given that 5/7 of .425g is about .30g, that's the weight I'm shooting for. Got the forms wrapped earlier today, got the ribs in, and they are done, photo attached. Really hoping I don't mess them up when covering, I'm finally starting to break things less!
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ykleetx
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 08:39:03 PM »

Well done and welcome back to indoor!
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Flyguy
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 12:58:43 PM »

Thanks Kang, it's good to be back! I used to primarily be an EZB flyer, so I checked to see what's going on these days. When I flew in the 60s-70's, .75g was considered damn light, however I see that you and others have gotten the weight down to .4g or less, that's truly amazing, really incredible! I'm actually glad they have a new category called F1L, that seems like fun, plus one of my old EZB's that's been repaired a bunch of times weighs about 1.2g, so I guess I can fly it as F1L! Seems like there are a bunch of new categories, F1M, A6, P24, would be nice to have a summary page somewhere that tells you what they all are.

Also saw that you had a 34 min flight at Lakehurst, unbelievable, congrats! I flew in Lakehurst in the 70s; I haven't had a car for years, but I have a friend that I might be able to persuade to take a ride down. I'm also working on trying to get some flying space here in NYC, we'll see. Also don't know if any of the modelers I knew years back are around anymore.

Should finish the micro today or tomorrow, I'm curious to see how it flies, will try to post some video. Thanks again for the kind words Kang!
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ykleetx
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 03:23:57 PM »

The 34 minute flight -- and the .4 g model -- oh, that's old news Smiley

I was fortunate to clock a 37:42 at Lakehurst in 2012 using a .238 g EZB.

Please excuse my blabbing here.

Welcome back!

-Kang
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Flyguy
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 10:50:47 PM »

Wow, those weights and times are impressive, very nice! Its nice to see such incredible progress and the hobby continue. It appears that EZB has essentially become F1D! F1L seems attractive for now, that is if I can get someplace big enough for it, right now even the mini's are 'large' because I basically have a lot of 10 to 20 sq ft, 15 ft smooth ceiling rooms available for flying, I have high hopes for the micro! still working on finding some bigger spaces
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Flyguy
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 10:12:50 PM »

OK, got the wing and stab of the micro covered, first photo, the others show the finished micro and the mini. Came in at about .25g. I didn't even break it (yet) so my level of clumsiness has been reduced!

So far it's flown nice 'right off the board' (got lucky but I think using CMOS also helps). Here's a living room test flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuxqBT3trro

I can't wait to try it in a (slightly) larger space!
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Re: Ministick and microstick - trying to get back into indoor!
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Hepcat
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 05:49:35 AM »

Flyguy,
Welcome back. You don't seem to have forgotten much in 22 years.  Considering the space that is one of the most amazing indoor flights I have seen.
John
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 03:42:40 PM »

Wow Flyguy, ditto John's comment! That flight was so nice it almost looked fake! Super job on that build! Don't know that I could duplicate your build if you put out plans, probably not at my level of newbiness, but man oh man, that was a dream living room flight. Sure would love to be able to do that.

So question if you don't mind... is there any wash in on the inside(LT) wing? Looks like it in the vid when you are holding it before launch. Would love to know the specifics on your methods in trimming it for lt turn flight. I see the offset in the tail boom.

What thickness are those prop blades?

Sorry for all the questions... it's just hard to resist after seeing that wonderful living room circuit.

Jimmy
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Flyguy
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 05:25:51 PM »

Thank you John and Jimmy, it's nice to be back! Wish I had a regular flying space with other modelers like years ago, its a little frustrating, the only compensation is that I've had some fun flying sessions in my living room lately!

Jimmy - very observant, yes the left part of the wing has 1/16" wash in. The blades are .01, but I also have some .006, so I'm experimenting with that, making another set now. The tail boom is offset - it's on the plans so I'll post those (I unexpectedly had a little trouble converting them to pdf, but I think they came out OK). I'm experimenting a little with the rubber and prop, so those and some other things shown on the plan are tentative, the plans show what I used for the one in the video. I didn't go for superlight, so I don't think you'll have any problems building it; you can also just make the wing/stab/rudder rectangles to simplify it; let me know if you give it a go.

I wasn't sure if the micro was going to be like 'real' indoor flying or just an experiment, but so far I'm having a lot of fun with it, it trims like my mini. Will try flying it in some empty classrooms next week, along with the minis.

Larry
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 11:23:53 PM »

Hey thanks for the plans! So do you think building square ends vs the rounded elliptical shape would do anything to flight performance? Looking at that vid, your micro certainly turned out to be the "real" deal for indoor flying I would say! I am in the same boat in that my only flying is in my family room. Mine is with my Ikara Butterfly which does a nice circuit but barely a quarter of the time yours is getting and it probably weighs 4 times what yours does.

Any chance of a close up pic of your thrust bearing? Did you make it or was it a purchase? Has to be a wee one for sure I would guess. So how many turns was that flight and how do you go about winding it?

I am a free flight newb and just getting into this side of the hobby (5 years rc scratch built foamies) and the little actual "living room flyers" have really gotten my attention. I just about fell over myself when I saw your vid.  Wink

Yeah I may give it a shot but will have to figure out how to get everything so small. No rubber or wood strippers and just the very basic tools, and buying the stuff is not in the household budget. I know I could make a wood stripper and A2Z I think has rubber that small... I think.

Oh and here's another question... what is it covered with?

That's a lot of questions marks!!! Sorry, just really diggin' what ya got there.  Roll Eyes

Looking forward to more exploits with the micro!
Jimmy
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Flyguy
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 02:48:20 PM »

Jimmy - I think it will be fine with square tips, the only difference is that that uses a little more balsa and glue joints, so it's probably a little heavier. What I like about the elliptical shapes is that I used one strip wrapped around a form for both the wing and stab, then glued them in the center rear using a dot of titebond. One error I noticed on the plan - I used .01 music wire, not .008.

My camera doesn't take good close up pictures, the bearing was from A2Z, it's their dual thrust bearing, comes in a pack of 6, you could also use the Harlan bearing. The covering is ultra film, I have a bunch from Ray Harlan I bought years back, A2Z also has it. Also got the .018 rubber from A2Z, that's the smallest they have. All you really need is one sheet of .024 A/B balsa (wing, stab, rudder outlines), one sheet .024 C (ribs) and one sheet .062 (fuse, boom, prop spar, wing spars) and you could probably build a dozen of them. So everything is available from A2Z if you want to give it a try.

For living room flying I'm just using a plastic 16 to 1 winder and Jim Jones torque meter (of course I also have a Bob Wilder winder and Geauga torque meter, but those are for special occasions!). The flight in the video had about 1900 turns, I only did one break test and it was at about 2700 turns. Haven't done more because, although most of my 44 year old balsa seems OK, my huge stockpile of old indoor rubber appears to have bitten the dust, damn!

I tried more winds to see how it climbs and it just zips right up (too bad the ceiling is only 8 ft.), will try under a 15 ft. ceiling next week. The bad part is that I have work to do, but it flies so well in my living room it's hard to stop!
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 07:52:44 PM »

Hey Larry, thanks for all that info! You could almost name this pane the A2Z special.  Wink

That is encouraging to know the stuff you used for this build is readily available. For the wing & stabs, did you wet the wood first?
Looking at the sizes you are dealing with and how nicely your micro turned out, you obviously haven't missed a step.

I don't have a winder and buying one is not in the cards just yet. Right now I am doing things the hard way and hand winding. The Butterfly takes 350 turns. I can't imagine trying to get over a thousand!  Shocked
Is your winder a big enough size to also use on bigger outdoor models? I will probably mostly do embryo size planes. Do you have a stooge for your micro? Would love to see that set up.

Thanks again for sharing everything. This micro is just a great plane.
Jimmy
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Flyguy
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 04:20:49 PM »

Considering that I've been out of indoor for many years, I'm glad to see that there are still suppliers around, that's important and I always try to support them when I can, both by mentioning them and buying stuff!

Yes, I did the outlines in the standard way, soaked the strips in hot water for about 20 min, then wrapped them around the forms, same as shown above for the mini. You really need a winder, if you have a hand drill or egg beater around you can use that, the KP winder goes for about $20 from several vendors and is nice. I'm just using my old Mark I right now, it's 16 to 1, but it can only do 1/8" max, and even then I've had a few of them bind up. For 1/8" or larger, I use the gizmogeezer winder which is really nice, it's shown in my rubber power field box video.

The set up is just clamping the Jim Jones torque meter to my TV stand and winding! The photo shows the torque meter and winder, with Homer Simpson looking rather unhappy about it. Have consistently gotten 2+ min flights in the living room, top of 2:40 so far, I'm experimenting with different rubber sizes and props, now this is what I call fun!
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 06:39:15 PM »

2+ minutes in an actual living room is just nutz! When finances change, I will be ordering everything for this guy and definitely giving him a shot. That is just too awesome to pass up. Seems quite simple for as little as it is and seems the only hang up would be whether or not A2Z has the wood in stock.

One of my first purchases is going to be the 15:1 winder that A2z has. I will busing it for both indoor and my outdoor embryos. I was tempted to get the cheapo electric winder with counter from Hobby King too, though probably better off with a good one.

Looking forward to your r&d with rubber & props!
Jimmy
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 01:22:14 AM »

Thats a very impressive flight Flyguy - both the time and its graceful flight pattern.
Thanks for the plan - another temptation.
Happy flying.
John
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Flyguy
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« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2014, 09:31:08 PM »

You're welcome John, I would give in to the temptation to build it if you have small areas you want to fly in, it seems to be very good for that. It seems to drift less than the minis so you can get away with smaller spaces.

Jimmy - maybe I'm old fashioned but I wouldn't use an electric winder because it's important to get the 'feel' of the rubber when winding, as you'll see. That's what makes a good winder good - the gears are very smooth so that you get a good 'feel'.

I tried the planes in one space at work, of course I selected the room with the highest ceiling (25 feet), but the floor area was kind of limited to around 20 ft. The minis were a little disappointing - the new one has a great climb but it just runs out of space. The micro was a thrill - nice climb to just below the ceiling, didn't drift as much as the mini, but then on the cruise phase it hit the wall at about 20 ft. up and just stopped. That's when I realized that the room had a slat wall, and the prop got stuck in the slats! It's hard to see in the picture, but the micro is hanging slightly left of center a few feet down from the top. It was there for a few days, but I bought a 20' extending pole at home depot and just was able to nudge it out without damage. The next room I'm trying is only about 18 ft. high, but the walls and ceiling are smooth, with no slat death traps!
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Alan Mkitarian
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« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2014, 11:32:38 PM »

  Hi Flyguy,
        I also flew at Columbia back in the 70's.  I used to fly with Charlie Styles and Doug Barber we would
drive up for the day from South Jersey ( you know below Trenton).  Both of those guy's have passed away
but we still have a small group that fly at Bridesburg rec center in Phila. once a month.  You will need to join
ECIM to fly at Lakehurst.  Get info on there web site.  Also be an AMA member.  Dues for ECIM are $20 for
the year.  You will also need a military pass to gain access to the Hanger.  Welcome back to indoor and enjoy.
                                    Regards   Alan Mkitarian
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Flyguy
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2014, 12:48:41 PM »

Hi Alan, nice to hear from another ex-Columbia flyer! I remember Doug Barber flying EZB at Columbia years back, sorry to hear he's gone. I could mention many modelers, but Bob Bender in particular was a childhood friend, grew up flying with him at Mitchell field (I was a kid, he was an adult, anyone know if he's still around?), but I don't see any flying at Floyd Bennett anymore (he'd be in his late 80's by now). Ironically, I've been a tenured prof at Columbia for many years now, exploring every possibility to get flying space (but the Dome looks unlikely). I found a large classroom that might be good for the micro and maybe even the mini, will find out next week.

I'm a current AMA member and I remember the procedure for Lakehurst. But that would be only a once in awhile thing, I really need a space that's accessible by public transportation, like a train and cab, if anyone knows something reasonably close to NYC please let me know. Unbelievable that there's no indoor flying in an area where there are lots of good indoor spaces. Back in the 90's I did a bunch of 'gorilla flying' (i.e., without permission) in various spaces in NYC, the NYU library was fantastic - it's got about a 40sq ft. space and the ceiling is over 100 feet (my EZB made it right to the ceiling). Of course the guards had to ask me to stop, but they were thrilled and wanted to buy the plane! Now that I'm back into indoor, it's tempting to try again, I've been thinking about Grand Central...

Thanks for the welcome back Alan, there are probably other modelers out there who would be back in the hobby if only we could get some space! Larry
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Jimmy JFlyer
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2014, 12:11:17 AM »

Hey Larry, have you had a chance to do more R&D with rubber & props? I am quite curious to hear how this guy responds with the slight changes.

I also wanted to ask how you hook up the single strand motor... do you just tie small loops at the ends or use some form of small rings?
I measured the rubber that came with my Butterfly and to my eyeballs it seems to be 1/32 by 1/16 for its cross section. Then I did the old fraction to decimals conversion and 1/16 is .0625. That's almost 4 times the size of .018. Holy smokes that rubber is skinny! I will be buying rubber soon and I am going to follow your advice you left on my thread and get the .025. I will get the .018 too, might as well since A2Z may be gone soon. This way I'll have it.

Jimmy
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2014, 05:33:29 PM »

Hi Jimmy, I think with the .018 and .025 you'll be just fine, I've been flying both the micro and mini sticks with those sizes. I'm also going to try to strip some .012" with my Harlan stripper and see how a loop performs when I get a chance, I'll let you know.

For the single strands, I use an overhand knot to form a loop, then pull on the ends to make it the desired smallness (don't overdo it!). Then I tie a square knot on top of that and pull it tight, so far the loop has never failed, first photo shows an example. I didn't want to use CA because for single strands that would be on the inside of the strand, not on the outside like with a loop.

Second photo shows part of my supply of props of varying pitches. The rear ones are with some .011" I have, the front two are .006, you can see they are translucent! Making the whole blade out of one piece with .006, as I did for the .011, was just too flexible. So I tried doing it out of three pieces (front prop) or two pieces (second prop) and that resulted in an adequately stiff blade, the one piece seems fine (there also weren't any detectable differences in weight between the props). The main question I have at this point is whether to use slightly thinner wood (I have some other sizes now from .008-.010) with a pitch of say 10" or increase the pitch slightly with a less flexible thickness, they both seem to give very similar performance, though I'm leaning towards the 11" pitch prop at this point, seems to give the slowest flying. But perhaps those more knowledgeable could weigh in on this.

I'm playing with the design right now, increased the wing with to 2.5" from 2" (and stab proportionally). From my calculations with CMOS, that's about as wide as you can go without having to locate the wing beyond the fuselage length! The third photo shows the old micro wing/stab/rudder (top) and the new micro (bottom). Have to do some covering, curious to see how it flies.
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2014, 09:27:34 AM »

This is great stuff Larry! Thanks for the pics. I am quite curious to hear how the different props you have work out. I am even more curious to see how the wider chord does also.

Is it just me or are your prop spars just a single piece? These look so simple, other than the ultra thin blade material. I don't have a set of mics to measure so anything other than the skinniest sheets I can get will just be by feel and flex after sanding. I'll need to get me some ultra fine sand paper too I see. I am also curious to see what method you used to glue the multi-piece prop blades together so neatly and w/o added weight.

Great stuff and thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see more!  Smiley
Jimmy
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 02:24:41 PM »

Yes, the prop spars for both my mini's and micro's are one piece - I sand them about .050 round first, then add in the taper to about .025 at the tips. I use the sanding-blocks approach - you roll the pieces on the block sanding at a slight angle. No special sandpaper, I just use 150 grit from the local hardware, glue one onto a block the same size, and the other onto a smaller sanding block, shown in the photo, which also shows a prop spar and 1/32" wing post - don't need any measuring tools for the wing post, just sand until it fits into the tubes, you can see some condenser tubes on the 1/32" wire. For the blades, I just pre-glue then glue them in the usual manner, Coslick only uses thinner after the pre-glue, but the added weight of a second glue is apparently below the .001g readability of the scale.

Just finished the new micro, will get down to some LV flying soon.
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2014, 06:27:15 PM »


Read Larry Colick's article on indoor building.  It's probably the best single article about building an indoor model.

http://www.indoorduration.com/Inavhobbyshopper.htm

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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2014, 07:08:18 PM »

Yes, that's the article I'm referring to, I assumed Jimmy knew about it by now, thanks for the link, it's definitely a must-read. Larry pre-glues the blades, then just runs acetone over the joint later, I was noting that I simply put another bead of glue instead of running acetone because on blades this small it doesn't appear to make any readable weight difference (in milligrams) - the single piece blade, 2 piece blade, and 3 piece blades all weighed exactly the same - and I wanted to make sure the blades were strong since they take a lot of beating in the living room. However, I'm sure that just using the acetone is probably the lightest and cleanest way to do it, as is everything else in the article!
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