A couple of tricks, tips

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Staff Sergeant
Oct 31, 2012
Austin, TX
Good Morning, All,
I wanted to post a little something with a few tricks and tips I have used over the years of building plastic scale and radio control aircraft.

1) Simple baking soda is an accellerant for super glues. It can also be used in conjunction with super glue as a filler. When I do fill with CA, which is rarely, I use baking soda as well. I find the combination sands a little smoother than just super glue.

2) In several of my posted pictures you will see a 4 x 4 inch ceramic tile on my bench. I originally bought that to use with PE. I find I am always reaching for it for many purposes ranging from mixing a small batch of paint to be brushed, to placing drops of CA on for subsequent adding with a dubbing needle (http://www.cabelas.com/product/Fish...793480;cat104721480;cat104340780;cat103884480) , to many other uses. These are darned cheap at places like Home Depot. What is nice, is they clean up like new with a simple scrap of single edged razor blade and a spritz of windex. I prefer either white or black as they are easy to find and show any parts you place on them very well.

3) How many of you spill those silly bottles of things like Micro Sol? When I am at Home Depot, I swing by the scrap wood pile and look for scraps on the order of 3 x 3 x 1 or 4 x 4 x 1 or pieces that can be cut down easily to those dimensions. I grab my smaller drill press and forstner bits and I drill through them. I size the hole to be a snug fit then insert whatever bottle I need to stabilize into them. I have not spilled a bottle of micro sol in YEARS with this idea.

Just a few ideas I wanted to pass one.

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I was ALWAYS knocking over bottles of MicroSol and various cements. I know use Tamiya cement in the nice squat bottle and a block of wood for the MicroSol. I have not had a spill in ages. And, the tile sure makes for a nice temp surface for all kinds of things. Hell, a 4x4 white tile is 28 cents at Home Depot, a 6x 6 is 48 cents.
Some good ideas Dale, but 48¢. That's over my budget. Got this for free out of the lab when the mill shut down. I use it for cutting masking tape, plastic strip, and my soon to be, 1st foray into P.E. The pencil is a quilters pencil I use for metallic scratches.


I'm with Crimea on the ceramic tile, plus the blade could slip and the tip will dull against the hard ceramic surface, now for glue/super/paint it sounds great. I use an old red brick with the crossways holes. the holes fit the micro-sol-set bottles perfectly. The needle is a bodkin but I've never used one like this before.
I use 15sec CA but it does get stubborn at times so I will try the baking soda next time.
Yeah, I rarely ever cut anything on the tile..... fingernails on chalkboard for me as well. What I use is the tile with a pair of single edged razor blades for folding those little PE pieces. As good as any PE folding tool I have seen and a damned sight cheaper. I do most of my building of cockpits/PE on the tile and keep a lil dab of superglue on one corner. I use the bodkin to apply the CA with. Seems to work ok for me. I do like the brick idea Mike mentioned. My only concern is the desk space the brick would take up. Otherwise, some darned good ideas all. Keep 'em coming.
Dale, the brick is also a counterweight for a moveable light so it is not always on the table. Added plus is that it is imposslble to tip no matter what you do
Lol.... I would imagine tipping would be damned hard to do with a brick! I do like the idea, but I have the wood things done for all I need, so I will stick with those. I need to post a pic someday soon.
You might find that using talcum powder, rather than baking soda, is a better agent. It's also excellent mixed with gloss varnish, or light grey enamel paint, as a 'porridge' for filling small joints and so on. Also, mixed with gloss polyurethane varnish, it makes an excellent sanding sealer or straight sealer, depending on the 'mix', when making parts from balsa, especially male moulds for moulding clear canopies, or opaque plastic parts.
Terry, as you know I have used the talc + gloss as a sanding sealer w/balsa. Questions please:
talc + CA, talc as an accelerant for the CA? or talc as a filler? If the latter isn't the CA when cured difficult to sand? i.e. much more so than regulat filler?
Talc + paint, as a filler, excellent idea, I like
Love the bottle stand idea, will have to work on that one, could save $$$$ in spills…………………………..and dirty looks from SHMBO!
Yeah, I found a 2 x 2 corner rosette in the interior trim area at Home Depot that is perfect for this. They cost $0.98 and are made from MDF and drill out quite nicely. I need to pick up one or two more and see if my keyholes bit set has the dimensions I need to for the Amdriod cement.
Mike, the talc + CA can be used as an accelerant and a filler. The talc itself sands quite easily - it's hardened CA which is the tougher medium. Using talc rather than baking soda also eliminates any possibility, however small, of any unwanted 'culture' forming after a period of time, bearing in mind that the soda is, to an extent, 'live'.
Using talc with paint is fine, as a filler, but using a good enamel or PU gloss varnish is better, as there are no pigment grains, which can sometimes separate and cause 'pin holing' in the dried filler, more likely to appear during or after sanding.
Terry, thanks, I would never suspect that talc, which is a rock, could chemically accererate the cure time for CA. Another in my list of "things to try"
Another item that can be used is PVC pipe pieces. Your local hardware store should have 1 1/2" diameter pipe or whatever you need for different size bottles of paint or thinner or Micro Set etc. You can cut them in 1 inch size and then glue them to whatever surface you use and they will hold your bottle upright and they won't spill. There was a great article that was published by Fine Scale Modeler magazine as a supplement. The article was by Mark Buchler. I could copy it and post a couple of pics of it, but I don't know if there is some copyright thing or not. If someone will let me know if I can, I'll post the article. It has some great photos of how it looks.

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