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Old 12-10-2005, 10:58 AM   #1
DX-SFX
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Default Good source for hardwood.

The prongs of the side pods that slide into the cages are made of hardwood or to be more precise beech. The third 44" eagle had the prongs made in jelutong pattern makers wood but since this is only a harder relative of balsa wood, it didn't take very long to lose the good fit and there's some evidence that they actually broke completely (I know because I was asked to replace them as they were beyond saving). Beech is definitely the prefered route to go and that's what's used on the first two 44"'s and the 22".

Beech is used as hardwood engine bearers in i.c. powered radio controlled aircraft and is very strong. It's sometimes refered to as servo bearer as it performs the same task but with the radio servo's as well as the engine.You can buy it in model shops that deal with radio controlled aircraft but you'll be fortunate if they have it in sizes suitable for a 44" Eagle. The cheapest and most easily available source is wooden bread/chopping boards that are typically 1 inch or 3/4 inches thick. The wood varies in appearance but is usually anything from a very pale yellow through pale pink to a dark pinky brown. Any grain that shows is usually an even darker pinky brown and appears quite short in length that "speckles" the surface. It's not crucial so any wooden bread cutting board should do. Cut into small blocks, it also makes an excellent material to screw into with woodscrews if you pre-drill it with the correct size drill bit. Adding blocks into resin models is well worth the effort if you need a very firm screwed fixing.

It machines beautifully and on occasion I make a lot of my jigs in it in preference to metal because it doesn't expand when heated and although it will burn, it's very heat resistant compared to other woods. I use it for cross section jigs when building the cages and spine in brass. I just drill holes into it and insert the correct sized rods. Bread boards usually come machined completely flat so there's minimal setting up time.
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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Damn, Chris, you're good. Everytime you post, I learn a little bit more. Just wish I had something to impart, but it's just about all I can do to take it all in.

Keep those tips and hints coming!

Cheers, mate.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:36 PM   #3
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That's what this forum is for. Please don't feel intimidated though. We all want to see what others are building and how they went about it. Some of us only have modest equipment so it's always good to see alternatives ways to do things.
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:06 PM   #4
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Other sources of beech are pastry rolling pins (good if you need to turn something in beech) and some office furniture notably the arms of steel framed and wooden framed chairs.
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Old 17-10-2005, 06:38 PM   #5
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Here's a better guide to the sort of wood to look for. This is a close up of a couple of 3/8th" and one 1/2" square bits of beech. These were sourced from a radio contol model shop and are intended as engine bearers but the colour can be much lighter in the case of furniture and bread boards. The wood grain is the easiest way to recognise the right wood. There aren't many woods with a similar grain pattern.

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