Select Tools

Indoor models generally need light, small and very sharp tools.

Lets have a look at a few categories:-

Measuring – Metal straight edge, preferably 24″.
Digital thickness gauge with large anvils to prevent crushing, I got mine on-line from Machine-Dro.

Cutting – carbon steel razor blades – replace at the first hint of tearing balsa, modelling knife with new blade.

Shaping – Fine and medium sand paper glued to balsa blocks about 1.5″ x 4″
Razor Plane with new blade set at finest cut possible.

Gluing – Balsa cement – ideally Ambroid or Duco thinned with 20/30% cellulose thinners or acetone (I used nail polish remover for a while – well it was to hand, boom, boom!). If not available use UHU from the yellow and black tubes, again thinned 50% with above. Also some thinned white or aliphatic glue – this is just used for attaching solid balsa propeller blades to the spar and maybe dihedral breaks.

Clamping – Fine glass or plastic headed Pins with 3/16″ x 1/2″ about 40 thou. thick balsa clamps.

Bending – Small round nosed and needle nosed pliers. Small side cutters. Hobbycraft do some nice Jeweller’s ones.

Weighing – eventually you will need some small jewellers milligram scales. 0 -10 grams fine. Amazon £10 to £20.

Balsa Stripper – initially you will be able to manage without but eventually you’ll want the level of accuracy provided by either the Jim Jones or Harlan strippers. Indoor Model Supplies.

Building board – an old drawing board is ideal to start with but really anything flat that will take pins about 24″ x 12″ would do.

Timing – a simple stop watch will show you how you are improving just fine. Your iPhone at a pinch and an iPad has a stopwatch built in and a cheap but effective stroke app. available for it which allows you to time Prop. revs.