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    Hoarding kits

    Hi guys, in the 18 months that I have been back in the hobby, I've seen a few businesses in the hobby close their doors. Traplet, Hobbico, Solartex and there is more. As I look forward to retirement in a few years, I worry that the things I love won't be there. I've been buying short kits, plans, and balsa. I have five short kits, complete with cowls and canopies, ten plans and one kit. I figure one plane a year, I'm set for a while. I bought about 30 yards Solartex, 25 yards of Planetex and adhesives for it. Does anyone else feel the sense of doom and the need to stock up?

    #2
    I too have seen a couple of online hobby stores close. Tower Hobby for one. My local hobby store only sells RTF's and BNF's. It seems the hobby is going to the instant gratification crowd. No need to build just buy and fly. There are still good sources for balsa and thin plywood. Foam jets are popular and foam is readily available.

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      #3
      I learned from my local dealer that Tower Hobby is not closing. They are in bankruptcy and are out of stock.

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        #4
        Hey Tony, part of my Tower order arrived today. Some of the things I ordered were backordered. I see more of that, at work, too. Tower Hobbies going bankrupt is huge. It is a sign of terrible things to come! They've been around for decades. I guess the world changes, RC included.

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          #5
          Tony, have you tried building anything out of balsa yet? I know you said you've been working with the foam. The details a guy can do and if you enjoy the building process, it's very labor intensive, which I love. Give it a shot. Start with a trainer kit. See what you think.

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            #6
            I built a Dumas kit and it did not turn out that great. I haven't gave up though. I am currently building the albatross D III. I uses 1/32 balsa for skin and is a little larger. It is rubber powered so I don,t intend to fly it. I downloaded two trainers that are RC that will be next. I'm building my skill set and hope to have one in the air this summer.

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              #7
              That's awesome. Which trainers are they? I had a Kadet Senior. Easy to fly but with such light wing loading a breezey day makes it a chore to fly. It's almost always a little windy in SD. I'm building a Telemaster 40 now. I think that problem will be better. I don't doubt your skills, but for me having an instruction manual is a great idea starting out verses just plans. A lot of building techniques can be picked up, making it more enjoyable to build. I would hate to see you get frustrated and quit. Happy building!

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                #8
                Thanks for the encouragement. I've printed the plans for the Begin Trainer. I'm having trouble finding some of the balsa locally. May need to buy sheets and cut to size. I make lots of mistakes but I make another piece and move on. I also need to accumulate various clamps and tricks for keeping things straight and square.

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                  #9
                  What kind of surface is under your plans that you build on? I've used half inch sheetrock and 2x4' ceiling tiles. Pin your parts down into that. There are some super cheap plastic slotted guides for getting your ribs perpendicular or you can make your own. I bought a couple small metal machinists squares at a Menards box store and some plastic triangles like for school kids, use these a lot. Zip lock bags filled with sand is handy for weighting things down. Wooden clothes pins are cheap clamps that work for a lot of things. I went to a welding shop and for $20 he cut and smoothed six pieces of angle iron of different sizes. I use these to hold things in place. There is always expensive solutions for problems, but sometimes a cheap solution leaves money for something else! Today I ordered some cheap servos from eBay, rcgroups forum guys said there were great. $4.50 apiece. Mini servos I'll use for the throttle control. I'm going to cover this trainer in a fabric I bought from Balsa USA. I've never used it before. I have to coat the perimeter of the piece I'm covering with an adhesive and apply and shrink the fabric. Then brush on a sealer which also glues the fabric down and seals. Then prime and paint. I want my learning curve to be on this trainer, not a future project I care more about. After I build the tail surfaces I'll be ready to cover!

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                    #10
                    I also build on ceiling tiles. I made some 90 degree angle blocks from scrap 3/4" particle board with 1/4" plywood faces. I use these and small spring clamps that I bought from Harbor Freight to hold things in place while gluing. I did not know that Menards had machinist squares. I will definitely look next trip. I still am unsure how to properly apply tissue or thin balsa covering. Do you start at the top or sides? Need lots of help on this. Thanks for you suooprt and tips!

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                      #11
                      Is your photo the Albatross? To be honest, it looks really hard. The dimensions of the wood is tiny! I've never seen 1/20 as a wood thickness. My hat is off to you, Tony. I've haven't covered in tissue paper since I was young, my projects were a little rough, but I loved it! You can Google about any question and it will take you to 'RCUniverse' or 'rcgroups'. Awesome resource. Take care.

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                        #12
                        This is the Albatross. Some of the parts are small. These are no the best plans. The lines are too thick and detail is lacking in some places. The RCM Trainer will be next and is larger and the plans are clearer.

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                          #13
                          Howdy ronirc!
                          Yeah, I spent 400 bucks back in 2000, and haven't touched but 3 pieces of that set of wood! I have learned the hard way, tho that buying glue in small bottles is the best route, as non will be wssted to atmospheric destructomatics! It's totally OK to be overwhelmed if a particular plan looks overwhelming.Take your time looking through a plan, and don't hesitate to ask questions! The biggest reason I came here to AF Forums, is I'm a builder, and I think Fred's Idea of keeping our history alive and moving forward instead of shrinking is a great idea! I will say, I did make out "like a bank robber" @ Horizon Hobby, with some gorgeous pricings of woods I needed!- mostly Plywood for wing dihedrals on sailplanes tormentyalater!

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