Balsa fin finishing technique
While working on my Estes Silver Comet, I was worried a bit about the
ability of the fins to survive hard landings. I was also not looking
forward to filling the grain in those monsters. So I decided to
laminate the fins with regular paper to provide strength and a ready
made surface for painting.
The key to this technique is the adhesive: regular wood glue will
cause the paper to wrinkle up and make it difficult to smooth out
unless you're really careful. Well, I don't really have that kind of
patience... and since I was looking for an easy way out, I didn't want
to create more work than filling the grain with Elmer's Fill 'n'
Finish (my previous method of finishing fins) would take.
I used the adhesive I use to mount photographs: Rollataq
(found in office and photo supply stores). It's water based, so
cleanup is easy, and (most importantly) it doesn't wrinkle the paper!
Here're some easy steps to finely finished fins:
Now if only I can figure out how to apply this to balsa cones and transitions...