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Author Topic: Flap/elevator leading edge.  (Read 672 times)

Offline David Ebers

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Flap/elevator leading edge.
« on: November 18, 2021, 11:45:03 PM »
What is your technique to get a nice and even bevel on the leading edge of flaps and elevators?

Offline Dennis Toth

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Re: Flap/elevator leading edge.
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 01:47:52 PM »
I use 1/4" hard balsa triangular stock to form the leading edge and after gluing to the rest of the flap/elevator it coat it with thin CA to harden it more.

Best,   DennisT

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Flap/elevator leading edge.
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 03:32:10 PM »
 y1
I use 1/4" hard balsa triangular stock to form the leading edge and after gluing to the rest of the flap/elevator it coat it with thin CA to harden it more.

Best,   DennisT
y1
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If it is not broke, don't fix it.
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Online Warren Wagner

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Re: Flap/elevator leading edge.
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2021, 04:31:57 PM »
Hi David,

Sorry for the delay in responding to your question.  I just don't seem to have the time now
that I did when I was working !  <g>

After many years of just sanding the front part of control surfaces, I slowly came up with the
set-up that shows in these two photos.

Start with a clear center line (ball point pen is good) on the front surfaces.  Have a smooth
surface as a base (I like the Melamine covered shelves), and a second board (3/4" thick is good)
to elevate the control surface that you want to work with.  Put a piece of thin foam or scrap
balsa under your piece to prevent scratching, if you have already done your final sanding.

Of course, you will want to form your hinge pockets before you sand the leading edge.

Have the leading edge of your part just slightly past the edge of the elevating board.  Now,
sand at approximately 45 degrees, and stop just before you hit the center line.  Now, flip
your part over, and do the second side the same way, stopping just before you hit the center
line.  With a little practice, you will be all done at this point...it goes very fast.

Don't extend your sandpaper to the edge of the sanding block, or you will scratch the surface
of your base, and the sanding block won't 'glide' quite so easily.

You can 'eyeball' the angle if you want (it doesn't need to be too precise, but in the second
photo, you can see that it's easy to make the angle goof-proof.  I started out simple, but
figured I could add a 45 degree base, a handle, and that would make life even easier.  Be
as fussy as you want.

With a little preparation, beveling the edges of control surfaces goes fast, and is actually
kind of fun.

Cheers, and stay safe.

Warren Wagner

Warren Wagner
AMA 1385


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