The complete radio control model airplane FAQ.  


Rob M. asked the rec.models.rc.air newsgroup this question on 11-25-2000:

What's the best building board surface?

    Being a bachelor, I do most of my building either on my coffee table or my kitchen table. :-) Both are very flat surfaces (wood and glass). If that's not an option, it's pretty common to use a solid core door, because they are usually pretty flat. I cover the coffee table with a towel, and then place the Magic Magnet sheet on top of that. For what it's worth, all of the guys that I've heard of using the magnet system wouldn't go back to pins even if they were threatened to have the pins shoved under their fingernails. (Myself included.) The magnets are so much better that it's incredible. They pretty much stay put where you put them, but are adjustable. Get one--it's well worth it. Just don't forget the waxed paper. rcfaq

Check here for excellent boards - expensive but it may give you some ideas. http://www.wrightengineering.com/   Ed Forsythe

Homosote.....IF (that's a big IF), you can find one whose thickness does not vary by 3/16 inch  within a few feet.
    I've settled on sheet rock. FLAT, cheap, easy to cut to size, and holds pins.....albeit it's hard on the pins and your fingers pushing them in.
    I've now taken to covering the board with whatever rolled paper product I can find. Once it gets dirty and cut, I replace. Much easier than sanding all the paint and glue globules off and repainting. Products you can use are wallpaper liner, butchers paper, newsprint, and now with Christmas coming you may find cheap wrapping paper. I found some 50 Sq Ft rolls for $1.00, (use the back, white, side) -Bill Archibald

Here's the best of both worlds and its CHEAP. Take your homosote board or ceiling tile and contact cement it to a piece of drywall. The weight of the drywall keeps the tile flat and the edges won't warp up. You must glue it to the drywall though. Everything stays straight and flat and its easy to pin too. You still need a good flat table top to lay this on!  Vic Kevlar

I use a sheet of Drywall or Sheetrock (same thing), very pinnable, and last roughly more than two building seasons. kingman aero

I use ceiling tiles. Rob Plourde Jr.

I have always just used a pine board.  Cheap, straight, and holds pins well. You do have to hammer them in, but they hold well.  I have had my board for years, as I don't cut or paint on it, only build. It is a glued up board, probably 18 inches by four feet or so.  I found it in a home improvement store.  I have countersunk holes around its periphery, and I screw it down on a Craftsman composite bench top.  The bench top is very flat, so any warpage that the board develops doesn't matter.  I have some other scrap boards that I use to cut and saw on.  When I am done with pin up jigging, I unscrew the board, and put it away.  I never glue or paint on the bench top either, only on the scrap boards.  Integrator

Someone suggested dry wall before.  Personally, I used door and balsa wood building board for the last three project. KC

Try USG (United States Gypsum) Micore panels. We use it for fabric covered tack boards , it comes 3/8" , 1/2" or 7/8" thick, we buy Micore 230 sanded & primed one side.4x8 sheet is approx. $25.00. The distributor in Charlotte NC is CSR Dierco 704-523-2600. Try to find a CSR , Dierco or Rinker supply in your area or look for a drywall yard that carries USG products. Good luck , Steve Hudson

Either Celotex or Homasote, different brands of the same thing, you'll find it at your local building supply house. Make sure you bring a straight edge with you, they both can vary in "flatness". Herbert M. Winston

I got some cork. It is about 1/2 inch thick and comes in 2ftx3ft sheets. I just glued it to the door with contact glue. Tommy W.

I like acoustic ceiling tile, turned backwards, with cork on top. Dr.1 Driver

Try a building board product called Homosote. It's approximately 5/8" thick, gray in color, very flat, holds pins well and sold in 4x8 sheets. Another modeler uses 1/2" sheetrock. Claims pin penetration is not difficult. NickRC3

I use a solid core door and the most dense acoustic ceiling tile (4x8 foot) that I can find. Works great - nice and flat. I build up a solid base of 2x2 and 2x3s - but folding banquet table legs will work as well. John Cramer

If you go the door route, use a straight-edge and check them for warps before you buy one. You will find that about 1 out 15 is close enough to use as a building board. I checked them at Lowes and Home Depot before I finally found one that would work. Jon Bower


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