Creating the balsa planks necessary to sheet a rc airplane can be a challenge to many people, but if you have the right method, it really is quite simple and actually a lot of fun. I am going to show you the process I use to create the sheeting (planks) for my beechcraft bonanza from TopFlite. I think you will agree after looking over this process, that there really is nothing to it. Of course, I would recommend practicing with some scrap pieces before attempting to create them for your actual model airplane. So let's go ahead and look at the steps to create balsa sheeting for an radio control airplane.
Balsa Sheeting For RC Planes…Easy as 1,2,3,4,5,6
Step 1. Use a smooth even surface to lie your planks on before you begin. I like to use a glass table, but even a flat wood board will suffice, just make sure that it is large enough to accommodate your sheets of balsa wood. As you can see from the photo below, this is where I make my balsa sheeting.
Step 2. I used two 3 inch x 36 inch balsa sheets that will be glued together to make the final 6 inch wide planks that will be used to create the wing center section. When you are preparing to make sheeting, whether for the wing or the fuselage of your model airplane, you have to take the time to trim the edges of the balsa sheets that will be joined. You will never find any wood that you buy to be true and straight. So never assume you can just glue two pieces together and it will turn out just fine.
Step 3. Trimming the balsa sheets in preparation for your rc airplanes skin is an important step, don't skip it. Probably one of the easiest methods for creating straight and true edges is to use a straight edge and a hobby knife to trim the balsa straight. As you can see in the pictures, I like to use a metal yardstick and clamps to hold everhthing secure to my glass table (see the pictures below).
Step 4. Creating balsa sheets for an rc airplane is seen as a daunting task to many model airplane builders, but following these steps can make it really simple, just as easy as gluing two pieces of balsa together. But before we get to that step, we need to do this step. Now we use masking tape to pull and hold the two balsa sheets together. Building rc airplanes uses a lot of ordinary household items to build them and I say this because some people think you need to use fancy tools to build really amazing rc airplanes. You don't and I know this from building radio control airplanes for almost 30 years. So let's continue with taping the two balsa sheets together. You have to use a bit of pulling when you tape the sheets. What I mean by this is to place the tape on one sheet and pull the tape slightly as you put the tape onto the other balsa sheet. You will know you have done it correctly when you see the balsa sheets bow (as seen in the pictures).
Building rc airplanes requires a bag of tricks that you develop over time in order to finish a model, but the good news is that you can build a great model airplane even after your first attempt.