Securing Butt Joins

by Neil Howard

Increasingly we are seeing locating pins and lugs on limited runs kits, but these don’t always fit too well, and many kits still don’t have them. The softer plastic used in many limited run kits can make securing butt joins a reasonably easy job, but here is a simple tip I picked up on the Web that reduces the risk of joint slippage whilst the glue dries. It works well for both wing and tail-planes and all you need to remember is to do this before you glue fuselage halves together.

Step 2:

Lightly tack the tail-plane in place with a small drop or two of CA glue. CA has little shear strength, so the tail plane (or wing) can easily be broken off again later in the process.

Step 3:

Next, drill into the mounted tail-plane from the inside, using the previously drilled holes as a guide. You may need to support the part whilst you do this to stop the drill pushing it off the fuselage. Do not drill too deeply, as you can always deepen the holes later in the process.

Step 4:

Snap the part off, and clean off any residual CA glue with either debonder or simply sand the part gently. You will now have locating holes in each part that should be a perfect match. Next cut some wire or rod and glue into the holes in the tail-plane. You can deepen the holes with your drill if you need to at this stage.

Step 5:

Once dry, trim the wire or rod to the desired length and then test fit to the fuselage. When assembling the parts, the wire will now locate the part correctly and help hold in place until the glue dries.