Former thickness

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by dwfunk4475, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. dwfunk4475

    dwfunk4475 New Member

    New at this and I am finding it fascinating!

    When building up formers, how thick should one make them? 1mm? 1.5mm? 4 layers of 110# (200gsm?)? or 5 layers or more of 110# (200gsm?)?


    David & Natalia
    Republic of Texas / Russian Federation
  2. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Welcome! :) glad you found us :)

    Former thickness varies greatly depending on the model. .8-1.5 mm is typical. the best way to find what is expected on your model is that most of the formers will have little slots that other formers will fit into. measure that opening size and make your former just a touch thinner so you get a snug fit. I think the vast majority of the formers I make are 4 sheets of 110lb (from walmart) plus the standard paper the formers are printed out on.

    When you laminate all these sheets together dont use white glue or a glue stick or you will have tons of warping. I use 3M adhesive spray - its awesome!
  3. The 3m is good I have used it but I found a use for all those cerial boxes that we put in the recycling. I print my former sheet on 67# then laminate it to the cerial box cardboard. If the ship is larger I will laminate two sheets of cerial box cardboard together. I noticed on another build that a modeler was using cerial boxes so I picked it up too. Can't beat the price. I use white glue then press the whole sheet under a piece of particle board shelving I got from Home Depot. I just put my 10# weights on top and when dry,---walla very nice flat formers. This also works good for the decking. This way it cuts down the number of laminations and the cardboard is soft and easy to cut but the 67# stiffens it up The glue sticks well to either side (printed or plain).

    I am always intrigued with the different methods others use. That is why I like this forum. Everyone shares and no one criticizes others work. I have seen some pretty sloppy work but never a comment in that regard. Always "Hey good job" "nice work". Because that is how we encourage each other to progress. Because no matter how sloppy a piece might be, if the person keeps it up they will be a master because we all started the same way, with that sloppy first piece. So don't be afraid to post your pics, you will recieve nothing but encouragement from these members.

    Don't be afraid to ask either ,because there is a wealth of experience here at your disposal for freeeeeeeeeeeee :) :) :) So welcome aboard
  4. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    Soda pop 12-pack cartons are also another source of cardboard for formers. Generally speaking, I use one layer for 1:48 scale or smaller, laminate two layers for 1:32 airplanes or 1:400 ships, and three layers for 1:24 armor or 1:250 ships. Remember when laminating that paper (or cardboard) has a grain, and will preferentially curl in one direction. You can find the grain direction by tearing paper. The paper will tear smoothly (straight tear) in the direction of the grain, and will tear raggedly across the grain. When laminating, the direction of the grain of a sheet should be oriented 90 degrees from the grain direction of the sheet below it.....that way, you minimize the tendency of the part to curl as it dries. Posterboard is a good, relatively low cost source of laminating stock for large parts, like ship decks. One item I recommend you have in your toolbox is a micrometer. With the flood of consumer goods from China, even digital mikes are getting dirt cheap (as little as $10), and I recently found a perfectly usable non-digital mike in the beading section of Robert's Crafts Store for $5. The digitals are accurate to 0.1 mm, so will definitely be usable for our purposes.

    The cardboard that PaperModelStore is ok, but like older Maly kits, it does tend to easily delaminate under a bending stress...I prefer 'painting' the edges such parts with thin CA to prevent delamination.
  5. dwfunk4475

    dwfunk4475 New Member

    Thanks! I can use all the input I can get. The older I get the smarter my folks get! So I find myself more open to hearing how someone else did things.

    Yup, I've discovered the curl and that 'paper grain' thingy. A 12x12 peice of iron and some very heavy transformer based equipment helps me 'correct' some of those problems!

    And a mic I've got, very valuable part of my tool kit for my other hobbies, partly why I was bold enough to ask about specific thicknesses.

    And again, Bol'shoye spasibo!

  6. By the way another suggestion that might help you save your fingers when cutting all that heavy stock to shape. I use a pair of garden pruning scissors to cut them (the ones shaped like actual scissors). They have greater leverage and work quite well when cutting out the pieces. You can cut the slots and then finish the end with your knife. Saves a lot of blades and your hands.You can also use a pair of "Straight cut" green handled tin shears as well. But the pruning shears are smaller. I have cut board as thick at matt board with ease. When you have a lot of formers to cut it can be a real help. You hands will love you for it.

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