How do I keep long flat sections of paper from bending.

Discussion in 'How Do I...' started by SonOfAGun2501, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. SonOfAGun2501

    SonOfAGun2501 Member

    Help, I am presently working on the AXM ISS in 1-100 scale. I knew I would run into this problem and I'm not really sure how to solve it. As you might imagine the ISS has a lot of solar panels and due to the size of them and the pull of gravity here on Earth my panels keep bending. How can I prevent this from happening. I have seen about paper hardeners but I really don't have any knowledge in that area. I eventually plan to suspend the model from the ceiling some something with a lot of staying power would be great. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    You can run a very thin wire along the length of the edge of the panels. That should help stabilize them and keep them from sagging.
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  3. Cybergrinder

    Cybergrinder Member Extraordinaire

    Alternatively you could use thin strips of balsa wood, or stiff cardboard laminated on the inside
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  4. Lighter

    Lighter Member

    1/64" and/or 0.4 mm plywood are available at hobby shops or on line. Once upon a time I bought a sheet at Lowes - but I think that was a fluke. (USA, last last century) A sheet of ply can be laminated to the card, crossing the respective grains. It is tough stuff. I've found that scissors are less aggravating than a knife.

    Also you can find thin brass, tinplate or stainless steel plates at a hobby shop or over the internet. And, there is good old plastic sheet, but it can sag if too thin.
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  5. SmallRealities

    SmallRealities New Member

    Alternatively, you can use more paper. You can use a strip of paper folded into a v with wings _/\_ glued to the back. Use multiples if needed.
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  6. bgt01

    bgt01 Exemplary Confidant

    I sometimes put a very small bead/coat of Super Glue along the edge of a part to help keep it stable. The glue dries clear and acts as a sort of "frame" for the part to hold its shape.
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  7. daishi

    daishi Member

    I'd try using a triple layer paper arrangement:
    - the paper you use for the model with the patterns on the outer layers,
    - a middle layer of (probably thicker) paper impregnated with superglue or if you need bigger area then epoxy... (please note I'm not sure the stuff I have in mind is actually called epoxy in English, Mr. Google told me it is).

    Assemble after the middle layer dried so it won't ruin the pattern and the paper on the visible parts.
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  8. SonOfAGun2501

    SonOfAGun2501 Member

    Wow. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I am going to give a couple of these a try and see which works best. For those of you who recommended glue (super or apoxy) How do you keep the pieces straight while gluing I imagine sandwiching them is out of he question.
  9. daishi

    daishi Member

    With superglue I usually don't have to make the paper so wet to have problem with paper flatness, for other epoxies I've never had the paper wrinkle up on the tabletop either but then again I don't work with the stuff too often.

    So basically I just leave it on the worktable until it dries.
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  10. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    Welding Rod, the kind used for "TIG" welders. It's cheap, and the model will never warp. With Balsa, or more paper, it will start to warp. How you hang it is equally as important.
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  11. zathros

    zathros SENIOR Administrator

    In addition, ZIP DRY glue, as often mentioned on this forum, is perfect for holding Tig welding Rod into place. It's superior, and instant metrix forming, but long set time, allows for calm assembly and easy removal, if an error is made. It is Lignin free (will no Yellow any paper, and better yet is completely NonToxic, though I would not put it on crackers and eat it, or you may find yourself extremely bound up. :asshat: :)

    Zip Dry can be found at any Micheal's Craft Stores or off of

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