Building Board Blues

I was about to get started on a new building project (more on that later) and pulled out my balsa building board. It’s been a while since I last used it, and much to my dismay, I discovered that it had taken on a bit of warp. The mid section of the board had taken on a crown of about 1/32” – 1/16” relative to the ends.

My first attempt to flatten the board was to clamp and weight it down to my bench. This worked and between the clamps, weights, and few paper shims, I was able to get the board to within about 0.010” of flat. Not pretty, but this could work. Then I discovered that the clamp was blocking my bench drawer from opening … oops!


I really wanted a more permanent and less awkward solution anyway. After a bit of searching, I found this post on RC Universe. Eureka, I can do that too!

A trip to my local big box store yielded some 1” square aluminum, corner brackets, and assorted screws. A few hours later, I had the the following:

20180909_195514 20180909_195747

I am back to being within about 0.010” of flat (measured with a straight edge and feeler gauge). Good enough!

I still want to build a true torsion box table one of these days and have a truly dead flat surface, but this should give me a very flat and stable surface.

On to my next building project!

2 thoughts on “Building Board Blues”

  1. Hello again!

    I used a thick piece of plate glass as a building surface and it does a good job.

    If you like ww2 planes I have a FW 190 kit that is loaded with goodies I got to let it go.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I did try using plate glass once, but I really like building on the balsa board using pins to hold pieces in place. I have also tried using a ceiling tile, which was OK, but it didn’t hold the pins as well as the balsa. I am happy with the solution I came up with and now that Great Planes is no more, I will need to be extra careful to keep mine in good condition!

      I e-mailed you a note regarding the FW kit.


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