Building the Estes Blenders (part 1)

The other one I picked out to build for my son was the Estes Blenders. Well, an Estes Blender. There are two in the kit, but I’m saving one for me. I decided to build one at a time, partly to make sure I had enough time to build one, and partly for an opportunity to learn from any mistakes.

There’s a bunch of laser cut balsa parts.

IMG_7692 The triangular one isn’t a part, it’s a right angle reference to use when gluing up. I didn’t use thinned wood filler on that. I did on the other pieces.

Next the motor tube gets glued into the (laser cut cardboard) top ring and the five struts get glued on.IMG_7701 Then the bottom piece. In general I did need to widen the slots in this kit with an emery board to get the balsa tabs to fit.IMG_7704

I put Titebond No-Run No-Drip fillets on the glued edges; a bit tricky, given the tight spacing.

Next the… fins? Panels? Whatever. I glued one, let it dry, glued the second, applied fillets on the first, let them dry, glued the third, applied fillets on the second… and so on.IMG_7710Then I used (unthinned) wood filler to fill the slots. I would have done the same on the top ring if it were balsa, but I figured sanding would probably create fuzzies — which would really not be a problem once primed and re-sanded, but my son’s going to see it before it’s painted and the fuzzies would look bad.
IMG_7713The nose cone’s dry fit. It’ll get glued in after painting, which won’t happen until warm weather arrives. Or, since today’s high temperature in Syracuse was a record breaking 68°F (thanks, El Niño; thanks, global warming), I should say persistent warm, non-humid, non-windy weather. Still months away. But for now the unpainted Blender’s under the tree.

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