Rolling Motor tubes

Rolling Motor Tubes for No-Cal models

There are probably as many variations in the process of rolling a motor tube as there are modelers that do it, but this will get you started if you haven't done it before. Many thanks to my Dad for holding the various parts while I took the pictures!

Step 1: What You'll Need
  • Steel Rule
  • Glue
  • Sharp knife or razor
  • Mending tape
  • Masking tape
  • Brass tube to form balsa around
  • 'C'-grain sheet balsa (I usually use 0.017" to 0.019" thick 'C'-grain balsa for most of my models. Larger models will need thicker sheet.)
  • Bond or tissue paper to wrap balsa with
  • A smooth, hard, clean surface to work on
Step 2: Take your piece of motor tube wood and soak it in hot water until it is completely wet. Leave it to soak in the hot water while you continue with the next steps.

Step 3: Take a piece of mending tape longer than the piece of paper you'll be rolling the tube up in, and tape one long side down to the surface so that half the tape is stuck to the paper, and half the tape is stuck on the work surface. I've outlined the mending tape and the edge of the paper with a black pen so you can see the position of the tape on the paper's edge ...

Step 4: Peel the tape and paper off your work surface and turn it upside down so that the tape is now sticky side up . . .

Step 5: Align the brass tube form with the edge of the paper

Here's another graphic to help show the idea . . .

I use a 1/4 inch diameter brass tube available from the K&S rack at your local hobby, hardware, or art store to roll roll most of my motor tubes. Larger models will require a larger tube.

Step 6: With the brass tube aligned, carefully roll it back over the tape to adhere the tape to the tube, then roll it forward . . .

... until no tape is showing.

Step 7: Wipe the excess water off your piece of motor tube wood and carefully place it on the paper parallel to the motor tube ...

... and roll the wood up into the paper ...

More to come ...

Michael A. Morrow's AERO ACES - Doing Business since 1995 !
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