I have been building balsa wood models for about 13 years now and have a good supply of kits stock piled up waiting to be built, a few of these kits are small stick and tissue rubber band powered models that I have picked up here and there. Normally when I build a large model I well dig out my big old 6 foot long building board that I put together quit a few years ago but for these small models it is not very practical to use such a large building board and it would be a lot more comfortable to build models, at least the small ones, inside and not in the unheated garage. So to solve my problem I have decided to make another building board that is small and better suited for small models.
I have to credit my friend Dan for this one, he showed me that you can use a ceiling tile for sticking pins in, he has a nice smooth work bench so he just lays the tile on that. I mount mine to base boards so they are more portable, the large one I have I set up on saw horses when I use it, and can be stuck up against the wall when not in use.
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Step 1: Materials
The main idea of a building board is to have a flat even surface that you can pin parts to to make the different bit of the model. To make the board flat and even I use a piece of 1/2" plywood as a base. To make it so I can stick pins in the board I use a cheap ceiling tile, the back is flat and the material is soft so you can stick pins in it.
I am making a board that is 2' by 2' but you can make the board any size you like by simply increasing the size of the materials.
-Plywood, since I am building a board that is 2 feet square I picked up a precut piece of plywood that is 24" by 24". Make sure you board is flat. You can make any size board you like just increase materials accordingly.
-Ceiling tile, just get a cheap basic ceiling tile with square edges, not the ones with the beveled edges. The tiles come in 2' by 4' pieces so for my board I well only use half of a tile.
-Double sided tape, the thin kind not the thicker foam style it can make lumps on the board.
-Cutting implement for cutting the tile.
NOTE: If you build a board larger then 2' by 4' I recommend that you make a frame for under the base board to reinforce it so that it stays flat, on my 6 foot long board I used some pieces of 2" x 1/2" pine and went all around the edges and had two stringers going down the length of the underside of the board. Also make sure the grain of the plywood goes length wise, not really important on mine as the length = the width.
Step 2: Apply Tape
Decide which side of the plywood board is the smoothest, this is the side you want to stick the ceiling tile to. Take the double sided tape and put tape all around the edges of the board and diagonally.
Step 3: Add the Ceiling Tile
-Stick the ceiling tile to the taped side of the plywood base board.
-Trim the extra ceiling tile off with a sharp knife.
-Done! Simple as that. When the ceiling tile gets chewed up from being poked with pins and gouged with a hobby knife when trimming parts, just peel off the old tile and stick on a new one, in my case the other half.