Thursday, November 6, 2008

EPP Vendors I Use And Why

Ok, I've been building in epp for quite awhile now and I've tried foam from a variety of sources. Some I've built with - others I've seen my friends build with. One thing that stands out quickly is that NOT ALL epp is the same!

Me, I've been ordering exclusively from until recently when I was introduced to and Now I recommend all three!

How do I choose?
Why order sometimes from one & and; sometimes from the other?

Good questions! :-)'s and's epp is allot more dense than rcskyflyers epp. I almost always build in the 1.9 lb... but, as you will discover when ordering from the various companies - 1.9 one place isn't the same as 1.9 someplace else! :-) So, rcfoam.coms 1.9lb is much more rigid than rcskyflyers 1.9lb for instance -  apparently because it actually has a higher density. Is one accurate - and the other wrong - or are both of them off - I have no idea! :-) All I know is that I like these companies epp!

Ok, one having a higher density than the other... this of course adds a little weight to the plane - but - it also makes it more rigid! :-) Which then requires less carbon fiber for stiffening! :-) So, depending on what I'm building - and what my rigidity needs are, it may be lighter to stiffen with Carbon Fiber... or... it may be lighter to just use the higher density epp rcfoam sells. Other times, its purely a weight decision... so,  I choose the rcskyflyer epp for the most weight conscience applications - and the rcfoam and wmparkflyers epp for the more "rigid" applications. :-)

Lots of epp vendors out there... so - why have I settled on these three?

From many vendors you recieve epp that is NOT consistantly the thickness that you ordered. Now, no one is perfect (see my unique website on that) and that goes for epp thicknesses as well - but - you can get pretty consistent. Hands down to me - and have the best - most consistent epp thicknesses. This is very important for building planes that fly straight & true!

Another issue with epp is ease of ordering. Some sites give you goofy choices - or no choices. Some sites just say, "Epp sheets for $6." Ok... so... what sizes are the sheets? How can I price compare if I don't know how big the sheets are? Other sites give the size of the sheets - but not the density of the foam (density of the foam indicates its stiffness - and weight. Larger the number, the stiffer & heavier the foam). I primarily use 1.9 - and sometimes 1.3 - but - on some of these sites - you have no idea what the density is that you'd be getting from them. Another ordering issue is thickness. Allot of guys are ordering 9mm epp for all their building needs. To match this, most vendors carry just 9mm epp. But... rcskyflyer and rcfoam in particular... offer TONS of other choices... which is great for guys like me who are wanting more building options (especially for trying to keep things nice & light for indoor flying!)

Also, on you can order individual sheets in whatever quantity you want - without being restricted / having to order only in "sets" / "bundles" of 5 or 10 like other sites do. Similarly, is working on adding that feature to their site - but even without that currently available - all you have to do is call them & say, "I want 2 of these, 4 of those, 10 of these & 3 of that one!" - and they'll do it for you right over the phone! :-)

A major issue for me when dealing online with folks - is dependability. Will the vendor stand by his product & give "after the purchase" service to me as a customer? I've found some vendors to be plain obnoxious. Ed (the owner) of  Steve (the owner) of and Greg (the owner) of don't run their businesses that way!

I am not being paid for this - I'm just a happy customer - and believe in spreading the word!

I've got links to other vendors in the right hand column of this blog - vendors my friends have tried with success... because I want to offer this blog as a resource to all builders & fliers of epp planes. So - with that goal - I want to post multiple suppliers. But, I personally buy exclusevely from these three vendors.