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Author Topic: Cutting Basswood  (Read 1387 times)
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FLYACE1946
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« on: July 27, 2014, 04:26:13 PM »

How would you go about cutting a 3/32nd square stick from a sheet of 3/32 thick basswood? Could a balsa stripper do the job or just mark the line and cut away with a saw? Thanks for any advice.
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faif2d
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 05:06:04 PM »

A balsa stripper should do the job, especially if you can make more than 1 pass.  I always wondered why Comet did not use bass as it would have been easier to cut out the parts than the hard balsa that they used.  The big difference was the grain that they had in their balsa compared to minimal grain in the bass.
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Hepcat
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 07:46:57 PM »

My talented friend Ralph (who uses the pseudonym of Spadge on this forum) is an immaculate workman and I think this is partly due to the fact that he aways finds the correct way to do a job and then finds or makes the necessary tools.  If he happens to see this I think he would recommend a Dremel type of electric drill, properly mounted, suitable cutting wheels for the material and a method of accurately passing the wood past the cutting wheel.  I know he has cut Carbon and Balsa in this way and bass should be a doddle.

John
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Ployd
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 07:58:26 PM »

I just use a modified mortise gauge by removing the fixed pin and inserting a longer one that is shaped like a blade. Cut balsa, spruce, bass wood and 3 ply this way for 40 odd years...quick and simple.

Ployd in OZ
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FLYACE1946
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 01:48:13 PM »

Just reread the advice here. Will use the multi pass route using a good ol #11 blade
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Warhawk
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 03:39:34 PM »

Flyace,

Just keep in mind that the good old #11  blade has about a 7 deg angle to it, and you have to compensate for that to get a truly square cut.  I have some strippers that use a double-edged razor blade, which makes a better square.

Another strategy is to sand the edge a bit after the stick has been stripped to get a square edge.  I just made some 1/16" and 1/8" bamboo sticks by sanding to 1/32" thick and then using my balsa strippers and several passes.  It works!  My plan is to soak the 1/8" wide strips and hot bend them to make canopy framing.  As a back-up, I'm sanding some of the bamboo to 1/64" thick to strip and bend.  I've been lightly sanding the edges to square them up, too.

Justin
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FLYACE1946
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 04:19:25 PM »

Justin

those ideas all sound great to me. Many Thanks.
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Bell Models
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 04:59:27 PM »

I would just go to the local hobby shop or Michael's, and buy them.

John Bell
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FLYACE1946
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 05:28:36 PM »

What a good idea, if they would have this available.
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skyraider
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 08:06:02 PM »

Most Hobby Lobby stores stock these in their Balsa bin.  The only draw back
is the price for each stick.   Your better off stripping your own.  JMHO.

Skyraider
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Warhawk
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 08:35:54 AM »

I spent much of yesterday sanding down some of those bamboo skewers found in the kitchen parts of grocery stores.  It's relatively easy to get 1/16" strip out of the smaller skewers, and 1/8" strip out of the larger diameter skewers, it just takes time.  We'll see if my idea of using it for canopy framing works.  I already bent one hoop over my soldering iron, and it worked well.

Justin
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Dimeflyer
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2014, 11:26:05 PM »

Best bet is a band saw or table saw guy !
George
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Firefly
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 09:37:05 PM »

I tried cutting Basswood with an Xacto #11 blade in a Master Airscrew strip cutter. The bade wandered all over due to the grain structure of Basswood.  I made a very satisfactory stripper, using a Logan 270 Mat cutting blade, closely supported on each side. This is a rectangular blade that flexes very little. Using the closely supported Logan 270 blade, it is easy to get perfect sticks.
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Johnny Formica
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 02:52:36 PM »

I apologise for jumping in on this post but I too am cutting a 3/32" basswood stick but need a long shallow taper- I have tried with a steel rule as a guide but it is hard to keep still. Does anyone have a nice method for this. Thank you. John
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Mefot
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 03:43:35 PM »

Stick some fine emery paper to the back of your ruler. Double sided tape works fine. That will stop it slipping  Smiley
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 03:55:42 PM »

when I need to do this sort of work I find the most accurate way is to make up a sanding jig either for a straight strip or for a taper.  for the 1/32 squares cut maybe 20 strips roughly oversize and stack them in the jig .  sand one edge flat then flip them all over and sand down to the level of the two 1/32 steel or similar hard material guides.  can be helpful to Cyano all the strip together at one end to avoid a lot of ball-ache
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Johnny Formica
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 03:12:39 PM »

Thank you for the good ideas.
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Hepcat
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 09:44:29 PM »

reply #15 reminded me of this.

I used to use tapered spruce spars on my Coupe wings but the way the grain was on my spruce I dont believe it was possible to cut it accurately with a blade. I used to hack them down with a sharp knife as well as I could and then sand them to finish with the device in the picture.  There is a centre piece of wood and two side cheeks of 1/16th ply.  The side cheeks have 1/16th dia piano wire glued to the top edge. The cheeks are fixed to the centre with screws and the screws pass through slotted holes so that the spars can be straight or tapered as required.
John
 
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 10:56:39 PM »

John that's precisely what I meant.  Picture worth a thousand words!!
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faif2d
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2017, 12:27:26 PM »

I made this fixture back in the 1970's to cut tapered spruce spars for a AL-29 Russian A-2.  It worked very well but cutting the spars on the table saw (blade floor was made from aircraft ply that the blade was raised through) this left a zero clearance slot.  I used this to make small diameter spruce sticks from lumberyard spruce 2 x 4's.  It worked very well and by measuring the slot between the yardsticks you could set the taper quite closely.
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