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How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

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Old 09-25-2012, 10:29 AM
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Laurence-RCU
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Default How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

The plan calls for 1/4 X 1/2 balsa and it has to be curved to conform to a portion of the leading edge. In it's natural state it will not do this.
Is there a way?

Thanks in advance,

Laurence
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

Yes several.

1) Use laminations such as 4pcs of 1/8X1/2 lengths laminated (Or 8 pcs of 1/8 X 1/4)in the shape you need.

2) Build a steaming fixture

3) Soak for several hours in an ammonia/water bath, preferably hot.

4) At the bend (If only a small , single bend.) splice two pieces together end to end. (Not a butt joint but with an 8 to 1 or 12 to 1 ratio.)

In my opinion the laminations are easiest if you don't have a steaming fixture.

Good Luck

Mark
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:17 PM
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

can you post a picture of what you want to do.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa


Quote:
ORIGINAL: goirish

can you post a picture of what you want to do.
Please do, it's usually just requiring a bit of moisture to soften up the wood. I have a spritzer bottle with a blend of ammonia and water under my bench and that will usually do the trick. If it's thick wood I will often use strips and laminate using wood glue and clamps with moist wood.
A photo would really help to see what you are trying to do.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:11 PM
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daveopam
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

A little moisture will do it most of the time if it's a gradual bend. Super Sportster 60 from GP had the hood sides that had to be bent about 30 degrees. It was 1/4"x 1" if memory serves me. It was however over about 14" of run. I just glued the one end. Applied a little water and twisted it slowly. there was some excess that was going to be cut off anyway. So i lightly clamped some Vise Grips on the other end and let the weight of them bend the wood. Just wet a little and walk away for a little. For wet, I just sprayed a little water on it and rubbed it evenly in with my fingers. the whole process took maybe a couple hours for both sides. I had a friend use a jig he made to do the same thing. Both ways worked, but my way took 1/4 of the time. Once I had the bends close, I just applied some med CA, taped it all down and let it sit overnight.

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

You can kerf the back side as well.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:04 PM
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Laurence-RCU
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

Sorry, I am not able to provide a photo.
However, I do appreciate the replys and I believe the lamination will get the job done. Hadn't thought of that.
Are these forums great........or what.
Regards.

Laurence
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: How to bend 1/4 X 1/2 balsa

You could even take a pic with a cell phone and post it.

at least toll us the make and model of what you are building?? Might help.
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