Questions and Answers If you have general RC questions or answers discuss it here.

Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

Reply

Old 04-08-2008, 08:39 PM
  #1  
jwander
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hamilton, OH
Posts: 94
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I would like to hear from anyone who may know the source of a balsa slotter to slot ribs and fuse formers. I enjoy building stick models but don't enjoy the slotting process. I have seriously considered designing and making one but never got around to it.


Thanks
jwander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 09:01 PM
  #2  
Campgems
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA
Posts: 4,465
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter


Are you asking about a jig saw?? Are you asking about cutting the notches that the spars/logerons fit into, or are you talking about something to cut the sticks?

For a Jig Saw, one of the best buys on the market is for a Craftsman with variable speed drive. This is a big saw but it is well made and gives you very good control. I've had a couple of the cheaper ones, IE the dremel and it was sadly lacking in performance.

One other thing I use quite a bit is a jewelers saw with the fine #2 to 4/0 size blades. These very fine tooth blades are great for fine work in balsa. Just set up a larger version of a jewelers bench pin and you are good to go. The noise level is great also.

If you are talking about cutting sticks, a small band saw is your best bet. Set it up with a rip fence and away you go. You will loose a lot of wood in the process though and to get a fine finish you will have to sand the sticks down. For very thin, 1/8" or less sticks the balsa slicers with an Xacto blade do a very good job with no waste.

Don

Campgems is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 09:28 PM
  #3  
whatwind
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
whatwind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Leander, TX
Posts: 158
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I don't have a machine to do it but i glue a peace of sand paper to the size wood to fit into the slot and sand it in. on wing ribs I make sure and wuse a guide to keep it straight.
whatwind is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 10:40 PM
  #4  
ChuckW
Senior Member
 
ChuckW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 5,165
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I have always wanted to try my mortising machine. It's used for square holes and slots for tenons in woodworking. There's a square chisel with a drill bit running through it. You work it sort of like a drill press; the bit removes the bulk of the wood while the chisel simultaneously squares the hole. I have a 1/4 bit & chisel for it but just haven't got around to trying it. I doubt it will work well on soft balsa but you'd be able to do a nice stack of ribs all at once if it did. If I remember right Rockler.com, Harbor Freight or someplace like that had a mortising attachment for drill presses at one time.
ChuckW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 12:55 PM
  #5  
kdc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shenfield, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 684
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

You could use a file of the correct size or a Permagrit slotting tool which is available in 1/8 1/4 or 3/8 sizes. see www.permagrit.com
kdc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2008, 05:33 PM
  #6  
bullseye000
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Batavia, IL
Posts: 284
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

Back in the 80's there was a set of chisels for cutting notches in ribs and formers. I think Balsa USA used to sell them. You used them kind of like that small chisel finish carpenters use to square up corners on routed inlays for door hinges. You put it over the corner and tap it with a hammer and it squares it off. They had several sizes up 1/4" if I remember correctly. I looked around but can't seem to find them anywhere. I wish I had bought a set then.
bullseye000 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2008, 12:06 AM
  #7  
Campgems
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Arroyo Grande, CA
Posts: 4,465
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

Think about this, if they had been very good, they would still be avaiable. What you are basicly talking about die stamping. One account I read about some one going into kitting planes recounted the learning curve of sucessful die stamping. That include finding out the you could only die stamp set wet balsa as the dried stuff broke when stamped. Just imagine trying to "clean up" some notches in previously stamped balsa that is dry, or the warpage of soaking it to the point of being able to re-die stamp it and then drying it under uncontroled conditions.

I'm astounded that the die stamped stuff came out as well as it did after reading that article. Fine sanding and or fine tooth cutting is what is called for. This is not a case of "if it doesn't fit, get a bigger hammer"

Balsa is not an easy wood to carve or cut. It is deceptive as it is so soft that some things can be accomplished with a fairly sharp blade. Not always though. Those of us who grew up building 10 cents Comet kits and using double edge razor blades to try and cut the printed pices out of what varied from hard as oak on one end to soft as a cork on the other wood really appriceats the laser cuting and the tools avaible today to work the wood. Chisels was never one of the sucessful methods.

Don
Campgems is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2008, 06:05 AM
  #8  
Tango Juliet
 
Tango Juliet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mobile, AL
Posts: 947
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I beleive Top Flite (or GP) sells the tool you're asking about, available through Tower Hobbies. I got one several years ago, but haven't used it much. One thing I can tell you about using it though. It is easier to lay the tool on the bench and slide the piece to be slotted into the blades. It is very difficult to hold the tool and guide it to the part to be slotted.
Tango Juliet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2008, 09:46 AM
  #9  
Live Wire
Senior Member
 
Live Wire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Sterling , CO
Posts: 6,059
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

jwander
Have you ever played with the GP CA hinge slotter
Live Wire is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 10:38 AM
  #10  
bullseye000
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Batavia, IL
Posts: 284
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

These things were similar to the ones pictured below. They were sold in nominal sizes to match common spar sizes. I had a 1/4" for the longest time that made spar notches beautifully in ribs and formers. MicroMark sells some that are available in 3/16" and 5/16" that are similar in idea, but frightfully expensive.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Db83709.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	46.3 KB
ID:	928735   Click image for larger version

Name:	Bw70822.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	30.8 KB
ID:	928736  
bullseye000 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 12:03 PM
  #11  
Tango Juliet
 
Tango Juliet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mobile, AL
Posts: 947
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

[sm=lol.gif] OK, the second one is kind of funny. If you put a square bit in a collet and turn on the drill, the motion of the bit becomes "round". How does it create a "square" corner?

Honestly, I think the picture is just not accurately showing how the thing works. I''ve seen something similar and it was a drill bit inside a square sleeve that basically acted as a chisel to square the corners.
Tango Juliet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:11 PM
  #12  
Danh4
Senior Member
My Feedback: (5)
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sherburne, NY
Posts: 292
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I believe the second picture shows the tool being used in a drill press, where it would be used without turning the drill on.

Dan
Danh4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:32 PM
  #13  
Tango Juliet
 
Tango Juliet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mobile, AL
Posts: 947
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter


ORIGINAL: Danh4

I believe the second picture shows the tool being used in a drill press, where it would be used without turning the drill on.

Dan
Of course... Now I feel foolish.
Tango Juliet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 01:34 PM
  #14  
Danh4
Senior Member
My Feedback: (5)
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sherburne, NY
Posts: 292
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

That''s OK, the rest of us will get our turn sooner or later!

Dan
Danh4 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:28 AM
  #15  
ecmiller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Norwalk, OH
Posts: 134
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

Time to answer your question.....they work great. If you get the opportunity to buy one, get one.

Cuts a slot in about 10 to 15 seconds. Makes quick and easy work out of a normally dreadful task.
ecmiller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:43 AM
  #16  
bullseye000
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Batavia, IL
Posts: 284
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

Seems like we have two separate issues in this thread. The OP wanted to know ow to cut slots in ribs and formers, not hinge slots. Maybe he should have said notch, or maybe I misunderstood his question. If he is looking to slot control surfaces for hinges then the GP hinge slotting tool is the way to go. I make a shallow starter slot with a Higley hinge slotting tool to guide the cutting blades and follow up with the GP tool. Very fast and accurate and no need for jigs or any other types of guides.
bullseye000 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:53 AM
  #17  
Tango Juliet
 
Tango Juliet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mobile, AL
Posts: 947
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I know the original GP Hinge Slotter came with thin cutting blades that were perfect for CA type hinges and there were blades available that were thicker for "pinned" hinges. I thought at one time I had ordered some but can''t find them. Does anyone know if those thicker blades are still available?
Tango Juliet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 07:58 AM
  #18  
LSF2298
Senior Member
My Feedback: (4)
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 343
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...hine&search=Go
LSF2298 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2008, 08:08 PM
  #19  
jwander
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Hamilton, OH
Posts: 94
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

The original thread was for a tool to cut a notchs (not a slot) in formers and ribs. I know how to cut slots for hinges and have the tools for the job.
jwander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 01:59 AM
  #20  
AmishWarlord
Senior Member
My Feedback: (5)
 
AmishWarlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Indian Trail, NC
Posts: 2,939
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I think he was saying that you take the hinge slotter tool and mount it sideways on your bench then use it as a vertical saw for cutting the spar notches.
AmishWarlord is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 09:49 AM
  #21  
Gray Beard
My Feedback: (-1)
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hemderson, NV
Posts: 14,380
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

Old thread but still worth looking at. The bit Bullseye showed is a notching tool used in better wood shops. The one I have at my club has it's own motor and press. They work great for notching and can be bought in many sizes. I tried to use the one at my wood working club last summer on my last scratch build to cut the notches in the ribs. What I learned right away is you must cut the notches before you cut the ribs out if you want to get the same/correct depth of the notch.
If it is a absolutely a needed thing I can go to the wood shop and take photos and get the names of the manufacturer. Not somethin I feel like doing but I will. The machine we have is something that I'm sure no one could afford just for scratch building planes at home.
I find my scroll saw works for cutting complete kits. I did use the shops band saw on my last build and it was another good choice for cutting.
Gray Beard is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2012, 10:53 AM
  #22  
RBACONS
My Feedback: (3)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 593
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Reciprocating Balsa Slotter

I've had good success taking fine-toothed hacksaw blades. Break or cut them into multiple short lengths. Then stack enough together to get the slot width you're looking for, secure them (glue works fine) and add some type of handle (if you're so inclined). You can even put stops on the sides of the blade with wood or tape so that you can only saw down to the correct depth that you're looking for. Nice clean cut, consistent width, and its all done in one pass. No having to go back and clean out the slot.
RBACONS is online now  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service