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First time plans builder

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Old 02-12-2018, 06:32 PM
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jimmy7432
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Default First time plans builder

What is the best way to transfer the shape of the parts to balsa to cut them out?

Last edited by BMatthews; 02-13-2018 at 05:01 PM. Reason: spelling correction to title
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:58 PM
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All Day Dan
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One of my friends, who is an expert builder, uses carbon paper. I cut out the paper and use spray contact cement to attach the pattern to the wood. Dan
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:44 AM
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Propworn
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I have made a copy of the prints and just cut out and contact cemented the copies of the parts on the balsa then cut them out. Be aware prints are not always sized correctly the paper shrinks/grows with humidity and sizes can change with every copy made if the rollers are not in good shape and the machine is not calibrated. Check and compare the sizes on the prints to each other and to the given dimensions length, span height etc.

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Old 02-13-2018, 09:58 AM
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+1 for cut out and spray adhesive
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
I have made a copy of the prints and just cut out and contact cemented the copies of the parts on the balsa then cut them out. Be aware prints are not always sized correctly the paper shrinks/grows with humidity and sizes can change with every copy made if the rollers are not in good shape and the machine is not calibrated. Check and compare the sizes on the prints to each other and to the given dimensions length, span height etc.

Dennis
The easiest method for me is to mark 6" bi directional on the original prints somewhere. Then whilst at the copy shop, use a ruler to verify each copy.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by acerc View Post
The easiest method for me is to mark 6" bi directional on the original prints somewhere. Then whilst at the copy shop, use a ruler to verify each copy.
I have to agree, put a measured line somewhere on the plansheet if one isn't already there. Just be sure to let the paper stabilize in your building environment before you do anything else
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:14 PM
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Even two different sheets from the same or original prints can vary. One I had one half the wing was 3/4 inch shorter and 1/4 inch smaller cord. I had to determine which one was correct then mark the other to match.

Original print I build on and use wax paper over the print to protect it from the glue.

When I cut out something from the copy and before I stick it to the wood I check it against the one on the original print. I make note if I have to cut inside, outside or right on the lines.

In all cases use the original as the master and adjust where you need to cut so the parts match the original print.

You still may have to make adjustments when you assemble the parts so test fit everything before gluing anything in place.

Watch you do not build two identical wing panels LOL you would not be the first or the last who have built two left or right hand wings.

Look, look again and trial fit and look again. Measure 3 times before you cut. Heck I know guys who have cut it three times and its still to short. LOL.

Above all else keep your sense of humor and be prepared to chuckle at yourself on occasion.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:00 PM
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I searched on and off for a bunch of years before I found a pack of new carbon paper. I was overjoyed at it... .until I found that it was so "dry" that I had to press hard enough to get any amount of transfer that the wood ended up badly crushed. I kept it for a while and found that it is useful for plywood parts only. For balsa I've used the same method for quite a few years now of stitching a line of pin holes through the plans into the wood. Just the ends for straight lines which I cut using a ruler and about 3/16 to 1/4 apart for curved portions. It's bothersome and leaves the plans with holes but it doesn't take as long as you might think. And it's far less overall time than copying the plan and cutting out and then spraying gluing all the parts from a second set of plans.

I corrected the title for you so you don't get a bunch of cooks wondering about your "pans".... .
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
For balsa I've used the same method for quite a few years now of stitching a line of pin holes through the plans into the wood. Just the ends for straight lines which I cut using a ruler and about 3/16 to 1/4 apart for curved portions. It's bothersome and leaves the plans with holes but it doesn't take as long as you might think. And it's far less overall time than copying the plan and cutting out and then spraying gluing all the parts from a second set of plans.
.
Did you use a pounce tool to pinhole the plans?

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Old 02-13-2018, 07:44 PM
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If one was willing one could have there plans and or parts printed on vinyl, no shrinking or expanding, for a slightly higher cost of course. For protection of the plans covering them with painters plastic works extremely well, none of the adhesives we use will stick to it.

Last edited by acerc; 02-13-2018 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:09 AM
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I don't know but I have worked with a lot of mylars and prints and there is always a chance of some discrepancy. Copy machines and plotters can slip on the feed rollers or get out of calibration better to check with a good scale anyways

Last edited by Propworn; 02-14-2018 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:26 AM
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If you're going to use spray adhesive like most of us, get the 3M branded stuff and leave the cheapie knockoffs on the shelf. Spray it on pretty light and when you are done spraying, invert the can and clear the glue out of the nozzle. That will go a long way to keeping the nozzle from gumming up. There is more than enough propellant to last the entire can too. I've emptied many.

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Old 02-14-2018, 09:59 AM
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No, I don't use a pounce wheel tool. Although I did have that idea a few years back. It so happened that I pulled apart an old printer to scavenge parts and there were little pinwheels in it as part of the paper handling path. I figured it would make a great tool for doing this. Turned out I was wrong and it wasn't very good at all. I was trying to punch through the paper and into the balsa directly. My homemade tracing wheel was a bit wobby. But more importantly the pressure needed to punch through the paper crushed the balsa below. So I went back to my trusty T pin...

But looking at that video makes me think that you're onto something here. If I were to trace the plan parts with that wheel on a harder backing board and then use that pad with powder to mark the balsa I'd avoid the crushing.... I'll let you know after I find one of those pounce pads and powder.

If this works it would be FAR less time consuming than the second set of plans and spray glue.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:50 AM
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Okay, Mr Matthews, here you go:
https://www.micromark.com/3-piece-Pounce-Wheel-Set
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:11 AM
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A local tool store Lee Valley has the same set of wheel tools. But it's good to compare. And I was wondering if builder's line chalk would work and it seems from the reference in the Micromark link that it will.

This might well end up being just as good as the old carbon paper ! ! ! ! Thank you to Propworn and Hydro Junkie. I'll be sure to post my results back here.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:56 AM
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I have often used an inkjet printer to print particularly ribs then place the printed side on the balsa and use a hot covering iron on the freshly printed paper which transfers the ink onto the wood. As mentioned above ensuring correct sizing is ultra important.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:46 PM
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I have used SeeTemp for years with satisfactory results. Only caveat is to unroll it after receiving it and let it return to a flat position. The added benefit is you now have a permanent pattern. If you leave it rolled up for a few years it will be a lot of work to straighten it out so store it flat if possible.


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Old 04-09-2018, 07:34 AM
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I've printed parts from CAD with an inkjet printer to freezer paper, then ironed the paper to the balsa. Only problem is the freezer paper shrinks slightly when ironed.
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