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Cutting parts from plywood

Old 02-07-2008, 12:36 PM
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IL2windhawk
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Default Cutting parts from plywood

I'm trying to cut some parts from plans. Complex circular fuselage formers.
I don't have a garage full of tools, mostly hand tools.

I thought about putting the part in a vise and using a jigsaw. Is there a better tool to use?
How well would a reciprocating saw work? Thanks

Everything I have tried so far has been incredibly time consuming (dremel, hand cutting)
Old 02-07-2008, 12:41 PM
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Bilge_Snipe
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

IL2windhawk, if you purchase a scroll saw it would make your job allot easier. They're not very big but come in handy in kit and scratch building. Good luck to you,
Old 02-07-2008, 12:42 PM
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dignlivn
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood




a scroll saw would be a big help.

Bob


dignlivn
Old 02-07-2008, 12:43 PM
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Deadeye
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

A jigsaw is the ideal tool for this. The bench kind, not the handheld type. I'm afraid your part will shake loose out of the vise and hurt you, or the part.
Old 02-07-2008, 12:48 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

A scroll saw is the tool, but if your budget won't allow for one, your next best-bet is a coping saw
Old 02-07-2008, 01:34 PM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

If you're gonna do a lot of this, buy a table-top band saw. You can get one from Home Depot or Lowe's for under $150. It's a good investment.

Dr.1
Old 02-07-2008, 01:46 PM
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Deadeye
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood


ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

A scroll saw is the tool, but if your budget won't allow for one, your next best-bet is a coping saw
I meant to say scroll saw, not jig saw. A big 'DUH' on my part.
Old 02-07-2008, 02:23 PM
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carlosponti
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

if all you can afford is a hand tool minn's suggestion of a coping saw would be good. I have both. the coping saw is cheap and can be had for cheaper if you look for a used one. i just picked one up for 5 bucks.


here is one for 3 bucks.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=94848
Old 02-07-2008, 04:18 PM
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bla bla
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

Yeah, thats the one!
You have to understand that building a decent model is all about suffering.
Hand cut models fly better than factory cut models, period. People that'll tell you different are just plain lying.
Hand sawn pieces are endowed with a greater universal power than machine cut parts. That's it bubba.
Now you can be a flake and go for a plan/short kit from a custom lazer cutter.
Or you can be a real scratcher and spend weeks and weeks hand cutting ever single part.
Suffer like a man.
No really... you'll gain an affiliation with the model, enter a zen like state and find real inter peace.
Of course you'll be needing a prescription for Valium until the last piece is cut.
But then..... tranquility.
Old 02-07-2008, 05:14 PM
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BalsaBob
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

After ...... spending an hour to hand cut a few parts, knicking your fingers on the hand-held blade, pinching your fingers in the vice, observing that the hand-cut parts are not as accurate as you like, and then loudly yelling " [email protected]$%& THIS ! "...... you will then go buy the table-top scroll saw. Might as well save yourself some time and aggravation .... and go buy it now. Bob
Old 02-07-2008, 05:25 PM
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khodges
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

I have both a bandsaw and scrollsaw, and use the scrollsaw about 4 times as much. It cuts cleaner on thin pieces, can cut sharper curves, too. They are usually variable speed, too, which gives you a lot of control over the cut. For thick pieces (over about 1/4", the bandsaw is better, though. You can get a good one of either for about $150. These are what I have; one downside to the bandsaw (at least in this size) is the depth of the cut, or how wide a piece you can fit, and another is you can't cut out the inside of a piece without cutting through it.

If you're going to build even one plane from scratch, the price you pay for the saw will be worth every second of time and aggravation of hand cutting the parts.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:25 PM
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dbacque
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

And a small bench top disk sander to clean up the parts after cutting on the band saw is a huge help.

Dave
Old 02-07-2008, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

Whilst a scroll saw is handy, a coping saw will do. Ensure you use a coping saw as a pull saw ( that is cutting on the pull stroke unlike all normal saws except Japanese style) which makes cutting to a line much more certain. This info does not appear in carpentry books referring to coping saws. Of course all the books say a fret saw is used cutting on the pull stroke.

Also make a piece of wood with a V shaped cut out as used in fret sawing. Either screw this to the bench as shown in carpentry books or much better mount it on a top of a 12 inch length of 4 by 2 and clamp in a vice. Often the slightly higher height of a mechanics vice is better for this purpose. Then you place the wood flat on top of the V and use the coping saw with the handle downwards and look at the wood. A jewellers saw ( which is really a small fretsaw which takes the very fine fretsaw blades ) is handy for cutting smaller notches.
Notches can also be cut using an engineers file, making use of the safe edge ( smooth edge ) to avoid enlarging notch too much.

It is worth buying a Permagrit tool for sanding to final size. This removes ply in no time and all you need is the sanding block model. Very little dust with Permagrit - perhaps the dust is larger particles.
Old 02-07-2008, 07:34 PM
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IL2windhawk
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

Thanks for the perspective guys.
Gonna have to go looking for scroll saws.
Old 02-07-2008, 08:33 PM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

Another advantage of the scroll saw not yet mentioned is for inside cuts (lightening holes). You can easily drill a hole, and put the blade through the hole to cut the inside. Tough to do with a band saw. And the scroll saw makes very quick work of 1/8" ply.

Brad
Old 02-07-2008, 10:49 PM
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Villa
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

A hand coping saw, about $10.00 at Lowe's, is all I have ever used.
Old 02-07-2008, 11:01 PM
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IL2windhawk
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood


ORIGINAL: Villa

A hand coping saw, about $10.00 at Lowe's, is all I have ever used.
Yeah - I think I will get one of those tommorrow and give it a shot.
Looks like a handy tool, and I can use it indoors. To cold to work in
the garage this time of year! LOL
Old 02-08-2008, 01:50 AM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

Some time back, a guy posted about a poor man's band/scroll saw. He built a box and mounted a jig saw upside down inside the box, with the blade protruding out the top. This now can be used like a band saw or scroll saw and even do inside cuts.


I really like my band saw and use it far more often than my scroll saw. It's a craftsman 9" and has a good fence. The only drawback is that it uses a non-standard size blade. But there are lots of places where you can order blades of any lenght. I paid $150 for it.


Scott
Old 02-08-2008, 01:34 PM
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MasterAlex
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

I believe this is the [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_3867136/anchors_3867136/mpage_1/key_saw/anchor/tm.htm#3867136]thread[/link] that Scott mentioned above.

-MA
Old 02-08-2008, 05:44 PM
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IL2windhawk
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

WOW - that is cool.

LOL - the great irony is that I'm trying to cut parts for Allan Flower's plans. Cool coincidence
Old 02-08-2008, 06:28 PM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood


ORIGINAL: bkdavy

Another advantage of the scroll saw not yet mentioned is for inside cuts (lightening holes). You can easily drill a hole, and put the blade through the hole to cut the inside. Tough to do with a band saw. And the scroll saw makes very quick work of 1/8" ply.

Brad
If anyone can tell me how to make an inside cut with a band saw please let me know. Thats a bit of magic that would come in handy. I don't have a scroll saw yet but I just got a 14" Craftsman Profesional band saw that I have been using. Right now I have a wide resaw blade in it so it doesnt cut curves very well and leaves a rough finish. 'm too lazy to switch blades right now just to make a couple small cuts so I make due with the blade in it.
Old 02-08-2008, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

I know,to change blades is time consuming and this not what you or I want to do I know. I have a 26'' DO All and what a pain it is,but to to the job and change the blade it is something that has to be done,One bland will not do every thing that you want ,get the smallest blade you can find in width and run at the max RPM your saw will handle and it will make a smile on you. DON'T GET A FINE PITCH BLADE FOR WOOD. Cutting with a band saw is a art. pub
Old 02-08-2008, 08:17 PM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

i bought a nib scroll saw on ebay for .99. the shipping was 30.00 but the scroll saw works perfectly. blower to keep the dust away, cast iron tilting top. i made a simple straight edge that clamps to the table and use it for cutting straight also. works great

david
Old 02-08-2008, 08:40 PM
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HighPlains
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

I have both scroll (two actually) and a band saw. I usually cover the backside of the plywood with masking tape to help prevent splintering. After the part is cut to shape, a belt and disk sander works well to finish the part. At the end, remove the tape and use the part.

If you're going to build, tools are your friends.
Old 02-09-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: Cutting parts from plywood

What HighPlains says is true and makes the cut much smoother on the bottom side. You can also buy reverse tooth blades that will almost eliminate the splintering if used with the tape. Reverse tooth blades have the teeth on the bottom couple of inches of the blade in the opposite direction of the upper portion of the blade. The teeth change orientation approximately where the blade goes through the table. That means that most of the cutting done on the bottom of the wood is done during the upward stroke while the top side of the piece is cut on the down stroke. Makes for a much smoother cut than blades with the teeth all running in the same direction. When used with the tape as HighPlains describes, the cut will be pretty smooth with very little splintering. If using a saw that takes pinless blades, you can also get spiral cut blades which will cut in any direction--back, front, or sides. Enables you to cut curves without turning the wood on the table. Wonderful things, those blades. Needless to say, I vote for scroll saws.

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