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What works best for cutting out parts?

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What works best for cutting out parts?

Old 04-27-2009, 08:32 PM
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KC10Chief
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Default What works best for cutting out parts?

What do you guys use to cut out ribs or fuselage formers or any other part? I've been using a Craftsman scroll saw, but the thing really sucks. I bought it at a garage sale. It has plenty of power for cutting balsa, but it's kind of jumpy and the blade gets twisted. I was looking at getting a band saw or a better scroll saw. What are you guys using? I basically just do a rough cut around the lines I draw on the wood, and then sand it down to where it needs to be.
Old 04-27-2009, 08:42 PM
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JustPlaneSweet
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

Check out Paul Johnson's site at [link=http://www.airfieldmodels.com/]airfieldmodels.com[/link]

Stan
Old 04-27-2009, 08:54 PM
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All Day Dan
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

Cut close to the line with an Exacto knife or jig saw depending on the wood. Sand to the line with a disk sander. Make sure the table is at 90 degrees to the disk. Use a disk with 80 grit paper for the hardwoods and one with 220 for balsa wood. It's tedious but the results are well worth it for accuracy. Dan.
Old 04-27-2009, 10:04 PM
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Kelsey_B
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

IMO you need a better scroll saw. I have a Makita that operates with little vibration, and makes cutting balsa and ply quite easy. I still try to cut just outside the line, and sand the part to its final shape.
Old 04-28-2009, 12:29 AM
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jrcaster
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

Get the scroll saw working properly and it will work just fine.

Go online and seardh for the manual. If you have trouble finding it through sears, Delta and Ryobi have been manufacturing tools for Craftsman for a few years now.

I you are twisting blades, either you are feeding it a little too aggressively, or you have a bearing that needs to be tightened or replaced, or your blade tension is not right.

Craftsman tools are as good as any tool on the market but they all need a little maintenance every once in a while.
Old 04-28-2009, 01:56 AM
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KC10Chief
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

That's what I figured. Sometimes, to save wood (I'm cheap), I'll draw parts really close together and wind up cutting into them. I sand them down to the lines after that. BY HAND. That sucks. It's been a while since I built from scratch, but I'm getting ready to do it again. I think I'll go and buy a good disk sander and just cut out parts the usual way.
Old 04-28-2009, 07:17 AM
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CafeenMan
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

In addition to what was said above you definitely need better blades. Local stores generally don't sell blades that work well on balsa.

Try Mike's Workshop.

http://www.mikesworkshop.com/
Old 04-28-2009, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

check to see if the blade is installed the right way.
Old 04-28-2009, 05:20 PM
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dreadnaut
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

Repeating what a couple of guys said, life is to short to fight with dull blades. I use a 9" Ryobi band saw and get pretty good results. Band saws tend to be a little more forgiving at the lower price end, but every cheap scroll saw I have seen costs more in frustration and wasted parts than the money you will save on the purcase. A band saw is also good for ripping custom L.E. and T.E stock.
Old 04-29-2009, 05:43 AM
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lazyace
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

what size blades do you use from mike's for balsa ?
Old 04-29-2009, 07:09 AM
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CafeenMan
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

The Superior Puzzle blade makes a beautiful cut in balsa and aircraft ply at least up to 1/4" (for the ply). But it's so fine that it takes some practice to get it under control.

The FD-IM No. 9 23 tpi metal blade works well. It has no reverse teeth.

I also like the FD-SR No. 3 13 tpi reverse blade.

Mike is a really nice guy and will work with you to get you the right blades. He does entirely different kind of work than we do so he couldn't make a lot of suggestions but he sent me a nice assortment of blades.

When I found the blades I like best I went back and ordered a gross (144) of the each of them which means I'm set for a while.

Keep in mind these are fine blades - not the coarse stuff you find in hardware stores. They break easily. If you let your machine do the work and don't jam wood into the blade the blades last longer.

-

To those complaining about scroll saws....

If your saw is giving you that much trouble something is very wrong. Either your saw is poor quality to begin with, it's not secured well and vibrating all over the place, your blades suck, or something.

Scroll saws are very easy to use and very user-friendly. They wouldn't be my first choice for a long, straight cut but they're still a great tool for model-builders.
Old 04-29-2009, 09:16 AM
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

It's not as smooth cutting as a bandsaw but this design works well, especially for inside cuts where you can start with a 1/4" hole. Unlike a bandsaw, there is no arm in the way which is great if you are cutting the inside shapes on a long fuselage side or something.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:32 PM
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dicknadine
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

GOOD OLD fashion razor blade or knife. they have been around forever and do a fantastic job. takes a little . but work good. why spend lots of $$$ for jig/band saw ? the only difference is the time to cut out 50 ribs. you still have to gang sand them anyhow.
Old 04-29-2009, 06:08 PM
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

allan...thats a cool rig...
Old 04-30-2009, 05:35 PM
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NCIS
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

Allen,

I agree with funkworks on the rig but boy with my luck I'd lose a finger or 3!

Gibbs
Old 05-01-2009, 09:14 PM
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phread59
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

The above poster's have given good advice. Get good blades first. A #5 skip tooth is a good all around blade. I would get some reverse and double skips as well. Also try a #9 or #12 for thicker plywood. Tension is critical. Tighten them up until you can pluck the blade like a guitar string. It is a touch thing so some experimentation is needed. I am of course assuming you are using pinless blades. Flying dutchmen and blades from Sloan's or from Mike's will work well.

I will say up front there are some junk Sears saws and some real good Sears saws. I have one of the Canadian built Dewalt's. It is an absolute joy to use. Made by Excaliber it is a pro grade saw at a reasonable price. If your saw gets the better of you get a Dewalt. Even the newer Chiwan saws work very well. I reccomend them to any who want a good scroll saw. Try reading up on your manual and see if there are any adjustments to be made. A simple adjustment may help you out. Good luck with your saw and your project.

Mark Shuman
Old 05-03-2009, 09:20 AM
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?


ORIGINAL: phread59

Tension is critical. Tighten them up until you can pluck the blade like a guitar string.
I usualy ''pluck'' the blades while I tighten until I get the right ''note''. I do this for rudder pull pull cables too. Once you get a feel for your saw, you will know wht the right note is.
Old 05-09-2009, 05:07 AM
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GodSpeeed
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

i just use a craft knife and sand by hand only way i can get it as percise as i want it to be ..
Old 05-09-2009, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

I use a band saw if I'm cutting more than two ribs at a time. I cut the part about 1/8 inch over size then using a disk sander I sand down to the final size I need. I like to stack the parts about 8-10 deep or high with pins and then cut all in that stack at the same time. If cutting spar notches use the same method to cut the notches and you will have everything come out the same. I only use a scroll saw to cut really small and fine cuts or circles. I have a Makita scroll saw (16 inch) and a small table top band saw. I almost never use the scroll saw but when I need it it is there.

Here is another thing I do, maybe it will give you some ideas..I always have a black and white copy of my plans made. I then use this set and cut the patterns for the parts I need to saw and sand. I will use a very light adhisive to attach lets say a rib pattern to the top of a stack of ribs and cut and sand to the pattern. Then when you are done just peel the paper pattern off the stack or part. But most of the time I leave the pattern on the stack or part till assembly so I can see the part number that is on most plans.
Take youe time and you will have a much better part than any lazer can cut due to the fact that a lazer is only as good as the person who inputs the information into the machine. And from my experiance with most people who program the lazer cutter they make a few mistakes on inputting the correct vectors so the part is either to big or small. Also lazer cutting always burns the edges of the cut part. If you need to glue any of the edges then it is best to sand the part to get the charring off so that the glue holds better. Charring seals the edges somewhat so the glue cannot get into the fibers so well.

But lazers do have their good points and uses. I'm just old fashioned and like to cut with a saw so keep that in mind.
Old 05-09-2009, 02:01 PM
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Dorsal
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Default RE: What works best for cutting out parts?

I'd use a PhlatPrinter with a 1/16" or 1/32" router bit. Draw the airfoil, generate the PhlatCode, shove in a sheet of balsa and 2 minutes later, you're gluing stuff together.
Of course, that's because I own one. [8D]
http://www.phlatboyz.com/phlatprinte...d-information/

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