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3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

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3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

Old 08-27-2006, 08:35 AM
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dmcmike
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Default 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

I need to drill some 3/4" holes in the elevator and rudder to put some dowels in as reinforcement for the control horns. Besides the old sharpened brass tube method, any good ideas.. I'm wondering if a Forstner bit will work. Just want to know if anyone else has had luck with them, they're $$$ for just drilling 3 holes.

thanks!
Old 08-27-2006, 09:14 AM
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Dr1Driver
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Default RE: 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

Draw the circle by whatever method you use - circle template, compass, etc. Use your #11 blade to cut close to the scribed line. Now use a drum sander on a Dremel tool, or a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a smaller dowel, say a 5/8", to enlarge the hole to the proper dimension.. This method will give you a very accurate hole to hand fit your dowels into. Remember, dowels are often not accurately made. Even a Forstner bit is too dull and will probably tear the soft balsa.

Dr.1
Old 08-27-2006, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

I have tried a Forstner bit. Even though my set is very sharp it shredded the balsa beyond recognition.

You can buy 3/4" hole saws. That might work.
Old 08-27-2006, 10:00 AM
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Default RE: 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

I have used large diameter end mills with four or more flutes. Chuck them up into a drill press, run as high RPM (2000+) as possible before tounching down to cut a hole. Sharp ones can be found at swap meets around here for about $2 each. Most often they are very accurate as to diameter, unless they have had their sides sharpened along the way. Other problem may be in that for a tight fit, your wooden dowels may not be all that accurate of a diameter.

Wm.
Old 08-27-2006, 11:15 AM
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dmcmike
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Default RE: 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

thanks all! Holes are in, dowels are in! Used a 3/4" tube, sharpened, rotated it by hand. Worked like a charm!
Old 08-27-2006, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

Mcmike, what kit are you building? Myself was look for an answer to the same question. Thanks for clearing the ground for me. I need 1/2" holes for the very same reason on my Lanier kit.
Old 08-27-2006, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: 3/4" hole in Balsa? How?!

I'm just finishing up a giant Aeromaster. Hopefully start covering, or at least get the first coat of dope on it later today.

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