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Old Nov 06, 2012, 10:58 PM
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Mooney_Driver's Avatar
USA, WA, Ellensburg
Joined Mar 2004
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Question
How to make leading edge stock?

Can anyone tell me what type of router bit would be needed to make leading edge stock? There was a thread at:
http://controlline.org.uk/phpBB2/vie...690571ff2a835a

on the Barton controlline forum about that but the bit being recommended is not available here in the USA and have not spotted an equivalent that is sold here. Does anyone know of such a bit sold here in the US?
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Old Nov 07, 2012, 12:12 AM
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rick.benjamin's Avatar
USA, OR, Damascus
Joined Apr 2004
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Roundover/ Beading router bit
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...7&site=ROCKLER
http://www.homedepot.com/Featured-Pr...&storeId=10051
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Last edited by rick.benjamin; Nov 07, 2012 at 12:34 AM.
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Old Nov 07, 2012, 03:52 PM
I'm a pilot... 100 yrs to late
Thermalin's Avatar
USA, FL, Palm Harbor
Joined Jan 2005
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harborfreight.. home depot, lowes, ace.. etc ..etc very very common bit. easier to just buy from the LHS
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Old Nov 07, 2012, 04:13 PM
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rick.benjamin's Avatar
USA, OR, Damascus
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Mooney_Driver lives in Ellensberg WA.
The link to Home Depot in Yakema WA.
Rural farming, forest country
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Old Nov 07, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Mooney_Driver's Avatar
USA, WA, Ellensburg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick.benjamin View Post
The 1/8" radius is cheap enough right now but wonder what size(s) are actually needed? To make a 1" x 1" leading edge stock or 1"x3/4" or even 1/2" x 1/2" what bits are needed for example?

I also got the impression from the Barton thread that just a regular round over bit would not actually do it since they are more circular than eliptical and the eliptical round over would be required. Am I mistaken?

Thank you.
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Old Nov 07, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Norm Furutani's Avatar
United States, CA, Gardena
Joined Oct 2004
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I think the round over bit might be OK for a fish mouth leading edge. But a 1" leading edge, like say a Ringmaster C/L, where the front of the rib is flat, a round over bit will give the wrong shape.

I'm also not too sure the balsa would be a very clean cut using a router. My preference would be a razor or sharp block plane and then sand it to shape.

If this were to be a production run, then I would get a custom shaped HSS router or shaper bit cut. I prefer HSS to carbide for cutting balsa.

My 2 cents!

- Norm
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Old Nov 07, 2012, 09:37 PM
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Curare's Avatar
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Unless you're very lucky (I guess I'm not) most leading edge shapes are a poor match for the rest of the airfoil.

These days I stick a block on and get sanding, with a few templates I get pretty close.

For constant chord wings I usually cut a little sanding template and glue some paper to it for the final finish.

Of course if you're really excitable, you could do a moulded leading edge!
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Old Nov 08, 2012, 10:11 AM
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United States, PA, Beaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curare View Post
Unless you're very lucky (I guess I'm not) most leading edge shapes are a poor match for the rest of the airfoil.

These days I stick a block on and get sanding, with a few templates I get pretty close.

For constant chord wings I usually cut a little sanding template and glue some paper to it for the final finish.

Of course if you're really excitable, you could do a molded leading edge!
Agreed... With a razor plane and some sandpaper I can get the LE shape I want in less time than it would take to set up the router that would probably need manual touch-up anyway to get the proper shape. I used to match the LE to templates, but now I just eyeball them and so far I've noticed no difference in the flying qualities of my planes.

Of course if your doing production runs the router may be the way to go.
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Old Nov 08, 2012, 12:08 PM
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BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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The commonly found router bits are simply all the wrong shape since they are generally circular arc shaped. Some of the big fancy molding cutters MAY have parts that are what we need but you'd need a big batch of them to have a decent stock of shapes.

A far better way to do the job if you don't trust yourself to do it by eye and hand is to temporarily fasten the LE stock to a board and then run the board and stock through a table saw set to cut off tangental flats that rough out the shape. Once you do two or three cuts for each side you can blend the last of the small ridges and round over the nose radius with some sandpaper. This is the way I'd go for doing even a half dozen such leading edges. For a big production run I'd look at having a shaper cutter made up either from scratch or takeing a grinder to a carbide router bit that is close enough to what you need that you can reshape it for such a job. But this is the "big production run" option. It's simply not something that is worth doing for one or a dozen leading edges.
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Old Nov 08, 2012, 07:28 PM
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Curare's Avatar
in the gutter, again....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcav8r2 View Post
Agreed... With a razor plane and some sandpaper I can get the LE shape I want in less time than it would take to set up the router that would probably need manual touch-up anyway to get the proper shape. I used to match the LE to templates, but now I just eyeball them and so far I've noticed no difference in the flying qualities of my planes.

Of course if your doing production runs the router may be the way to go.
If I were doing a production run I'd probably look at modifying a router bit to the correct shape, as you'll no doubt be do a whole mess of them!
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Old Nov 08, 2012, 08:59 PM
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rick.benjamin's Avatar
USA, OR, Damascus
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Rough-out the shape, finish with scraper?
A mail-order outfit with lots of choices
http://www.mcmaster.com/#round-over-router-bits/=k2ym18
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