Transfer of prints to wood for cutout - RC Groups
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Sep 18, 2001, 04:08 PM
Where does it all end?

Transfer of prints to wood for cutout

Can someone please explain to me the method of transferring prints to wood for cutout. Thanks in advance.
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Sep 18, 2001, 05:15 PM
Old Guy
Ron Cichowski's Avatar
Some people photocopy the original plans (plain paper toner based system or laser printer). They lay the photocopy on the wood and wet out the paper with acetone. Acetone will dissolve the copy toner and leave an image on the wood.
Sep 18, 2001, 05:43 PM
jsc: i make a photocopy of the part, lay it on the wood and use a regular clothes iron on high heat. works pretty well.........gregg
Sep 18, 2001, 06:02 PM
Registered User
Rotten Robbie's Avatar
I use Tee Shirt transfer paper. It works just fine.

But don't screw up your wife's iorn. I messes up my daughters. I had to buy her a new one. Now she has a better iron, and I have my own.

Sep 19, 2001, 08:36 AM
Dave Segal
For a discussion of various methods of making patterns see "Building From Plans" at

Dave Segal
Keystone RC Club
Last edited by Dsegal; Sep 24, 2001 at 09:15 AM.
Sep 19, 2001, 09:09 AM
Super Senior Member
Sheesh, that was in depth

I just photocopy the darned plan, cut out the part from the copy, 3M77 it to the wood, cut it out, and pull the copy paper off the wood. Works well for me!

Sep 19, 2001, 09:10 AM
Old Desert Rat
Arizona Chuck's Avatar
I use a spray glue from Wal-Mart's craft section. Spray it on the back of the paper templates and let it dry a few min. Stick it on the wood and cut out, then peel the paper off.
You can scan the template into the computer and print out all the copys you want.
Sep 19, 2001, 09:12 AM
Always looking UP
FANMAN's Avatar

Easy remedy

I use 3m spray glue, lightly spray the back of each paper template, lay it on the wood, and cut following the lines, if you spray the paper just right, it normally peels right off the cut part!
Sep 19, 2001, 09:12 AM
Registered User
Foxtrot's Avatar
I do the same as Slope Nut. Print. Roughly cut out the part in
question. I use stick glue instead of 3m77 though. Works great
for me.
Sep 19, 2001, 01:30 PM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
I use the photocopy and clothes iron method. Make your copies darker than you would sey for reading an article. The extra toner helps make the image on the wood darker.
Sep 19, 2001, 11:00 PM
Registered User
I get my plans copyed by a "real" printing shop, so the plans don't get "streached" like a photocopier does. Then I use 3M Spraymount to stick the paper to the wood. It peels off a lot easier than 3M 77 contact spray.
Sep 19, 2001, 11:13 PM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
David - I have used the photocopier at the local library, placed a scale next to the image of the part being copied. As others noted above. Streaching wes not realy an issue.
Sep 20, 2001, 12:24 AM
ClearView Rocks!
Quacker's Avatar

Burn, baby, burn!

Hey, forget those old-fashioned methods! I use a 3.5 KW excimer laser which I CA'd to a precision, high-speed XY flatbed plotter. I feed in the plans in a binary format derived from Autodesk's DXF format. The 20 megabyte on-board buffer in the plotter holds the entire file with room to spare. (I usually keep several menus form local Chinese takeout kitchens in there as well). I then place the balsa sheet on the plotter bed which has been enhanced by replacing the bed material with that from an air-hockey table with the air pump inlet and outlet swapped. Then I turn on what is now the vacuum pump. This holds the Balsa sheet flat and tight against the bed. I slip on my safety goggles and run up the laser onto a water-cooled graphite target until it comes up to full power, then I fire up the plotter. In about 2.5 seconds an entire piece of 1/16" x 3" x 36" wood is reduced to a highly accurate collection of ribs, gussets and other assorted parts. The entire setup only cost me about $175,000.00 to slap together! Since I've already built 3 planes this way, I figure it only cost me just over $58,000.00 each. (Seems reasonable). One last note: if you try this, don't forget to vent the vacuum pump outside or the smell of burning balsa might be overwhelming or even set off your smoke detectors. I also highly recommend that you keep your cat out of the room during the entire operation.
Last edited by Quacker; Sep 21, 2001 at 07:27 PM.
Sep 20, 2001, 12:36 AM
Registered User
Kevin Murray's Avatar
Pulling our leg, right ? Quacker.
Sep 20, 2001, 09:21 AM
Dave Segal
Originally posted by David Pentland
I get my plans copyed by a "real" printing shop, so the plans don't get "streached" like a photocopier does.
I can assure you that the rubber rollers in print machines can wear and age and the paper can slip producing quite distorted prints.

Dave Segal