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Old Feb 04, 2013, 10:23 AM
jwellsy is offline
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Question

Transfering Plans to Balsa?


I've got plans, thick balsa sheeting, light ply and a bandsaw. I'm ready to start cutting the bulkheads/formers and wing ribs.

What's a good way to transfer plan details to wood so they can be cutout? A long long time ago I used an iron to transfer images. But my plans are pretty old and not sure if the ironing method will work very well. I could cut the shapes out of the plans and glue them to the stock or even make a set of short kit templates.

What methods have you used?
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Old Feb 04, 2013, 10:40 AM
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Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you'll find links to similar topics with many replies. Loads o' fun!
Old Feb 04, 2013, 10:48 AM
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My usual is to copy the plan, cut out the bits I need to make from the copy - ribs, formers, etc - glue those onto appropriate wood with an office glue stick, then cut them out by knife or saw. Best to do it quickly after the paper is glued onto the wood, so it doesn't get settled in there.

If you're making a lot of identical ribs, some folk lean to making a ply template and using that to cut out the ribs themselves from balsa. Being idle, I cut out one rib, then use it as a template.
Old Feb 04, 2013, 02:02 PM
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If you're going to Xerox the parts off the plans, compare the sizes of the Xeroxed copies to the originals. Not all copiers copy at 100%.

CD
Old Feb 04, 2013, 02:50 PM
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carbon paper


Believe it or not, Office Depot still sells carbon paper! Just trace the parts from the plans to the wood, or better yet, transfer to poster board and cut out the traced part and then trace to the wood. Then, you always have a pattern for that part.
An alternative is the old pin prick method- prick along the outline on the plans to the wood beneath and connect the dots. I'm not a fan of photocopying because it's very easy for the photocopy to shrink the parts.
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Old Feb 04, 2013, 02:57 PM
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I use seeTemp (seetemp.com)
Here's a REALLY old web page I did years ago that shows how I use it.
http://home.comcast.net/~daverc102/spookmain.htm
Old Feb 04, 2013, 03:12 PM
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Best product going for temporarily sticking plans to balsa, ply or foam.

Be cautious if using it on foam as it will eat some foams if applied heavily. So use sparingly, like just a fine mist. If the plan seems to not want to come loose after cutting a light swipe of paint thinner releases it quickly.
Old Feb 04, 2013, 04:17 PM
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I have used a pattern maker's wheel. A little wheel on a handle with spurs on it. It leaves a string of dots on the surface below when you trace over a plan.
Old Feb 04, 2013, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brner View Post
Best product going for temporarily sticking plans to balsa, ply or foam.

Be cautious if using it on foam as it will eat some foams if applied heavily. So use sparingly, like just a fine mist. If the plan seems to not want to come loose after cutting a light swipe of paint thinner releases it quickly.
Spray the #77 onto the paper, let it "dry" (10+ seconds). It stays tacky for a long, long time. You can attach it to anything after that and it will stick w/o dissolving things like foam or styrene.

Andy
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Old Feb 04, 2013, 06:37 PM
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You're right there Andy. I guess I was thinking about the times I've used it to laminate a couple pieces of foam. Too heavy a coat and it will eat at the foam. I think it's the carrier in the can that does the damage. Like you said let it air dry for a bit and you do not get the damage.
Old Feb 05, 2013, 12:46 PM
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I like the idea of using a heavy card stock or posterboard to make templates out of. This project has an 84" wing, so a set of short kit templates in plywood would be kind of pricey just for the extra wood.
Old Feb 05, 2013, 04:33 PM
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I use a very simple method. Usually I design with a cad program then I plot the plan in an multiservice shop they use a toner plotter. Simply put the part you have to transfer face down on the balsa and with a paper handkerchief lightly soacked with thinner soak and lightly press on the paper. The thinner melt the toner that leave the paper and transfer on the wood.Try is fantastic.
If you don't use cad make a photocopy of the part you need to transfer but pay attention because sometimes are distorted or don't are 100% scale.
Old Feb 05, 2013, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviatormax View Post
If you don't use cad make a photocopy of the part you need to transfer but pay attention because sometimes are distorted or don't are 100% scale.
The acetone will warp the paper, as will a hot iron when using the iron on method. This may not be as apparent when transferring small parts, but when using larger pieces, the fudge factor increases- so bear that in mind when using these methods.

Carbon paper tracing- works nice, but I've recently had to pay $1 per letter size sheet! Also it's slower than the other methods.

Personally I use the same as Dereck and CD. Paper templates glued to the wood with glue stick will peel off easily when slightly moistened. There's one drawback to using copied plans as templates though: You have to check them against the originals to make sure they are to the same scale, and make sure that they have not become skewed due to the plan being fed into the copier incorrectly. I usually take a metre long straight edge to the copiers to check the straight lines, before accepting the copies.
Old Feb 06, 2013, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard of odd View Post
I usually take a metre long straight edge to the copiers to check the straight lines, before accepting the copies.
Excellent tip

Something I never thought of, but I can see the paper slipping on the rollers as it feeds through. Especially if the original plans were folded instead of rolled.

Ken
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 07:21 AM
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I've always used the picking through with a pin method. It's clean, quick, easy, and no special equipment needed. I often cut model parts out at my desk during my lunch break. Works well for me!


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