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Dec 03, 2004, 09:08 AM
Registered User
I find cutting balsa ribs very tideous and boring.
Has anyone tried making some home-brew instrument which cuts ribs quickly easily and accurately ?

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Dec 03, 2004, 04:54 PM
jmquetin's Avatar
I feel much better now ! Considering the number of your posts, the number of planes or other micro stuffs you make and not speaking of the time you are logged to this forum at (I often see your green light late in the evening here which means late in the night for you ...), I thought you never slept !
I am reassured now, you indeed sleep while not tiding your workshop !

Last edited by jmquetin; Dec 03, 2004 at 04:58 PM.
Dec 03, 2004, 05:30 PM
Registered User
billystiltner's Avatar
I have taken the photos but not transfered them yet. I have used my thrust test stand in the past with the balance. I am not completely satisfied with the results and have thought of some improvements to make thrust measurements more accurate. Basically there are too many moving parts with this setup for making thrust measurements. The balance is tedious enough as is to get a good measurement. Let alone trying to make thrust measurements. Since the balance arm is made of wood, weather changes will affect it's weight therefore needs rezeroing as the weather changes. Once it is zeroed and level as long as the weights are right then it makes good measurements I reckon.

There's no time to tidy the workshop if I sleep. The computer is on 24-7 and this site stays up most of the time. Most of the time I'm a night owl as well.

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 03, 2004 at 05:43 PM.
Dec 06, 2004, 12:28 AM
Registered User
billystiltner's Avatar
Here's another photo of the thrust stand.

Dec 20, 2005, 10:41 PM
Registered User
caseyjholmes's Avatar

hot wire foam cutter

as per grahams request, posting this here
simple hot wire foam cutter.
.015 steel wire (hobby store
cheap hacksaw from 99 cent store
balsa base
wall transformer with 1 amp @ 12 volts dc output

Use the front end of the hacksaw (remove the rear handle) as a "bow" for stringing the hot wire "aka .015 steel wire" from the end of the hacksaw bow, to the copper washer under the base. wrap one side of the .015 steel wire around the washer through the base, and the other side, make a loop for the hacksaw tensioner nut to pull on the wire and tension it. plug the hacksaw bow into the base and tension the wire. it will losen a bit when heated, and require more tensioning. (remember to untension the wire before you turn it off)
add an on/off switch and a transformer plug to the base.
it should look like the pictures below
will cut wing panels easily for micro planes, as well as 2 second tail surfaces. added angle guides and degree lines. quick aileron strips and TE's. cool little machine, leaves the foam needing a slight sanding job, but makes the job quick. I make my 13" Pnut wings from this.
Dec 21, 2005, 03:18 AM
Registered User
bmutlugil's Avatar
Hi Casey,

Your jig looks good. I had built a similar one with the bottom attachment point movable on a slot and with a vertical guide to slide foam blocks on. This faciliated cutting blocks with angled cross section. Forming two different angles on a thin foam block and sanding afterwards formed approximate airfoils for a wing. Undercamber was not possible, of course..

I later dismantled the unit, I don't know why, probably because it took up too much space in my room - at my parents' house (30 years ago - history now) ..


Dec 23, 2005, 01:21 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
You can make a lot of the attachments you need for small modelmaking table saws using the saw itself. The problem with these small saws is trying to hold the small pieces to be cut and keep your fingers. I have found these little saws to be worse at knicking fingers than the big saws due to the small pieces you are working with.

Also, there is a 48-tooth, 4" carbide blade with a 1/16" kerf available from Harbor Freight that is supurb! Highly recommended and its cheap.

in the attached photo is shown:

1. A fence for the left edge. For use when ripping narrow strips to keep your fingers safe. You use the right fence as usual then use bring the left fence up to the left side of the material to be cut.

2. A "splitter" as mentioned in a post above. Keeps the wood from pinching in on the back of the saw blade, Needed only on ripping and then only on narrow strips.

3. A micro-adjusting fence using two sliding triangular pieces. These are made with the adjustable taper jig below.

4. A saw tray to which you can position pieces and clamp them down (the black knobs) then run the tray through the saw. Saves fingers and avoids slips.

5. An adjustable taper jig.

All of the jigs are removable. They are attached using holes drilled through the saw table. The brass and black plastic knobs were purchased at my local Ace Hardware as well as the brass threaded bolts.

Aug 24, 2007, 05:42 AM
Registered User

recycled treasure

(newbie, be kind)
As a retired computer tech. I would like to add a few ideas you may not be aware of, failed hard disk drives when stripped will reveal aluminum discs that are perfectly flat plus super magnets that will hold an entire magazine to your fridge! plus tiny roller bearings.

Motors from dead printers when stripped will give you very fine winding wire colour coded and lots of it.

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