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Feb 02, 2005, 03:37 PM

Balsa Stripper

So has anyone got any good ideas about a balsa stripper?

I made one but it didn't work very well. What's the trick?

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Feb 02, 2005, 08:14 PM
Darcy - I've got a Master Airscrew stripper that works good. Uses a #11 blade. Tower sells them for around 6 bucks- Jim
Feb 02, 2005, 09:38 PM
Registered User
TLyttle's Avatar
Me, too, Blazer; mine must be 25 years old, and has reduced many sheets with no flaw in its operation (problems and errors had to do with the operator!). Hard to go wrong on that machine.

Also, while you are at it, make sure that you look for a good supply of #11 blades, they are cheap by the box. My buddy has gone over to scalpel blades, and finds them better yet, but I still have ~40 #11 blades left!
Feb 05, 2005, 07:59 PM
Still have an old X-acto stripper that worked pretty well. (Still does)
on small/ medium balsa. The master one has been going for a long
time pretty well too.
Most of the time though I use an 'Indoor' micrometer set stripper.
Unfortunately can't remember the name, it was a long time ago.
Feb 06, 2005, 01:48 PM
Hobby Lobby has an interesting stripper and balsa planer @ tho I've never used either one. Jim
Feb 06, 2005, 02:06 PM
Registered User
I'll second the Master Airscrew -- I've used mine for over 30 years, 1/32 to 1/2" with no problems. The H-L looks very good, high-dollar.

Feb 08, 2005, 11:44 AM
So far, the best I've come up with is to cut wood with a steel ruler and blade.

The VMAR one looks quite nice. I may save my pennies to get that one.
Feb 08, 2005, 12:29 PM
glider34's Avatar
Jim Jones balsa stripper which is available from:

1/8" version $23.50 + $4.00 postage
3/16" version $28.50 + $4.00 postage

Jim Jones
36631 Ledgestone Dr
Clinton Twp, MI 48035
ph 810-791-0651

Very very nice quality for the money,

Feb 08, 2005, 12:55 PM
The main problem with many strippers is the blade is too
flexible. For strip from 1/16" upwards I have found -and use-
a minature circular saw (Dremel?) with adjustable guide.
Works on carbon or fibreglass sheet also if it isn't too thick.
Feb 08, 2005, 07:56 PM


I have a Master Airscrew balsa striper and donít know what I would do without it.
(I guess I should say that I have 1 Ĺ balsa stripers from M.A, the first one I bought was missing a piece and after contacting M.A. they sent me a new one plus a free hat. Nice people, nice hat.)

Still the Master Airscrew isnít as precise as I would sometimes like it to be. (The blade sometimes tries to follow the grain of the wood and wonders a little as its cutting.)

The Jim Jones stripper does look nice.

I have found information on some others cutters.

Hereís a page that has information on the Jim Jones Stripper, the Master Airscrew Stripper and instructions on making your own stripper.

On this page you can find the Micrometer Balsa Stripper by Ray Harlin, bit pricy though.

A tip for your Master Airscrew Stripper: take a piece of scrap ľĒ Sq. balsa and stick it over the tip of the blade. This helps keeps your blade sharper and your fingers safer.
Last edited by Tail Spin1; Feb 08, 2005 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Forgot the links
Feb 09, 2005, 06:08 AM
Thanks Tailspin, the Harlan one is the one I couldnt remember the name of.
Personally used and have/had most of the others at one time or another,
they all work(ed) pretty well.

You have plenty here to go on Darcy!
Feb 09, 2005, 01:39 PM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar
Not quite a balsa stripper, but you all may be interested in a little device I made to cut triangular wood for corner fillets on sheet fuselages etc..

I never had any real success cutting through 1/4 sq so I bought some box section brass tube which had a 1/4 sq interior size (I did the same for 3/8 sq too). I drilled a small hole across the diagonal about 2 inches from the end and used a fine fretsaw blade to cut down the depth of a balsa knife blade. All you need to do is push one of the convex blades across the diagonal and shove the 1/4 x 1/4 in from the top. The blade slices it neatly at 45 degrees and it comes out of the bottom of the tube in two lengths.

Easy and totally foolproof.

The only consideration is that the grain must be reasonably straight and the blade sharp.

Feb 09, 2005, 02:20 PM
Registered User
TLyttle's Avatar
FoolPROOF?? C'mon, Tony, you know fools are too innovative...
Feb 09, 2005, 03:18 PM
Another 'foolproof' one for you with small sizes:-

Break off a small lwngth of razor blade and mount it on two blocks
of wood of the thickness you require and slide the piece you are cutting
through from the cutting edge making sure the wood itself stays flat on
the surface. Straight grain helps to stop it riding up!
Feb 09, 2005, 05:39 PM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar

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