the best building tip you ever got - Page 9 - RC Groups
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Nov 14, 2006, 11:19 PM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar
Originally Posted by andrewm1973
Transfering plans from PDF files to balsa via acetone.

Print out the plan/PDF file you downloaded on a laser printer.

Cut out the part from the paper roughly.

Place it upside down on the paper.

Dab a bit of acetone on the paper and press down.

Peel back paper and there will be the shape you need to cut out.
Some photocopies work with Turps instead of acetone - trial & error
Also, you can iron on the patterns with a domestic iron.

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Nov 14, 2006, 11:24 PM
rebell's Avatar
You will find whole threads about it on RCG. The brass rod as drill has been mentioned a few times in this thread. Thanks anyway for listing it here, that is in the spirit of the thread.
Nov 15, 2006, 11:03 AM
Registered User
When tacking pieces of balsa with CA that only require your thumb and forefinger as a clamp, use a piece of wax paper between your skin and the balsa. We all know why...

When sanding, or shaping blasa, it is better to sand lightly, then compare the area sanded to the desired outcome than to sand away and then realize you sanded too much.

A dremel can be your best friend in many situations.

A sloppy build cannot be hidden with monokote.

Keep track of all deviations made in plans while building, especially when more or less weight is involved.
Dec 09, 2006, 03:43 PM
Registered User
sukoi's Avatar
if you want to be cheap, you have to be resourceful
Dec 10, 2006, 01:29 PM
rebell's Avatar
I posted this about a home made soldering gun before, here is the link.
Dec 10, 2006, 04:08 PM
Rust: The poor man's Loctite.
TomM's Avatar
When using the table saw,

Remember to bring the finger with you when you go to the emergency ward.

Better yet, don't shut it off and grab the wood thinking the blade already stopped.
Dec 12, 2006, 10:34 AM
These are great tips. Now if only I can remember them, especially when needed.
Dec 12, 2006, 11:34 AM
rebell's Avatar
Easy, mark this thread as a favourite and read whenever in need for help.
Dec 15, 2006, 05:03 PM
"just one more pass"
marfish's Avatar
A ton of knowledge and experience here.
Dec 16, 2006, 07:46 AM
Hack of all trades...
Smooth Spanky's Avatar
TomM:'re not speaking from experience, are you?? I stuck my index finger straight into a band saw a few months ago. Won't be doing THAT again.

Best tips I've ever got are right here on this thread. I like the ones about stopping a build when things start going wrong. Sometimes it's just better to walk away and to come back when the temper settles down. Easier said than done, tho.

Keep the tips comin'

Dec 16, 2006, 11:21 AM
Rust: The poor man's Loctite.
TomM's Avatar
Originally Posted by Smooth Spanky
TomM:'re not speaking from experience, are you?? .....snipp

Keep the tips comin'


OK - a long time ago in a galaxy far away...

I grew up around power tools. My dad was the self sufficient kind who rarely paid anyone to do anything. His thought was to buy or make the tools and do it yourself and learn a new skill along the way. I learned to gas and stick weld at 10, rebuild carburetors when I was 13… Some of the tools, like the table saw had the restriction of “never use it unless dad is standing there” Well one day still in grade school I had an “important deadline” for a scouting project or something, and couldn’t wait till dad got home.
I cut the wood, shut it off and went to grab the wood, but grabbed the saw blade instead.

Now this is the first time in many in my life that I realized there’s a magic 2-3 seconds where you look at the injury and you say to yourself.. “wow, that should have hurt a LOT more.” Then bam- the wave comes in. Just like when the nail gun shot a nail through my palm last summer.

So I wrap my hand and the dangling 1” digit tip in a towel, with blood dripping everywhere,, walk from the garage into the house and tell my mom I think we should go to the hospital. She looks at my hand and FREAKS! She packs me in ice and off we go, and the doctors make everything better with stitches, splint, and a return visit. The only residual effect 30 some years later is I get a quick shooting pain sometimes when I play guitar or hit the tip just right.

Now the rest of the story.
My dad comes home from work and sees a crime scene. Blood trails into the house, stairs, and kitchen, the front door wide open, fried chicken burning on the stove. (this is the time before cell phones) so he calls the cops. We get back a couple hours later and I had some explaining to do. He never rescinded my tool privileges, as he saw I learned my lesson.

To keep this on subject here’s my tip. When using a table saw, rehearse your cuts. With the power off, make the movements and think – I’m going to grab the wood here, slide it like this while keeping my hands here, and the wood will end up here when I’m done. Actually move the wood and make sure nothing is blocking it’s path, like a workbench on the other side that would stop the movement if it hit. If you don't have a large outfeed table, get a helper to support the wood. Nothing worse than having to press down to balance the weight while trying to push the wood. Have a firm grip but one that won’t pull your hand if you get a kickback. If the wood goes offtrack and stalls the blade, don't try to re-twist the wood. Keep it stalled until the breaker trips, or lift the wood off and away from the table. Do not cut without a fence OR crosscut slide, and never use both at the same time. I did CAD work and fill-in woodwork at a cabinet shop, and I was always scared to watch guys work when time is money. They all had mangled hands of different degrees and they never used safety glasses. I have about 10 pairs of safety glasses spread around the house so I never have to say- it's just ONE quick cut, I don't have to waste time loking for glasses.
Dec 16, 2006, 11:51 AM
Hack of all trades...
Smooth Spanky's Avatar
TomM: hey, I got a little woozy reading your tale. Holy Cow.

I like your tip about rehearsing cuts on a table saw. An ounce of prevention, right?

I'm the same way with safety glasses - I have them everywhere so I never have an excuse not to use them. (I did actually glue both eyelids shut one time, but that's another story...).

Dec 16, 2006, 01:52 PM
Rust: The poor man's Loctite.
TomM's Avatar
From all the opportunities with power tools I had to injur my eyes, it came from using an xacto blade....whoda thought.
As I pressed down on a new blade to cut a plastic sheet, a micro sized tip of it cracked off and shot into my eye. Tried to rince it out but had to go to the eye doctor to get it out.
Dec 16, 2006, 10:00 PM
I meant to do that
littlewing78's Avatar
I did actually glue both eyelids shut one time
not so smooth
Dec 17, 2006, 03:27 AM
"just one more pass"
marfish's Avatar
Yep, it's glasses or no cutting for me. I will spend whatever time it takes to find the glasses that are already in my hands.

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