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Dec 16, 2002, 05:36 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
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While reading one of the Posts in Scale Modeling
( ) I happend to notice how many people are cutting out,gluing, and removing paper tranfers from their parts,trying to find the "best" not-so-sticky glue,etc.,etc,. While another Fellow's hint of using acetone to directly transfer the parts to the actual wood, went pretty much ignored in the melay... I don't use acetone, but rather laquer thinner... and I transfer My parts directly from a photo copy off the actual plan,to My nicely graded & selected contest wood NO careful cutting, NO glueing,No trying to get paper off,or "gummy"glue residue .. Like they say on the Infomercial "Set it, and forget it" ( or in this case, "Cut it" ) I took My cheapy Vivitar 2700 digital camera outside just before sunset this evening & snapped some fuzzy photos to give a general idea of how it's done. In the South it's customary for friends to come together around a bonfire,or a burn-barrel on chilly Southern nights to drink beer or "shine" and discuss events and put Your "Yup" or "nope" in the Mix. I placed a board on the Burn-Barrel, So "Pull up a stump & make Yerseff at home"...
****NOTE*** When making your photocopys of your balsa or plan parts,it is A GOOD idea to place a small 6" ruler on the glass next to your parts to check the actual photocopy's scale... after printing, measure the copied ruler with the origional to make SURE Your copy is to scale. The new computerized copy machines are pretty exact, but older ones may vary. ( Thanks to Large-One (Rich) "down-under" for that advise! Thanks Again Rich!)
Last edited by Demon-Leather; Jun 15, 2004 at 12:02 PM.
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Dec 16, 2002, 05:39 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
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STEP 1.....

Here is what You need to begin Your parts transfer

1: Can of Laquer Thinner
2: Scissors
3: Your carefully selected wood
4: an Old cotton sock, rag,whatever you want..
5: Photo copy of the parts You wish to reproduce
Dec 16, 2002, 05:47 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
Thread OP

STEP 2......

"loosely" cut around the area of Your Part(s) and place it face down(copy-side down) on the wood. Position it so you get the best economy out of your sheet.(space makes waste!) Your cloth should be "DAMPENED" NOT soaked in laquer thinner... Too much thinner will cause a blotching effect & make fine-lines thick!
Dec 16, 2002, 05:54 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
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STEP 3......

Holding firmly in place with one hand to prevent movement,use the other hand to blot on the back of the paper,straight down using firm pressure untill the paper becomes "translucent" showing the entire part on the back. ( I can't show this because I'm holding the camera ) Blot from one end to the other,and back again.. fimly..The transfer is a 1-shot deal & will not work the second time, so have an extra copy or two on hand for Boo-boo's while learning.....and for your later use.
Last edited by Demon-Leather; Dec 16, 2002 at 11:11 PM.
Dec 16, 2002, 05:58 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
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STEP 4.....

Still holding one end firmly in place(to avoid moving) raise one end of the paper up to check your progress (again, I'm holding the camera so I can't) And... PRESTO! a perfect part,on the wood, ready to cut! EEEEEEZZZZZZZZ!!!!!! And the BEST part of all,is it's FAST & CHEAP! You can run off copies right from the plans by positioning it differently under a photo copier. I use "Office-Max"(they have a Do-it-youself "Copy-Max" inside )
The BIGGEST copy (11" x 17" legal size) costs 12 cents ea! The Laquer thinner can be bought at ANY hardware store for around $2.50 per qt. The can I'm using is rusty on top because I've had it so long,and it's still over half full...
The demonstration pieces I made took about 6 minutes to make, and I was going slow & taking pictures.....
Last edited by Demon-Leather; Dec 16, 2002 at 11:22 PM.
Dec 16, 2002, 06:03 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
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STEP 5...

Make use of the "unused space" by sqeezing smaller parts in where You can... Here I squeeze 3 stabilizer ribs into space pockets . Going over the same place with the dampened rag will NOT effect the parts already tranfered after the laquer thinner evaporates usually just a matter of 20 seconds or so. You can actually make your sheet look like the old Kit printwood with no space on the sheet left to waste!
Dec 16, 2002, 06:13 PM
Motley crewmember
"In the South it's customary for friends to come together around a bonfire,or a burn-barrel on chilly Southern nights "

Yup, nice article. Even I get it!
Guess thats why they call you "GOOD ol' boys".

Dec 16, 2002, 06:18 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
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My scanner does a MUCH better job of showing the actual results.
The ONLY difference between the actual pattern & the copy will be the letters or numbers will be "mirrored" or reversed on the part ( look at the scan )And for You "Laser-Cut Only" Kitboys,.. This will work on your Lasered sheets too. If You copy the actual lasered sheet in a photo copier befor You push those parts,You will be able to re-create any part to repair that "Mishap" that eventually comes to all of us. Some Laser-cut kits are less than forthcomming with parts patterns on the plans.... so this way You can replace that wing you tried to fly between the power-lines! And always have the means to build another.. Bob
Last edited by Demon-Leather; Dec 17, 2002 at 11:02 AM.
Dec 16, 2002, 06:18 PM
Registered User
RichK's Avatar
GREAT idea! Thanks, Demon

Dec 16, 2002, 06:37 PM
Always looking UP
FANMAN's Avatar


Originally posted by Demon-Leather
Some Laser-cut kits are less than forthcomming with parts patterns on the plans....
I couldnt agree with you more, but in most cases, putting all the parts on the plan, means someone will make and distribute copyrighted materials, and use the same method you have described above

Basically one plan gives many a free kit to build........
Dec 16, 2002, 07:01 PM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
Thread OP

I Realize This...

And it IS a shame! There ARE a few Bad-Apples in Every sort of "Pie" No matter how You slice it. This was By no means meant for the purpose of Copying to sell someone elses hard-work,but just a means to repair or replace parts. Paul K Guillows has always printed parts on his plans since the thirty's and even though the man is now been dead for some time, His company lives on. Berkleys Never shared their parts, and been out of business since the sixties. What does it mean?.. I dunno.. One way or the other, the unscrupulous will get You.. I just think You shouldn't fear it. Again, I'm not saying to anyone Go steal these parts,make money selling "boot-leg" copies. But to take care of Your OWN plane it's a good thing to have...
PLEASE USE THIS METHOD RESPONSIBLY!! And Just "Have-Fun" out there! Bob
Last edited by Demon-Leather; Dec 16, 2002 at 07:34 PM.
Dec 16, 2002, 10:14 PM
EB-66C Team Member
J Morgan's Avatar
Thanks for sharing Demon-Leather. I'm going to give this a try.
Latest blog entry: A2D Skyshark at 1/8th scale
Dec 17, 2002, 01:38 AM
Mossie Nutter
Rexx's Avatar


Thanks Deamon,

that does sound like a really easy method, and certainly much cheaper than the 12 per can 3M spray I have been using.

One question... am I right in assuming that you have to do this outside because of fumes? Beautiful British Weather may be the deciding factor in this one for me!

Balsa Virgin!
Dec 17, 2002, 02:03 AM
fix-it-up chappie
tolladay's Avatar
Great technique Deamon.

I too have a question. Does this work with ink-jet prints or does it need to be photocoppies for the Laquer Thinner trick to work?

It would save me time if I could go straight from my computer's printer to the balsa without first having to stop-off at the local Kinkos.

Dec 17, 2002, 02:33 AM
Demon-Leather's Avatar
Thread OP


Tolladay,...I don't think the printer will work,but haven't tried that. A photocopier uses a special Dry emultion that can be picked up off the print and carried into the wood grain without running. I think a printer copy will just "melt-off' but again,I may be mistaken.
Rexx...As to fumes,there are some,but I've always enjoyed the smell.. used to paint Bike tanks & cars in the 60's & 70's with laquer... seems to make My cigarrette taste better! As far as being outside,it was a pleasant 60 degrees outside and the light was better
Now,.. I've HEARD that this type transfer will also work with an Iron, be it houshold,or covering, but do not have the specifics of that type of heat transfer (IE: Iron Temp, pressure,etc.etc.) Perhaps someon else can add that type to this post for cold-weather applications,or sensitivity to vapors that some people might have..or YOU could possibly experiment & give it a whirl! Heavans,.. the way You tackled your first scratch attempt Rexx,You may be an "expert" on heat-transfer in an half an hour!! Bob
Last edited by Demon-Leather; Dec 17, 2002 at 02:41 AM.

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