Thread Tools
Jun 01, 2001, 03:16 PM
Thread OP

Transfer of Part Dwg's to sheet balsa

I am about to begin my first scratch built project and hoped that some of you experienced builder could save me some time by sharing your best method of TRACING part drawings onto balsa sheet (IE best transfer paper to use, any other tips etc...).

You guys are always very helpful and thanks in advance for your replies.

P.S. I did a search but could'nt come up with anything but if you know of a good thread in one of the discussion groups that would be great also.

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jun 01, 2001, 03:23 PM
One way is to make copies of the part drawing and tape them to the balsa with double sided tape, cut out the part and then peel off the tape and paper.
Jun 01, 2001, 03:24 PM
You can also cut the part out of the paper its printed on, spray some 3M77 onto the back of the paper, and press it onto the wood.

Jim Ryan suggests painting the balsa wet with acetone (not soaking wet mind you) and rubbing the printed part onto the wood to transfer it.

Jun 01, 2001, 03:31 PM
Senior Member
you can stick a pin repeatedly along the outline, through the paper & into the wood- straight lines need only a few, curves need more holes, crude but effective
Jun 01, 2001, 03:34 PM
ultramega super star
stealthy's Avatar
I trace the parts on to freezer paper and iron it on to the balsa and then cut out the part, after your done you can pull the freezer paper right off. The feezer paper will stay put when cutting out your parts.
Jun 01, 2001, 03:59 PM
Registered User
Jim Ryan's Avatar
As Greg noted, my favorite way to transfer part templates to the sheet stock is the "acetone transfer" method:

1. Make 1:1 photo copies of all the parts templates. It helps if they're pretty dark copies.

2. Use a cheap paintbrush to apply acetone to the balsa (or ply). Brush it on pretty wet and keep brushing until it goes from wet to "damp".

3. Lay the photocopied template fae down on the wood and press/rub it down for a few seconds.

4. When you peel back the paper, you should see a perfect mirror image of the template.

This is by far the best and quickest way that I've found to transfer plans to wood.

Jun 01, 2001, 04:28 PM
Thread OP
Thanks for all the replies. As always I got the info I needed.

I think i'll give the acetone method a try, I does appear to be the easiest.


Jun 01, 2001, 04:39 PM
Registered User
I always just make a copy (or in case of ribs I print it on my laser printer)on regular paper, put it upside down on the balsa and iron it really well as long as you pell th paper off while it's still case of larger parts I then iron the back of the balsa to straighten it out (as it warps a little)...

Jun 01, 2001, 05:05 PM
EDF Head
Haldor's Avatar
I print out the item ans stick it to the balsa with the low-tack gluestick. Then cut it out and peel off the paper.

Jun 01, 2001, 07:43 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
I have had good luck transfering copies of parts to balsa by simply making a copy of the part I need and putting the print side down on the balsa and then rubbing a heat shrink covering iron over the back of the paper, pressing onto the balsa or plywood.

Makes a light but very usable copy of the part and you don't have to smell acetone fumes... This works with any of the hot drum type copiers.

Note: not a bad idea to compare the new copy of the plan parts to the orginal plan. Some copiers have a significant error in the reproduction, as much as 3-4%. The part may be sightly compressed or stretched when compared to the original. Some copiers have less error in one orientation than another (vertical vs horizontal).
Latest blog entry: My 2021 event schedule
Jun 01, 2001, 11:00 PM
I print the parts on clear or white 8x10 labels and stick then on the balsa. Another method that works is to print the part on plain paper and lay cheep scotch tape over the part and peel the tape off, the ink sticks to the tape, now you can stick it on the balsa wood. The cheep tape works better, the good tape peels the paper off.
..AZ Chuck
Jun 01, 2001, 11:23 PM
Heli Bouncer
Looooeeee!'s Avatar

I had an old copy of MA that I can't find right now, but it had a FF article about photocopying Losenge camo to tissue using a Canon ink jet copy of the original image, and then using a "clear" marker pen to release the image onto the tissue.

Now I'm at a loss to find this kink, but it involved some kind of solvent in the pen, probably alcohol and a little surfacecant, (soap) to speed the transfer. It only worked well with Canon ink jet copies though, and the article was from the early Ninties.

Anyone recall this trick....?


Quick Reply

Thread Tools