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Post  roddie Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:00 pm

An adaption from an RCM "For What it's Worth" submission... made from plywood scraps (1/4" for the handle, 1/8" for the base and varying thicknesses for the guide... I.E. the "guide thickness" equals the "balsa thickness" to be stripped.

The cutter is a single-edge razor blade with the flange carefully removed, using a nail-set on the 2 crimp/dimples and pulling apart with x2 sets of pliers. The blade must mount "flush" against the handle, and set at a depth as to pass through the base and stock to be cut. It is held in place by a 2-56 x3/8"L. machine screw/washer/nut through the handle (blade center hole) and a short #2 wood screw on the blades edge-slot as a locator-pin when replacing blades.

The 1/8" plywood base I made, measures  2" x 3" and has a slot on the long side; just long enough for the razor blade to pass through, when the "handle" is mounted. This slot can be cut with a dremel tool/cut-off wheel or with a #11 blade/handle. Mount the handle/blade assy. SQUARELY to the base, with some strong glue. The blade MUST be 90 deg. to the base for a square cut.

The "guide" is made to the same thickness as your balsa choice... and measures the "length" of the base and roughly 1/2 the width. The balsa strip's "width" is set by gauging between the razor blade and the guide, using a drill bit... again; the same size as your guide/stock thickness. It is at this point where you can make a right or left handed tool. Align the guide on the bottom of the base and glue it in place, up against the blade with the drill bit laying in between.

I made 3 sizes... 1/16", 3/32" and 1/8"... They all cut nice accurate sticks quickly and easily from balsa sheet, laid on a firm level cutting mat. Setting up a quick-fence with straight-edge/clamps makes it easier to hold the stock while cutting. I drew arrows on the top of the base, for a feed-direction reference.
balsa stick making tool Balsa_10
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Post  Jason_WI Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:21 pm

Master Airscrew makes an adjustable balsa stripper. Not too expensive either.

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXAA63

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Post  SuperDave Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:50 am

Thank you Roddie!  Nice suggestion!  Clapping 

My ancient tool for maling balsa strips is as good at slicing fingers as balsa strips.  Devil 

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Post  roddie Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:17 pm

SuperDave wrote:Thank you Roddie!  Nice suggestion!  Clapping 

My ancient tool for maling balsa strips is as good at slicing fingers as balsa strips.  Devil 

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Super Dave, the one in Jason's reply/link that's made by Master Airscrew is cool... it's adjustable and it can retract for safety, which "is" a nice feature.

I enjoy building a tool; if it can be done cheaply and accurately. I am the worlds biggest "hoarder" of wood scraps... (especially plywood...) "It has to be dust before it gets thrown away..." Even a bucket of sawdust with a scoop is handy for cleaning up a liquid spill.
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Post  ian1954 Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:14 pm

I use one of these - no idea what it is or who made it!

It takes most knives but is a pain (literally!) to set up. It can also be a finger slicer!

balsa stick making tool Balsa_10

I prefer the set up that Roddie has created. One for every size and ready to use straight away.
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Post  roddie Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:00 pm

ian1954 wrote:

I prefer the set up that Roddie has created. One for every size and ready to use straight away.
It's best to use 5-ply for the base... not what I used (photos) My 1/8" tools' base broke in half, along the blade slot-line. Keep the slot "short"... just long enough to achieve the blade-depth setting. Mine are longer than they need to be... which caused a week spot. I actually "found it" broken... which means it broke during packing/moving. 1/8" Masonite might be a good choice for the base... (warp-free, no grain) as long as a good adhesive is used to attach the handle in particular, along with the guide. Counter-screwing the base to the handle is a pain... and a lot more work.
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