Balsa Notch Cutter (oz14959)
About this Plan
Balsa Notch Cutter.
Quote: "The plans show bulkheads with neatly cut notches all the way around the edge for the fuselage stringers. You dutifully begin cutting these notches with your trusty exacto knife, only to have the bulkhead split with the grain of the wood. Finally, you skip notch cutting and just glue the stringers on as best you can. There has GOT to be a better way!
I was plundering through an old catalog and there was a picture of a brass notch cuttet that would solve the above problem for me. The only problem was, the item pictured may have predated the Wright brothers and is unavailable.
Staring at a cutting mat covered with split fuselage bulkheads, I was inspired! Okay desperate.
Brass is kind of hard come by and can be challenging to form. I decided to use PVC tubing instead of brass. The design is simple. The cutter descends into a slot that supports the bulkhead and prevents splitting.
The cutting blade I used was hacksaw blades glued together to form 1/16 inch width. Other widths can easily be achieved by gluing more blades together. One could as easily use another type of saw blade or a piece of plywood with sandpaper glued to the edge. The blade is used to cut the slot in the cutng surface.
The only other element is the return spring. I used the compression spring from a toilet paper holder. The diameter of the spring dictates the size of the PVC tubing. Compression springs can be found in many pump dispensers. Use the product save the spring.
Between the plan and the photos a model builder can easily duplicate my result or custom design a notch cutter to suit your own needs. When planning it might be helpful to know that the nominal size of PVC tubing is for the inside diameter.
In use, the edge of the bulkhead is fed into the notch cutter as the blade descends. A stop can be, temporarily, glued to the surface of the cutter or a mark can be used to limit the depth of cut. The size of the bulkhead supporting surface is determined by the size bulkhead one is likely to use.
A careful examination of the plan and photos will show that the blade also limits the upward travel of the device when the return spring is in use..."
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User commentsDefinition of an Ingineer - someone who uses Ingenuity.
I love your work, Mr Jennings. Respect Sir.
Roger T - 01/12/2023
Thank you, Sir!
John Jennings - 01/12/2023
I have been vexed by this problem many times.
I may have come up with a simple solution. Instead of a ' U ' notch it is easier to cut a ' V ' notch to fit the half cross section area of the intended stringers. Two blade cuts at right angles are easily done and quick ! Glue in the stringers and then sand the outer points to a uniform width around the fuselage. Then cover as you would have with 'U ' notches.
The stringer notches required for an Ethereal Lady gave me this idea !
Allen Wale - 01/12/2023
Simple and effective, now we have two elegant solutions to an ancient problem!
GY - 01/12/2023
Brilliant! about time some genius saved us all.
I haven't got to Building it yet but I'm just starting to do so immediately after reading your post. I'll let you know how I like it. Thanks.
Nabil - 06/12/2023
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