Buying Wood

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lllazar
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Re: Buying Wood

Post by lllazar » January 27th, 2011, 5:01 am

I order 8 4in x 36 in sheets of both 1/16 and 1/8, for a total of 16 sheets. Two orders and selective wood picking has made this a plentiful supply for my 3 balsa related events, and it'll definitely be enough for the rest of the season.
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Re: Buying Wood

Post by jander14indoor » January 27th, 2011, 12:01 pm

Buy sheets and select, harder to select good sticks as sticks, and more expensive!

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI

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Re: Buying Wood

Post by soccerkid812 » January 27th, 2011, 12:02 pm

jander14indoor wrote:Buy sheets and select, harder to select good sticks as sticks, and more expensive!

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI
if you buy sheets, what do u do with them?
like cut them yourself? how?

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Re: Buying Wood

Post by Lowell » January 27th, 2011, 12:21 pm

soccerkid812 wrote:
jander14indoor wrote:Buy sheets and select, harder to select good sticks as sticks, and more expensive!

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI
if you buy sheets, what do u do with them?
like cut them yourself? how?
There are devices you can buy to help with cutting. It can be done with a metal yard stick or something simular, but it is not easy to get accurate cuts without a lot of planning and know how. I suggest you buy sticks of wood from a Hobby Shop, craft center, specialty wood house, or online, if you are not used to cutting strips of wood from sheet. Now if your Dad is a carpenter or is good with wood working in general, then the sheets are a good option for you.

Just my .02.

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Re: Buying Wood

Post by AlphaTauri » January 27th, 2011, 12:29 pm

You can also use a balsa stripper to cut a sheet of balsa into sticks. They are usually quite cheap and easy to use, although you do have to know how to use it correctly in order for it to work.
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Re: Buying Wood

Post by soccerkid812 » January 27th, 2011, 12:33 pm

what are the advantages of using sheets and not sticks?

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Re: Buying Wood

Post by Lowell » January 27th, 2011, 12:54 pm

soccerkid812 wrote:what are the advantages of using sheets and not sticks?
Price. It takes the mill less cuts to make a sheet, and loss due to breakage is lower than with sticks, so you get a better price. The other advantage is that you can take a sheet and cut the very best parts of it to use.

As for sticks, the advantage is that you have pieces already at the thickness you need. It will also cut down your build times by a good bit, because you are not cutting sticks from sheets.

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Re: Buying Wood

Post by jander14indoor » January 28th, 2011, 9:35 pm

Besides price (an important consideration), frankly its easier to check wood quality with a sheet. Hold it up to the light and look at the grain, most of the sheets will have wavy or angled grain. Wavy is totally useless, angled is OK if you cut your strips WITH the grain and not along the original edge. You can also see worm holes and shakes (semi rehealed cracks ACROSS the grain from strong winds wihen the wood was alive, likely failure point). Much harder to check the grain on sticks. Very hard to determine where the grain is running across a stick and making it weak.

As to cutting, much discussion in the past, do a little searching through the archives, look for my name and balsa stripping as key words, I've given lots of hints. But its NOT hard at all with a properly tuned balsa stripper, about a $8 device nowadays, and a little good technque. Tuning mainly involves stiffening the blade and squaring things up. Stiffening blade is most important, mainly you break off about the last 1/8th of an inch of those pointy #11 blades they come with. Technique mainly involves not pushing the thing beyond its limits. Start with a straight edge along the grain. Set the blade to cut half through, flip and repeat. If very hard or thick, cut a quarter by lifting one end, then a half, flip and repeat. Periodically check that edge and restraighten. Oh, and don't try to strip 36 inch sheets if you only need 18 inch strips, cut the sheet in half.

Don't sweat the time. With a little practice you can strip all the wood you need for a season in an evening.

And you gain the ability to make non-standard sizes if you need to. 1/16 to big and 1/32 to small, cut it 3/64ths, or whatever.

You won't get 100% yield from stripping your own, but what you do get you KNOW is good. With sticks you just don't know.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia MI

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Re: Buying Wood

Post by deezee » February 2nd, 2011, 10:14 am

i'm using 1/16x1/16 for supports, 1/8x1/16 for the tower itself. Pretty light stuff.
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Re: Buying Wood

Post by lllazar » February 2nd, 2011, 11:11 am

1/8 x 1/16? For the columns? Please do tell us how that works out after you test a tower, i highly doubt that little cross section would be able to handle anything close to 15kg.
2011 Season Events~

Fossils (Regionals ~1st) (State ~6th)
Towers (Regionals ~1st) (State ~3rd)
Helicopter (Regionals -3rd gahhh) (State ~5th)
Wind Power (Regionals ~1st) (State ~3rd TIERED!)

Hooray for getting everything i wanted?

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