windu34 wrote:Use cyanoacrylate sparingly
^^. Using too much cyanoacrylate will ruin the piece of wood you are working with. Also, when cutting the wood, I would recommend making very shallow cuts to start out and gradually making them deeper as you go. This is mainly important for towers, as awkward angles due to cutting could really mess you up later.
New, sharp blades will help with cuts, and you will not need to replace them frequently if you use a self-healing cutting mat and use a designated blade for cutting balsa. Contact between blades and a hard cutting mat (e.g. plywood) can dull blades quickly. Likewise, cutting more difficult woods (e.g. bass) or cutting into cured glue can dull blades quickly. A cut well done saves you time sanding. Use fine grit sandpaper with your balsa; homemade sanding blocks are not hard to make and are great.
Your teammate, windu34, is right; in balsa events you care about device mass, and excess cyanoacrylate can add much unnecessary mass without increasing efficiency. Make gluing easier by creating jigs that help hold components together while gluing. Covering your jigs in packaging tape prevents your parts from adhering to the jig.
I'm moving this topic from General Chat to Bridge Building, where I think it is most relevant this season. This will allow easier browsing for future users, and this means replies here will count as useful posts.
"One of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there."