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Cutting holes in soft balsa

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martin collins 121/08/2019 18:53:42
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185 forum posts
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I want to add some lightening holes to the kit i am currently building, having done a search it seems the best bit of kit to do the job are Baskin Soft bore cutters. However i cannot find a current supplier, are they still available, if not what are other people using?............Martin

Foxfan21/08/2019 19:22:12
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825 forum posts
6 photos

Most people sharpen the end of a tube and twiddle that through. If the hole's big enough, I can't sing the Olfa cutter's praises too highly. I use one for everything from balsa and thin styrene to decal paper to make racing roundels.

Martin

Robin Etherton21/08/2019 19:30:35
271 forum posts
41 photos

img_2094.jpgMagic

Cuban821/08/2019 19:35:24
2722 forum posts
13 photos

I've got away with sharpened copper plumbing pipe before now with softish balsa sheet, but over some firm cork tile.

kc21/08/2019 19:41:21
6032 forum posts
168 photos

When sharpening tube sharpen it on the inside not the outside. Putting a couple of sawcuts thro also helps clear the waste.

Some people suggest wrapping sandpaper around the tapered neck of a wine bottle to sand a rough cut hole. Be better if you could find a suitable tapered piece of wood instead of a bottle, very easy for a woodturner to make but it needs to be a very gradual taper.

PatMc21/08/2019 19:45:51
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4200 forum posts
521 photos

If it's "soft" (i.e. lightweight) balsa as per title it's probably not worth the time & effort cutting holes could even weaken the structure unnecessarily.

Denis Watkins21/08/2019 20:04:25
3880 forum posts
60 photos
Posted by martin collins 1 on 21/08/2019 18:53:42:

I want to add some lightening holes to the kit i am currently building, having done a search it seems the best bit of kit to do the job are Baskin Soft bore cutters. However i cannot find a current supplier, are they still available, if not what are other people using?............Martin

Martin,

Just check the spelling

As Gaskin tools shows up in Kent

Where Baskin does not show up

Brian Gaskin
157a Main Road
Sutton at Hone
Kent DA4 9HW
England

Edited By Denis Watkins on 21/08/2019 20:05:37

martin collins 121/08/2019 20:18:14
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185 forum posts
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Yes sorry should be Gaskin, not seeing them advertised as for sale anywhere, are they still in business?

Ray Wood 421/08/2019 20:33:33
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79 forum posts
7 photos

Hi All,

These are the best thing second only to Permagrit tools must have bought these from Brian 20 years ago ! Great for adding lightness 😀I

Simple principle to sharpen thin walled brass tube.img_20190821_201150.jpg

Regards Ray

Alan Gorham_21/08/2019 21:10:54
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959 forum posts
102 photos

I bought my Gaskin softbore tools from Avicraft in Bromley. I think they were the only distributors in recent times.

Keith Sharples21/08/2019 22:12:39
128 forum posts
2 photos

I use a cutting compass, works very well. You can do a hole any size you want and it cuts decals as well bonus! it cost the staggering total of £3.39 inc postage!

Peter Miller22/08/2019 08:34:07
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10192 forum posts
1192 photos
10 articles

I cut out 6 holes about 1 1/2" in diameter through hard 3/32" balsa and 1/32" ply laminated. It saved 4 grams.

I ask myself, was it really worth it.

Cuban822/08/2019 09:11:54
2722 forum posts
13 photos

You make an excellent point Peter, I gave up fiddling about with 'weight saving holes' ages ago. Much better to select light wood in the first place - certainly for non specialist sports models. The holes I was referring to with the copper tube cutter was for a paper tube through wing ribs to take aileron and flap servo wires. I still have a length of aluminium ballast tube, suitably sharpened and with some fine teeth filed in to the cutting surface for 'drilling' deep holes in foam wings for all sorts of purposes.

Peter Miller22/08/2019 11:24:55
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10192 forum posts
1192 photos
10 articles

I have a collection of brass tubes and old aerial sectionsfor just those jobs. snake holes, paper tube holes. For bigger holes I tend to use hole saws, especially in plywood.

Martian22/08/2019 14:51:29
2217 forum posts
1091 photos

I use thin wall stainless steel tubing in three sizes recovered from outdoor solar led lights easy to sharpen and use a rod to poke out uncollected disks

Edited By Martian on 22/08/2019 14:52:01

Andy Meade22/08/2019 16:44:18
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2613 forum posts
679 photos

Ooh, that's a good idea Martian - I've got an old one in the shed that I can sacrifice yes

Nigel R22/08/2019 17:27:46
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3062 forum posts
475 photos

"add some lightening holes to the kit"

As Pete M and C8 have said - categorically not worth bothering. Reduces strength quite a bit, reduces weight almost not at all.

It's far better to obtain a different, lighter piece of wood, if the weight saving is that important.

bert baker22/08/2019 18:03:29
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1423 forum posts
303 photos

Compass cutter mounted in a small bench top drill

Martin McIntosh22/08/2019 19:28:41
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2933 forum posts
1073 photos

I often use a sharpened ally tube but got a set of 10 assorted diamond tipped cutters on ebay from China for £4.19 post free. You need to use a pillar drill with them though. Brilliant on balsa and ply and are supposed to cut metal too but I have not tried. Cannot remember where I posted details on this forum.

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