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Anyone still using a balsa stripper?

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David perry 117/04/2020 07:55:59
1066 forum posts
13 photos

I used to have one but maybe it was didnt well very well.

Is there a good balsa stripper on the market folks use these days?

I think my old one was a SLEC unit. Maybe I didnt try hard enough...


Martin Gay17/04/2020 08:08:38
428 forum posts
256 photos


I have two SLEC balsa strippers, one set at 1/4" and one at 3/16" as these are the common strip sizes that I use.

They have been heavily utilised recently as I have built a number of planked fuselages.


Jim Carss17/04/2020 08:52:19
2169 forum posts
85 photos

Same as Martin,I have two Slec strippers and could not do without them, yes


Peter Miller17/04/2020 08:58:44
11766 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

I use the Master Airscrew one,it is also made under another name but without going upstairs to check I can't remember that (I have both.)

Maurice Dyer17/04/2020 09:17:53
173 forum posts

SLEC for me : twenty odd years old and still in use most days. Nothing much to go wrong with em.

Broken Prop17/04/2020 09:35:43
632 forum posts
1 photos

I used to use a Kavan balsa stripper but was converted to the Avicraft version a few years back. A different concept but easy to set up and use with no jamming as the blade is set with a 2 degree run-out. Takes standard scalpel blades.

Available on Ebay under 'acrylic balsa stripper' or through J Perkins.


Cuban817/04/2020 09:45:31
3163 forum posts
1 photos

I used my Master Airscrew stripper yesterday to cut some very firm 1/4 square strips. I prefer it to the SLEC one that I found rather awkward to use given its size when I tried one out that a friend has. The MA being more compact gives better control and having a universal adjustment also works better for me. No right or wrong, whichever one prefers.

bert baker17/04/2020 09:47:41
1649 forum posts
337 photos

I got two as well,,,

But being heavy handed I didn’t get the results I was after,

wood often curled up and width was a bit variable

I purchased a mini craft table saw and never looked back

Alan Hilton17/04/2020 10:08:22
142 forum posts

Same as Bert I use a proxxon table saw as I couldn’t get on with a Slec stripper


Martin Harris - Moderator17/04/2020 10:11:13
9774 forum posts
264 photos

Very happy with my Master Airscrew one although I did have to make a new blade fixing strap a few years ago. Simple, effective and flexible range.

Bob Cotsford17/04/2020 10:32:29
8945 forum posts
498 photos

I still use my MA style stripper occasionally though I find the only way to get usable strip from 3/16" or thicker wood is to take one half depth cut from each side. I like the idea of the Slec one, but it's finding space to permanently fix a 1M rail.

David Hall 917/04/2020 10:38:22
313 forum posts
17 photos

I have a need for some balsa strips, and I have a balsa plank that has been in my loft for around 20yrs. It is an offcut from wood used to build theatrical sets. The plank is about a metre long, 100mm wide, is bowed in both length and width and varies in thickness from around 6mm at the ends to around 12mm in the middle.

I have 3D printed a balsa stripper and will soon set forth on a stripping andventure, trying to produce a variation of balsa strips... just as soon as I work out how to start on a 6-12mm sheet with a stripper that can manage 6-7mm thickness.

Some of the strips will be used as longerons and tips for a vintage model, the wood will be steamed to get it to bend (another adventure for me).

Karl-Georg Krafft17/04/2020 10:45:48
27 forum posts
43 photos

das 20200417_112106.jpgI20200417_112757.jpgMy balsa stripper: a piece of 30x20mm wood, two m 3 bolts ,nuts and washers, different spacers (1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm ply) and a cutting blade. Simple, cheap, but effective.20200417_112048.jpg

Engine Doctor17/04/2020 10:59:56
2717 forum posts
44 photos

I still have one but have not used it in ages as its only any good on very thin stuff ,anything thicker and it didn't cut square. The last small models I built , a Frog 45 and a Auster both for Frog 1.5 power and 2 ch radio I used a straight edge and a scalpel .Any strips I need I now use my trusty band-saw .

Stephen Jones17/04/2020 11:17:47
2924 forum posts
1660 photos

Hi, i still use a balsa stripper from Slec.


But i find the guide that it comes with no good and i have to use a block to keep it at 90 degrees it works perfect this way.

I guess a large block of wood will work just as well as Karl-Georg Kraft has shown.


David perry 117/04/2020 11:31:32
1066 forum posts
13 photos

Thanks guys. Glad Im not the only heavy handed thug who struggled with a stripper. I'll have a look at the mentioned ones and the saw too. I do have a small disc saw, modellers sort, but pretty sure the blad wobbles too much to cut thin strip.

Thanks again

gangster17/04/2020 11:35:45
1083 forum posts
29 photos

I have used a slec one since the 1980s. Wonderful tool. Finally a few years ago it warped in the hot sun by a window. I replaced it but still use the original track

Peter Miller17/04/2020 11:51:24
11766 forum posts
1416 photos
10 articles

KAVAN! That was the name of my other Master Airscrew version

One dodge when cutting thin sheet for capstrips with the Kavan stripper is to push a scrap of 3/16" sheetup the blade to hold the thinner sheet down.

Former Member17/04/2020 12:12:32
1020 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Chris Walby17/04/2020 12:16:42
1458 forum posts
389 photos

Another SLEC user.

If you don't have one it makes life way more difficult.

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