I’m going to just add a tip I didn’t see spoken about.
I’ve yet to see a perfectly straight balsa flat. The edge curvature is called camber. Be it wood metal or other supposedly straight material. So you go to the home store and ask for an aluminum straight edge about 3-4 feet long . Yes a yard stick is one name but in machine shop and other shop it’s called a scale or rule. Not ruler. It’s like motors and engines. Strictly shop talk.
So get one of these straight edges preferably an anodized one, mainly because they have slightly rounded edges and are just a little harder.2” wide seemed best for me but I’ll go through the whole display looking for the one with the least camber. Dead straight is the “keeper one.
Now to use this carefully bought piece.
The project I’d to start lsying the planking or making parts with dead straight edges.
Tak the chosen balso flat stock and lay it flat on the table. , wiggle the straight edge of the sluminum so it has about equal amounts to be trimmed off the sheet on each edge. You may want to clamp it down. Then take your exacto knif with a new #11 blade and slice the edge if the balsa sheet. This now gives you a working edge.
Using you stripper again new #11 blade and cut strips what ever width you like. I use about 3/8” wide for fuselage and nacelle covering. Usually you can cut a number of strips before retriming .
I’ve tried angle cuttin to make tighter seams but I just never seem to get good results. I use yellow glue as it sands easy when hard. I don’t use CA excep to stick them to bulkheads as it is very hard to sand.a little water and ammonia works wonders for shaping too. I don’t do sheets when planking as it’s too hard to hold alignment. I think this is old school but it sure works for me.
I’ve seen dollhouse builders do this with ship lap sides that were so perfect it was scary.
Best balsa stripper I have tried is one I bought from SLEC in the UK few years back. It includes a 1m long aluminium U-channel that you attach to your bench or even better a piece of melamin faced chipboard. Your balsa sheet is held in position along this and that makes it easy to strip balsa and maintain a straight edge. It also is useful for checking how straight your balsa sheet is before you start stripping, many sheets do have a less than perfectly straight edge to them.
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