avatar_Daryl J.

Cutting fuselages, what do you use?

Started by Daryl J., February 10, 2009, 08:09:32 PM

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Daryl J.

While working tonight on the Lindberg F11F-1 and laying out plans for cutting up the fuselage for extension plugs it became apparent the cuts will be pretty close to some delicate (did I just say that about a Lindberg kit??) detail which would ideally be saved.

What do you use to cut your styrene if there is to be more involvement than just a straight cross section cut?   


Daryl J.

The Rat

Mark the line where you want to cut and then apply some Dymo labeling tape, it's very thick. Then scribe away along the edge of the tape until the two sections can be separated.
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Ed S

If it's going to be a straight cut across the fuselage, I use a miter box and a razor saw (I like the Zona saw).  For cuts that are only part way through a part, I use a small saw blade that fits an Exacto handle.  I have two shapes of saw blades that fit these.  One is a short straight saw about 1 1/4" long and 1/4" wide. The other is longer and the blade is curved to a very narrow tip.
(edited to add)

The tapered blade: http://www.micromark.com/NO-15-BLADE-PKG-OF-5,6792.html

The straight blade: http://www.micromark.com/NO-13-BLADES-PKG-OF-5,6791.html

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The day I received a "Moto-Tool" for a birthday gift thirty years ago, my modeling took a quantum leap in ability, especially for kitbashing whifs. A "Moto-tool" is a hand-held electric rotary machine about the size of a medium-sized flashlight (torch, for you Briton-speakers), at the end of which is a chuck for inserting various bits, including rotary saws. There is a dial on the side to regulate rotational speed. With the right saw blade a very thin, accurate cut can be made. It takes practice, and close calls (the saw will sometimes shudder and jump out of the groove and come looking for your finger!!), but it does a wonderful job. You hold the saw oh-so-lightly and let the teeth do the work for you. You could even do panel lines if you could accurately control the depth!

The Moto-tool also has bits for grinding, sanding, gouging, and has different sizes and grit for those. You can also get "cut-off wheels" of corundum that will cut metal---VERY useful if you have stainless-steel tubing for guns, or use nails and pins to hold things together. It is a miniature "workshop" in itself. Check your LHS or hardware store.

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... as Geoff B (Thorvic) will confirm, my favourite method is running such items through a bandsaw  :blink:

a more 'normal' method i use is to mark the cut position with tape (or even just a pencil line if a small section) then running around it with a sharp thin blade razor saw making sure the cut follows the tape edge for accuracy  :wacko:

... hmm, maybe i should post up a scan of me running a 7ft long wooden EFA. Typhoon through the large circular saw here at work when trying to create a Typhoon F.2 from an EAP. !!?  :banghead:

cheers, Joe
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I do not have the luxury of a band saw like Joe, but I tend to follow his other method.
Mark with masking tape, score carefully with a knife, then cut with a razor saw (very carefully!).
I still have my fair share of mis-aligned cuts, but a bit of trimming with the Dremel with the small sanding disc usually works.
If I do make a bolocks of it, well it just ends up with a bit of a different WHIF shape.
Have fun and watch your fingers.

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I use these tiny Wave cutting saws. They are thin and flexible enough to cut large radius corners. They're very thin, so you don't loose a lot of material, either.  That's what I used to cut the doors out of my Mazda K360 build.

The SSM store also has some other cutting tools including photoetched Trimaster saws. I have the Tamiya mini razor saw, but it's much wider than the thin Wave saws.

You can also get very thin cutting wheels for the Dremel (like the one Craig was showing) but you have to be careful when cutting - always wear eye protection!


I tend to just grab a razor saw and jump right into it, but then again I'm a Gung-ho modeler with little regard for details and no reguard at all for accuracy.
I also use the Dymo label tape method, however I use automotive pinstriping tape (partially cause I happen to have some) which is somewhat more flexible I believe and will go bend into really complex shapes (you know those sequences in monster garage and pimp my ride where they mask the outlines of a flame job? It's that stuff)
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All of the above and an Olfa P-cutter

Am considering buying some photo-etched blades for the really fine cuts.
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Brian da Basher

I use an ax, for finer cuts, a hatchet.
Brian da Basher


I tend to use a razor saw, of which I seemed to have several, that I`m sure I havn`t bought. Perhaps my toolbox is where razor saws come to die, like the elephants graveyard or the ballpoint pen black hole.
I also use a motortool with assorted blades discs etc, but a neat trick a friend showed me is to cut notches into a scalpel blade with a carborudrun...carborand..metal cutting disc. With the assortment of scalpel blade shapes I can usually `find one to fit the hole where I need to stick it` (italics to make it easier for the moder` who feels the need to make sexual inyourendos of our comments)(wait till I do a wedding dio and I`ll be sure to bugger the vicar when painting ;D)
Back to topic, they don`t last long but they do the job in hand. (theres another one)
Whatever the method the best way to do it is the way thats most comfortable for you. (and another)
Cheers  :drink:

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Quote from: Brian da Basher on February 16, 2009, 01:54:51 PM
I use an ax, for finer cuts, a hatchet.
Brian da Basher

I thought you said that a meat clever works best when building outta bread clips????? -_- -_- -_-
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