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Subject: Working with Basswood rss

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David Brzezinski
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I'm looking to make some wooden versions of some of the accessories for Sails of Glory (specifically the attitude indicator and the range ruler). I'm using basswood because it was recommended to me for strength. But, what it the best way of cutting basswood without spending a lot on a laser cutter?
 
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Brian
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I don't know what these items look like. Can you provide pictures of them? That might affect recommendation on how to cut it.

How were you planning on finishing it?

Basswood laser cuts really well. If the parts are simple, I might be able to help you.
 
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Steve S
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From a quick glance the game page it looks like most of the components are flat bits cut out to tab-and-slot into each other to create standups and that type of thing?

I've never worked with it personally, but from what I gather a lot of people just use a utility knife to cut the stuff, though if you need to cut slots on the inside of a piece and that type of thing I'm guessing that could be a challenge.

Also saw several videos on Youtube regarding CNC routers - again not a cheap prospect but it has me wondering if you have a steady hand if just a $20 trim router might be able to do the same job.

Also a scroll saw would probably work well if you have access to one.
 
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Chris Schumann
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Basswood is one of the weakest hardwoods - nearly as flimsy as balsa. I've dropped a chuck of basswood onto my concrete garage floor and it broke in half - no need for a log splitter. Basswood is great for carving though because it is so soft.

I'd go with a medium density hardwood like poplar or hackberry or whatever is cheap.
 
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Brian
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Whizkid wrote:
Basswood is one of the weakest hardwoods - nearly as flimsy as balsa. I've dropped a chuck of basswood onto my concrete garage floor and it broke in half - no need for a log splitter. Basswood is great for carving though because it is so soft.

I'd go with a medium density hardwood like poplar or hackberry or whatever is cheap.


I laser cut this card tray out of basswood. I just threw it up to the ceiling and let it land on the floor which has very low pile berber loop carpeting when a dense felt padding over concrete, and it survived no problem.
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Meaker VI
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lankyb wrote:
I laser cut this card tray out of basswood. I just threw it up to the ceiling and let it land on the floor which has very low pile berber loop carpeting when a dense felt padding over concrete, and it survived no problem.


That doesn't mean it's not one of the weakest hardwoods. It's got a softness similar to/worse than pine IIRC, it's just really tight grained so it's nice to work with for small stuff. Hardboard/masonite or MDF would be better where strength is needed with consistency, and would be great for laser cutting as well (and it comes in 4x8' sheets for $10-30).

To the OP, you can cut basswood with an xacto knife or any woodworking tools. A small drill might be necessary for making internal cuts; a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills and basically cost just as much. A coping saw might be a good tool to use if it's very thick. Use a cork-backed steel ruler and cutting mat (or sacrificial surface) with the xacto knife if you go that route.
 
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Chris Robbins
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Meaker VI wrote:
...

To the OP, you can cut basswood with an xacto knife or any woodworking tools. A small drill might be necessary for making internal cuts; a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills and basically cost just as much. A coping saw might be a good tool to use if it's very thick. Use a cork-backed steel ruler and cutting mat (or sacrificial surface) with the xacto knife if you go that route.


When did a pin vice become hard to find?
 
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Brian
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I didn't dispute that it was a weak hardwood. I just said that after falling 8' and striking the floor, my basswood gaming accessory didn't break.
 
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Chris Robbins
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Basswood is used widely in scale model building, much more resistant to a fingernail gouging it than balsa wood. Check your nearest hobby shop (model railroad, scale plastic/wood models, doll house, radio control, miniatures gaming, etc.) for tools. Or use this internet thingy.
 
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Carl Marl
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I use a carpet knife to cut across the grain of basswood. The blade is more heavy duty than a utility knife blade. You just keep making scoring cuts to the wood until you're through.
 
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Meaker VI
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bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
...a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills...


When did a pin vice become hard to find?


You can get a decent hand drill at Target, Wallmart, Ace, HD, Sears, Lowes, Kmart, etc. etc. for $30. I haven't seen a pin vice at any of those stores, and had to go to a locally owned hobby place or online to find one. I think mine only cost $10, but that was after several failed trips to other stores.
 
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Chris Robbins
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Meaker VI wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
...a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills...


When did a pin vice become hard to find?


You can get a decent hand drill at Target, Wallmart, Ace, HD, Sears, Lowes, Kmart, etc. etc. for $30. I haven't seen a pin vice at any of those stores, and had to go to a locally owned hobby place or online to find one. I think mine only cost $10, but that was after several failed trips to other stores.


I would never have expected to find a hobby tool anywhere but in a hobby shop or catalogue, at least until the internet came along.
 
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Tom McThorn
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bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
...a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills...


When did a pin vice become hard to find?


You can get a decent hand drill at Target, Wallmart, Ace, HD, Sears, Lowes, Kmart, etc. etc. for $30. I haven't seen a pin vice at any of those stores, and had to go to a locally owned hobby place or online to find one. I think mine only cost $10, but that was after several failed trips to other stores.


I would never have expected to find a hobby tool anywhere but in a hobby shop or catalogue, at least until the internet came along. I doubt I would look for basswood at any of those stores you mention either.


Micro Mark has pretty much every hobby tool you'll need plus stuff you never thought you'd need.
 
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Chris Robbins
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Starfury wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
...a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills...


When did a pin vice become hard to find?


You can get a decent hand drill at Target, Wallmart, Ace, HD, Sears, Lowes, Kmart, etc. etc. for $30. I haven't seen a pin vice at any of those stores, and had to go to a locally owned hobby place or online to find one. I think mine only cost $10, but that was after several failed trips to other stores.


I would never have expected to find a hobby tool anywhere but in a hobby shop or catalogue, at least until the internet came along. I doubt I would look for basswood at any of those stores you mention either.


Micro Mark has pretty much every hobby tool you'll need plus stuff you never thought you'd need.


That would be the internet part. If in a hurry I might start at Hobby Lobby (except on Sunday) to save gas and travel time, but HobbyTown USA is in the same county. I used to track down any hobby listings in the phone book (Yellow Pages), but the little stores (if any still exist) might have to put in a mail order anyway.
 
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David Brzezinski
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bltzlfsk wrote:
Starfury wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
bltzlfsk wrote:
Meaker VI wrote:
...a pin-vice would work but those are harder to find than drills...


When did a pin vice become hard to find?


You can get a decent hand drill at Target, Wallmart, Ace, HD, Sears, Lowes, Kmart, etc. etc. for $30. I haven't seen a pin vice at any of those stores, and had to go to a locally owned hobby place or online to find one. I think mine only cost $10, but that was after several failed trips to other stores.


I would never have expected to find a hobby tool anywhere but in a hobby shop or catalogue, at least until the internet came along. I doubt I would look for basswood at any of those stores you mention either.


Micro Mark has pretty much every hobby tool you'll need plus stuff you never thought you'd need.


That would be the internet part. If in a hurry I might start at Hobby Lobby (except on Sunday) to save gas and travel time, but HobbyTown USA is in the same county. I used to track down any hobby listings in the phone book (Yellow Pages), but the little stores (if any still exist) might have to put in a mail order anyway.


I stopped by my local A.C. Moore to pick up some stain and paint for my project and discovered they had some of the same wood working tools (along with basswood, balsa wood, and even hardwood) that I found at my local hobby shop. You may want to look there are well for what you need.
 
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