How to Cut Balsa Wood sheets and get a clean edge?

I want to cut some thin 4" sheets. It always leaves rough edges.

tips on how to get a clean cut?

thx - Craig

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Use a good metal straight edge and a new #11 blade. If you try to cut through all at once, even a new blade will drag so make several passes. If you can use a different wood, try bass or check out veneers at your local home store.

-- Chuck Ryan Springfield OH

Reply to
Charles Ryan

Craig asked:

A NEW #11 blade and a guide. The guide is a must and I've had better luck with medium to soft balsa. Hard balsa tends to splinter at the edges. The only problem that I have had with soft balsa is that it tends to crush unless the blade is really sharp

I have heard of some people trying sharp shears. I know they work on veneers.

Are you going for straight cuts or curved pieces?


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Use a sharp razor knife (Xacto or similar). Draw the knife along the cutting line, pressing lightly. DON'T try to cut all the way through in one pass, or you'll crush & rip the fibers. Let it cut just partway through the sheet. Repeat a few times until you cut all the way through.

Reply to
Wayne C. Morris

I just need straight cuts on a 4" by 1/16 sheet. I was using a razor saw but was too rough.

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If you are cutting lengthways, cut with the grain, not against it.

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in article, Craig at wrote on 1/29/04 6:40 PM:

If that's all it is, use a straight edge and a single-edge razor blade. Hey, it worked 30 years ago!


Reply to
Milton Bell

You didn't say how thin. You should be able to cut 1/32 and 1/16 sheets fine with no problems. Buy #11 in packages of 50 or 100. They are cheap that way, so you can always use a new one. Balsa has mineral fibers in it, so it dulls blades faster than basswood, so you need to change frequently. For 1/8 or thicker, it will take several passes per cut, and then you may need to sand edge.

Also, when cutt>

Reply to
Don Stauffer

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