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SLEC Mr Tom

Balsa stringer

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Andy C19/06/2022 09:24:06
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478 forum posts
120 photos

Hi all

Finally building something again. Mr Tom from SLEC. Nice little model, instructions could be better, but it’s coming along. Now need to fit the stringers along the top and bottom. These are balsa and the instructions call for them to be soaked to make the more pliable. Not done this before so no idea how long they need a soak for.

Any guidance, as a, much appreciated.

Andy.

Dave Cooper 619/06/2022 10:19:17
375 forum posts
38 photos

Hi Andy,

I think it depends on the degree of curvature and the pliability of the wood. (Balsa comes in various densities, so it really depends on what they've supplied in the kit).

A good test is to hold one end of a length and see how 'whippy' it is....

On the Pilot Cutter - they are 42" long with a scarf joint around 'mid-span'. I made a test piece and this curved quite nicely in the dry state, so, I didn't bother with soaking.

For a smaller hull, you may find that especially around the bow area, with tighter curvature, you need to give it some extra 'persuasion'.

Happy modelling,

Dave

 

Edited By Dave Cooper 6 on 19/06/2022 10:23:28

Andy C19/06/2022 12:27:34
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478 forum posts
120 photos

Thanks Dave.
the front is quite a severe bend, and not much give in the balsa. The rest is a pretty straight line. I did a test fit and it will break if I force it. Wondering if I can steam just the part that actually bends rather than trying to soften the whole thing.
Andy

Ray Wood 219/06/2022 13:25:23
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2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi Andy,

I think steaming is more suitable for proper hardwoods, I would soak the balsa and tape it round a large radius cake tin or similar and let it dry over night and repeat if you need a tighter curve.

Balsa comes in many grades some are brittle Thats why I use Obeche most of the time it's great !

Most of the old plywood designs had substantial breast hook and similar for the chine at the bow this reduces the need to bend the strip at the bow, Not familiar with Mr Tom design, but would be interested in a shot of the drawing ?

Regards Raysq6.jpg

 

Edited By Ray Wood 2 on 19/06/2022 13:27:01

Andy C19/06/2022 15:21:44
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478 forum posts
120 photos

ce3ed8eb-4eb2-4a6a-951c-f83ab5330645.jpegThanks Ray

Not sure what this particular balsa is, but after soaking and leaving to dry a little the super glue did hold it around the breast hook. 64838f99-b322-4f82-a678-1ec9e20c109a.jpeg

Andy C19/06/2022 15:22:26
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478 forum posts
120 photos

Looks like I need to tidy up the very front part but happy enough so far

Andy

Dave Cooper 621/06/2022 16:18:54
375 forum posts
38 photos

Just to echo what Ray says - steaming does work as does making shallow 'nicks' every few mil's along the length of the strip. (More than one way to skin a cat !).

If in doubt, make a test piece first...

Regards,

Dave

Andy C21/06/2022 19:03:11
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478 forum posts
120 photos

Thanks Dave. Steaming will be my next step.

Ray Wood 221/06/2022 19:34:59
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2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi Andy,

As I have seen from other build blogs on line the stringers are only 1/8" square strip !! this is a very small boat, you may have more luck using 1/16" X 1/8" strips and laminating the stringers, I'm guessing the ply skins are 1/16" ply ? good luck with that I'd use 1/32" ply for a 16" model.

Keep us posted as you go along.

Regards Ray

Andy C25/06/2022 13:47:42
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478 forum posts
120 photos

Bow
tome for the hull sides. Looks like I need to shape the stringers to give something to add glue too. Any suggestions, I was thinking just sandpaper. I have permagrit sanding blocks, but what sort of angle am I looking for.

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