nedyarb

How Would You Cut This Block?

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This is 3 by 3 block of balsa. I want to cut it into 1/4" strips. Which way should I cut to make it with the grain? Thanks62A1E79E-9D31-4827-9AA7-4D9AC4357144-448

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The grain looks curved. I don't see how you can cut anywhere on the 3 x 3 block to get a 1/4" by any dimension strip without some curve. My guess is the 3 x 3 block was one for carving decoys or something similar. I frequently cut 3 x 3, 3 x 4, and 3 x 5 curved grain blocks like yours to get 1/2", 5/8", 3/4" and 7/8" square strips then made into dowels without any warpage or similar problem. But my round dowels sort of follow the grain curve.

 

You can buy 1/4" by 3" by 36" balsa sheets without any warpage.

 

In the past I have tried to use junk material to make bodies and the hassle to overcome their issues just wasn't the effort.

Good luck!

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All grain will look curved depending on the way your looking at it. The "grain" is actually the growth rings of the tree. You want the grain to run from front to back in your lures for maximum strength.

 

Ben

Edited by RayburnGuy

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As Ben said, be sure to rip it lengthways, with the grain, and not cross grain.

If you rip the block with the side, where you have your hand in the picture, against your fence, so the blade cuts top to bottom, you'll get the most stable pieces.  

If you're making 1/4" by 3" strips, that's the most stable, but the outer pieces might warp a little.  3" is pretty wide.

If you plan to laminate two pieces together, make sure the grain in each piece is opposite of the other, like this (), so they cancel out each other's tendency to warp.

If you're making 1/4"X1/4" strips, as long as you rip it with the grain you shouldn't have an issues.  The grain is nice and tight, and there's not enough wood to really move much.

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