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Old 08-28-2005, 04:22 PM   #1
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best practice for scratch ribs

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Its me again.
This time I am rebuilding a wing and need to cut 22 ribs.
In the past I have pinned 11 or 12 together and cut and sanded.
I have heard from others that glueing and then cutting works well.
My Question is how would you cut 22 ribs?

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Old 08-28-2005, 04:42 PM   #2
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easy one

With a lazer cutter of course

just stack them all together and carefully run them through a ban saw

i did 20 like that before turned out ok but needed some sanding
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:59 PM   #3
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I find I am accurate cutting up to 6 ribs at a time, of course if you're rough cutting and sanding to shape then bobs your uncle, but I try for an accurate cute to minimise the sanding.

I use a small piece of double sided tape between each sheet to secure the stack. The emphasis is in small peice of double sided tape. The best stuff I've found is in the dollar stores. It's very thin and tacky enough to hold even dusty balsa.

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Old 08-28-2005, 05:12 PM   #4
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Cutting ribs


I occasionally have enough time to cut ribs by hand.

I assume that some of the ribs near the centre of the wing are different which would require two different sets of ribs.

If I have the time to do it I make a photo copy of the rib template and glue it on a piece of thick Arborite.

I cut it close to the line on the scroll saw with a new blade.

Step 2 is to sand it on a stationary disc/belt sander using the disc. For concave shapes use the edge of the belt sander. Sand half way through the line for the proper shape.

Cut outs for spars are done as close to the line as possible with the scroll saw and fine tuned with a file.

You now have a template that you can use a sharp exacto knife or a scalpel against without cutting into it. Drill a couple of holes in the template so that a large T-pin will just fit through.

Put the template over the wood and pin them both to the bench or a piece of wood and you can quickly and accurately accurately cut out your ribs.

If you need to do repairs at a later date it's a snap as you still have the templates.

You can also uso thes templates to cut a foam wing. It's also very easy to add washout by simply raising the outboard template the desired amount.
Don't forget to make a left and right if you use washout on a non symetrical wing.

You can also use the bandsaw method and cut a stack all at once, but be certain that the blade is at right angles to the ribs or you will have a tapered wing.

You could also just stack them and use the disc sander being certain that the table is at right angles to the sanding disc.

The choice is yours and it's up to you how much time you want to spend building your plane.

I'm sure there are lots of other ways to do it.

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Old 08-28-2005, 05:22 PM   #5
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I've only scratch built one wing. I did do it twice however (making one for a buddy). I made 2 ribs out of AC ply. I did not have arbourite handy. I then bolted a stack of 8 or 10 ribs together (balsa) , and sanded them all to shape. It worked well. I then used the holes I had put in to run wires through. Basically you just clamp a stack together and go nuts with the sanding.

Just one more way that has worked for me!
Good luck
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Old 08-28-2005, 08:22 PM   #6
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The band saw would be the way to go, but I don't have one.
I think I will try the sander this time.
I like the tape Idea as well.

Start tonight and I will let you all know What way I go.

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