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BSA Block - Cutting Three Bodies

Discussion in 'Building tips' started by Todd Peterson, May 9, 2017.

  1. Todd Peterson

    Todd Peterson Hammering Axles

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    I'm trying to stay true to our council rules by using the pine blocks "from the box." Has anyone tried cutting 2-3 bodies from the same block? I'm sure the only accurate way to 100% accurately measure, drill is to cut and plane the bodies even. However I've used a belt sander and had pretty good success smoothing the new bodies out but certainly not as accurate as planing. I can get a suprisingly even surface that should be good enough get good drills off of. Has anyone else done this succuessfully without a planer?
     
  2. Crash Enburn

    Crash Enburn PWD Royalty

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    I've done this successfully (at the scout level; I haven't done anything successfully at the league level. :D ) As long as your rears are aligned with one another, you should be good.
     
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  3. wags2633

    wags2633 Pinewood Ninja

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    I've made 3 blanks from a BSA block and sanded it by taping a piece of sandpaper onto a piece of granite tile. I checked its flatness using The Block. One of the blanks worked well at the scout level. The rest I messed up during a build.
     
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  4. Ballistic Racing

    Ballistic Racing Workshop Leader #1 Ranked in the USA Pro Race Winner Pro Racer

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    I've cut blanks from scout blocks & used my belt sander. I can get them dead flat & the same thickness front to back (I use calipers). I'll use sand paper on a flat surface to fine tune the flatness. If you're good with the sander, it can be done.
     
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  5. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids National Contender

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    You know I wondered after cutting my kids cars out of the blocks if I should let the other little cars in those blocks that were screaming to be cut be let loose. All that wood...
     
  6. CivilWarTalk

    CivilWarTalk Council Champion Pro Racer

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    When I find a good square scout block I'll use a band saw to cut a 5/16" blank from the top and from the bottom of the block, but I usually throw away the center section.
     
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  7. gdurban

    gdurban District Champion

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    This is what I do as well. I don't try to use the center section.
     
  8. Jimmy & his 2 Kids

    Jimmy & his 2 Kids National Contender

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    I can see how it can lead to inconsistencies. But the top and bottom have a pretty good chance of proving a straight enough blank to work with. Good to know.
     
  9. Todd Peterson

    Todd Peterson Hammering Axles

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    I think with enough material with which to work I could sand the middle even and flat. I'm not sure I would consider it a premium A+ body but it would be close. Finding a premium block among all the scout blocks is hard enough as it is.
     
  10. bracketracer

    bracketracer PWD Royalty Pro Racer

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    If you have a table saw, it's easy to slab off bodies with a simple jig.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The rip fence in this pic is not adjusted for this jig, the edge of the jig by my left thumb goes against the fence and you adjust it to rip the thickness that you want. Sacrificial clamp strip on top protects the clamp pads. Just keep re-clamping the remainder of the block and cut it. Keeps your fingers away from the blade even on the thin stock.

    I made this out of scrap MDF a few years ago with the intention of trying it out to see how it worked and then making a finished one out of Baltic Birch but I never got around to making the new one. Never enough time! LOL Someday I will!
     
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  11. Thinkin'Bout Racin

    Thinkin'Bout Racin National Contender

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    Nice!! Looks exactly like something I would do....or have done. ;)
     
  12. jatofau1

    jatofau1 Council Champion

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    I respect the guys that have really good wood working skills. I just don't have good finishing skills. I wasted a lot of wood trying to make blanks. I bought a porter cable planer at Lowes that was on sale. Life is so much better.
     
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  13. TexasTaxi

    TexasTaxi Pinewood Ninja

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    I've been putting the full block in my CNC router, cutting the ladder, then ripping off the cut part on my table saw.

    I don't get to crazy, and have to sand the top until I get it thin enough to make me happy.
    I could get 3 cars out of 1 block.
     
  14. Charles Studer

    Charles Studer League Racer Pro Racer

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    Yep..,,bandsaw and a belt sander.....easy peazy
     
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