Balsa Wood settings - model plane


Just as a starting point, I have found decent success with the following for 3/32" hobby balsa wood:
Score: 145/2, Cut: 245/50. The score goes partway through the wood, such that if I scored the artwork on both sides, I am worried it would cut all the way through. Might have to play around with that on the next version.

Made a model (with my son) of a North American B-25J Mitchell based on the SVG file found on the wikipedia page for the plane.

B-25 in balsa

This is brilliant. The plane is beautiful. Is the other side etched?

Does she fly?


I’ve been making my aircraft out of foam board this looks brilliant oh, I wonder if you could make them into a great Chuck glider by adding a kfm wing profile?


We did not yet try two sided scoring. We did mirror images of the engines and the rudders, so that the outboard side of each is etched. The thought on those was that it would be easy to take the parts from the first side, then flip each over into the cutout left in the main board for a second pass on the other side. So score one side of starboard engine, for example, then flip it over and put it in the port side cutout for scoring on the second side.

I think I will have to increase the speed or cut the power (down to 1) in order to do that, as there were a few spots where even at 145/2, it was burning all the way through the balsa.

On the “does she fly” question - we have not tried too hard yet, as it was raining. The engine mount (cutout where it slides over the wing) is also a weak link and may need tweaking so that flight is not a “one and done” experience


Mark, thanks for the ideas. The plan was to experiment with things that would actually fly/glide, so the idea of a more airfoil-shaped wing would be useful in that regard. It’s also tail-heavy as is, so we need some nose weight, I think. We’ll see how the 10-year-old’s interest level persists!


That puts my little basic plane to shame. Lol


Nice model. it needs a clear acrylic stand so it could look like it is airborne.


Nice that they have those files available. Looks awesome!


Here is an SVG file with the work we did. Basically took the file on the wikipedia page and cut it up into parts, each part has scores for the artwork and then a cut layer that is a little oversized. If you end up making one, check the positioning of the engines on the wings - it tends to break. Also might want to snug up the cutout on the tail for the rudders - they are a little loose. All was done using 3/32 balsa wood from the hardware store. The parts are grouped roughly to each go on a piece of balsa 4" wide by 18" long. Share any results!

Also posted in free laser designs.
b25 (21.9 KB)


As a kid I once affixed a row of bottle rockets down the wings of a cheap balsa glider. The launch, flight, and explosive finale were spectacular!


Shoot, I apparently missed that adventure! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Along the same lines, I once took a model rocket engine, and set it up to propel a toy truck down the street. I also attached an M-80 firecracker so that the fuse was pointing into the end of the rocket engine where the parachute discharge plug comes out. Without any parachute wadding, there was enough heat to get the M-80 fuse lit at the end of the rocket engine’s “oomph”

So, I light off the rocket engine, the truck goes zooming down the street, and then stops, a few dramatic seconds of quiet fuse burning, and finally - BOOOM!!! This was quickly followed by all the neighbors opening their windows and asking what had happened, to which we shrugged our shoulders and claimed ignorance!

Below, see image of the “runway” from Google street view.