How to Make Wooden Blades for an RC Helicopter With Balsa

Written by donna armstrong
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How to Make Wooden Blades for an RC Helicopter With Balsa
You can use balsa wood to design and create the blades of your dreams. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The blades on a helicopter are one of the most critical parts of the vehicle. A helicopter with damaged or unbalanced blades will have trouble getting off the ground. Balsa wood is a lightweight wood commonly used in model and remote control vehicle construction. Crafting your own blades will take patience and determination, but the end result will be blades made in your own personal style.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Balsa wood sheets
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Laminate film
  • Drill
  • Wood glue

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure an old blade to get the general dimensions. Draw the shape of the blades on the sheets of balsa wood.

  2. 2

    Cut out the designs. Make a rough outline by purposely cutting outside the line. It is best to cut the wing wider and longer, and trim it down later.

  3. 3

    Trim the sides to about one half inch from the outline. Use sandpaper to sand down the rest. Sand all the curves and edges until smooth.

  4. 4

    Draw a line down the length of the blade at about one-third the width. A helicopter blade tapers on one side; this line indicates the spot where the taper will begin.

  5. 5

    Create the taper with sandpaper. Use the sandpaper on the short side of the line and slightly taper the blades to a point on that edge. The tapered edge should be smooth and consistent across the blade.

  6. 6

    Wrap laminate film around the blade and cut it to size. Follow the directions included with the laminate film to attach it to the blade. Remove excess film using a utility knife.

  7. 7

    Mark the mounting holes on the blades. Use an old blade as a template if measuring is difficult. Drill holes into the blades at the marked locations.

  8. 8

    Apply a thin coat of glue over the entire area of all the blades and allow them to dry. The glue will help seal the blade and add resistance for the screws.

  9. 9

    Mount the blades to the bracket with the screws from the old blades. Turn the helicopter on and check to see if the blades are balanced. If they wobble as they spin, determine which blade is heavier and sand the edges down slightly until the blades are balanced.

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