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"tool to cut small circles?" Topic

11 Posts

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2,140 hits since 30 Apr 2011
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Comments or corrections?

Windward30 Apr 2011 7:57 p.m. PST

I need to make prop and helo rotor circles for 1/600th aircraft from 1" down. What tool would you recommend?

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member30 Apr 2011 8:08 p.m. PST

Scrapbookers' punches, such as Fiskars or Marvy Uchida, found at arts and crafts or fabric shops.


Mako11 Inactive Member30 Apr 2011 8:57 p.m. PST

Yep, a hole punch will work for a little while, until it dulls, and then won't.

The plastic seems to dull them rather quickly.

The other tools are probably better in the long run, if you have lots to do, since you can replace their blades when they dull.

Cpt Arexu Inactive Member30 Apr 2011 9:35 p.m. PST

A circle cutter (think drafting compass with blade tip, or beam compass with blade tip) can sometimes be found at craft suppliers (particularly art supply places).

I don't think mine would cut tail rotor circles (too small) but I have punches that would work. For tiny circles I'd be tempted to cut a square, cut the corners off, and keep cutting corners off until it was round enough. I have used this technique for card models.

CeruLucifus30 Apr 2011 10:58 p.m. PST

Get a set of small arch punches. At 1" and below they aren't too expensive.

Arch Punch: link

Cpt Arexu Inactive Member30 Apr 2011 11:16 p.m. PST

I have a hollow punch set like the one on donrice's link.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2011 6:59 a.m. PST

i second the hollow punch set, should be available from a car tools outlet.
i use mine all of the time.

dot cotton Inactive Member01 May 2011 7:13 a.m. PST

I use an olfa compass cutter for 1 job i had to file the compass point stem down on one side to bring the point and blade closer together and achieved an 8mm circle and importantly a centre hole for rotor to sit properly.
easy to get hold of, spare blades cheap.

WarrenB Inactive Member02 May 2011 4:03 a.m. PST

Ditto compass cutter. Works pretty well for me; though when cutting plastic I've found it's a bit more tidy and accurate when you turn it in reverse. Scribe the plastic with the back of the blade tip. If you try straightforward cutting, the act of digging through the plastic can cause the blade to swerve a bit. Might depend on the thickness and hardness of the plastic, though.

And IIRC, unless you file down like Dot, the smallest it does is about 1cm, 3/8".

You might also try a circle template, and something to cut or scribe with that.

Warren B.

evilleMonkeigh Inactive Member24 May 2011 5:14 a.m. PST

I was also thinking some cut plastic would make a good prop.

What size for a fighter or bomber? (Before I splurge on some punches)…

Grand Duke Natokina Inactive Member24 May 2011 8:43 a.m. PST

I would go with Donrice's suggestion of small punches from a hardware store.

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