Custom Cutting

We offer custom  cutting services for those who want to design their own planes as well as production cutting  services for those who wish to sell their designs themselves.  We have  changed some of our custom cutting requirements due  to problems we have experienced in the last year.  Please read through  this page before contacting us for cutting  services.

We do not convert  plans to cut files.  Currently we do not have anyone we can recommend for this kind of job.  If you find a good CAD designer we would be happy to recommend others to them.

Our laser is an  Epilog Legend 36EXT.  It has a cutting platform that is 24"x36" and is a 75W laser.  We only  cut from material we have in stock. 

Our stock is as  follows (all dimensions in inches):

Balsa 4x36, contest  wt, avg 6lb/cu ft
1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4

Basswood 4x24
1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4

Birch plywood 12x24  sheets
1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/8

Liteply (poplar)  12x24 sheets
1/8

We have limited  quantities of plywood in 12x36 sheets
1/32, 1/16, 1/8 and 1/8lite

Note, plywood is  produced in Europe and is actually made to metric dimensions.  If you need close tolerances  please send a test cut first.  You will be charged for the test cut,  but, it is better than designing a complete  structure only to find out you have to change dimensions of  slots/tabs/notches.  Wood dimensions also vary quite a bit from  batch to batch and sometimes from sheet to sheet.  Variation of 0.010"  thickness is not unusual.

1/8” plywood (Birch and Poplar) has been an issue for many people.  The sheets we receive are labeled by the mfg as 3mm, and is less than 1/8” thick.  If you are using these two materials you may consider doing a short test cut to determine fit.

We accept most files  in the .dxf and .dwg (Autocad 2004 or earlier is best) as well as CorelDraw (version 15 or  earlier).  Corel can convert many formats so send us a note if you are  in doubt.  We work in inches.  You can send a file in  metric dimensions but I will scale it by 0.039369

We do not provide  cost estimates for individual cuts.  There are too many variables in a cut for us to  give a specific cost without actually running the file through the laser.  The types of lines you use, how many lines  there are as well as the order of the cuts.  The ordering of the cuts  can be streamlined through the use of polylines  in CAD (some CAD programs call them connected lines).  If you have  double lines the laser will cut twice, also  increasing the cutting time.

To get a rough idea  of your cost, count the number of sheets of wood you are using.

Balsa 4x36
1/32 to 1/8 thick = $8 per sheet
3/16 thick = $9 per sheet
1/4" = $10 per sheet

Bass 4x24
1/32 to  3/16 thick = $5 per sheet
1/4 thick = $6 per sheet

Birch plywood
1/64 to 1/16 thick = $0.10 per sq in
1/8 thick = $0.20 per sq in

Liteply
1/8 thick = $0.10 per sq in

Of course these are  general numbers.  If you pack a lot of small parts on a sheet the price will be higher.  Things that increase costs include: a lot of lightening holes and notches, a lot of part number etching, double cutting, etc.  Actual prices can be double the estimates above.

If you are interested in production costs then we will cut one kit for you, at your cost, and then give you the exact cost for producing your parts.  Productions costs are 20-30% less than one unit costs.  Production is 6 or more kits ordered at one time.

If you are still  interested in having us cut your file then refer to the drawing format page.

The process goes as  follows:
1. You send cut files and we review them for compatibility with our system.
2. We cut the files.
3. We calculate the  exact cost, plus shipping and send it to you by email.
4. When you pay the charge we  ship your parts.

There are no refunds for custom work.  If we make a mistake we will fix it at no charge to you.

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