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Author Topic: Old Balsa, worth using? Your experience?  (Read 593 times)
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KDus
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« on: March 30, 2017, 01:27:23 PM »

I've been using Balsa stock that is probably from the 60's. It seems more dry and brittle than materials I just got in a new kit and at the local hobby stores.
Is it my imagination? Maybe I'm just frustrated by my current skill?
My excitement for building vintage kits will be damaged if that is true.
My current project is a C/L Spitfire with plywood fuselage and sheet covered-plywood- rib wing. I started with plans and was hoping to just use old materials.
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faif2d
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 02:18:08 PM »

I just stripped and used some Sig 3/32 x 3 x 36 that was marked 35 cents that was from the early 1960's.  I had no problems at all.  This was stripped into 3/32 sq sticks and used to build several stick fuselages, so the use was about as bad as you could get from a wood perspective!
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USch
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 02:42:36 PM »

Yes with age the wood dry's out but that does not seem to harm. In any way the water content does not go below the normal room humidity.

As faif2d said also I did cut the spars for the last models from a 1/16x2x36" sheet market "Testors 10cent". Dont even remember when I got it, for sure not later than the '60.

Urs
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Bell Models
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 04:25:07 PM »

Other than sometimes it stinks, it should be OK.

John Bell
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packardpursuit
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 01:29:33 PM »

Old wood like old modelers, just gets better with age!

I've still got balsa selected over 40 years ago for grain and weight. It's as good as it ever was. Most was stored for over 20 years thru hot summers, out I'm my oven of a garage and cold humid winters. I'll bequeath what ever is left when I die, to some poor sap.

I once worked with a whole room full of WWII era spars, taken from Pt-13's etc. They made excellent rib caps, stringers, and spars for homebuilt projects. I'd kill for a find like that today. I've heard that aircraft used in desert conditions had their spruce parts ruined by North African heat. However I've seen old spars from Arizona based aircraft still as good as when manufactured 40's and 50's. If kept out of the sun, I don't see age as a huge detriment to quality wood.

it's been my experience wood (balsa and otherwise) that errant moisture causes the greatest damage to wood and wood products.
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