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Author Topic: Where do you get your super-light (6lb/cf or so) balsa wood?  (Read 1001 times)
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Little-Acorn
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« on: March 19, 2018, 01:44:04 AM »

Several sources seem to supply it, from what I can find on the internet. Nationalbalsa.com, Specializedbalsa.com, Balsawoodinc.com, and others.

Do you use any such source? Do you have any compliments or comments you'd like to make about any of them? Quality, delivery time, replacement policy if an order arrives damaged or not as advertised etc.?

Thanx all!

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flydean1
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2018, 07:37:37 AM »

I've had excellent service from National Balsa.
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duration
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 09:40:18 AM »

Believe it or not, I've had good luck finding light quarter-grain balsa at local branches of craft and art supply chains. The lightest I've found was 3.8 lbs/cubic foot 1/4" x 4x36.

I do make the rounds fairly often with scale in hand. I try to keep a reasonably-larges stock of my most-used sizes and buy any good pieces found. To me, it is preferable to hand-pick wood rather than depend on what a mail-order company sends. Previous experience in the 1980s resulted in about 50% unusable sheets per order. I have not ordered recently.

Louis
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ROGER WILLIS
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2018, 12:26:08 PM »

Louis.... I have had a very good experience with EASY BUILT balsa. It is color coded by weight group [ see color codes on their sit www.easybuiltmodels.com ] I have ordered several times from them and have never been disapointed with their product. Check out the site and the color codes for weight... Roger
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Roger Willis
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 12:50:43 PM »

Roger,

Thanks for the info and link to Easy Built. Nice to see that they offer C-grain as well as 1/20 inch. The 18 inch lengths might help on shipping. For ribs, that's usually all I need.


Louis
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lincoln
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 10:59:39 AM »

Some of my best balsa has been from local hobby stores, selected by using a scale.

As I recall, Sig has a grade of balsa that's supposed to be 4 to 6 lb, though I've seen as high as 7 lbs, and I'd expect most to be close to 6. The last time I ordered wood from Sig, several years ago, it was of fairly good quality. They offer c-grain as well.

If you hold a sheet of thin, light wood up to a bright light, you may see pale areas which will be lighter in weight than the dark areas. The other thing to be aware of is that the stiffness is not strictly proportional to weight. Some balsa can be significantly stiffer than average balsa of the same density. You can just flex pieces you've cut out to feel this, or you can get fancy about it. In the latter case, you may be tempted to discard all your wood except for the best piece. Try not to go this crazy. You can find an article on a balsa stiffness test here in Hip Pocket. Also, here:
http://www.gryffinaero.com/models/ffpages/tips/euler/euler.html

If you're patient, you can find out more about this and many other relevant subjects in INAV:
https://indoornewsandviews.com/downloads/
If my memory isn't failing, there used to be a web page with a whole bunch of articles from INAV, but I can't find it. Nor can I find an index. That's kind of sad, since there's so much stuff in the back issues.
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mkirda
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 09:27:44 AM »

Some of my best balsa has been from local hobby stores, selected by using a scale.

As I recall, Sig has a grade of balsa that's supposed to be 4 to 6 lb, though I've seen as high as 7 lbs, and I'd expect most to be close to 6. The last time I ordered wood from Sig, several years ago, it was of fairly good quality. They offer c-grain as well.

If you hold a sheet of thin, light wood up to a bright light, you may see pale areas which will be lighter in weight than the dark areas. The other thing to be aware of is that the stiffness is not strictly proportional to weight. Some balsa can be significantly stiffer than average balsa of the same density. You can just flex pieces you've cut out to feel this, or you can get fancy about it. In the latter case, you may be tempted to discard all your wood except for the best piece. Try not to go this crazy. You can find an article on a balsa stiffness test here in Hip Pocket. Also, here:
http://www.gryffinaero.com/models/ffpages/tips/euler/euler.html

If you're patient, you can find out more about this and many other relevant subjects in INAV:
https://indoornewsandviews.com/downloads/
If my memory isn't failing, there used to be a web page with a whole bunch of articles from INAV, but I can't find it. Nor can I find an index. That's kind of sad, since there's so much stuff in the back issues.

The downloads are all searchable thanks to yours truly and Acrobat Professional.

Regards.
Mike Kirda
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