Logo
Builders' Plan Gallery  |  Hip Pocket Web Site  |  Contact Forum Admin (Account/Technical Issues)  |  Contact Global Moderator
January 22, 2021, 08:04:46 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with email, password and session length
 
Home Help Search Login Register
Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Best Sources of Balsa in the U.S.  (Read 1212 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Larry R.
Bronze Member
***

Kudos: 3
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 67

Topic starter


Ignore
« on: August 01, 2019, 10:08:20 PM »

Greetings,

Not having a local hobby shop, obtaining suitable sheet balsa (or strips or blocks) is sometimes tough.  The local craft shops stock a limited amount of basic sizes, though not of consistent quality.  Online ordering is the only option for me when I want decent wood in 1/20" for example, or very thin plywood, but the shipping costs are pretty high.  What are the best online sources in terms of product selection, prices, shipping costs, etc?  Easy Built is one such source, but I'm sure there are others that I'm not aware of.

Cheers,
Larry R.
Logged
Greg Langelius
Gold Member
*****

Kudos: 21
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 609




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 07:01:42 PM »

The last time I was looking for balsa was when I moved from NY to AZ.

I just brought up amazon and typed in "balsa wood".

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=balsa+wood&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

As a Prime member, my shipping is free.

Greg
Logged

New knowledge is found by re-examining old assumptions.
Knightflyer
Bronze Member
***

Kudos: 2
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 46



Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 02:41:07 AM »

Haven't tried this place yet, but you can get stuff like 1/20" in whatever weight.

http://www.specializedbalsa.com/

I'm planning on going there when I go over to my sister in law's house in the next couple of weeks to get some wood and check it out.
Shalom, David
Logged
p40qmilj
Platinum Member
******

Kudos: 29
Offline Offline

Canada Canada

Posts: 1,930


love that P40Q



Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 09:23:14 AM »

 Grin  ac supply  is where i go  i looked at amazon .ca and prices OMG!

jim Grin
Logged
fred
Gold Member
*****

Kudos: 7
Offline Offline

Canada Canada

Posts: 601



Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 03:30:03 PM »

Doesn't actually matter what the shipings via Amazon are (even if you have prime Wink
 Midwest balsa is simply unusable quality wood.  Oak is a fair descriptor.
Buy some and see ?
Logged
lincoln
Titanium Member
*******

Kudos: 38
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 2,408



Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 09:58:47 PM »

Has anyome,bought balsa from Sig lately.

A hardware store near me carries balsa, some of which is decent. This one is part of tne "True Value"chain.

BTW, I've actually encountered very good Midwest balsa, but it was in one of their kits.

Logged
Knightflyer
Bronze Member
***

Kudos: 2
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 46



Ignore
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 10:36:26 PM »

My Ace hardware also carries balsa. Limited selection, but they had a nice 3x36 sheet of 1/16. Corner is damaged, so I need to run down the manager and see what kind of deal I can swing.
Logged
Larry R.
Bronze Member
***

Kudos: 3
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 67

Topic starter


Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 11:30:29 PM »

The local Ace Hardware/Tru Value used to carry balsa.  The last time I was there, the clerk (it's never the same clerk when I go in there) had no idea what I was talking about.  Hah!  Hobby Lobby and Michael's carries unbranded balsa, some of which is pretty good, but the pricing is inconsistent (in Hobby Lobby, why would 1/16"X2"X36" cost a dollar more then 1/16"X3"X36"?)

As far as I can find, Easy Built is the only source for 1/20" sheet.  I'm waiting the arrival of my first balsa order from them, expecting it to be of as good a quality as the other items I've ordered from them in the past.  But, yes, shipping isn't cheap.
Logged
lincoln
Titanium Member
*******

Kudos: 38
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 2,408



Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 02:19:41 AM »

Ace/True Value? Schrodinger's hardware store?

I have found that many vendors sell 1/20 balsa with a protective, .0125 Inch layer on one side. This is easily removed with a sanding block supported by .050 inch spacers (could be tape) on either end.
Logged
TimWescott
Platinum Member
******

Kudos: 18
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 1,164



Ignore
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 01:53:07 PM »

As far as I can find, Easy Built is the only source for 1/20" sheet. 

Sig still lists it.  I can't say if they have it, though.
Logged
Knightflyer
Bronze Member
***

Kudos: 2
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 46



Ignore
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2019, 07:22:57 PM »

Specialized balsa also lists 1/20", but I haven't ordered from them yet.
Logged
takEon
Bronze Member
***

Kudos: 0
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 20



Ignore
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 07:24:15 PM »

I currently have an order for 1/20 from Sig.  It has been on back order for over a month.  Becky from Sig said there was a fire in one of their shops.  I told her I would wait.

I really like the consistency of Sig Wood.  The last wing (foam)  I sheeted with Sig wood came out identical to the gram in weight out of the vacuum bag.  I was very impressed with the results.
Logged
cglynn
Gold Member
*****

Kudos: 9
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 378



Ignore
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2020, 12:08:33 PM »

Ace/True Value? Schrodinger's hardware store?

I have found that many vendors sell 1/20 balsa with a protective, .0125 Inch layer on one side. This is easily removed with a sanding block supported by .050 inch spacers (could be tape) on either end.

I know this is a dated thread, but I just came across it, and have to see that this might be one of the greatest comments of all time.

When it comes to suitable balsa, it can be found at most local craft stores...Michaels's, Jo Ann Fabrics, etc.  Bring a small scale with you to the store.  Raid the balsa bin and weigh every sheet.  There are charts and tables available for what a sheet of given thickness will weigh for given densities.  (note-balsa, like construction lumber, is sold in fractional thicknesses but those are nominal figures.  In reality what is sold as 1/16 is .070 thick)  When you find a piece of wood that is the density you are looking for, snap it up.  It can then be sanded, razor planed, or otherwise taken down to the thickness required.  As a bonus, if you do razor plane it, save the shavings.  Those shavings from wood 5lbs and under are great for wooden indoor propellers for F1L and EZB.  Soak them in hot water for a few minutes and stick them onto a piece of plate glass.  When they dry, they are perfectly serviceable as prop wood.  You local indoor fliers will thank you.

So even with the balsa shortage right now, there is still good stuff out there.  You might have to expend some effort to find it and process it, but it is available.  I guess if it were easy everyone would do it right?

Logged
TimWescott
Platinum Member
******

Kudos: 18
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 1,164



Ignore
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2020, 12:19:36 PM »

After getting into the habit of labeling every sheet I buy with the density as soon as it gets into my shop, I found that I can identify wood at a store without a scale -- at least down to "heavy", "medium", "light", and "ooh!  I want that one!".  It's a good skill to have if you run across a sheet that varies in density -- sometimes a sheet will be medium along one edge, and contest along the other -- buy those, build foofy light rubber-powered things out of the light side, and use the heavy side for jigs or RC planes.
Logged
DauntlessSBD
Copper Member
**

Kudos: 1
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 3



Ignore
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2020, 10:07:22 PM »

A good substitute for a scale is a strong light (LED larger size).  Shine the light from behind.  With a bit of practice, you can tell lower density from higher density, and you can spot hard streaks in the sheet.

Justin
Logged
lincoln
Titanium Member
*******

Kudos: 38
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 2,408



Ignore
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2020, 02:30:20 AM »

cglynn:
Thanks tor the appreciation. I'd just been reviewing the thread and was thinking that sometimes I'm too much of a smart [email protected], but apparently not. Now everyone can blame you if they think my new posts go too far. ;-)

Before I'd heard about the trick with planing, I had found a GOOD piece of 3.5 lb balsa at a hobby shop. I sanded part of it all the way down to .011" for an EZB prop. That EZB was promising until it was clobbered by a 25 inch scale job. I think I've given up on EZB until I win Powerball and can afford to build a gigantic hangar with a smooth ceiling where my rule is law. That might take a while.

It's best, if you're sufficiently obsessed, to measure the thickness of the sheets. Gently. If you're excessively obsessive, check the buckling load, figure out the elastic modulus, and compute a figure of merit based on that and the density. The figure of merit is different depending on whether it's for a sheet part or a spar. Adjust the dimensions of the part depending on the figure of merit. I'm not that obsessed any more, and I wasn't obsessed for long enough to be competitive with the best fliers.
______
Justin: If you need an LED to see the lighter areas, the wood is too heavy or the room is underlit .  ;-)
Logged
Beazld
Silver Member
****

Kudos: 7
Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 222


What me worry?



Ignore
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2020, 04:07:11 PM »

Here's a new (to me at least) supplier in US. 
http://www.balsawoodinc.com/
I placed an order for some generic non-indoor wood and it was decent wood at reasonable pricing.
i also popped for some 1/16 sticks for grins and giggles and they were laser cut, which I found interesting.
Logged

Desperately clinging to the trailing edge of technology!
Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whip Ltd.
Specialists in products for beating dead horses
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!