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How do you buy your Balsa?

Planned or on impulse?

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Doc Marten15/04/2019 10:33:39
272 forum posts
2 photos

Following on loosely from the latest thread by David Davis got me thinking about the mindset of modellers, nothing sinister here, no profiling, no evidence gathering, just interest....what's said in the thread stays in the thread:

Do you buy in advance of a build?

Do you only buy when there's an offer?

Do you buy in bulk?

Do you seek out job lots?

Do you use it?

Do you continue to increase your stock?

How much uncut Balsa do you honestly have?

Peter Miller15/04/2019 10:51:03
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9857 forum posts
1157 photos
10 articles

I used to buy a large stock but now I buy a smaller stack based on the next couple of projects plus a bit more. I like to have enough in stock to be able to build one of my usual designs without having to wait for extra materials.

I also keep a stock of snakes and all the normal hardware.

I am currently building a 62" span twin engined powered glider and can build the whole thing from my off cuts and new balsa stock. Just need motors and ESCs

Nigel R15/04/2019 10:57:11
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2752 forum posts
453 photos

I buy just enough to do one build, before I start it. As I do approximately one build per year, there is no value in spending time chasing bargains, or holding onto any stock, or any of that sort of business. In order:

yes, just before starting it

no, life's too short

no, life's too short

no, life's too short

yes, hopefully all of it

no, can't see the point

just enough to finish the current project - although realistically, that means a handful of leftover sheets.

SR 7115/04/2019 11:01:33
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267 forum posts
61 photos

I use to buy it in enough lots to do the build I was going to do plus a little extra, as I live in Cyprus the postage is high

The last I ordered to be sent to me was £130 worth of balsa and ply The shipping was just over €100 so now I buy it when I come to see my family and take it back on the plane for the price of a case

Bit inconvenient at times but i like where I live in my old age, warmth in good for my joints

Martin Harris15/04/2019 11:04:02
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8487 forum posts
212 photos

Do you buy in advance of a build? Yes

Do you only buy when there's an offer? No

Do you buy in bulk? Yes

Do you seek out job lots? Yes

Do you use it? Yes

Do you continue to increase your stock? Yes

How much uncut Balsa do you honestly have? More than many model shops! (Although I'm not sure if this is a reflection on the amount I have or the pathetic stocks that some "model shops" hold...)

i12fly15/04/2019 11:52:07
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532 forum posts
21 photos

With model shops a long trek from home I like to stock up on about £50 of balsa at a show each year so that when I decide what I want to build nothing stops me. I reckon I've got about £200 worth of uncut balsa in stock at the moment, all weighed and graded too! Stock of fittings is also quite healthy. I'm a slow builder.

Don Fry15/04/2019 12:38:23
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3487 forum posts
40 photos

Guilty, got more than an old fashioned model shop.

Chris Freeman 315/04/2019 12:49:44
174 forum posts
226 photos

I like to keep a good supply of balsa, ply, covering, servos and fittings in stock. I buy when on special or second hand. The good part of doing this is I do not know how much it cost to build as most of the bits came from the cuboard! Started doing this from when I started working 35 years ago as often what I wanted to build was not what the budget could afford. I also tend to stock up when I get my 13th cheque. I normally like enough wood to allow the build of a large Ziroli twin if wanted.

I also by kits second hand if the price is right, have kits that I will never build but with my son being an active builder they will not go to waste.

Percy Verance15/04/2019 13:45:57
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7927 forum posts
152 photos

I always try to keep a plentiful supply in. Usually from Slec or Balsa Cabin.

I got this lot a couple of years or so back.......

nice-one-balsa-cabin.....jpg

The stock is depleting a bit so I'll be ordering more soon......

Percy Verance15/04/2019 13:45:58
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7927 forum posts
152 photos

I always try to keep a plentiful supply in. Usually from Slec or Balsa Cabin.

I got this lot a couple of years or so back.......

nice-one-balsa-cabin.....jpg

The stock is depleting a bit so I'll be ordering more soon...... As will be seen, I don't buy much strip balsa. I cut my own using this.....

proxxon-saw.jpg

Edited By Percy Verance on 15/04/2019 13:47:47

Outrunner15/04/2019 17:30:46
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27 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 15/04/2019 13:45:58:

I always try to keep a plentiful supply in. Usually from Slec or Balsa Cabin.

I got this lot a couple of years or so back.......

nice-one-balsa-cabin.....jpg

The stock is depleting a bit so I'll be ordering more soon...... As will be seen, I don't buy much strip balsa. I cut my own using this.....

proxxon-saw.jpg

Edited By Percy Verance on 15/04/2019 13:47:47

Very posh. I use this to cut my stripwood......

15553455778901056965349.jpg

2W15/04/2019 17:47:44
75 forum posts
18 photos

Do you buy in advance of a build? No

Do you only buy when there's an offer? No

Do you buy in bulk? Yes

Do you seek out job lots? Not normally, but I have in the past

Do you use it? Sometimes

Do you continue to increase your stock? Yes

How much uncut Balsa do you honestly have? Never enough of the right sizes nor quality (Hardness)

I cut strip wooD with a SLEC stripper ,or for wider and thicker sections that 1/8" I use my Proxxon circular saw.

I probably have half as much stock as Percy

William

Percy Verance15/04/2019 17:54:33
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7927 forum posts
152 photos

And that works well enough most of the time Outrunner, but they do struggle with hard balsa or thicker wood over 10mm thick which is what I mainly use the Proxxon for (wing spars and longerons etc). It will also cut 1/8 and 1/4 ply, but I think the hand held stripper will definately struggle there....

And for anything thicker - up to 4 inches thick in fact - I use one of these.....smiley

61ofuajlq1l._sl1200_.jpg

 

P.S. 2W There's another boxful of balsa right next to it........teeth 2

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 15/04/2019 18:21:15

Outrunner15/04/2019 18:26:38
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27 forum posts
2 photos

Percy those saws are very nice, wish I had one but until I do it's a balsa stripper and a Stanley knife for the hard stuff.

I don't keep much wood in stock only buy when I have a plan to build. My local shop (Inwood) don't stock anywhere as much balsa as they used to so if possible I buy from Balsa Cabin or SLEC preferably at the NATS.

Don't buy in bulk or specials.

Phil.

Percy Verance15/04/2019 18:35:07
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7927 forum posts
152 photos

Inwood were better years ago, particularly at the shows. Their wood selection wasn't too bad as long as you got in reasonably quickly. These days my preference is to buy mail order from the Balsa Cabin. I feel they really have a good understanding of what is asked for. If you ask for a light grade, that's what you get. They also have their Contest Grade balsa, which is more expensive but of a higher grade still than is normally offered. Very much favoured by the vintage and free flight brigade.

The main reason for buying the DeWalt site saw was to help with my major house renovation. I don't buy lengths of 2x2 or 4x2 etc. I buy 8 inch wide planks and cut them down to the sizes I need. It's far cheaper in the long run.

The little Proxxon saw is around £100 I think. It is a fair wedge of money, but once you've used it for a while, it really is one of those "how on earth did I manage before" tools........

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 15/04/2019 18:41:52

McG 696915/04/2019 18:39:20
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2475 forum posts
976 photos

... can you point us to one of your recent build blogs, please Percy?

As that balsa stock seems to be from a while back, I'm wondering what you used it for...

Always great to follow nice build threads, ain't it?

Cheers

Chris

Percy Verance15/04/2019 18:46:15
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7927 forum posts
152 photos

Yep, from a couple of years back. Some of it went into a Nigel Hawes Whizza, some more into an old Peter Miller low wing design ( the name escapes me just now) and quite a bit was used in a DB Expo 80 from a plan.

I don't usually make a point of photographing my builds, because re-sizing and uploading the pics in the numbers required to be meaningful is a total pain.....

I can't imagine for a moment you'd be over-impressed with my builds Chris. I'm some way short of the Danny Fenton class, but luckily, once complete they do seem to fly ok so I guess that's good enough eh?

Expo 80 here......

expo-1.jpg

expo-3.jpg

Built, covered, but still some completion work (paint) needed.  Has a motor mount here, but since converted to electric (E Flite motor).

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 15/04/2019 19:07:48

Doc Marten15/04/2019 20:40:24
272 forum posts
2 photos

I don't buy strip either, just sheets and use a SLEC balsa stipper or my 2 wheel bandsaw for the hard stuff.

My stock is about half of Percy's, I keep it in an old kit box and usually replace what I use to keep on top of it, my original stock came fron some Ebay sell ups, I usually look in the offcuts box before I cut new stock, I nust admit to snapping up any bargains I see up for offer even if I don't need it!

GrahamWh15/04/2019 21:35:25
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355 forum posts
53 photos

Until recently some form a model shop in about 20 minutes away which has a very wide selection, but is not open to the public much, and some from about 5 minutes away which concentrates on railway stuff so doesn't have much balsa to chose from. My latest lot was from Balsa Cabin. It came so well packed and with the different strips carefully held together in individual bunches with masking tape that I am now going to buy most of mine from there. Excellent service.

I'll just get little bits from the local model shop.

AvRo15/04/2019 23:24:30
3 forum posts
6 photos

Can I ask what people do about balsa in Australia? Previously, I was a temporary resident in Romania, and I found lovely stock in art supply stores, all grades, to build the ff Stahl Taylorcraft attached. All grades, and shapes and sizes from stick to sheets of 100 x 1000. I bought just enough for this project, and cut my own sticks. Back in Australia, I have started building again in a small way, using balsa from our major hardware franchise, Bunnings. This balsa is terrible, hard (and damaged), strong grain and twisted, and sized 90 x 915. Is there a better way of buying than Bunnings? There are no stores within easy reach so I guess it must be mail. Thanks for any suggestions.

Jeff.1a6b956c-673a-4fdb-94de-6ecd1bf7923c.jpeg

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