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How do you buy your Balsa?

Planned or on impulse?

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Andrew Ray16/04/2019 06:19:28
717 forum posts
19 photos

This is an interesting question and it doesn't end with balsa...

I regularly buy for stock.

I will buy if there is an offer but I do not seek out offers.

Depends what you call bulk, £150 doesn't buy much balsa.

It will all get used in time.

No idea how much uncut balsa I have, generally enough for the next few projects but I always run out of 1/16 sheet.

I recently bought a load of ply including 10 sheets (12" x 48" ) of 1/64 ply through eBay at a very, very good price and now have a stock of that which will last many years.

I also buy material for control runs in 25m lengths, I use bowden cable and a PTFE outer, very cost effective and smooth in action for a fraction of the cost of proprietary snakes and I just cut it to the length I want.

And I buy dope by the gallon. My standard finish on sheet balsa or veneered foam is tissue and dope which is then painted so I get through a fair amount, even so a gallon will last me a long time.

I tend to buy most things in quantity, mainly because I can just get on and build. I have stock of servo connectors, wire, piano wire, brass tube, glass cloth, covering material and so on, it's just easier and I have the space to store it.


Edited By Andrew Ray on 16/04/2019 06:20:32

Pete Collins16/04/2019 08:41:15
114 forum posts
3 photos

I always used to buy in model shops as I like to feel and grade my balsa personally. I would drop into the local shops regularly, riffle through the balsa and buy any sheets that looked like they were good ones. over the years you can build up a nice stock that way. Unfortunately, now that the institution of the local model shop is becoming a rarity this is no longer possible so I recently went through three plans on my 'to do' list, listed all the balsa needed and, with some trepidation, put in an order to Balsa Cabin. (130 quid's worth!) I've bought DIY type timber from Wickes in the past so I know how fraught with danger it can be, letting someone else choose your wood! When the order arrived I couldn't have been more pleased. every piece was just as I would have chosen it. All I can say is thankyou Balsa Cabin and well done! Sorry if this reads like an advert, but it's how I feel, and no I don't own shares in them!

Cuban816/04/2019 08:50:00
2771 forum posts
13 photos

I keep very little balsa stock because Balsa Cabin is nearby and I pass them at least once a week, or just a twenty minute drive away if I can't wait. Any balsa that I have kept in the past doesn't do well in an unheated garage where humidity over winter causes problems, and equally, tends to dry out because of central heating when kept indoors. Have an extensive collection of hardware that usually comes up with what I need for most builds though.

Plenty of on-line suppliers offering next day delivery if I run short of something. The trouble with 'keeping stock' is that one tends to buy too much of what one turns out to not need that often, and unless you're ultra organised, you can easily forget what you've got (think of all those 'lucky finds' when searching for something elsewink)

Whatever works for the individual, as always.

Pete C .......I get to see the ladies at BC putting the orders together, they are very good at their job and experts when it comes to selecting the material............unashamed advert for themyes


Edited By Cuban8 on 16/04/2019 08:54:27

Martin McIntosh16/04/2019 09:36:30
2955 forum posts
1086 photos

I now mainly buy from BC since their stuff is superb. Tentatively tried by mail order and as has been stated you get exactly what you ask for. My latest creation was started at the beginning of November, the aim being to create a much lighter version of a previous model, so needing only the very lightest material I drove there to select my own. Made a day out on the coast to boot.

The nearest LMS is a 50 mile round trip. They have a very large selection of wood but because of the increased price I tend to only top up any shortages from there.

Don`t use much strip wood and having tried making my own decided that it was just not worth the effort.

Cuban816/04/2019 11:57:54
2771 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Martin McIntosh on 16/04/2019 09:36:30:

Don`t use much strip wood and having tried making my own decided that it was just not worth the effort.

I bought a Master Airscrew Balsa stripper last year and find it works really well. I suppose the largest it'd cope with is 1/2" X 1/4" or thereabouts - depends on the wood density. As small as you like at the other end of the scale. 10/10 for rib capstrips and the like.

Doc Marten16/04/2019 13:51:20
378 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Martin McIntosh on 16/04/2019 09:36:30:

Don`t use much strip wood and having tried making my own decided that it was just not worth the effort.

Really? I don't find it a problem.

Percy Verance16/04/2019 19:23:10
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Me neither!

In fact I quite enjoy it.... in fact sometimes if I'm at a loose end ( it doesn't happen often!) I'll cut a handful of 1/4 squares or 1/4 x 1/2 or similar. 

Edited By Percy Verance on 16/04/2019 19:31:49

Martin Dance 116/04/2019 19:33:42
200 forum posts
33 photos

After many years cutting strip with either a knife and a straightedge or a SLEC balsa stripper always ending up with strips that weren't quite square. I finally bought the smaller of the Proxxon circular saws. I couldn't justify the cost of the larger one. What a neat bit of kit, accurate square strips at lastsmiley

Percy Verance16/04/2019 19:54:50
8108 forum posts
155 photos

That was my main gripe with the SLEC stripper Martin. I struggled to get an accurately cut strip for it's full length. After borrowing a Proxxon from a friend, just a few minutes using it prompted me to order one. I also found, oddly, that when cut with the stripper, some tension occasionally remained in the strips leaving them curved after the cut. It doesn't happen with the Proxxon.

As you rightly say, accurately sawn strips of any size cut effortlessly.......

The TBM 220 is a lovely bit of kit too, and just the right size for a bench top drill press... smiley


Edited By Percy Verance on 16/04/2019 20:00:17

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