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Martin McIntosh30/10/2020 18:29:54
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3621 forum posts
1240 photos

What are we to do now to get light wood? I have just looked at the Balsa Cabin site and they have suspended sales of sheet already. My LMS has a good stock but despite the fact that am no fan of panic buying I may well head there tomorrow and stock up because I generally only build from scratch. Lack of the basic building material would ruin the hobby for me and I am in the middle of a new build.

kc30/10/2020 19:31:00
6777 forum posts
174 photos

Kits seem to be available still so I guess all balsa is going to kitmakers at the moment.

It seems to me that the situation is unlikely to change much in the immediate future and we need to find alternative materials. Liteply is available and could be used in fuselages. Veneered foam wings, fin and tailplanes could be used. Its difficult to find a substitute for LE & TE, wingtips etc so perhaps we need to save any available balsa for those areas - maybe even recycling old models for those parts.

Not too much trouble building a squarish sports model from alternative materials but scale models and competition models may be more of a problem. Aeromodelers are great innovators though. Looks like we will have to redesign plans for available materials!

Correx seems easily available from local builders merchants - 8 by 4ft sheets are only 4 pounds for 2mm and 8 pounds for 4mm. Seems worthy of consideration. Links to plans etc in the thread on using cardboard.

kc30/10/2020 19:37:17
6777 forum posts
174 photos

One technique that could be used more is lamination using veneer strips instead of balsa in the way that it's mostly been done on wing tips etc. Could be used to make curved fuselage components. Lots more work perhaps.

Martin McIntosh30/10/2020 19:48:58
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3621 forum posts
1240 photos

Depends on what you wish to build. In the past I have used foam cores for wings, tails, fins and turtle decks but it still needs a surface covering, brown paper maybe. Not much use on a Tiger Moth sort of thing though.

Matt Carlton30/10/2020 20:14:17
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131 forum posts
12 photos

Check this thread for much more on this;

UK Balsa Supplies

James Green230/10/2020 20:45:53
59 forum posts
16 photos

This is a worry, what can I use to make stringers for a 40-60 size Hawker Hurricane fuselage for example?

Peter Miller30/10/2020 21:01:55
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Posted by James Green2 on 30/10/2020 20:45:53:

This is a worry, what can I use to make stringers for a 40-60 size Hawker Hurricane fuselage for example?

Strip down obechi perhaps!!

Robin Colbourne30/10/2020 21:09:17
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724 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by James Green2 on 30/10/2020 20:45:53:

This is a worry, what can I use to make stringers for a 40-60 size Hawker Hurricane fuselage for example?

Is heavier grade balsa really going to make a huge difference there? The stringers don't look that thick on the full size, so aren't likely to be a great volume of wood on a model.

Hurricane rear fuselage

James Green230/10/2020 21:17:12
59 forum posts
16 photos

Thank you for the suggestions, obeche looks promising!

Matt Carlton30/10/2020 21:59:28
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131 forum posts
12 photos

Spruce stringers are not bad. You can drop the size a bit and get a more scale size, plus a bit of crush resistance.

perttime31/10/2020 05:50:03
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211 forum posts
11 photos

Use less of the heavier and stronger balsa. Thinner sheet, thinner strips.

Martin McIntosh31/10/2020 09:29:30
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3621 forum posts
1240 photos

My Vailley Aviation 1:5 Hurri plan stated 1/4x1/8 spruce stringers with 1/8sq balsa capping. Big mistake to use it since it requires 1kg of lead up front to balance that lot.

John Lee31/10/2020 11:31:42
818 forum posts
99 photos
Posted by Martin McIntosh on 30/10/2020 18:29:54:

What are we to do now to get light wood? I have just looked at the Balsa Cabin site and they have suspended sales of sheet already. My LMS has a good stock but despite the fact that am no fan of panic buying I may well head there tomorrow and stock up because I generally only build from scratch. Lack of the basic building material would ruin the hobby for me and I am in the middle of a new build.

I'd agree with the path you are taking Martin but if you get desperate check out the Continental shops such as Lindinger who I have used a few times (but not for raw balsa) & found to be excellent and Pichler. Delivery costs & time are comparable to UK suppliers.

Robert Parker31/10/2020 11:55:45
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1030 forum posts
1446 photos

Hi All,

Page 9 of this month's RCM&E does not read well on balsa availability for the near future and indicating price rises of 150%, could make building models a luxury.

So keep onto those kits in the attic and balsa stock even the scrap pieces were going to have to be very frugal.

Regards

Robert

James Green231/10/2020 12:16:14
59 forum posts
16 photos

I'm going down the foam and brown paper route depending on model from now on. Corrugated cardboard cuts well on my laser cnc machine too. So to to experiment!

John Stainforth31/10/2020 12:35:40
392 forum posts
64 photos

John,

Thanks for the tip re foreign suppliers of balsa. They seem to have plenty of stock. I suppose they must have a different supplier.

Ron Gray31/10/2020 12:48:15
2452 forum posts
992 photos

Just had a quick look on those 2 sites, couldn’t find a mention of hard, medium or soft?

Geoff Parkes31/10/2020 14:22:16
127 forum posts

Been in to my local model shop this morning to check on their balsa supplies , the shop is Penn models in Kingswinford West Mids. they are as well stocked as usual with plenty full quantities of all sizes of balsa and hard woods, prices seem to be reasonable and they do mail order, if you live in the area give them a try.

Martin McIntosh31/10/2020 20:13:55
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3621 forum posts
1240 photos

Also went to my local-ish MS today and they were limiting purchases due to the on line demand so I had to guess as to what I shall need for my 1:5 Chipmunk fus. etc to finish the basic construction. I did not go overboard and just bought what I think that I shall require. Luckily I am a regular customer. Some people were trying to order 40 sheets of this and 40 of that and the orders were refused; quite rightly.

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