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-   -   The Price od Balsa...Yikes!!! (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=18037)

sandman 08-21-2019 10:42 AM

The Price od Balsa...Yikes!!!
 
The last time I purchased an order of balsa it had gone up in price from $9.00 for a 3"x3" x 3 6"
block to $13.00 a block.

No big deal right.

This time $24.00 for the same piece.

3"x 4" x 35" is $45.77!

OUCH! but...free shipping.

Sorry, just venting.

tbzep 08-21-2019 11:03 AM

And I used to think two part urethane foam was expensive when I was turning large nosecones. Good thing I still have several balsa blocks left!

Shreadvector 08-21-2019 01:41 PM

Maybe the folks in Cadillac are buying up the world's supply? Of course, the last time I was there, they said the windmill industry was buying a lot of it and they were fighting for their supply.


(AAR Cadillac now AAR Mobility Systems)


I see that the Busy Bee is permanently closed....



Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman
The last time I purchased an order of balsa it had gone up in price from $9.00 for a 3"x3" x 3 6"
block to $13.00 a block.

No big deal right.

This time $24.00 for the same piece.

3"x 4" x 35" is $45.77!

OUCH! but...free shipping.

Sorry, just venting.

tbzep 08-21-2019 04:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreadvector
they said the windmill industry was buying a lot of it and they were fighting for their supply.

I first started hearing the windmill industry was driving up prices around 10 + years ago. It didn't help prices any when Lonestar Balsa went up in flames about the same time. Wind farms are increasing so I don't see it getting better. They should go to two part marine foam and leave the balsa to us. ;)

mojo1986 08-21-2019 05:18 PM

What about some other heavier woods? Still cheap, and you want some weight up front anyway. Some of the old kit producers used to use hardwood.

Shreadvector 08-21-2019 05:46 PM

Balsa is a hardwood.


Pine (FSI cones) is a softwood.


Density does not equal 'type' of wood.


I've had a few tens of thousands of nose cones made from Birch. For BT-5, 30, 50. I still have hundreds of the NC-5 cones and 3 foot long BT-5 tubes. I used to make a LOT of kits for local classes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Softwood



Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1986
What about some other heavier woods? Still cheap, and you want some weight up front anyway. Some of the old kit producers used to use hardwood.

mojo1986 08-21-2019 06:37 PM

Thanks for the lesson, Fred. But I think you knew what I meant. And like I said, some of the kit producers used hardwood (balsa).

LeeR 08-21-2019 07:21 PM

I periodically hear grumbling about plastic cones on a Estes kits. It’s certainly understandable that Estes has mostly (exclusively?) gone to plastic, with recent prices on balsa, and no doubt real difficulty trying to secure enough for runs of 1000s of kits.

I have bought a few 3x3x12 balsa blocks at Hobby Lobby. I think I paid $11 List, which was $6.60 after the 40% coupon.

I may go buy more! The quality was pretty good, turned well on the lathe.

UPDATE: Just looked at one in my shop. List was $8.99, so that is just $5.40 after coupon. May go tonight to see if they have any. And, see if they have stocked the new exclusive kits yet.

tbzep 08-21-2019 08:32 PM

I have no problem whatsoever with Estes using plastic nosecones, even with classic kits that once had balsa as long as they are shaped correctly.

sandman 08-21-2019 09:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1986
Thanks for the lesson, Fred. But I think you knew what I meant. And like I said, some of the kit producers used hardwood (balsa).


I use a lot of basswood for nose cones, tail cones and transitions but oddly enough almost exclusively for high power like 3”, 4” and up to 6” but they get pretty heavy.

For smaller Low power stuff I get an occasional request but mostly for balsa in the low and mid power sizes


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