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  #11  
Old 10-13-2020, 03:51 PM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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Seems like a real SCAMULATION to me.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2020, 06:10 PM
ManofSteele ManofSteele is offline
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Balsa supplies have been tight for most of the year. All of the suppliers seem to be struggling. I don't order that much balsa for NCR, but I have seen long delays in deliveries all year.

Matt
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2020, 05:19 PM
shuyge shuyge is offline
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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I can build contest airplanes all day long with the current stash that I have. However, since getting back into rocketry, I have realized that I don't really have much wood that is > 8 lbs/ft3.

I have spent so much time and energy on locating a securing contest grade C-grain balsa, that I have neglected the medium and above balsa almost to exclusion.

I was in my local Hobby Lobby yesterday and noticed that they had finally restocked their 1/16" balsa. This stuff comes From Guillows and looks like the wood that you would find in a 1970's die-crushed model airplane kit. It was dark and heavy. I picked up 6 sheets of mostly C grain 1/16" with none of it less than 11 lbs/ft3.

I was unable to locate my scale when I went shopping, but it isn't a big deal when you're actually looking for heavy wood.

For those of you looking to get into shopping for balsa with a scale, the Bradley brothers have created a couple of nice graphs that will give you ballpark density numbers given the weight of a sheet of wood. I use that while shopping. When I get home, I make more accurate measurements and write everything down along with a computed density on a piece of masking tape which gets attached to every sheet of wood in my shop. When I want a piece of wood, I merely go through my stock looking for the right density and grain.

You can find the density charts here

I have also attached a spreadsheet that I keep on my google drive. I can then access it from my phone to calculate balsa density whenever I want using Google Sheets.

Stan
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File Type: xls balsa.xls (26.5 KB, 12 views)
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2020, 08:56 PM
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neil_w neil_w is offline
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I keep this note in the Notes app on my phone, always handy. I find it easy to just look for the correct line item rather than interpreting a graph while I'm juggling the scale and the phone and the pieces of wood. I target 10-12 lb/ft^3 for rocket use but often I have to go a bit outside the range if that's all that is available.

Balsa sheets: target 10-12 lb/ft^3

1/32 x 3 x 36: 9g - 11g
1/16 x 2 x 36: 12g - 15g
1/16 x 3 x 36: 18g - 22g
1/16 x 4 x 36: 24g - 29g

3/32 x 3 x 36: 27g - 33g
3/32 x 4 x 36: 36g - 43g

1/8 x 4 x 36: 48g - 58g

1/4 x 3/8 x 36: 9g - 11g
1/4 x 1/4 x 36: 6g - 7.5g

3/16 x 3/8 x 36: 6.5g - 8g
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2020, 09:01 PM
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astronwolf astronwolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuyge
I was unable to locate my scale when I went shopping, but it isn't a big deal when you're actually looking for heavy wood.

I discovered that Michael's craft stores no longer stock balsa or plywood.

The local Hobbytown USA had about 4 ratty-looking sheets in stock.

Hobby Lobby had a decent selection, but they placed their display in a high traffic lane and someone wanted to get through everytime I wanted to pull a sheet out, which blocked the aisle. It was a candid camera stunt or something. They had a decent selection, but I got to go there first thing in the morning.

I found a decent selection of balsa at Menards. Scales were of no use here because they wrap two to four 36" sheets together in plastic. I picked a few packs that had C-grain patterns showing, and out of about a dozen sheets of mostly pretty heavy (9-12 lb/cu.ft.) balsa, I scored one sheet of 1/16"x3" 6 lb.cu.ft C-grain balsa, and two sheets of 1/8" very heavy balsa (16 lb/cu.ft.). Lucky score for a random pick, but the "utility grade" balsa was what I wanted for some balsa-cored composite fins.
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2020, 09:38 PM
shuyge shuyge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
I discovered that Michael's craft stores no longer stock balsa or plywood.


This is bad news. I've found lots of great wood at Michaels. None of the local home stores around here carry balsa at all. Home Depot used to sell balsa. But I haven't seen any lately.

Now I'm stuck fighting all of the other model builders for decent wood. At least I have accumulated a good supply of contest grade balsa. I'll have to be extra vigilant about buying good wood.

I've never heard Yuppy's quote. My statement is that you buy good wood when you find it; not when you need it.

Stan
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2020, 09:58 PM
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neil_w neil_w is offline
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I've had good luck at my local Ace Hardware, at least for the "easy" stuff (1/16", 3/32", 1/8" sheets, etc.) Also a good selection of dowels and some basswood as well (no 3/32" though).

Worth at least checking if you have one within reach, and if you're not looking for anything weird.
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  #18  
Old 10-26-2020, 10:16 PM
shuyge shuyge is offline
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That's a good point Neil. The last time that I was in an Ace Hardware looking for balsa, I was specifically looking for the odd contest grade hopefully C-grain stuff.

Now that my requirements are more lax, I'm likely to find what I'm looking for.

Stan
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2020, 08:03 PM
shockwaveriderz shockwaveriderz is offline
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I did some Google Fu research and it seems that China has almost bought up the entire market of balsa wood worldwide for Air Wind Turbines....If you go on EBAY you will final NUMEROUS Chinese selling balsa wood but no data on density.....or grain type.

I also checked Australia, UK and Canada....same difference.....

They all expect balsa prices to double a minimum over the next year.....AT A MINIMUM! and the shortages to continue into 2023.....

Also , Ecuador which produces near 90% of the worlds balsa had some major flooding earlier this year and guess where? right smack in the middle of the balsa plantations.....and then COVID-19 hit Ecuador really hard.....

it's going to get worse before it gets better.....
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