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Post  andrew Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:13 pm

Where are you folks sourcing your balsa? My LHS closed some time back and the nearest hobby shop is over 70 miles away.

I had used, for the most part, SIG and Lone Star Balsa, but SIG has changed hands and the quality may be questionable and Lone Star shut down. Mail order is pretty much my option, but I've no experience with other suppliers.

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Post  Marleysky Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:46 pm

I have acquired most of my balsa from buying lots off from Craigslist or Estate auctions. I have bought a few lots from a local craft store outlet. The selection and quality at most retail stores is getting poor to non-existent. Don't know what stores might be near you if the closest Hobby shop is a 70 mile drive!! Do you have a HobbyLobby or Michaels or JoAnns Fabric and Crafts? It is sad to hear that SIG is not up to the Customer satisfactions of yesteryears. I did find the "Balsa" search turn up a company I have not done business with, but they seem to have been around a few years: Balsa USA https://shop.balsausa.com/

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Post  andrew Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:46 pm

Thank you. I was aware of Balsa USA, but know nothing of the quality of wood. It seems to be a crapshoot nowadays.

Here is a list of other suppliers -- if any of you have purchased from them and been satisfied, please post.
Aloft Hobbies
SIG
National Balsa
Specialized Balsa
Balsa Wood, Inc.

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Post  Marleysky Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:47 pm

Get there if you can...

[url=https://servimg.com/view/19103929/1357]Balsa Sources Screen39[/url]
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Post  Cribbs74 Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:39 pm

Midwest… is another
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Post  cstatman Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:13 am

i've been very pleased buying from these guys -- super fast shipping, and the wood has been top quality

http://www.balsawoodinc.com/balsawoodproducts

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Post  sosam117 Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:41 pm

When the Toledo expo would come around, I would stop at National Balsa's booth
and purchase what my friends would say a forest of balsa wood from National Balsa.

They had a good selection of wood to choose from.
From light contest balsa to the rock hard dense balsa ( I thought it was hard pine!)

After hours of going through what they had and what I wanted, I usually laid down over $100 or more.
They did alright by me and I do miss the Toledo show. Sad

I also ordered from them and asked for selected wood grades.
What I would select and whom ever did the selecting would be different than what I would really want.

There is nothing like selecting your own wood for what you are going to use it for.
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Post  andrew Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:29 pm

@cstatman wrote:i've been very pleased buying from these guys -- super fast shipping, and the wood has been top quality

http://www.balsawoodinc.com/balsawoodproducts

I've have looked at their site before and find their pricing very competitive. The only downside is their lack of shaped balsa, TE, aileron stock, elevator stock, etc. But, if their wood is high quality, I can either dig into some of my old stash or spend a little time with a sanding block.

Thanks,
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Post  anm2 Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:34 pm

@andrew wrote:Where are you folks sourcing your balsa?  My LHS closed some time back and the nearest hobby shop is over 70 miles away.

I had used, for the most part, SIG and Lone Star Balsa, but SIG has changed hands and the quality may be questionable and Lone Star shut down.  Mail order is pretty much my option, but I've no experience with other suppliers.

Andrew

I purchase from SIG manufacturing. They have a good selection to include shaped balsa.
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Post  Jason_WI Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:19 pm

You would think by now wind turbine blades would be made from something engineered by now vs using ground up balsa wood. That can’t be all that sustainable as the blades are huge and have a finite life.
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Post  Cribbs74 Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:23 pm

Looks like they are made of different composites. At least from what I read in this article.


https://www.semprius.com/what-are-wind-turbine-blades-made-of/
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Post  andrew Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:52 pm

@Jason_WI wrote:You would think by now wind turbine blades would be made from something engineered by now vs using ground up balsa wood. That can’t be all that sustainable as the blades are huge and have a finite life.

With thousands of blades reaching their end of life, either through stress or damage, the designs have changed. Early blades were initially built like the early sailboat hulls with blocks of endgrain balsa used as a core. They eventually learned, which boat builders already knew, that any incursion of water would waterlog the balsa, causing it to rot and the blade to fail. The newer blades are using either dense closed cell foam or one of several honeycomb materials.

Between wind turbine blade production and its use as insulation for LP Gas tankers, balsa availability for modeling has taken a serious hit -- either completely unavailable or available only as a low quality product.
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Post  andrew Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:56 pm

@Cribbs74 wrote:Midwest… is another
I have tried Midwest, but my attempts to access their balsa pages results in a: 404 - page not found. I can reach their materials pages for other products.

Could be me, however.
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Post  Oldenginerod Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:31 am

@andrew wrote:The newer blades are using either dense closed cell foam or one of several honeycomb materials.

Soooo, wind turbines are saving the planet, right?  What are these new materials made from?  How are they manufactured?  How are they disposed of at end of life?  

What about lithium electric car batteries?  I'm sure we can all feel good about saving the planet as we drive around in our Tesla, but that stuff needs to be mined, right?  So are the Bulldozers, Dump Trucks and Excavators electric powered?  Hmmm, how much diesel fuel are they using to make us feel like we're doing the environment some good?  Oh, I know, to save on emissions it must be mined by poor Bangladeshis climbing rickety ladders from down in a deep pit with baskets filled with ore on their heads.

Oh, sorry.  I must have accidently turned my brain on for a moment.  lol! End of rant!
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Post  KariFS Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:42 am

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Post  Oldenginerod Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:09 am

Ah, that's better. I was starting to wonder what Limes had to do with it. lol!
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Post  sosam117 Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:00 am

@Oldenginerod wrote:
@andrew wrote:The newer blades are using either dense closed cell foam or one of several honeycomb materials.

Soooo, wind turbines are saving the planet, right?  What are these new materials made from?  How are they manufactured?  How are they disposed of at end of life?  

What about lithium electric car batteries?  I'm sure we can all feel good about saving the planet as we drive around in our Tesla, but that stuff needs to be mined, right?  So are the Bulldozers, Dump Trucks and Excavators electric powered?  Hmmm, how much diesel fuel are they using to make us feel like we're doing the environment some good?  Oh, I know, to save on emissions it must be mined by poor Bangladeshis climbing rickety ladders from down in a deep pit with baskets filled with ore on their heads.

Oh, sorry.  I must have accidently turned my brain on for a moment.  lol! End of rant!

You forgot about charging those electric vehicles.
By either a coal, oil or gas generating electric plant and don't forget the nuclear electric generating plant?
What to do with that spent radioactive material?

My family (Dad-50yrs., Sister-43yrs., Brother- 38yrs.) has worked for ComEd for years so I'm not a anti-nuke plant, just a what "if" type of guy for green usage.
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Post  KariFS Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:20 am

@Oldenginerod wrote:
Ah, that's better.  I was starting to wonder what Limes had to do with it.  lol!

Margaritas instead of C/L to Get you dizzy lol!

Yeah, it was weird, I googled ”how to grow a balsa tree”, got the page with the instructions, but the link, when copied, was for the lime tree Huh... Well, I followed the lime link, typed ”balsa” into the search box of the page, and got the correct link. Ah, computers...
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Post  Oldenginerod Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:57 pm

@sosam117 wrote:
@Oldenginerod wrote:
@andrew wrote:The newer blades are using either dense closed cell foam or one of several honeycomb materials.

Soooo, wind turbines are saving the planet, right?  What are these new materials made from?  How are they manufactured?  How are they disposed of at end of life?  

What about lithium electric car batteries?  I'm sure we can all feel good about saving the planet as we drive around in our Tesla, but that stuff needs to be mined, right?  So are the Bulldozers, Dump Trucks and Excavators electric powered?  Hmmm, how much diesel fuel are they using to make us feel like we're doing the environment some good?  Oh, I know, to save on emissions it must be mined by poor Bangladeshis climbing rickety ladders from down in a deep pit with baskets filled with ore on their heads.

Oh, sorry.  I must have accidently turned my brain on for a moment.  lol! End of rant!

You forgot about charging those electric vehicles.
By either a coal, oil or gas generating electric plant and don't forget the nuclear electric generating plant?
What to do with that spent radioactive material?

My family (Dad-50yrs., Sister-43yrs., Brother- 38yrs.) has worked for ComEd for years so I'm not a anti-nuke plant, just a what "if" type of guy for green usage.

Yep, I'm not "anti" any of that stuff, but just get frustrated at people's refusal to look at the bigger picture. Sure, recyclers are doing their bit to reduce waste, which is great, but a lot of the "green" folk are pretty naive as to where the stuff they need comes from, and where it goes when they finish with it. Face it folks, we live in a finite world and we ain't in control.
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Post  dckrsn Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:43 pm

@Oldenginerod wrote:
Yep, I'm not "anti" any of that stuff, but just get frustrated at people's refusal to look at the bigger picture.  Sure, recyclers are doing their bit to reduce waste, which is great, but a lot of the "green" folk are pretty naive as to where the stuff they need comes from, and where it goes when they finish with it. Face it folks, we live in a finite world and we ain't in control.
True Dat Rod. I hope the next few generations might figure it out.
Seriously, this one of a few reasons my loving wife and I decided not to spawn.
Strange days indeed, strange days indeed(John Lennon).
  Bob
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:55 am

We both have skin in the game Rod, your a mechanic and make a living servicing internal combustion engines, and I'm just an ICE nut.

Seems like we just get it perfected, clean and efficient and they want to replace it with batteries. I'm not a fan. But, there are a whole lot of smart people that say this is the way to go.

I'm a tree hugger and love forests. I hate to see them burned up as they are doing intentionally in South America and accidently in the West USA. Clean up people first, those that toss their plastics into rivers and streams. Asia is a big offender. I hate to see what is happening in this world.
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Post  Jason_WI Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:58 pm

Not only that but invasive species like the emerald ash borer has killed millions of white and green ash trees. Hopefully the eastern white cedar replace the white ash which replaced the elm that was decimated in the 60’s from Dutch elm disease.

This small pile of ash is from 20 acres of swamp we had cut out that was dead.

I’ve planted 200 trees the last 3 years. Red and white oak, black cherry, and swam white oak. Hopefully 25% make it but it will not make up for what was lost so quickly the last few years.


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Post  Oldenginerod Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:31 pm

@Jason_WI wrote:Not only that but invasive species like the emerald ash borer has killed millions of white and green ash trees. Hopefully the eastern white cedar replace the white ash which replaced the elm that was decimated in the 60’s from Dutch elm disease.

This small pile of ash is from 20 acres of swamp we had cut out that was dead.

I’ve planted 200 trees the last 3 years. Red and white oak, black cherry, and swam white oak. Hopefully 25% make it but it will not make up for what was lost so quickly the last few years.


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Well you ain't gonna be short of firewood lol!
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:00 pm

I’ve planted 200 trees the last 3 years. Red and white oak, black cherry, and swam white oak. Hopefully 25% make it but it will not make up for what was lost so quickly the last few years

That's hero stuff in my book Jason.

I remember when Dutch Elm took all the trees on our street in New Hampshire.  Currently the Pine Bark Beetle is taking all the pine trees in my back yard.  I have saved the grove in my front yard through the use of hose end sprayer pesticides but I'm afraid it's a losing battle.
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