There's no balsa shortage here!

I broke down today and did a major purchase of balsa wood. This should easily get me through my begining stages of shaping. I got it for $2.50 a board ft. and it appears to be in good shape. Hopefully the resawing goes well!

Dan, What a great pile of wood. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you haven’t worked with balsa before, be sure to wear a dust mask. It doesn’t smell bad, but for some reason it makes you hack and cough alot. Or maybe that’s just me. Although I can usually take quite a bit of most kinds of dust before they bug me, balsa just starts to irritate pretty quickly.

Give us some progress pictures if you can. Doug

Holy cow! That’s better than half price. How long are those, about 4’?

Wanna ship any north? I’ll give you $2.51… :slight_smile:

Yeh, they’re 4 footers. I couldn’t believe the price when I called so I had to get them. I roughly figured that is enough wood for about 15 boards. What amazed me is that when I bought it the guy rolled it out on a fork lift. I thought that I would have to unbundle it and load it stick by stick. Instead, we lifted it off the lift by hand and slid the whole bundle in at once.

So where did you get that wood from my friend? They got any more?

And balsa dust does the same thing to me, hack cough, hack. Wear a mask or better yet your respirator when sanding it.


I was pretty excited to find out the price. I got it at North American Plywood (its located in Santa Fe Springs). Their phone number is 562 941 7575. Ask for Bruce (he’s extremely nice and helpful). The 4" x 48" comes in bundles of 160 bf for $433 out the door. They do have smaller withs and lengths but they’re still rather big bundles. He thought that they might stop selling it at the end of the month so I’d act quickly. I guess that they didn’t anticipate the spike in demand that Bert and cmphawaii created!


so 160/4 = 40 4"x4"x48" blocks.

ripped into 1/8"x4"x48" strips = 1280 1/8"x4"x48" or 1/16"x4"x48" strips for $433.00

or $0.34 per strip not including all the manual labor involved…

Being that National Balsa or Lonestar will charge me $1.07 for the same strip plus shipping… I would say you’ve pretty much hit a gold mine…

Now you just need to build a jig to rip it striaght and fast on your band saw and then joined it smooth and thin…

To put things in perspective…

My last order of

32 - 1/16x6x48

16 - 1/16x6x42

16 - 1/16x6x36

16 - 1/16x4x48

cost me $140.48 not including shipping

That’s just 80 strips of balsa or 6% or your quantity at 34% of your cost 1280 strips would cost me $2248 dollars at this rate not including shipping. I guess the difference is the cost of all the manual labor you’re going to have to put in…

At 8-10 strips per side I’d say your looking at something like 64 boards you can lam with this stock.

Great Find!!!

But I wouldn’t want to try and ship something like that to hawaii unless I could get a free airline container to stick it in and not have to pay for the air freight weight…