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Old May 15, 2014, 10:14 PM
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Joined Jun 2010
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Really rotten balsa

I buy balsa at $100 worth to stock up. The last batch was junk and I'm not a happy camper. I'll have to reorder from a new supplier . Got a good source recently?

The Giant windmills have really messed the supply chain.
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Old May 15, 2014, 10:28 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
22,109 Posts
http://www.thebalsastore.com/
http://www.nationalbalsa.com/Default.asp
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Old May 16, 2014, 02:03 AM
B for Bruce
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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Just to aid in the rest of us not being bitten as well would you be willing to mention who the supplier of the bad wood was? Also did you give them the chance to make it right?
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Old May 16, 2014, 04:10 AM
Hobby King Hater
Kimber's Avatar
USA
Joined Mar 2005
4,319 Posts
We have always ordered from Tower, the Tower brand unless they don't have the sizes, then
Midwest.

Never had a compliant or problem. The quality varies, but it is wood. I think this is most
likely true with all suppliers.
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Old May 16, 2014, 06:19 AM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
Joined Mar 2010
1,533 Posts
I'm always happy with SIG! I like to buy spruce and 1/64" ply skins from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.
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Old May 17, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Canada, ON, Hamilton
Joined Oct 2005
2,449 Posts
Here in Ontario (Canada) the hydro/government gave out twenty year contracts for wind and solar energy to the tune of $0.80/kw. Pay back on the equipment (solar $100k, wind $1M) is estimated at seven years . Out hydro rates were about $0.10/kw but are now going way up in the next few years in order to support the wind and solar energy units. The "wind mills" are springing up just like weeds. Don't you just love green energy?
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Old May 17, 2014, 02:01 PM
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Canada, ON, Cottam
Joined Jan 2012
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I am looking at a bunch of those windmills in the back yard. I hated them at first, but now when I want to go flying, I can see if it is less than 6 seconds a revolution, it is calm enough to fly, and I know the wind direction. I am sending the kid (34 yrs old) to apply for a job for them too. We have oil rigs in the back yard too. I like them better, they give me $40 a month and I can't see them. I have a fair bit of old balsa for now, but am trying to go to plastics and foams more now. Just to be a bit more "high tech" . I know wrong thread.
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Old May 18, 2014, 08:18 AM
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USA, FL, Pensacola
Joined Jul 2009
309 Posts
I have always gotten excellent balsa and ply from National Balsa.

Tower has been pretty good too although I did get a batch of mixed sizes that were pretty gross looking. The trouble with Tower is they don't carry 48", OK if you're building smaller planes.

I solved my balsa problem with a pallet and a half of planks, these came from Lone Star years ago. I just take a plank out of the correct weight and mill it into whatever size I need. It's great for a stack of matching sheets for wing skins.

But when I need ply I still order from National.

Rick
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:11 AM
Balsadustus Producerus
Escondido, CA USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Talk about rolling your own That's really scratch-building!
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:20 AM
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United States, MO, St. Louis
Joined Nov 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balsabird View Post
Talk about rolling your own That's really scratch-building!
Nah, purists grow and harvest their own balsa trees. . Actually I am equally impressed with that level of craftsmanship and ability.
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Old May 18, 2014, 11:25 AM
Registered User
Canada
Joined Nov 2000
6,838 Posts
Awww . c'mon a decade or 2 back Ocean tankers were being fitted with balsa as insulation.
Massive demand for Balsa.. supplies dried up prices soared.
Prices never dropped after that 'craze' ended.
This week the excuse is windmills !?
Real life kids.
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Old May 18, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Moab, Utah, USA
Joined Apr 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare View Post
Awww . c'mon a decade or 2 back Ocean tankers were being fitted with balsa as insulation.
Massive demand for Balsa.. supplies dried up prices soared.
Prices never dropped after that 'craze' ended.
This week the excuse is windmills !?
Real life kids.
Kind of reminds me of the gasoline shortage of the 70s. Prices soared then and kept going up right to the present day even though gasoline supplies are now abundant.

If balsa supplies get too bad I suppose one could surriptitously take a chain saw to a windmill blade in the middle of the night.
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Old May 18, 2014, 05:09 PM
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Joined Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMatthews View Post
Just to aid in the rest of us not being bitten as well would you be willing to mention who the supplier of the bad wood was? Also did you give them the chance to make it right?
=============================================
I used to really get mad and burn bad suppliers. Found out the hard way that it did no good and all it did was make me look like an idiot. Typical reply from posters was "Gee, I had no problem". So maybe I got a bad month for them and next time will be OK.

I used to get really good stuff from Superior ( I think that was the name) in Southern Ca. Sal Taibi's kid ran it. I lived in the area and it was neat to drive over ,hand pick , and load up He sold off and I lost track as we moved to the Midwest.

The build market has folded and I'm dumb for not buying Arf's. The ones I've bought I had to strip, clean up and recover. Like to build more then I like to fly. A lot of guys in our club build foamies now. I hate em. Balsa forever!.

Sig is a terrific company . They will even sell plans for their kits and let you do what every. I fly only electric.
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Old May 19, 2014, 12:35 PM
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United States, TX
Joined Jun 2011
2,258 Posts
Same has happened to me, Aaron.
I complained about a bad batch of tower servos I got, and although a few people agreed, most said they had no problem from them. Bad batches can happen to anyone I suppose. especially since virtually all electronics come from China now.
As far as the bad balsa goes, if I were you, I'd send it back and ask for my money back.
$100 is too much to just forgive if the whole batch was bad.

I still think you should probably give out the name, so others could steer clear, even though some people may come back and disagree with you. It's the company's own fault for selling poor quality. If they don't want the bad rep, then they need to improve.
They will reap what they sow.

I order from National Balsa.
Seems to be good stock, and the prices are better than average.
In a jam, I do go to Hobby Lobby in town, and I can hand-pick my balsa there. But those prices are pretty steep.
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Old May 19, 2014, 07:47 PM
Unrepentant Paragon addict
LVsoaring's Avatar
United States, OK, Moore
Joined Jan 2006
2,516 Posts
Rather than simply complain and demand your money back, have you tried calling them and explaining the problem? A reputable company will do anything reasonable to make it right. A disreputable company won't care.

If you try that (or already have) and the company falls under the "disreputable" category, then please, do tell us. If the company works with you to make it right, then please...tell us!
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