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Old Oct 28, 2006, 05:16 AM
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PatrykU's Avatar
Adelaide, Australia
Joined May 2006
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Buying Balsa online

Hi
I know most of you buy ARFs but I love building and there is more fun when you realise that the thing that you just have build flyies.
Where do you buy balsa online ? I'm not enugh old to drive a car so I can't just go to a LCM and get a of balsa. I would also prefere that they have the density divided ex. soft, medium, hard.
Thanks!
Patryk
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 06:18 AM
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aerohydro's Avatar
North Coast NSW, Australia
Joined Jun 2004
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The only place I know of is qldbalsa.com.au but I've never bought from them. I've never bought an ARF, I enjoy building as much as flying.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrykU
Hi
Where do you buy balsa online ? I would also prefere that they have the density divided ex. soft, medium, hard.
You can source good quality balsa from here. RC Warehouse

As I see it, a potential problem might be that if they will ship 36" lengths in other than a significant (min. buy) quantity, the packaging necessary to avoid damage might not be worth their effort, or resulting cubic freight unviable for you? A telephone call or email enquiry should easily reveal.

They carry SIG contest balsa which is the best quality generally available today. Perfect for electric or competition projects where weight is of primary concern.

They're pretty helpful, but as for having any mail order supplier take the time to select grain, weight & density to your spec. request per plank, even presuming the individual serving you has sufficient nous, good luck.

An alternative is to catch the bus to your local Bunnings on the day they resupply with balsa and select your own from before the ho polloi get at it. Some of it is quite good quality with a range of grains and densities as you seek, and good pickings can be had at budget pricing by the early bird.
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 10:47 PM
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They will ship it. The main problem is that I was only thought metric measures...
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 01:29 AM
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Australia, QLD, Cooloola Cove
Joined Jan 2006
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I have purchased from Qld Balsa and was impressed with the quality. I believe they will select to a point as I got the to include some quarter grain in my order. Certainly it was cheaper to buy in their standard packs than from any other source that I have found.

My 2 cents for what it is worth.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 03:10 PM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
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qldbalsa was i think was formally Balus Balsa from PNG always been excellent quality timber with out doubt .
SteveW
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve wenban
qldbalsa was i think was formally Balus Balsa from PNG always been excellent quality timber with out doubt .
SteveW
Hi Steve
Balus (alias QB) is out my way. I can drive there in ten minutes. Good for bulk or "I'll take the McBalsa pack to go" buying. But for the buyer who wants to pick 'n choose individual planks for a single smaller project buy, somewhere which carries SIG Contest balsa is the go if the buyer's wallet can stand the premium squeeze at most LHS.

RC Warehouse carries SCB, and their prices are super cheap compared to most others who still do/used to....plus theoretically, they are geared to mail order - although I haven't tried it with them (for balsa).

Not associated with or partisan to either the close by QB or other ('dark') side of town RC Warehouse, who are cut lunch 'n compass exercise to effect a walk-in visit from me.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrykU
They will ship it. The main problem is that I was only thought metric measures...
Any balsa distributed via the USA, eg: SIG or Guillows, will be cut to imperial measure length, width and thickness. Just about everything else including anything local, eg: Balus & Artmill, will be cut to metric.
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 04:48 PM
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steve wenban's Avatar
Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
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As a rough guide your dimensions are 1/32"= 0.78mm 1/16"= 1.5mm 1/8" =3.0mm 3/16=4.75mm 1/4"= 6.35mm 1/2"=12.7mm 3/4"=19.25mm and 1.0" =25.4mm .
if that helps .
SteveW
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Melbourne
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Hi Iguana bwana

I have been quietly following this thread and must correct a couple of misconceptions, Artmil "cut" metric sizes but they are in fact closer to imperial sizes in most cases. As for Balus balsa, I got rid of what I had years ago, over weight rubbish and I was not the only one stung, "like buying a pig in a poke". As for quality, you get what you pay for.

Hi PatryKU
Try www.pelaero.com.au for balsa, that's where the experts go
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Twirlem
I have been quietly following this thread and must correct a couple of misconceptions, Artmil "cut" metric sizes but they are in fact closer to imperial sizes in most cases. As for Balus balsa, I got rid of what I had years ago, over weight rubbish and I was not the only one stung, "like buying a pig in a poke". As for quality, you get what you pay for.

Hi PatryKU
Try www.pelaero.com.au for balsa, that's where the experts go
I_Twirlem,

This is not having a shot at you but is it just a coincidence that yourself and pelaero.com.au are both located in Greensborough ?

If it is coincidence and you are not conected in any way then I apologise sincerley

However if you are maybe you need to state the relationship for the benefit of this thread and for the people reading this.

I was thinking about purchasing a 'pack' from QLDbalsa, do you know if the quality is still the same from when you had yours? Also would like to here other peoples views on the distributors in Oz.

Cheers
Raven.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 03:44 PM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
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I've personally bought packs from both Balus when it was in PNG and QLDBalsa I believe your claims are misleading the timber Quality out of PNG was excellent infact stacks up againt any Eqaudor stuff ,currenly using a pack from QLD BASLA and its of the same high Quality ? you select the cut you want .
SteveW consumer of balsa for 40 years.
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 04:34 PM
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tim_mellor's Avatar
Port Fairy, Australia
Joined Jun 2005
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Hi Raven,

you will find Peter has indeed got his website on his profile As a long time freeflight builder of all things light he knows balsa and models really well. I have also sold his kites in my shop over the years and they are works of art like the planes he builds.

Some time ago I purchased a pack from Balus and some of it was very good but some of it was rubbish. Across the pack I got from Balus I got my monies worth and over time I used the rubbish up for slopies and nose blocks.

The way to get good balsa is either buy from a source who will grade it for you (like Peter) or pick it yourself. When I was in Melbourne I used to drop into most of the hobby shops and pick over the Balsa stocks weights and grain structure vary dramatically so it was worth looking at lots and buying a little

Tim
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 04:45 PM
Crikey never leave beer behind
steve wenban's Avatar
Mt Annan Sydney Australia
Joined Dec 2003
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I still think his posting is aimed at driving his own commercial venture which is really is not acceptable on a forum of this nature once again I've used both sources and have received excellent quality timber Tim I'm sure some timber you order in from other sources would be fairly bad quality also not all basla trees are the same .
However that is not saying that all timber in stock is of that quality . State the grade you wish and the pack should be made according to your request . ...
IMHO.
Not trying to provoke anyone here just stating my opinion.
SteveW
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Old Oct 30, 2006, 04:45 PM
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Dunno' how one could confuse the obvious inference associated with a reference to Balus' McBalsa 'packs' as determining them equivalent of the suggested alternative SIG contest offering, which comparatively today, represent balsa's haute cuisine?

Having since sighted the linked Greensborough supplier but not used him, the site spiel certainly suggests his supplied product is the best available, presents the the proprieter with cred as product knowledgable if targetting a niche market which today, is unquestionably an already minuscule, inarguably diminishing, selective segment of the marketplace. Certainly appears worth a try if obtaining what is wanted locally is a major PITA with quality a prerequisite.

However, it's equally apparent some here have recently (?) used ..and are satisfied with...what Qld Balsa have to offer. By way of empirical anecdote, an aquaintance of mine, one of our local many contest winning free flighters of many, many years does too. But he does drop in personally and does buy in significant quantity, then divides up and regrades by weight and grain himself. His opinion and expectation of their product concurs with mine. He accepts a certain percentage of the buy will be 'cod and mullet' as a cost benefit trade-off acceptable to him.

When it comes to buying balsa in 2006, for the very few still scratch building with the skill to appreciate and recognise the difference seeking specific weights & grains suited to purpose makes, getting exactly what you want is really still a walk in and select affair - unless dealing with a trusted, proven supplier.

Why I recommend SIG Contest product is that it is still generally available in most captial cities from at least one LHS. Inarguably, pricing can vary from the dearest available to outrageous, but then, it is a case of you get what you pay for...if sometimes not. RC Warehouse is the cheapest source of that product I have yet encoutered, and being in the fortunate position of being able to ascertain so visually, I know courtesy of Mk I eyeball, two (2)thereof, that they had/(have?) significantly more stock of it than you'll ever find even in your bigger, better LHS.

Like all wood product today, buying the best available quality balsa means you will almost certainly be asked to pay more for it. However, because of the way SIG sell & supply, most LHS will not reorder until their previous shipment is well and truly depleted by which time the best pickings have long gone leaving a period of poor availability while the shipment's relative logs wait to be sold to the less discerning or unwary. Artmil at Bunnings mirrors this, just that the ratio of logs to the perfect piece is in entirely reverse proportion and the resupply period much shorter due to sales volume. But as mentioned previously, for the discerning early bird, there are pecans to be had for the price of peanuts. To the good fortune of those of us who do, the majority of Bunning's balsa shoppers don't care or appreciate the difference between a sheet's grain or gram. Some good pickings to be had there, if prerequisite of foresight, timely visits and selectivity.

As for the economics of shipping balsa in other than well packaged against transit damage minimum purchase quantities, that's up to ea individual to triage.
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