C grain balsa - RC Groups
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Feb 10, 2013, 11:21 PM
Registered User

C grain balsa

Hello. I'm scratch building a GLH. They call for 3/32" C grain balsa all empennage for the tail. I see it for sale at Sig Mfg. I don't like the shipping charges/ oversize box fee's. What would be the best alternative to using this? I'm going to look up the word empennage because I don't know what that means.
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Feb 10, 2013, 11:25 PM
Registered User
Ok empennage means tail feathers of an aircraft. Learn something new every day.
Feb 11, 2013, 02:16 PM
High Exalted Poohbah
planeman's Avatar
If you only need a sheet or two, try the large box craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael's. They usually have a pretty good balsa display. I would call first to make sure before I wasted my time though.

I assume you know "C" grain balsa when you see and feel it.

Feb 11, 2013, 09:11 PM
Registered User
I have both those stores nearby. I'll check them. I didn't see any at the regular hobby shop. I assume they're suppose to label it. I usually just go through what they have and look for something stiff with heavy grain patterns. But it would be nice get C grain. I could just do some lamination cross grain.

Edit: I did 1/32" plywood to 3/32" balsa. Its pretty stiff. Used 15 minute epoxy and a hair dryer to thin it out. Probably more heavy but who cares.
Last edited by Dave180; Dec 12, 2013 at 07:43 PM.
Feb 12, 2013, 04:14 AM
Hobby King Hater
Kimber's Avatar

Where are you located and how much do you need?
Feb 14, 2013, 01:44 PM
Bellanca Kruesair
epoxyearl's Avatar

'SEE' grain

"C" grain is 'speckled'- if you didn't know-very little straight grain.
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Feb 14, 2013, 10:35 PM
Registered User
C- grain is indeed "speckled". However it also fits the criteria for "vertical grain", so the grain is infact the straghtest/strongest available for a given weight density (pounds per cubic foot). Light Balsa is 4-6 pound range, while medium, is usually around 8 lbs per cubic foot. 12 lb is rock hard, but the strongest. Anyone wishing to understand balsa and its application to model aircraft should Google Sig's explanations and charts. They have been linked here many times.

I've never seen a local retail outfit that sells balsa provide a grading system. 99.9 x's out of 100 hobby clerks won't have a clue.

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