How do you organize and store your balsa? - RC Groups
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Jul 04, 2017, 12:57 PM
Kansas is windy.
pburress's Avatar
Discussion

How do you organize and store your balsa?


I'm looking for a better way to store my balsa and tired of digging through all my sticks in one box.

How do you organize and store your wood? Thanks for the input.

Phil
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Jul 04, 2017, 04:01 PM
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GeorgeG97322's Avatar
Phil,

I have collected some plotter paper roll boxes, cut and glued them together to make what you see in the first picture. then for scraps and small pieces I used cut down printer paper boxes (11x17 on the inside) as seen in the second pic. I do have two flat shelves with sheet wood lying flat on those too.

I guess you could call it organized
George
Jul 04, 2017, 06:07 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Way back when I moved I ended up keeping a couple of the big "china cabinet" cardboard boxes the movers used for some of my airplanes. Size wise they were very similar to the big SIG balsa bins found in the older hobby shops. I used some more cardboard to make up an "egg carton" style of separators for 3 and 4 inch sheet. So the wood mostly stood vertically in that box for many years. Worked great and by adding small casters it was easy to roll it out for use and away to the corner when not needed.

Now I keep it horizontal in the new roll around bench. The "egg crate" separator section being done from 1/8 hardboard (masonite?) half slotted so it all fit together.

Regardless of if you go horizontal or vertical I'd suggest you use some sort of separator setup so the stacks of wood remain organized.

A couple of the drawers in the new rolling bench are used for partially used scrap balsa. In those I stack the wood on edge so I can easily see the thickness.


Now granted I've got a lot of balsa. So my solution, shown below, may not be something you need. How much do you have and how much do you expect to ever have for the next few years? The answer to that will suggest a good solution for YOUR situation.
Jul 04, 2017, 06:26 PM
Balsadustus Producerus
I store most of my balsa in discarded boxes from foam ARF airplanes. My way of 'sticking it to the man'

Plus, doesn't that count as re-cycling?
Jul 04, 2017, 10:13 PM
Registered User
Barring the Luxury of having a 'Mathews' storage unit.
I use the boxes that Balsa Orders are shipped in for storage.
Sheets are rubber banded into groups of same size then labelled with post it's .
Ditto for sticks and for spar materials.
Boxes are labelled (felt pen) for general content type.
Primitive, but it's still much simpler to find stuff than sifting thru a wood pile or even a half dozen boxes
Jul 04, 2017, 10:36 PM
Kansas is windy.
pburress's Avatar
Thanks for the ideas!
Jul 05, 2017, 01:09 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bare
Barring the Luxury of having a 'Mathews' storage unit.
I use the boxes that Balsa Orders are shipped in for storage.
Sheets are rubber banded into groups of same size then labelled with post it's .
Ditto for sticks and for spar materials.
Boxes are labelled (felt pen) for general content type.
Primitive, but it's still much simpler to find stuff than sifting thru a wood pile or even a half dozen boxes
Oh, I like that! ! ! !

The Sig like box made from cardboard stuck together with hot glue actually served me well for many years. And it doesn't break the bank by any means.

One thing though. Over the long term sitting hovering a caster width over the concrete floor the wood in the bottom end of the box became a bit "mouldy" smelling. It went away in time once out in the open while I got around to making the "Matthews Luxury Unit" but it suggests that a few holes in the bottom or back end of whatever we come up with so as to encourage airflow would not be a bad idea.

The balsa shipping boxes would be only a deeper and more confusing way of doing the job. But if one were to cut off the END of such a box and then use some other repurposed corrugated cardboard to fabricate an "egg crate" set of separators that support and separate the wood in the same sort of way they could have a shipping box sized set of compartments that similarly store and organize the wood. Solutions do not NEED to be as fancy as what I did as a retirement present to myself (I've been really good as far as I know ). They just need to allow us to reach the sheet sizes we need easily without a lot of digging.
Jul 05, 2017, 08:20 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balsabird
I store most of my balsa in discarded boxes from foam ARF airplanes. My way of 'sticking it to the man'

Plus, doesn't that count as re-cycling?
Reduce REUSE recycle. You're a step ahead of recycling.👍
Jul 05, 2017, 11:38 PM
Registered User
Norm Furutani's Avatar
Whatever method you use, I think it is important to store wood in a closed container. Not sure what causes it, but balsa left out turns brown. Like it has oxidized, but it might be exposure to light. My choice would be drawers like in Bruce's beautiful shop. But in my shop, it's old kit boxes, ends marked with size or contents. Some sheets are 60 years old!

Norm
Jul 08, 2017, 12:56 PM
Registered User
I believe it Is oxidization that shifts wood colour to the darker.
Happens to All wood , although it doesn't seem to hurt it in any other way.
Check out your furniture, any objects left stationary for some time will highlight the colour shift
Jul 08, 2017, 07:37 PM
Registered User
I use two five drawer old blueprint cabinets. The drawers are about 3' x 4' and 1-1/2" deep. Keeps stuff flat and they pull all the way out to get at the balsa I also keep control rods in one and rolls of covering in a couple. Everybody stores their drawings digitally now and these can be found pretty reasonable from time to time on Craig's List.
Jul 10, 2017, 02:08 PM
Registered User
First of all, I organize my wood into two basic categories. Ist, there's Free flight wood and then, everything else. I have been collecting FF wood since the 1970's, but about 4 yrs ago, I inherited a model kit manufacturing company and all of its remaining wood stock. It too, was sorted and most of that was sold or given away. I have more than enough quality balsa, aircraft grade hardwoods and ply etc., for the rest of my days (I'm nearly 68).

My oldest and best wood looks as bright and white as the day it was purchased. It's been my experience that ultraviolet rays from the Sun, even if indirect , diffused and reflected( off walls etc), is what darkens any exposed wood product.
Jul 10, 2017, 02:46 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Yep, it's the UV light that affects the wood and makes it darker. Some types of hardwoods that start out dark will lighten from UV exposure. But most that start out white or ivory colored will go honey colored over time. And some extreme examples go quite brown. I've seen a couple of old model frameworks from the early days that were clearly stored "on display" that look like they got a treatment with coffee colored stain.
Jul 11, 2017, 02:25 PM
Registered User
I store my balsa horizontally, in divided wooden boxes near the basement ceiling rafters in my model room.
I find it preferable to taking up floor space.

They also make plastic, covered storage boxes that allow horizontal storage of balsa on shelves.

They are under bed organizers.

ScratchBuildrSAM
Jul 11, 2017, 03:33 PM
Kansas is windy.
pburress's Avatar
Thanks again for the helpful information. I still need to organize my balsa. At some point in the next year or so we will be getting a new house and I am determined to have a nice big, well organized workshop! I've been building at my small kitchen table for the last 15 years, with my supplies etc. in the cluttered basement.


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