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Balsa Building Board

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Old 05-29-2003, 01:29 PM
  #1
Joe Ortiz
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Default Balsa Building Board

Before I spend some money on this item, can I get some opinions and is it worth buying?
Thanks Joe
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Old 05-29-2003, 02:01 PM
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Stick Jammer
 
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Default Balsa Building Board

I have one and like it. My bench is made from an old solid core door with the building board on top of that. Anything that is PERFECTLY flat that you can stick T-pins into easily will work as long as it's not too soft.
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Old 05-29-2003, 02:14 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

Mine is made of particle board with Posterboard covering it. I don't use T pins.

If you are using a balsa board, cover it with something like posterboard or something like that. You can still push pins in if you want, but won't ruin the surface with glue. I would think that would be too soft of a surface. Spill anything on it and it is no longer flat, be it water or glue. Glue won't come off it very easy without chipping it up bad.
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Old 05-29-2003, 02:15 PM
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Jim Schwagle
 
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Default Balsa Building Board

Lots of different ways to go, search the forums and you'll find some threads with good suggestions. I have a Guillow's balsa building board. It's stayed straight and flat (about 1 year), is 48" long, which is long enough for me. Cost about $30.
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Old 05-29-2003, 02:44 PM
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Stick Jammer
 
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Default Balsa Building Board

My board is not made of balsa, I don't think any of them sold as a "building board" are. The one I have came from Tower, I'm not sure what type of wood it actually is but the pins go in fairly easy. I put the plans directly on the board and then a layer of wax paper over that. Saves the board and the plans from any glue.
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:02 PM
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Jim_McIntyre
 
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Default Balsa Building Board

I use hollow core doors.
Damaged ones are easy to find and cheap.
Take a straightedge with you to find a good one.
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:23 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

I have also seen a lot of people use cellotex. It is a material for ceilings. Makes it easy to push a pin into it as well. You have to build a flat surface for it too though. Door cores work well as stated.

I built benches out of a 2 X 4 frame with 4 X 4 legs and 1 inch particle board tops that are flat as can be. They work well, but you can't push a pin in them if you use pins.
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:23 PM
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I use a 24x48" acoustic ceiling tile clamped to a table with the unfinished side up. Works great. Very cheap.
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:29 PM
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I'm using homosote (available at most home improvement stores or lumber yards) on top of plywood for a bench top. The stuff is cheap, so I don't worry about abusing it.

I used to have a hollow core door as suggested above under the homosote to keep things level. Now I have a 3/4" ply top on a bench I put together.
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:38 PM
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Joe Ortiz
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TrailDraggin, I like the idea of the ceiling tile, probably alot cheaper than the balsa board, since I'm planning on using pins, thanks for the input everyone.
Joe
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:24 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

The biggest problem I've always had is finding a staight base board to place the "soft" working board on. A furniture builder friend of mine told me about "MDF" which can be found at home improvement stores in various sizes. After years of frustration, including balsa building boads, I now use an MDF shelve board about 12" x 60" with a piece of ceiling tile cut to fit on it and placed back side up.The MDF is very dense and you cannot stick anything in it so you'll need the ceiling tile for a soft surface. MDF is straight as an arrow and will not twist or sag. You can put it on you work bench top and shim it to make it stable. The only thing I've found as good is glass, which is impracticle. Try MDF and a ceiling tile, I think you'll like it.
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:34 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

I have an old kitchen table that I'm currently using for model building, it's pretty sturdy, I was just looking into something that I can stick pins through, I was wondering about the balsa board, but I think it's too prone to warping, I like the ceiling tile idea.
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:43 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

Quote:
Originally posted by pmw
The only thing I've found as good is glass, which is impracticle.
When I was still living with my parents, I had an old kitchen table, with a sheet of 3/4" plywood , then carpet padding, then 1/2" tempered glass (3' x 6'). I placed the plans under the glass, and used weights and magnets to hold things in place instead of pinning. Glue comes off the glass with a razor blade, the plans never have a chance to get dirty, and they are easier to read than through wax.
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:58 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

I find that I'm allergic to the fibers in some ceiling tiles (found that out the hard way, while installing a drop ceiling in my basement). So I'm not sure I want to be using it as a building board. Still, a lot of guys use them with 0 problems, so if it works, go for it.
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Old 05-29-2003, 07:32 PM
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I use sheet rock , Cheep flat and you can use pins.
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Old 05-29-2003, 11:08 PM
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Joe Ortiz
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Default Balsa Building Board

Thanks for the replies, I'm leaning towards the ceiling tile idea, it's probably alot cheaper than the balsa board, I poped one out today at work just to see what it looked like, so far I like it.
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Old 05-29-2003, 11:50 PM
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Default Balsa Building Board

Quote:
Originally posted by Joe Ortiz
TrailDraggin, I like the idea of the ceiling tile, probably alot cheaper than the balsa board, since I'm planning on using pins, thanks for the input everyone.
Joe

joe,
i use the celing tile too.just make sure that your bench is flat and true.i love mine.t pens go in with no problem.and for 3 to 5 bucks.you can't beat it.
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Old 05-30-2003, 12:26 AM
  #18
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Default Balsa Building Board

If you're getting the gp balsa board, this is somethin you can do to ensure that it stays flat all year thru http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...459#post570098]
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:02 AM
  #19
Joe Ortiz
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Default Balsa Building Board

Rajul, thanks for the post, I don't think I wan't to go through the hassle of installing aluminum ribs to a balsa board just to keep it strait, plus it's more money and time, seems to me the ceiling tile is the way to go, much cheaper and my table is very strait, thanks all for the replies, I'm saving some money here.
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