Go Back  RCU Forums > RC Airplanes > Questions and Answers
Reload this Page >

What is "Hard Balsa"

Notices
Questions and Answers If you have general RC questions or answers discuss it here.

What is "Hard Balsa"

Old 12-21-2003, 08:37 PM
  #1  
HOOTER
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
HOOTER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Jackson, TN
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default What is "Hard Balsa"

Stupid question maybe?

What is the term "hard balsa", I have looked in National Balsa, Lonestar, and others but I do not see any listings for hard balsa. What I am looking for is 3/16" x 1/2" hard balsa.

Any help would be appreciated.
Old 12-21-2003, 09:13 PM
  #2  
twostroke
My Feedback: (6)
 
twostroke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Garrison, MN
Posts: 481
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

It is just better grade of balsa it feels like almost like hardwood but lighter and it is still balsa much stronger(and not as easy to dent or ding) most people like it for leading edges. Go to a hobby store and look over the balsa selection you see what they mean by hard balsa. Hope that helps.
Old 12-21-2003, 09:20 PM
  #3  
HOOTER
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
HOOTER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Jackson, TN
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

If you are trying to order from one of the balsa supply houses, how can you tell short of calling, Geez I answered my own question!!!

But still would "hard balsa" be the tighter grained wood and how do you tell at the LHS short of sticking your thumbnail in it?

I have never seen a listing for "Hard/Soft" balsa.
Old 12-21-2003, 09:41 PM
  #4  
w0mbat
My Feedback: (1)
 
w0mbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cape Coral FL
Posts: 517
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

You can tell by picking it up and comparing weight. Hard balsa will be much heavier than soft (as much as 4 times the weight) and also will not flex as easily.
Old 12-21-2003, 11:00 PM
  #5  
bullfrog
Member
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Santa Teresa, NM
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

The opposite of soft!!
Old 12-21-2003, 11:06 PM
  #6  
MinnFlyer
Senior Member
My Feedback: (4)
 
MinnFlyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Willmar, MN
Posts: 28,519
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

You can even tell by squeezing it.

If it "yields" to slight pressure (Deja Vu, I just had a flashback of a girl in High School) It's soft.

If it doesn't, It's hard (Deja Vu again! )
Old 12-21-2003, 11:10 PM
  #7  
CafeenMan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Spring Hill, FL
Posts: 4,734
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

After looking at it for straightness and grain patter, bounce the wood on the end on a hard surface. If the hobby shop owner has a problem with that, find a different shop. You aren't hurting the wood. By bouncing, I mean drop it from 6" - don't throw it at the floor.

Hard balsa = a solid "Tink!" sound
Soft balsa = low thud
Medium = right in between

Also, harder wood bounces higher.

If it buzzes then it's defective (cracked or something internal).

I put potential candidates to one side and losers to the other. Then when I've looked at EVERY pieces of wood (they all cost the same, take the best) I go back through the candidates and pull the best of the best.
Old 12-22-2003, 12:46 AM
  #8  
CafeenMan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Spring Hill, FL
Posts: 4,734
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

You can even tell by squeezing it.

If it "yields" to slight pressure (Deja Vu, I just had a flashback of a girl in High School) It's soft.

If it doesn't, It's hard (Deja Vu again! )
Balsa is all the love you need.
Old 12-22-2003, 05:09 AM
  #9  
Sprink
Senior Member
 
Sprink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: London, UNITED KINGDOM
Posts: 2,235
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

Hard balsa is stronger but heavier than soft. When selecting balsa, I check every piece to ensure it meets the requirements I place on it. As a rule I go for the lighter softer, but for structuarlly important parts, the harder wood is needed.
Old 12-22-2003, 09:44 AM
  #10  
HOOTER
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
HOOTER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Jackson, TN
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

Thanks for all the info guy's!!!
Old 12-22-2003, 04:06 PM
  #11  
rnlocnil
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Maynard, MA
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

I could tell the guy who said hard balsa was better was a power flier even before I checked his name. I hope he goes by the hobby shop after I clean out the lite stuff. A postal scale and a little calculation will give you a good correlation with "hardness" of balsa. The hard stuff might be 15 lbs per cubic foot, though I have seen as high as 23 lbs (in a Guillows kit, of course). One rule of thumb is that a cubic inch of one pound material weighs .263 grams, so a 15 lb density sheet 1/16" X 3" X 36" will weigh 27 grams (and the good lite stuff will weigh 10 grams or less).
Old 12-24-2003, 02:47 AM
  #12  
Capgains
Senior Member
My Feedback: (4)
 
Capgains's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Klamath Falls, OR
Posts: 277
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

I recently ran into some sheets in a kit that were half hard, and half soft balsa. Right up the middle of the sheet. Makes it really fun when you are bending it around a former, half of the sheet goes very willingly, and the other half needs to be soaked in water.[:'(]
Old 12-24-2003, 02:05 PM
  #13  
DMyer
Senior Member
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Potomac, MD
Posts: 642
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

I usually buy balsa in bulk from Lone Star. I always specify type of wood by weight. I usually buy either Contest grade (4-6 LB) or 7-9 LB wood. I then weigh each piece on my scale and mark it so I can easily select the correct weight for the job later. You will find that 25% of the wood falls outside the range you specify... even though it is cut out of the same stock... usually too heavy.... sometimes a lot.... even when you pay extra for hand selection. These leftover overweight boards are what I use for heavier balsa needs.

When I hand select in the store I check for good grain and the weight by feel. It is very easy to tell the difference by hand between light, medium and heavy balsa. Good luck.

Dan
Old 01-03-2004, 01:50 AM
  #14  
jessiej
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: no city, AL
Posts: 2,613
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

I recently purchased some excelent 4-6# balsa on Ebay. The dealer is "crazygambler". She is the wife of Famed RC designer/flyer Fred Dunn who suffers from Alzheimers. Evidently Fred had quite a quantity of balsa on hand as some is up for auction now. If you could use some good wood check it out.
Old 01-03-2004, 11:44 AM
  #15  
Jim Thomerson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,086
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: What is "Hard Balsa"

Check the Midwest balsa stock at your local hardware or craft store.

Jim

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.