All Materials Articles

Balsa Stiffness

Advanced Technique: Calculating the stiffness of your wood, most commonly balsa wood. The tips in this article will help you go to the next level in choosing good wood for your model bridges. Not only will you know how to choose good wood, you can pick wood with different qualities to fit different applications.


Balsa Wood

Balsa wood is unique from all other woods. Its properties make it valuable to bridge builders, wood carvers, surfers, and many others. Bridge builders have to be careful, however, when using Balsa. You can’t simply pick up two pieces of Balsa with the same dimensions and expect them to perform the same.


Basswood

Basswood has been my wood of choice since I won the GA state Science Olympiad bridge building event back in 2004 (the good ‘ol days). I have since used Basswood with much success in bridges and towers. My Fernbank Bridge was built completely using Basswood, as well as many others.


Best Place To Buy Balsa Online

Many people ask “Where is the the best place to buy balsa wood online?” The best website I know of is Specialized Balsa LLC. The owner, Jake Zimmer, has been in the balsa business for years and knows what he is doing. Once I had Jake cut me some 1/32″ x 1/32″ sticks of Balsa just to see if he could do it. He did, and they were absolutely perfect. He also cut me a 3″ x”1/64″ x 36″. I […]


Choosing the Right Glue

The glue you choose to use on your model bridge (or model airplane) can make or break your structure. I’d venture to say that glue choice is just as important as your wood choice, which makes it pretty important. If you build your bridge with a weak glue, then no matter how good the design is your bridge will not perform well. This article compares and contrasts different types of glues, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each so that you can make an informed choice for what glue to use on your bridge.


Cyanoacrylate Glue

CA Glue (aka Cyanoacrylate) could revolutionize the way you build models. CA glue takes away the wait time for glue to set. No longer wait 30 minutes, or even 4 hours for the glue to harden up enough to move on in the building process. Instead, CA glue allows you to instantly bond two surfaces together. However, CA has disadvantages as well, including health concerns. Read on through this entire article before making your decision to use CA glue.


Wood Tips: Balsa or Basswood?

I am constantly asked whether Balsa is better than Basswood. Here are some of my notes comparing the two woods. Balsa is cheaper and more available than Basswood. This means you can buy more wood and build more bridges for the same amount of money. Hobby and craft stores seem to sell a larger selection of Balsa (Michaels, etc). If money is short but you want to build a lot of bridges or plan to constantly improve your designs as […]





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