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The whole family uses balsa wood – 5 Reasons why…

August 14, 2019

Balsa wood for the whole family

We receive orders and enquiries for Balsawood products from all around the world on a daily basis.  All the attention is quite humbling for a family business that couldn’t be further from rest of the planet - here in Adelaide! 

Even more gratifying than the international appeal of balsa wood is the fact that people just like you and your loved ones use it for all types of amazing reasons. 

It seems like the whole family gets into the act as they cut, sand, paint, glue, shape, throw and even chew balsa wood with a passion.

Our contact with you tells us that you’re making remote controlled models like planes, ships and cars in sheds and on coffee tables and kitchen benches.  Then flying and racing them individually or in clubs in every part of Australia.  We love to hear that these skills are being passed down to the next generation of modellers so they can enjoy the art of making something physical and practical, in a digital and virtual world.

Children are learning to create art, craft, structures, vehicles, bridges or just making stuff with their parents and grandparents using balsa wood as a material for projects or just for fun.  Even the Buddy the dog, Felix the cat and Bruce the budgie get to create their own shredded masterpiece on the floor!

So why is balsa wood such a family affair?

1. Balsa is safe and easy to work with

    Don’t worry.  Balsa wood is non-toxic and has no distinct taste or smell (unless you add your own seasoning) making it pretty bland!  But that’s just the way it should be for all ages!

    Predictable and soft grain makes it easy to shape with all types of woodworking tools – even scissors.  It’s easy to cut with knives or saws or other accessories and sands quickly to a final shape and finish.

    Once your project is finished pick it up and move it!  It’s light weight and easy to transport.  Just make sure it fits in the back of the car without sticking out before you close the back door :0

    2. Balsa is easy to glue with almost any type of adhesive

      PVA glue is water based and safe and easy to use glue especially for children.  PVA is also fast drying and sets clear so you see the project not the glue.

      Craft Glue is acetone based and apart from sticking balsa wood is also great for other woods, textiles and craft jobs, making it one of the most versatile glues.  Used under adult supervision, Craft glue has an easy applicator nozzle, it’s fast drying and sets

      Balsa cement is extra fast drying and is perfect for all wood models as it has an ultra-fine nozzle for pin point accuracy.  It’s also a versatile adhesive and great on soft woods, cork, cardboard, leather and cane.  Once again use with adult supervision in a well ventilated area as Balsa cement has an acetate base.

      3. Balsa is easy to purchase from a wide range of places

        Balsa wood is available almost everywhere.  In fact, you’ve probably walked past it recently in hobby shops, stationary supplies, hardware stores or art and craft suppliers.

        You can order from your e-store - right here at “Australia’s central place for balsa wood”. 

        4. Balsa can be made into just about anything

          Here are a few examples:

          Bridge building competitions are a great way to introduce children to engineering concepts and can shining example of how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has a practical application.  Students can join an existing competition or participate in their own interschool version.

          Formula One (F1) racing car competitions use a balsa wood block as the foundation to design and construct a vehicle that travels at the speed of a blink!  The process involves everything from team building and communication to marketing and engineering. 

          National titles lead to international competitions between countries and students get to travel to places and compete with like-minded students from a vast array of cultures.

          Balsa wood art shows off the qualities of timber while exploring the possibilities of form and structure.  Amy Joy Watson is a marvellous artist who has exhibited internationally and uses balsa wood to express her interpretation of the wonder of the natural world.

          Aeromodelling with balsa wood has been a constructive pastime since the early 20th century and continues today with a stalwart bunch of enthusiasts designing, building, flying, crashing… and rebuilding planes and gliders of all shapes and sizes.

          5. Balsa comes is a huge variety of shapes and sizes

            Because of the huge variety of shapes and sizes, balsa wood is easy to convert to any type of project, large or small (and you can order custom made sizes too).

            Typically, 915mm lengths are our most popular length - easy to tuck under your arm, take anywhere and store at home. 

            One piece of balsa wood goes a long way to creating a project.  All you need is a couple of balsa wood sheets and a few balsa wood sticks you’ve got enough material to build the Empire State Building or any number of balsa wood models.

            For more information on balsa wood properties click here.

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