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Building balsa models

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  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Somewhere in Lima, Perú
Building balsa models
Posted by Zero Enna on Thursday, December 18, 2014 5:52 AM

I want to make a model carving balsa wood, but I'm also thinking about getting some resin copies... How to give the balsa wood the proper smooth surface to make the copies? Thanks a lot in advance. Best regards.

José.

"Vivir venciendo o morir matando"
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Lyons Colorado, USA
Posted by Ray Marotta on Thursday, December 18, 2014 9:08 AM

"Sanding Sealer" is what you need.  You can also make your own by mixing talcum powder into clear dope.  Since you're using the balsa for a pattern, weight isn't a consideration.  You could just paint it until the balsa stops absorbing the paint...

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  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, December 18, 2014 9:28 AM

Why balsa, unless it is a flying model?  Basswood carves just as easy as balsa, and doesn't dull knife so fast.  And, more important, the grain is tighter and seals more easily. I find two coats from spray can Krylon primer usually does the job, sanding down to bare woood, and then one final coat sanded with very fine paper, and you are ready for color.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    February 2011
  • From: St louis
Posted by Raualduke on Thursday, December 18, 2014 11:38 AM

Dons correct. You want bass wood.bala is good for stringers on a flying model, but not much else

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, December 19, 2014 10:19 AM

Well, balsa can be used for formers and ribs on a flying model too.  Balsa flys nice, doesn't paint nice.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Friday, December 19, 2014 12:04 PM

Hi;

   In doing what you suggest , I would Definitely use Bass-Wood . I have used my Bass-Wood molds for years now and that's how I get a lot of my tankers built . Scratch-built center sections with a Vacu-Formed bow and stern !        Tanker - Builder

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, December 20, 2014 11:23 AM

And unless you are going to produce them in numbers, you don't even need to make molds and cast.  Many of my finished models are basswood.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Somewhere in Lima, Perú
Posted by Zero Enna on Monday, December 22, 2014 6:26 PM

Oh, so bass wood, I didn't knew about that. I'll, try to find it. I'm architecture student and I have a lot of spare balsa from the last architecture model I made. Thanks a lot for yopur replies. Best regards.

José.

"Vivir venciendo o morir matando"
  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Monday, December 22, 2014 6:47 PM

Check with a wood carving / turning supply store. They should have blanks of various sizes on hand.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:34 AM

Many hobby shops and craft stores carry basswood.  Michaels carries sheet and sticks, but not much in blocks.  Midwest Balsa is a good online source- they carry basswood in addition to balsa.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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