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Balsa Shortage

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Ray Wood 225/09/2020 16:10:59
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2086 forum posts
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Hi All,

Not sure how many of us still use balsa wood??, I do and there will be world wide shortage as the Chinese have bought all current stocks to manufacture wind turbine blades, SLEC are unlikely to receive any more this year.

Sad but true 😯

Regards Ray

Colin Bishop25/09/2020 16:31:49
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Yes, I bought a stock of sheet from SLEC a couple of weeks ago.

Maybe I'll use it to make a model wind turbine.

Colin

Chris E25/09/2020 18:06:48
130 forum posts

The first time that I saw this reported was about 6 months ago. The potential problem is that I can't see it being resolved in a hurry. I wonder how long new Balsa forests take to grow?

Dave Milbourn25/09/2020 18:36:08
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4018 forum posts
282 photos

Balsa grows very quickly, which is why it's so light. According to Ian at SLEC the Chinese have bought up all the world's balsa plantations and their produce for the next N years.

Has anyone seen anything but bad news for the last six months? I think I'm going to take up cloud-spotting...

Dave M

Colin Bishop25/09/2020 18:57:44
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Moderator
4593 forum posts
6071 photos
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Will this do Dave? A bit of balm for the soul. Samos in Greece.

Colin

album l img_1739.jpg

Ray Wood 225/09/2020 19:42:39
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2086 forum posts
736 photos

Hi Dave,

As long as the breweries & distilleries keep functioning we will get through 😀👍👍👍

If they stopped we are doomed 😲,

I've planted a few sheets of 1/16" X 3" should be 3 /32 X 4" by next year 😉

Regards Ray

ashley needham26/09/2020 08:53:46
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6755 forum posts
198 photos

With global warming, we can all have our own balsa tree in the garden and be assured of a steady supply!

you can’t think that every single bit of balsa from a tree is useful for turbine blades ? But I dare say the Chinese will sell the bits on e-bay for inflated prices.

Must have significant repercussions for model aircraft builders. Don’t use the stuff myself, or at least, in very small quantities now and then.

Ashley

Chris E26/09/2020 09:34:04
130 forum posts

I seem to remember that Solarbo have their own plantation (in Indonesia?????) so there is likely to be some availability but at what price I don't know..

Tragically this all sounds like another reason to cut down some tropical forest.

A lot of model aircraft are now now made of foam and even that has problems as the favourite foam for amateurs was Depron & you cannot get it any more.

Dave Milbourn26/09/2020 11:34:33
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4018 forum posts
282 photos

Word is that the Chinese have bought up all the plantations which were for sale and all of the produce from the rest. They will pay any price so you can't really blame the plantation owners for selling to them. After all, those plantations are in some of the poorest countries on earth and it's easier to grow, harvest and replace fast-growing balsa than it is to clear forests of native species forever.

Strangely it seems ecologically sensible to me to plant and harvest sustainable real rainforest trees (balsa) than destroy native hardwood species so that you can grow cereal to feed cattle or make palm oil. There's also the point that the wood is being used to make wind-turbine blades rather than, say, flat-pack furniture.

BTW Liteply has no balsa content......wink

Dave M

Tim Cooper26/09/2020 12:10:24
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379 forum posts
166 photos

Dave

I thought lite ply had a balsa core. Is it another light wood?

Tim

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