Do you believe that balsa wood have been used for cork, surgical splints, insulation, life belts, floats and toys during World War II? Well, balsa wood is well known among consumers for lightweight, soft and easy to work with. Balsa wood is available in 3 grain patterns depending on the cut, like A grain, B grain, and C grain.
Generally, A grain has long grain lines and it is cut on a tangent. It is the ideal choice for model plane fuselages since it is easy to curve and bend. It is easy to warp since it has long fibers. B grain balsa wood is medium and slightly stiffer and it is random cut. It can be used for multipurpose parts. C grain is quartersawn, mottled and the most stiff one. All in all, balsa wood is easy to cut, shaped, sanded, glued, routed and painted. It is easy to work with thin-edged hand or power tools actually.
Balsa wood is usually used for making models, like model planes, gliders, houses and so forth. You can cut the thin balsa sheets easily with a utility knife. Balsa tree grows on plantations, eliminating the need for laborious cutting and hauling of single trees out of old-growth forests. It grows quite rapidly. Unlike other hardwoods, balsa wood cells are fatter and contain more water. Only 40 percent of the wood is actually solid since it contains less lignin.
As we have introduced in our previous articles, balsa wood belongs to hard wood though it is soft and easy to work with. It can be regarded as the most light and soft hardwood in the world. Balsa wood can be found easily both in domestic and international markets. You can buy it from physical stores and online shops. You are advised to choose a reliable supplier actually.