Wood Orders

Bob Miller
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Wood Orders

Post by Bob Miller » March 10th, 2017, 6:15 pm

Hey, so Specialized Balsa is a little slow when it comes to ordering decent wood, by a little i mean they were three weeks late with their estimated arrival time..... Any other decent balsa ordering websites that is quicker than Specialized? Also, what wood do you usually order and use on your towers?
Heli <3 , towers :!: , mousetrap :geek: , hover :idea: ... time is valuable but clearly with these events I have absolutely no time. "Build to destroy"... my motto for towers.

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Re: Wood Orders

Post by JZhang1 » March 10th, 2017, 6:28 pm

Bob Miller wrote:Hey, so Specialized Balsa is a little slow when it comes to ordering decent wood, by a little i mean they were three weeks late with their estimated arrival time..... Any other decent balsa ordering websites that is quicker than Specialized? Also, what wood do you usually order and use on your towers?
That's weird, my orders for decent wood (using the selection service) come within 3 business days on regular shipping, plus I'm in New York. Specialized balsa is probably the best quality wood you'll get. Personally, I wouldn't try anything different, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by Bob Miller » March 10th, 2017, 6:30 pm

Thanks JZhang, I think it might have been because of the wood frenzy before States. What is your opinion on National Balsa as an alternative, or do you keep true to your opinion that Specialized is the best?
Heli <3 , towers :!: , mousetrap :geek: , hover :idea: ... time is valuable but clearly with these events I have absolutely no time. "Build to destroy"... my motto for towers.

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Re: Wood Orders

Post by JZhang1 » March 10th, 2017, 6:38 pm

Bob Miller wrote:Thanks Paul, I think it might have been because of the wood frenzy before States. What is your opinion on National Balsa as an alternative, or do you keep true to your opinion that Specialized is the best?
It doesn't look like National Balsa offers any selection service, or I didn't look hard enough. That's probably the main reason specialized balsa is better for competition towers.
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by Balsa Man » March 11th, 2017, 6:24 am

JZhang1 wrote:
Bob Miller wrote:Thanks Paul, I think it might have been because of the wood frenzy before States. What is your opinion on National Balsa as an alternative, or do you keep true to your opinion that Specialized is the best?
It doesn't look like National Balsa offers any selection service, or I didn't look hard enough. That's probably the main reason specialized balsa is better for competition towers.
From a quick googling, looks like there are at least a couple places where you can get....a bit of selection; light, medium, heavy; Sig in 2 pounds per cubic foot increments (for sheets to cut sticks from).
Specialized is, I believe, the only place you can order sticks, in 1/10gr increments.
As we've discussed, key to a competitive design is having/selecting sticks that are as light as possible while having a target/design buckling strength. Buckling strength is a function of/varies with density (but with a significant amount of variation around the mean). By being able to order in 1/10gr increments, you can cut way down on number of sticks you need to get, to find the few/find a set at design buckling strength, and toward the light end for that buckling strength.
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by dholdgreve » March 13th, 2017, 5:46 am

I've ordered from National Balsa a few years ago, using their "Selection service." I paid 40% more than list and received basically the same random density assortment that I would have if I had not specified density. When I called them on it, they explained that the "log" that my balsa was cut from was indeed 10 to 12 pound / Cubic Foot density, and that the pieces cut from that log would vary in density..."Surely I was not expecting them to sort and pick through each and every piece to select all pieces from that range, was I?"... Ummmm YES, I was!

No, I won't be buying any more balsa from them, and if I do, I will not be specifying densities.
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by Balsa Man » March 14th, 2017, 7:28 am

I’ve mentioned/discussed in a few posts how Specialized Balsa is just down the road from me, and that I’ve had the great privilege of being allowed, at times, to come down and sort through sticks of a particular weight range, to find ones of superior stiffness. Talking with them today, I found out that a number of folk have been calling, wanting to, even expecting to …be able to come by and be turned loose in the wood bin area to do this for themselves. :oops:

For what I hope are obvious reasons, please understand doing this would create real problems for their operation, and just isn’t going to happen/be allowed. I’ve been working with Specialized for over 15 years now, buying a lot of wood every year, and in the last few years, earning the trust that I won’t break sticks, I’ll put them back in the correct bins, stay out of everyone’s way, etc, etc., so I’ve become allowed, at times, when its convenient with them, to come by and pick sticks.

As I’ve said many times, I think Specialized is the best balsa source in the country, certainly for folk who are…into their designs enough to need/want very specific densities/stick weights. This year, I’ve shared the data I’ve developed on (1/8”) stick weights vs buckling strength here on Scioly- and this gives everyone the ability to order by stick weight, and have a very good statistical chance of getting sticks that show a desired buckling strength, within a reasonable number of sticks. As far as I know, there is no other supplier where you can order to tenth of a gram precision. It beats the heck outta ordering ….oh, 100 ‘medium density’ sticks to find…10 really good ones. ;)

I probably should have thought more before saying anything about what I’ve been sometimes able to do. I didn’t, my bad; all I can do is set things right.
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by SPP SciO » March 16th, 2017, 3:47 pm

Out of sheer curiosity - http://www.specializedbalsa.com/products/custom_cut.php - Has anyone ever requested sticks cut into equilateral triangles? Is this practical? That would seem like a way to make 3-legged towers more viable.
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by Balsa Man » March 16th, 2017, 7:33 pm

SPP SciO wrote:Out of sheer curiosity - http://www.specializedbalsa.com/products/custom_cut.php - Has anyone ever requested sticks cut into equilateral triangles? Is this practical? That would seem like a way to make 3-legged towers more viable.
Yup it would. I'm sure SB could/would do it; don't know at what price. :roll:
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Re: Wood Orders

Post by BuildingFriend » March 17th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Yes it is viable- they come at quite the price especially with specified densities. They shipped safely too.
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