America, China, Australia, and many countries in Europe are singing the same song. Balsa is becoming scarce in the market today. But why is that? Where has all the Balsa gone in the past few years, a wood that is so critical for kits such as Hobby Lobby’s Famous 12′ Telemaster kit?
The issue of the shortage has been attributed to more than one multiple causes. One of the largest being the construction of large three-bladed windmills that are designed to harness energy from the wind. Their massive propeller blades are constructed with solid cores of balsa to give them structure and keep them at an efficient weight. Also, there are many oil tankers that still use the wood as both cushioning and insulation.
When people buy their Balsa in bulk for items such as these, they are much more indiscriminate about weight and grains than people who need the Balsa for model kits. This means the owners of the plantation can sell larger amounts of Balsa wood for less work than they can when they are selling to the hobby market. It is good to know that companies like Hobby Lobby strive to keep at least one step ahead of the industry and believe in the integrity of the hobby itself. With this in mind, we can be sure that, though times may become hard, the hobby will evolve and survive as it always has.