Are you a hobby enthusiast who loves to build their planes from scratch? There has been a history of those who see kit building as an art; getting that box o’ lumber and opening it for the first time, fitting each piece carefully together while the smell of balsa fills the room. But, what happens when Balsa wood becomes hard to find? Well, that is exactly where hobby distributors and manufacturers around the world have found themselves in today’s market.
As companies buy huge amounts of Balsa wood for wind energy propellers, insulation and cushioning of oil tankers, and the like, it is difficult to say what the solution to this major balsa shortage is. Prices have been going up, while quality and selection of materials continues to go down. Products that are made out of a strictly balsa kit are not suitable to be substituted with material such as foams, however, Hobby Lobby makes many ARF type aircraft which can be made primarily of a material called light ply. This material is very much like how it sounds. It is simply a light weight plywood material that can be pre-manufactured at the factory.
Although there is a shift to making products differently, this doesn’t help the kit builders who quite plainly need balsa wood for their kits. We, at Hobby Lobby, hope to see a shift in the market in the near future and continue to sell Balsa kits both in our store and online.