balsa bending

This discussion area is for basic structure building concepts. Not intended for advanced concepts.
*Good Example: Balsa can bend with the addition of boiling water.
*Good Example: Triangle is the strongest shape for most applications of bracing.
*Bad Example: Balsa can hold X pounds under these conditions.
*Bad Example: Use this shape for this application.
Basically I want you to think a design through with the basics instead of someone else thinking through your design for you.
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balsa bending

Post by nmurphy » Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:41 pm

is there anyone who knows the best way to make a balsa wood bend into a arch for a arch bridge

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Bending balsa alternatives

Post by admin » Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:05 pm

Try soaking and steaming the balsa. If that doesn't work then just use thinner balsa and laminate it together.
Jake Zimmer
Specialized Balsa Wood, LLC
405 8th Street SE Unit #2
Loveland, CO 80537-6491
(970) 461-WOOD (9663) Phone
(970) 461-9662 Fax

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Post by nmurphy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:16 pm

Thanx man i will try it and hopefully it will work

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Post by Garrett » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:02 pm

I usually steam the wood for about 30 minutes or so. I have a pre-made (just a board with nails) that is the shape of the arch I want. Actually, I usually bend the wood more than I really want it, because the wood will "unbend" somewhat after it drys. I use clothespins to hold the wood against the nails.

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Post by marwen » Thu May 18, 2006 6:41 pm

Timing on this comment is probably a WAY too late but nevertheless, information is where & when you get it!

Depending on the thinckness of the balsa you are attempting to "bend", the thinner stuff (as well as the thick) of course, steaming is a given, but you can actually spray some "window cleaner" onto your strips of balsa. The ammonia in it will do the work.

Spray it lightely, soak it, wipe off the excess, let it dry a little. Depending on the adhesive you use, the moisture content is also ian mportant factor.


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Post by dwalker » Thu May 28, 2009 1:42 pm

If it is not for DI or OM - soak the balsa in amonia overnight - then bend it to the shape you want... let it dry and then glue the member in place. This is an old modeling technique and works quite well... but make sure you bend it beyond the intended arc - the wood will "relax" a bit once taken off the curved form.

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Post by Diguy145 » Thu May 28, 2009 4:05 pm

lol, marwen said that she had bad timing... dwalker, you are like 3 years too late... lol Good advise though... I might go try it just for kicks.

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Post by Alexandre25 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:38 am

use very thin balsa, i've done something similar but i have to admit it wasn't very resistant

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Re: Bending balsa alternatives

Post by Wallace05 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:22 am

admin wrote:Try soaking and steaming the balsa. If that doesn't work then just use thinner balsa transfers CDG and laminate it together.
Hello, what about this?

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