Balsa Wood

Balsa WoodSize of tree and type of forest/location: Native to tropical America, main commercial source Ecuador but also being grown in Papua New Guinea

Description of wood: Sapwood very wide and greyish white or oatmeal in colour. Heartwood pinkish brown and considerably weaker in strength than the sapwood. Texture coarse but even. Grain usually straight.
Dry density kg/m3: 110-170

Workability: Soft nature dictates careful handling. Easy to work if very sharp thin edged tools are used to avoid crushing of the wood. Glues satisfactorily. Too soft for nails and screws. Unsuitable for steam bending as buckles. Has high insulating value against heat and sound transference.

Use: Model making, stage sets, surfboards, core stock, rafts and extensively used in conjunction with fibreglass reinforced plastics for boat construction

Availability: Small quantities imported