basswood or balsa wood?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

davedoublem

Established Member
Joined
27 Feb 2023
Messages
27
Reaction score
4
Location
London
I require a craft wood of between 0.8mm-1mm for an ongoing craft project. I guessed being so thin the only suitable option would be balsa, which I'd never worked with before.

I went to a local craft shop and purchased a piece of what I thought was balsa and was actually very impressed with the sturdyness since it was only 0.8mm. It cut really well with perfectly straight cuts... No jagged edges etc.

To cut a long story short, I need to order multiple pieces regularly so had a good look online at various suppliers and went with a company that seemed to have good reviews for their balsa from other crafters. The balsa wood arrived and is so smooth yet seems very different to the wood I used. If I cut across the grain it doesn't give a fine smooth cut like the other did. Also if I press down heavily onto the wood it leaves indentation marks. The other wood didn't do this.

After a bit of research I think I've ordered basswood from the other craft shop but they don't have much stock so can't rely on them and I can't find any timber suppliers in UK that offer it in 1mm sheets, only independant shops reselling cut pieces.

The problem with some resellers of this particular wood (going on feedback) is that there seems to be some confusion with basswood and balsa. Lots of reviews on amazon for example from people saying they've bought balsa but it's definitely not balsa wood and some thinking they are buying basswood yet receive balsa instead. I can't afford to make another mistake so just wondered if I can buy basswood from any reputable suppliers in the UK.
 
I require a craft wood of between 0.8mm-1mm for an ongoing craft project. I guessed being so thin the only suitable option would be balsa, which I'd never worked with before.

I went to a local craft shop and purchased a piece of what I thought was balsa and was actually very impressed with the sturdyness since it was only 0.8mm. It cut really well with perfectly straight cuts... No jagged edges etc.

To cut a long story short, I need to order multiple pieces regularly so had a good look online at various suppliers and went with a company that seemed to have good reviews for their balsa from other crafters. The balsa wood arrived and is so smooth yet seems very different to the wood I used. If I cut across the grain it doesn't give a fine smooth cut like the other did. Also if I press down heavily onto the wood it leaves indentation marks. The other wood didn't do this.

After a bit of research I think I've ordered basswood from the other craft shop but they don't have much stock so can't rely on them and I can't find any timber suppliers in UK that offer it in 1mm sheets, only independant shops reselling cut pieces.

The problem with some resellers of this particular wood (going on feedback) is that there seems to be some confusion with basswood and balsa. Lots of reviews on amazon for example from people saying they've bought balsa but it's definitely not balsa wood and some thinking they are buying basswood yet receive balsa instead. I can't afford to make another mistake so just wondered if I can buy basswood from any reputable suppliers in the UK.
Look for "veneers" rather than 1mm sheet?
https://www.wood-database.com/basswood/
https://www.thewoodveneerhub.co.uk/...,and stability against changing temperatures.
 
Lime (basswood) veneer available in standard thickness of 0.6mm. Could you use that or double it up to 1.2mm? If you glue 2 sheets with grain at rt.angles it will be really strong
Brian
 
Isn't basswood mostly sold as Lime in the UK? Might help you find what you need. Much more robust than balsa.

Hobbies.co.uk have a selection of woods and thickness. I've used them for odd bits of brass section a long time ago, so can't vouch for their wood.
 
There are many grades of balsa, some hard, some very soft.

Sounds like you want sycamore or poplar veneer or similar
 
Basswood is the US name for Lime but is freely available in the UK used in the miniature world - Dolls Houses, Model Rail, Wargames. Cornwall Model Boats or 4Dmodelshop in London are my usual suppliers.
Obeche is slightly coarser than basswood but has similar strength. Available in various thicknesses from 0.5mm to 10mm
David
 
Balsa is incredibly sensitive to altitude and so are the resulting properties. I can think of the exact reference I want but no idea where to find it if I even still have it.

Wood grown at 100ft is light and soft, yes you can scratch it with your fingernails. Wood grown at 600ft is a lot heavier and stronger. Outside of that range the wood is considered unsuitable for commercial applications.
 
I require a craft wood of between 0.8mm-1mm for an ongoing craft project. I guessed being so thin the only suitable option would be balsa, which I'd never worked with before.

I went to a local craft shop and purchased a piece of what I thought was balsa and was actually very impressed with the sturdyness since it was only 0.8mm. It cut really well with perfectly straight cuts... No jagged edges etc.

To cut a long story short, I need to order multiple pieces regularly so had a good look online at various suppliers and went with a company that seemed to have good reviews for their balsa from other crafters. The balsa wood arrived and is so smooth yet seems very different to the wood I used. If I cut across the grain it doesn't give a fine smooth cut like the other did. Also if I press down heavily onto the wood it leaves indentation marks. The other wood didn't do this.

After a bit of research I think I've ordered basswood from the other craft shop but they don't have much stock so can't rely on them and I can't find any timber suppliers in UK that offer it in 1mm sheets, only independant shops reselling cut pieces.

The problem with some resellers of this particular wood (going on feedback) is that there seems to be some confusion with basswood and balsa. Lots of reviews on amazon for example from people saying they've bought balsa but it's definitely not balsa wood and some thinking they are buying basswood yet receive balsa instead. I can't afford to make another mistake so just wondered if I can buy basswood from any reputable suppliers in the UK.
There are soft, medium, & hard types of balsa: - that's another wood that's 'rocketed' in price.
Try Cornwall Model Boats for thin wood sheets.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top