Balsa wood weights..

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    Can someone tell me what an ideal weight on a sheet of balsa wood in grams would be for a 36inch TLG glider on a single sheet of 36 x 4 by 1/4 balsa wood??
    I have found various weights as low as 44 grams and high as 98 grams – 44 grams was to weak and 98 grams was to heavy to fly well – any suggestions would be great!!


    Do a search for Balsa Density Chart.
    I did it but it won’t paste here.
    You want 8-9 pound wood. You also want the airfoil to be 5/16″ thick rather than 1/4″.
    5/16 balsa is a weird size. I use 3/8″ and beat it into submission, but I only use the 3/8 in the middle of the foil. The TE is 1/8×1/2 TE stock and is harder.

    Lee Hines

    As Dan stated, try to get some 5/16″ x 2″ or 3″ sheet that is uniform c-grain & weight. Laminate sheet sizes as applicable to achieve desired chord.
    You might even go down to 6-8# stock, if the wood is stiff.
    I have laminated such sizes & used the heavier of the pieces toward the TE. (Example: 3″ x 5/16 plus 1″ x 3/16″ at rear)
    Again, we are recommending 5/16″ thickness for full size TLGs. Mine usually end up .30-.31 thick RTM (Ready To Mount 😉 )

    Ciao, Leeper


    – When buying balsa at a hobby shop or some type of retail store a person buying wood is confined to what stock is on Hand… After sifting thru the stock to buy the best balsa for the job, I was hoping some one could tell me an average weight of a sheet of balsa wood that works well for TLG gliders??

    I’ve been building and experimenting a lot lately (approx 215 gliders this year). What supplier of balsa wood can I contact to order the proper grade and weight for TLG, CLG, HLG gliders??

    Would appreciate any advice or suggestions…

    Lee Hines

    Search for “Balsa Wood Density Chart”. You will have to do some math to find 5/16″ sheet.
    As I recommended priorly, it is best to use 2 or 3″ width, glue two pieces together, then layout the platform.
    OR, do as many top glider guiders do: buy generic kits from Stan Buddenbohm.
    He will create balsa surfaces and all the rest of the items needed for a price which will beat the driving around costs.
    Plus, you will be able to start building sooner!
    Go to or email Stan:
    Tell him what you want explicitly.

    Mike Schwartz

    Lee Just last week I sent Don DeLoach a balsa density chart that was compiled by Bob Hunter in 1960. Don is going to publish it in the Digest. It has weights for 36 inch and 48 inch long sheets in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 inch wide sheets. The thickness sizes are 1/32, 1/16, 3/32, 1/8, and 3/16. The density sizes are 4, 5, 6, 7 lb. You can just add different sizes together to get any size balsa weight you might want, if its not on the chart. For example if you want 9 lb. stock just add the 4 lb. number with the 5 lb. number. Do the same for different thicknesses. Hope this helps


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