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Balsa & Basswood


bluestarpixel
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I have a local craft store that is closing forever. This week everything is 75% off and I've already picked up some paper, Krylon Paper Spray, leather trim, some beads for making perfume bottles and a few other misc things. Starting next week everything in the store will be 90% off! They still had lot of balsa and basswood (as you can see from the pic) but I didn't pick anything up because I'm not sure what to use it for.

Being fairly new to the mini world I would like some feedback from those of you who have been doing mini's for awhile and can tell me some of the great things you can make using this stuff!!!! They have everything here from small and big flat sheets in every thickness, to square and round dowels of all sizes.

What do you think is good to have on hand or find that you use a lot of? I know there are a lot of DIY projects out there and wasn't really going to get into all that but at this price is seems like a killer deal!!! So if you've used any kind of balsa or basswood for a project please let me know!!! I'd like to try to stop back either next Tuesday or Thursday (10th/11th)

Thank you so much!!!

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Lucky lucky you! What *don't* we use it for?! I use basswood and balsa (all thicknesses, from 1/32" to 1/4" and beyond, and everything inbetween) for trim strips, flooring, making little furniture pieces, the list goes on. If it were I, I would get at least five of every thickness, especially the basswood.

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The balsa is very light and easy to cut - but because it dents very easily, I don't like to use it much.

The basswood is something I use a lot to make furniture with. You can cut it with an exacto knife (a big plus for me, as I'm not a power tool user), plus the grain is in scale. You can also use it for doors.

Either wood is good for creating architectural details - adding depth to a chimney breast/fireplace area, or adding a small diagonal wall in one corner of a room. (This gives interest to the viewer's eye, as opposed to the usual "box" shape of a room.)

The dowels are good for making cans, among other things. (Thinner ones for curtain rods, thicker ones for columns - or square ones for reinforcing where walls meet - something our Holly does often!)

Honestly, the list of possibilities is endless.

If I were you, I would buy as much as I have room to store! You won't likely find it at such a bargain price again.

Wish I lived near that store!

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Lisa at 90% off - buy the whole shelf of basswood then sell some to us at a slight original.gif markup & make yourself a few bucks !!!

I'll be your 1st customer ! thumb_yello.gif

My local dollhouse shop is selling an entire display case (NE1009) basswood assortment for $625.90, no discount !

At your craft store that would be $62.59 @ a 90% disc !!!! w00t.gif

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Ooh, how fun! Strip wood makes good baseboard, window/door trim, or other trim. Use it to finish unfinished edges on die-cut kits. Square dowels could be posts or columns. Bigger sheets can make new walls,, medium pieces make chimneys, fireplaces. And of course furniture. The long skinnier pieces, custom doors. Cut smaller pieces into shapes and glue on for designs and dimension. I've also used it for kids' school projects before, although I can't think of any examples right now.

Have fun!

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Because it's so soft balsa is suitable for cutting the shapes for upholstered furniture. Basswood has a wonderful tight grain that's in scale, and it also cuts easily, but you have to use a very gently touch because in thinner sections it'll split along the grain (EASILY repaired with a trace of glue). I used basswood for furniture, doors, windows, trims, baseboards and cornices; not walls, though, because foamcore usually works as well, and I use 1/8" doorskin plywood for bashing extra structural components.

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We had a shop go out of business here years ago. I went in and bought all the wood that I could get my hands on at 75% off. I was never sorry. I still have a few scraps left and will use them all. Did I mention I bought the display case that they were stored in also? It was one that could be taken apart and the plastic tubes stood up nicely in a trash can and held it all. I do wish that another store would do that. I hate paying full price for wood!

I was lucky that time. I also got walnut and cherry. I use a lot of that for carving beds and other fancy furniture.

I would grab as much 1/16" and 3/32" sheets as I could of the bass and quarter inch and larger of the balsa. Holly and the others are right. The bass for wood furniture and the balsa for upholstered pieces.

Run, don't walk to the sale!!!!

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you can use it for anything, i've used it for siding (i don't find it dents that easily after it's sealed.. several times), it's flexible so great for trimming archways, bulding up window sills, framing ceilings, furniture, flooring, building interior wall framing.. I would say buy it all for sure, you will definitely find a use for it

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Oh my! Sounds like I should buy as much as I can!!! Guess I'm going to have to sweet talk my husband into letting me buy as much as possible. I didn't notice if the bookcase/shelf it was on was also for sale. They did have other shelving there that they were selling but the prices where too high (not at the 75% discount deal anyways). Guess I'll be running back there soon with wallet in hand!

Thanks for your input thus far!

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Personally, I wouldn't touch the balsa, as it shreds when cut, can't be sanded, and is very soft. But the basswood is a steal and you should buy as much as you can afford.

About 12 years ago I bought out a dollhouse shop near me that was closing and got a grocery sack full of basswood trim, wood strips, and architectural pieces. I spent hundreds and have not regretted it. Looking at the tags, the prices have gone up by 25% since then, and I got everything about 75% off, so it represents a huge savings.

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I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it in on that Monday come the first day of the 90% sale :( and that first day is usually a mad house (as I experienced it once before when they shut down another location).

I was afraid by the time I was able to make it back (which was either going to be this last Tues or Wed) there would be nothing left so I headed back last Saturday when everything was still at 75% off. Just in the few days since I had originally posted I could tell is was going to disappear before I could head back!!!! So I decided to buy as much as I could at the 75% off price. It's a good thing I did because when I made it back this week a lot of the nice long wide pieces were gone.

But seeing how I'm all new to "kit-bashing", "making furniture", etc I fear I have bought way more than I will every use!!! I'm going to put some lots together and sell them on ebay. This stuff appears to be very popular for those who also do model airplanes. But if anyone is interested in buying some off of me before I list it let me know! I'll give it to you for the price I paid and you won't have to bid :) Just PM me.

I need some time though to go through and sort everything out, price it, figure out what to pack it in for shipping and take some pics. Once that's done I'll throw it in the Trading Post for everyone to see.

Thanks!

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I'm absolutely jealous!! I live in the mountains so it's over an hour drive just to find a craft store. Then, their supplies are so messy and dismal I have to drive around to about three cities to even find the five pieces I may need. You have just landed in creativity heaven. Enjoy!!

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