Balsa Cement

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Igull
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Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 21:11

Balsa Cement

Post by Igull » 11 Jun 2019, 20:52

Hi All
Can anyone remember the recipe for balsa cement ? I used to make it years ago as an impoverished kid.
I recently went to buy a tube (seems to last a long time in my workshop) - five quid odds for a tube of UHU Hart - just about choked, I'm not miserable, but five quid seems a tad OTT for a few mls in a tube.
The only time I ever use it is for edge joining balsa sheet - never found anything that beats it yet (that's not an opening for your best edge joining method BTW LOL :-) ))
I recollect cutting up celluloid sheet and an organic solvent to dissolve it until the consistency was right - wasn't acetone - might have been ethyl/methyl acetate ?? I know it's not rocket science (unlike diy jetex cartridges :-)

I'm not going to mix it and stick it in crisp bags at a tenner a pop either :-)

TIA

Neil

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Shaun
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Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Balsa Cement

Post by Shaun » 11 Jun 2019, 22:45

Neil, I'm disregarding your this is not a best sheet joining comment .

Butt joint sheets to check there's no gaps then cover one side of joint with sellotape, bend back glue edges with aliphatic, fold back , weight down ....when dry you'll have a perfect, strong join that sands well if needed.

Yes cutting up acetate sheet and dissolving in a solvent was what we did. I thought we used acetone... Whatever it was my uncle used to get it for me from his workplace..

Shaun the ignorer :lol:

Mike_K
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Re: Balsa Cement

Post by Mike_K » 11 Jun 2019, 23:18

Hi Neil

As I'm not Scottish, I recently bought a tube of balsa cement rather than mixing my own. When I had a quick look it still had its warning sheet in the box. The mixture would appear to be 70% propan-2-one (acetone to you and me), 25% ethanol and I assume the other 5% is the celluloid.

It doesn't smell quite like the balsa cement from my school days, but having sniffed so many glues and solvents over the years I think my nose has lost some of its sense of smell. I guess that any solvent that dissolves celluloid will do as all you need is celluloid on the joints.

I'm with Shaun though on the aliphatic for joining sheets (sorry I'm not meant to mention joining sheet). The best use I've found yet for balsa cement is peeling it off your fingers :lol:

Mike

GarydNB
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Re: Balsa Cement

Post by GarydNB » 12 Jun 2019, 09:32

SLEC sell balsa cement tubes for less than £2.
Dissolve table tennis balls in cellulose thinners....works but for the sake of two squid it's not worth the bother..
Gary

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Igull
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Re: Balsa Cement

Post by Igull » 14 Jun 2019, 20:59

GarydNB wrote:
12 Jun 2019, 09:32
SLEC sell balsa cement tubes for less than £2.
Yes, I've tried that stuff - not wonderful :)
Dissolve table tennis balls in cellulose thinners....works but for the sake of two squid it's not worth the bother..
Gary
That sounds more like my style - TBH, I think table tennis balls might be the last living legend that is celluloid. Last time I remember celluloid was when I put my guitar fingerpicks in an ashtray and dropped a fag in - whole lot went up in a big cloud of smoke :lol: As an aside, wasn't it rolled up celluloid fags that the little toy 'smoking sailors' used to use ? - are we even allowed to use the term fags these days without a warning label ? (paper not PC :D )
As I'm not Scottish,
Not sure where this comment is going, shouldn't it really be directed further south from me towards the continent of Yorkshire 8-)
I recently bought a tube of balsa cement rather than mixing my own. When I had a quick look it still had its warning sheet in the box. The mixture would appear to be 70% propan-2-one (acetone to you and me), 25% ethanol and I assume the other 5% is the celluloid.
Great Mike, thanks for that - would seem about right - although I had a thought last night that it might be amyl acetate rather than acetone - I'm sure either solvent will work fine.

As for Shaun's aliphatic nonsense, I'll put that in the same category as using thin cyano to edge join balsa :lol:

Thanks all for the info, I'll be selling tubes of 'real' balsa cement soon on fleabay at 1/3d a tube - I'm taking pre-orders now - boxes of 500 only - limited to one box per customer - they WILL be in real lead tubes of course.

Neil

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RON
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Re: Balsa Cement

Post by RON » 14 Jun 2019, 21:15

ooh, ill have a box,

how much? a fiver!!
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Martin
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Location: Warwickshire

Re: Balsa Cement

Post by Martin » 14 Jun 2019, 23:33

Have you tried the superphatic stuff? It's yellow or pink and watery. You use it like cyano - it wicks into the joints. Sets faster than most glues, but not as fast as thin cyano. Not as smelly as cyano and sands better than PVA. Not many places seem to sell it though.

bluejets
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Re: Balsa Cement

Post by bluejets » 06 Jul 2019, 02:55

Remember using the Aeroflyte balsa cement C17 and C23 as a kid.

Apparently still available on Ebay although may be uneconomical for transport internationally given the flammable nature.

Product is known as Pacific Balsa cement on Ebay.

Product details in pdf below

Cheers Jorgo.
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GarydNB
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Re: Balsa Cement

Post by GarydNB » 06 Jul 2019, 09:26

They do dope in tubes as well....

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