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  • September 29, 2020, 09:56:35 AM

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Author Topic: Best sources for contest balsa?  (Read 645 times)

Offline kevin king

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Best sources for contest balsa?
« on: September 15, 2020, 10:38:09 AM »
I almost fear asking the question because I'm scared the answer will be 'There aren't any'.

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 02:43:27 PM »
At the very top of this page on the left is the link to Okie Air Model Products

https://okieair.com/


pretty good wood...not sure how long his supply will last
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 10:58:44 PM »
Who ended up with the MAL wood.  It was some of the best balsa on the planet.  Probably got split up when they went out of business.  He used to have a private stash that he saved for the Free Flighters.  Made great stunt ships.

Ken
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Online Jim Svitko

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 09:17:32 AM »
Too bad about MAL closing but times change.  Every time I went in there it was like I took a trip back in time.  Once I took a set of plans from one of Dick Mathis' designs (Coyote or Excalibur, can't remember which) to get some wood.  The guys running the place at that time told me about Dick Mathis and how he used to get custom cut wood from MAL.

The last time I was there I got some silkspan, the real stuff, still in an unopened box.  I bet this silkspan was made over 50 years ago.

I also wonder what happened to their wood supply when they closed.

Offline Steve Fitton

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 10:23:51 AM »
My brother said there was three pickup truck loads full of wood taken out of there. Who got it?
Steve

Online Dave Rigotti

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 10:37:04 AM »
Same guy who got all the Klett hinges?
Dave Rigotti
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Online Motorman

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 12:02:04 PM »
Remove victim to fresh air

Online Jim Svitko

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 12:14:00 PM »
I remember going to MAL and looking at the balsa stash.  Big load of it in the back.  Unbelievable.  Also in there was an old car.  I am not sure what it was.   It looked old enough to be something you would see in a Humphrey Bogart movie.

Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2020, 03:55:44 PM »
I stopped looking for "contest" balsa, meaning something like 4 to 6 lb.  I found it too flimsy and lacking strength where needed.  My models do not come out heavy, and I use heavier stronger wood with great results.  The secret is in the basic structure being optimum without excess wood not under stress.  If your wood isn't under stress, its too thick!
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Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2020, 04:38:58 PM »
   What's the story on "MAL"??  What or who were they? Just curious.
     Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee
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Online Jim Svitko

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2020, 06:10:14 PM »
Dan, since I am not a native of DFW area, someone else might have more details.  But, this is what I heard:

MAL was the initials for what I think was Model Aircraft Labs.  It was an old, old hobby shop in Irving, TX.  I think the shop first opened around 1947.  By the time I got back into the hobby (late 90s) the shop was run by a father-son team.  Dad passed away and the son took over.  I am not sure if the son is still living or not.   I think they closed not long after my last visit.  I am guessing the shop closed a few years ago but not sure exactly when.

On one of my visits, the son told me that when he was a kid, they could walk out the door of the shop and there was an open field to fly on.  Of course, you can imagine what the area looks like now.

Online Ken Culbertson

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2020, 10:35:52 PM »
Dan, since I am not a native of DFW area, someone else might have more details.  But, this is what I heard:

MAL was the initials for what I think was Model Aircraft Labs.  It was an old, old hobby shop in Irving, TX.  I think the shop first opened around 1947.  By the time I got back into the hobby (late 90s) the shop was run by a father-son team.  Dad passed away and the son took over.  I am not sure if the son is still living or not.   I think they closed not long after my last visit.  I am guessing the shop closed a few years ago but not sure exactly when.

On one of my visits, the son told me that when he was a kid, they could walk out the door of the shop and there was an open field to fly on.  Of course, you can imagine what the area looks like now.
They were still open in 2016 but it was not the same as I remembered.  It was where everybody that was anybody in the 60's and later got their wood and he knew all of us and what we liked.  His stock that we used for free flight was so light that you had to pump helium into it to weight it down and it wasn't that mushy stuff you get today.  They still had quite a stash of wood when they closed.  Someone bought the lot. 

Ken
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Offline De Hill

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Re: Best sources for contest balsa?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2020, 08:49:57 PM »
The owner of MAL was Mister Seay. He used to come to the Tulsa MECA Collecto every year. He was in his late 70's when He last came to Tulsa, and was quite a talker.
De Hill

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