SLEC imports balsa wood from the two main world sources Papua New Guinea & Ecuador. All the trees are plantation grown and have a harvest cycle of around 4 years after which the lumber increases in density and becomes too hard and heavy to use. Balsa wood is part of the hard wood family (Ochroma Pyramidal)) Balsa wood is an enviromently friendly resource.
Papua New Guinea forestry nursery where the seeds are cultivated ready for planting. These seedlings are only about a week old.
In the high humidity greenhouse type conditions, the young 2 month old shoots thrive.
With a growth cycle of about 4 years, where the trees can reach 6.5 metres (21ft), they are haversted while the water content is still between 60-80%. If the trees are left to grow the water content reduces and the density increases. Bark is removed and the logs are cut into rough blocks ready for their two week stay in a kiln where the high water content is removed. A soft white wood is then produced.
Balsa arrived and unloaded in the U.K. Balsa is not only used for model aircraft, it has lots of other uses because of its light density. It is used as a core material with composites to make the blades on wind turbines. Surfboards are also made by laminating the lengths together. Balsa is also used widely in the film studio business for scenery and special effects.
The SLECmill machines all the sheets, strips and profiles to metric & imperial sizes which can be purchased through our ONLINE SHOP. Please contact us for custom sizes our only limitations are the block sizes. 80mm x 940mm - 80mm x 1020mm 105mm x 940mm - 105mm x 1020mm - 105mm x 1240mm 80mm x 160mm x 2900mm (approx)