Common Sizes of Balsa Wood

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Balsa wood is considered to be possibly the strongest wood for its respective weight ratio.
Balsa wood is considered to be possibly the strongest wood for its respective weight ratio. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Balsa wood is a lightweight wood capable of being bent and shaped, though it still remains incredibly strong because the cells of the wood are large and thin walled. Because it is soft and light, balsa wood is easily cut, shaped and sanded, making it a popular choice for building models and toys. It is commonly used to build model bridges and houses in miniature, before the real life equivalent is constructed.

Balsa Sticks

Balsa sticks are long and thin and usually squared so that they are rectangular in shape. Common sizes go from 1/16 inch thickness to 3/4 inch thickness, by 3/16 inch width to one inch width, and are usually in a 36 inch length. Balsa sticks are used to build model towers, structures, bridges and remote control airplanes.

Balsa Sheets

Balsa sheets are long, thin sheets, and come in square and rectangular shapes. Common sizes range from 1/32 inch thickness to 3/4 inch thickness, by two inches wide to six inches wide, and are usually 36 inches long. Balsa sheets can be used to build remote control airplanes, decorations, laser projects, models, breakaway props, towers, laminates, bridges, light airplanes, surfboards and cutting kit parts.

Balsa Blocks

Balsa blocks are square or rectangular blocks of balsa wood which still remain lightweight despite their size and bulk. Common sizes range from one inch thickness to six inch thickness, one inch to six inches in width, and measure up to 36 inches in length. Balsa blocks are used for industrial projects, airplane parts, decorations, and the carving of statues, toys, models and decoys.

Balsa Dowels

Balsa dowels are long, thin, rounded sticks that take the shape of a rod. Common sizes range from 3/32 of an inch in diameter to one and 1/4 inch in diameter, and range from 18 inches to 36 inches in length. Balsa dowels are used for jousting rods, fishing rods, building towers, structures, bridges and remote control models.

Balsa Triangles

Balsa triangles are cut into 45 by 45 by 90 degree triangles, giving them one right angle, or squared edge. Common sizes are 1/8 inch thickness to one inch thickness with a 36 inch length on the single long side. Balsa triangles are used for model structures, bridges and airplanes.

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