A few weeks ago i linked some of these posts to a sawmill in the PNW that saws high grade QS DF. (i know the principals) Suggested some connections with EAA tech counselors out there for on-site advice. Linked some commercial current sources/retailers. They are intrigued, will see if anything comes of it "eventually". The market is so tiny it's almost a nuisance, though. And the price of high grade, relatively close grain DF is fairly high, without the nuisance factor of sorting, grading and drying for AC spec. I mean 1 MBF quantities for small scale work, or truckload (7 - 10 MBF) are the norm in millwork. How many of you guys want even 100 BF minimum per order? Would you buy it RWL (In the rough, random width and length as it comes off the mill) or do you need it processed and planed to aproximate dimension? As a first step refinement, what thickness would you be most likely to buy, for further processing in your shops? 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 8/4? What actual widths (say 4" through 10") ?I suppose someone with an entreprenureal bent (and $$$) could find a trustworthy source, purchase a truck load of quarter sawn DF out west, and start grading and marketing it.
The model balsa industry started when a dockworker who built models in the early days saw the balsa as we use foam packing thrown away on the docks. He bought a table saw and was sawing free wood in his apartment in the NY city area.
Somewhere about ten years ago when wind mills started to be massed produced, China was going to South America and buying up forests of Balsa. ARF models had this big run of cheap good planes coming out of China until this happened. They doubled and tripled in price overnight and just buying balsa became almost impossible in the US unless it was already on the shelf. I went to the Balsa USA factory while I was on a business trip. Bunch of warehouses full of balsa. One was about half full of a high school gym of balsa to the ceiling. The guy said they were down to almost empty when the supply loosened.
Same happened to Spruce. The issue for Spruce is it is being made into musical instruments which is a much more regular commodity. Think making 500,000 violins a year where everywhere else would have been making 5000. No way to complete with scale.
I cant help but think about the incredible supply of viable "project" homebuilts on the market RIGHT NOW that nobody wants. Who the hell cares if the wood supply dries up tomorrow? What is the real market here? Probably slightly more than nothing.
If it weren't for the politics and the minimum services clause in the required contract at my airport I'd be all over planes like these to start an Experimental only flying club. Lots of resources out there just wasting away.would be all over the cheap planes just to fly something. Not the budget people. Just looking on barnstormers and at the $5k level, the << >>Hiperbipe project with engine,$8500.
Hard to say. Depends on how many people would be willing to switch woods. It took me 8 weeks to get the spruce for my CubMajor.I cant help but think about the incredible supply of viable "project" homebuilts on the market RIGHT NOW that nobody wants. Who the hell cares if the wood supply dries up tomorrow? What is the real market here? Probably slightly more than nothing.