Balsa Sealing Question

I'm helping my son with his raingutter regatta sailboat. Trouble is,
I don't know what to seal it with. (it's balsa) Last year we used
some sort of polyurethane varnish, which was horrible. One kid (and
his dad) broughtone that looked as if it were really made from
fiberglass, it was so smooth. Anyy suggestions on what to use? And
yeah, Sean DOES do most of the work. It's gonna look pretty cool with
those Roco T/34 turrets on it.
Reply to
Robert Skipper
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A good thing, which is also *cheap*, as well as easy to work with....
Testor's Dullcoat (in the bottle, to be applied with a brush), with talcum powder mixed in.
Of course, this assumes that you are not also wishing to preserve the original wood-grain of the pieces....
Reply to
Greg Heilers
As an old balsa wood modeller I can answer this one. Your best bet is to go to a hardware store and buy some clear lacquer and some lacquer thinner. For the first coat, pour a little of the lacquer in a small container and thin it about 3 parts lacquer to one part thinner. This will soak into the wood grain a bit and will "raise the hair" of the grain, as we used to say. When dry (about 1/2 hour) sand it till just smooth with medium to fine sand paper. Next, pour a small amount of the lacquer into a container and add some talcum powder to it. Not a lot, just enough to make it a cloudy solution. This will act as a filler to fill in the wood grain. Paint, allow to dry and use that fine sandpaper again. You may have to do two or three coats depending upon how coarse grained your particular piece of balsa wood is. Then follow up with a couple of coats of straight lacquer, again sanding after each. With time and a little practice you can get a finish like glass with this approach.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
I have found Hobby Poxy Fast fill wood grain filler works great. Apply 4 or 5 sanded coats. walt O
Reply to
Walt Oetzell
Thin CA glue and lots of sanding.
Robert Skipper wrote:
Reply to
...way back when I used to do R/C kits, buturate dope with talcum powder mixed in it made a good cheap balsa filler.
But the one you saw was probably filled with epoxy resin and microballoons. About one step removed from fiberglass...and probably more waterproof.
Reply to
Two part epoxy resin was the way to go.
Hard, smooth and waterproof in no time.
Hobby stores carry the stuff, also hardware stores carry it sometimes.
Reply to
You can always (Sigh!) go to your "Big Box" store such as Lowes's or Home Depot and buy a quart of "Sanding Sealer" ~ Give it a coat, then Sand, then another coat, sand, etc. until you get that hard, polished base for whatever paint you are using.
~Rick Fluke
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Reply to
Sanding sealer.
Go to your local paint store and get a can of this (sanding sealer) Used in furniture refinishing to seal all the ppores in the wood, and enables you to get a mirror finish with your topcoat (s) Be prepared for some sanding with a few grits to get that mirror finish.
Reply to
While I am an old balsa bug, I only use balsa on flying models, using basswood now on non-flying stuff. I also used to use lacquer or dope for a sanding seal, but with the advent of urethane varnishes, I find I can thin urethane 1:1 and it makes a fine sealer. I prefer that now as I use urethane varnish for lots of other things, and use little lacquer for other things (though I keep a stock of lacquer thinner as a great solvent and cleaner.
Reply to
Don Stauffer in Minneapolis

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