Engineering/Structure – Resources

*Additional Links – from Diary of a Balsa Goddess

Inclusion of a link on this page is not intended to be an endorsement of any particular supplier.  Links are listed in alphabetical order.  If you find additional websites that may be of interest please email them to me at the address on the bottom of the page and I will add them to the list.  I would also appreciate an email if you find a link that does not work.

 All links on this page are set to open in a new window.

Online Sources for Wood

Lone Star Balsa – Supplier of glues, balsa and basswood in a variety of sizes.   Lone Star Balsa is the rebirth of Lone Star Models that burned down in November, 2007.

Midwest Products – Supplier of glues, balsa, basswood and spruce in a variety of sizes.  Also have model building tools and equipment.

National Balsa Company – Supplier of balsa wood, basswood, glues and other hard woods.

Sig Manufacturing – Supplier of glues, balsa, basswood and spruce.  If ordering wood from this company mention Destination ImagiNation®.  They typically offer a discount on balsa wood to Destination ImagiNation® teams.

Specialized Balsa Wood  – Sells balsa wood by specific weights.

Superior Balsa & Aircraft Materials – Supplier of glues, balsa, basswood and spruce in a variety of sizes.  Also have model building tools and equipment.

My teams have purchased wood from all of these wood suppliers at one time or the other with satisfying results.  Although these vendors are listed under Sources for wood, most of these suppliers also carry a variety of glues, tools and equipment that could be useful to a structure team.  You can request a catalogue (free in most cases) from most of these vendors – check out the websites for information.


Bob Smith Industries  – Bob Smith Industries manufactures Cyanoacrylate glues.  Sold as house brands with the names “Insta-Cure” and “Insta-Cure Plus” by many hobby shops.  This site has information on how to use super glues. 

Elmers Glue – Home page for Elmer’s Glue – manufacture PVA and Aliphatic glues.

Gorilla Glue – Home page for the manufacturers of Gorilla Glue – a polyurethane glue.

Holdtite USA – Home page for Holdtite USA – manufacturer of CA glues and other adhesives.  Site also includes explanations of how some adhesives work.

Jet Glue – Manufacturers of Jet Glue (Cyanoacrylate) found in many hobby and model shops.

Sur-lok Adhesives – Manufactures of Sur-Lok CA adhesives. 

Testors – Manufacturers of Testor’s model cements.

Titebond – Home page for manufacturers of Titebond Carpenters (Aliphatic) glues.   This site discusses different types of glues that are on the market.  Another site that discusses types of glues  This website discusses types of glues and has recommendations for the best glues to use to glue two objects together.

Tools and Equipment

Asel Art – Sell drafting products – T-Squares, Triangles, Mechanical pencils, etc.

Micro-Mark – Sell a wide variety of modeling tools including saws, cutters, shapers, etc.

Pitsco – Sell a wide variety of modeling tools and cutters.  They also sell testing devices, construction mats, and kits for teaching structure concepts.

Rightonscales  – Offer a variety of relatively inexpensive gram scales.  I would recommend you get one that weighs up to at least 100 grams with a resolution of .01 grams.  – I have purchased several gram scales from retailers on ebay.  Check their reputation before you place a bid.

Other Websites

Balsa Wood Road Map – This site deals primarily with balsa wood but many of the ideas apply to other wood types as well.  Includes a list of additional links.

Building Big – Site for PBS series on building large structures (bridges, domes, skyscrapers, dams and tunnels).  Site includes interactive labs on various topics.    Page with links to free CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing) programs.

Physics Balsa Bridge Building Contest – Home page for sponsors of an annual balsa bridge building contest.   There is an extensive list of links to sites that deal not only with bridges but with tower type structures.

Pre-Engineering Software Corporation – This company sells Modelsmart 3D – a program that allows users to construct virtual basswood and balsawood bridges and towers and test them.  Useful for general exploration of structures.  This program takes some time to learn.  It is not interference to use this program because the program does not design structures but merely tests “virtual” structures that the team creates within the program.

Structures around the World – Structure activities for Elementary Age.

* Copied from: “Diary of a Balsa Goddess”  ©2009 Heather Compton

Diary of a Balsa Goddess by Heather Compton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Comments are closed.