Gluing balsa wood - what is the best way to do it??

In the field of model making and handicrafts, one is often faced with the challenge of having to glue individual pieces of balsa wood to one another or attach them to other materials. You can read in detail in this article which adhesives are best and how the adhesive effect can be increased.

Bonding of balsa to balsa

There are different methods here, plus many tricks from the model making industry for special effects. We have therefore put together the most important recommendations.

  • Also read - Bending balsa wood - this is the best way to do it
  • Also read - balsa wood - the craft wood
  • Also read - What can be used to glue glass to wood?

White glue

White glue is a universal and very suitable adhesive when balsa wood is to be glued to balsa wood. Although the adhesive needs a certain amount of time before it is completely hardened, it is easy to work with for a longer period of time. It is advisable to fix the parts in place; pressing them together also helps to increase the adhesive force. The relatively poor sandability of wood glue (€ 6.49 at Amazon *) is problematic for some applications.

Balsa glue

There are special balsa adhesives on the market, which can have different properties depending on the manufacturer. You should always choose the product that best suits your needs:

  • Curing time
  • Processing period
  • Adhesive force


Superglue is usually ideal for gluing balsa wood, especially branded products. Their ingredients usually react particularly well with the components of balsa wood, so that secure and quick bonding is ensured. However, grinding can be a little more difficult.

Soda powder as a bond strength booster

Soda powder can be used both with superglue and (possibly) with white glue. It leads to better adhesion and a more stable hold.

Glue other fabrics with balsa

Depending on which material is to be glued, the following are very suitable:

  • Epoxy glue (also for styrofoam)
  • PU adhesive (caution, use very sparingly)
  • possibly also screed glue (especially for styrofoam)
  • UHU hart (classic)

Important general tips for gluing

  • A high adhesive strength can be achieved by roughened adhesive surfaces
  • there must be no foreign matter between the glue points (except for the glue)
  • Always apply adhesive thinly and evenly on both sides
  • After the first application of the adhesive, let it dry for 1 - 2 minutes, then brush again (greatest possible cohesion)
  • Glue must not attack the material to be glued (styrofoam!!)
  • always pay attention to where water resistance has to be achieved (ship hulls, etc.)
Tips & Tricks Glued areas can also be stabilized with a glass fiber fabric. This is often recommended to ensure a better grip.