Welcome to the Balsa Workbench

Back in the good old days if you wanted to fly a model airplane you had to build it yourself.  In those days hobbyists would trade advice and building tips at the flying field.  Now most folks simply buy ready-made airplanes, and it can be difficult to find people who know how to build.  I hope this site can help neophytes get started on the right track and avoid a lot of the frustration that plagues new builders.

I started building balsa airplanes in 1986.  I would build a plane, try to fly it, repair minor crash damage, and sell it before totally destroying it.  Then I would build another plane and start over.  This was a great way to learn building techniques.  For a couple of years I built airplanes as my main source of income, until inexpensive ARFs put an end to that.


I still build a lot of airplanes.  I fly them for a while and then hang them up for sale at the hobby store, and start building the next one.  Over the years I’ve picked up a lot of simple tricks that make it easy to build a straight, strong, light airplane and do it fairly quickly.


I’m not into fancy scale details, so I don’t have much to say about making scale panel lines, tiny rivets and other such details.  What I like best is plain old RC airplanes.  What I want to do with this website is feature my own building projects in articles telling new builders how to put a plane together easily and accurately.  If there’s anything in particular you’d like to talk about, just send me an email.  I welcome comments and questions.

Click here to check out my store.  For those of you who don’t have time to cut out your own parts, I’m now offering laser cutting services.

Also, check out my friend David McIntire.  He’s an engine freak who can help you choose, run, repair, and generally get the most out of a glow engine.