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What wood to buy?

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  • What wood to buy?

    I'm getting ready to buy some small pieces of plywood to bring back to Taiwan with me. I see Wildwood Design has a nice selection of plywood. If you were stocking up and couldn't buy any more plywood for 6 months, what would you get? They have a lot of Birch but it doesn't appear to be Baltic Birch. Has anyone every made anything with 1/32 inch material?

    I really like the Oak, Cherry, African Mahogny and Walnut.
    Makita MSJ-401
    Universal Tools:
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  • #2
    1/32 inch Stock

    Bob...I've never used anything thinner than 1/8 inch stock and then had to stack cut to maintain good control on the saw. The 1/32 inch stuff sounds more like veneer. I suppose you could glue the 1/32 stock to 1/4 or 1/2 inch BB ply to give the appearance of the more expensive hardwood. I used some veneer yesterday to build a curved lid for a jewelry box. One of my "weird" friends wanted a jewelry box that looks like a casket. I was having trouble trying to make the curved lid so I built a framework similar to the ribs in an aircraft fuselage and glued oak veneer over it. Came out pretty good. The box looks pretty nice but I wouldn't display it in my home. Too depressing for my taste!!
    If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


    • #3
      I would only use the 1/32 stuff for overlays on a clock or whatever. 1/8 or 1/4 are what I use when plywood is the wood of choice.I would stay away from glueing thinner pieces together, if you don`t get a complete bond on the complete pieces being glued you will have problems with gaps in your material when cut.I have tried glueing 1/8 pieces together to make 1/4 and it did not work very well.
      Dewalt 788


      • #4
        You can buy 1/32 ply at Michaels Craft Store.

        It is amazingly strong for what it is. The ply is quite flexible in one direction but not the other.

        You would use it for bookmarks and wooden paperclips.
        I do have some but haven't cut it yet.
        Like Neal said the thin wood requires stacking or a sacrificial backer to maintain control.
        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


        • #5
          I'm curious about something:

          If it's ply and 1/32": How many plys and how thick are the layers?

          Also ply is never as thick as they say ( like wood (2 by is only 1 3/4)
          what is the real thickness of 1/32" ply?

          Also Bob mentioned in another post that his ply was measured in mm in Taiwan. The same is happening here in Canada where I've seen ply in mm. How about in the States, is it starting to show up there too?

          Just wondering...


          DW788. -Have fun in the shop or it isn't a hobby anymore.

          NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.


          • #6
            The 1/32 Finnish Birch that Wildwood carries is 3 ply. I use it for bookmarks and cut it in stacks of 16. I've never taken a vernier to it as I'm not that curious about the actual thickness. I haven't looked at the stuff in Michaels so I can't comment on it but I am curious about it. Guess I know where I'll be going this weekend.
            As far as imperial vs. metric, genuine Baltic and Finnish Birch will be in mm as it's a European product. Many places convert them to inches for us lazy Americans who don't want to figure out what the imperial equivalent is. So, when we're buying 1/2" BB we're actually buying 12mm BB that someone converted for us (I think that's the closest to 1/2" available in BB). 1/8" is actually 3mm. Before anyone corrects me, yes, I know that 1/2" actually equals 12.7mm. I have seen little movement toward metric however on most lumber. FWIW, whenever I'm using a Dado or routing rabbets, I always measure the wood to insure the proper fit. Thicknesses are seldom (if ever) accurate on lumber.
            As far as what I would stock up on, it would be the 1/8" stuff as it's what I use 90% of the time for portraits. Hardwoods, I would stock up on 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" as it's what I use on the majority of my boxes and clocks.

            Scrollsaw Patterns Online
            Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671


            • #7
              If it was ( were?) me I would buy 1/4 inch. I have resawn that with no problem when I needed a vineer (sp) on a picture frame but it was fretted on 1/4 first..then resawn . I don't know that I would try to do anything smaller..just my two cents worth I want a nickel back in change.. and this American has trouble measuring inches much less know how to convert to metric. I just eyeball it..


              • #8
                What I will probably do is get a bunch of 1/8 a few 1/4 and maybe a 1/32 just for fun. I guess the Birch can be stained to any color but I sure like the grain and texture of the Oak, Walnut, Mahogany and Cherry so I'll probably splurge and get some of that too. After the first 6 months I should have an idea what to bring back next.
                Makita MSJ-401
                Universal Tools:
                Remember you only really need 2 tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the Duct Tape


                • #9
                  I use 1/8 for fretwork pictures, and 1/4 for things that need a little more support, like small boxes and bowl holders etc.

                  I have found lately that one face of the BBply will be finer than the other. You can use that to your advantage when staining.

                  You can always buy some rolls of veneer to glue onto the ply before you cut.
                  If you get several species of veneer you may end up doing marquetry.
                  CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                  "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                  Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


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