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  • wood help

    I seen where 1/4" Baltic Birch was a General scroll saw preferance. I cut my first piece and have it sitting in a frame on the counter. One of the threads I had it posted on a comment was made to avoid the seam lines because they could be problems. My question is on the baltic birch it has these seams every 7 inches. It is going to be hard to avoid them doing 8 x 10 portraits. Can I sand them away or would that put me into the glue and create bigger problems???.
    The other question is Due to my location and just starting out I don't want to wrap alot of money in wood. The lowes about 40 minutes away has the 1/4" Baltic Birch and 1/4" oak Does the Oak plywood have these seams as well and if so which of these are preferred???

  • #2
    I am ready to buy wood from Sloans because I got that same Baltic Birch and Oak plywood from Lowe's and it's nothing but useless. It's warped like crazy and for the price, it's still not worth it. I was being cheap by buying it, but in the long run, I would have saved more if I just bought good stuff in the first place. No wonder they don't post any grades of the plywood there because it's the worst you can get. If you're going to do little projects, that ply from Lowe's would be ok but absolutely not for portraits. It won't lay flat while sawing and causes lots of chattering. Just MHO 'cause I'm new at this too.

    We are the music makers.
    We are the dreamers of dreams.

    Easy scrollin' with a DW788


    • #3
      Thanks Mia, that was pretty much my opinion of it but it is good wood to practice on while Im trying to learn. But if I can make it look decent then when I get real wood I ought to be Real Happy with the finished work..


      • #4
        Warped ply is tough to scroll on. I had a warped experience recently, and what a pain. However, I have a question regarding plywood. Besides price, what is the difference between BB and oak ply? I assume the oak has more grain and is probably a little darker. How about the cutting properties?

        Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


        • #5
          I disagree totally. I thought I could use the "cheap" wood to practice on. I mainly bought the saw for my daughter since she has woodworking at school and finally found a hobby. So, I bought the wood and she had trouble with it. So, I tried it and my goodness, it's so warped it doesn't allow you to make decent turns because you're so busy holding the darned wood down! Trust me on this. If you really want to get the wood from there, get one piece and give it a try. I even got 10% off because I complained that the wood was warped. What I did when I bought it was lay it flat on the cement floor there to try to get the least warped boards, but they are still all warped. Even a little makes a huge difference. I'd get one sheet and if you're lucky enough to get one that lays flat, great. If not, I'd still go to Sloan's. Their prices aren't much higher than what I paid at Lowe's but the difference in quality will be worth it.

          We are the music makers.
          We are the dreamers of dreams.

          Easy scrollin' with a DW788


          • #6
            When I bought my piece I made them open a new bundle that just came in and still bundled together tightly prior to the inexperience forklift drivers there put it in a rack crooked. I knew what I was going to do with it and had them cut it into 3 pieces so it would lay flat in the truck. When I got it home I cut it into the 8" x 10" Pieces and stacked them up on a flat spot then sat my tool box on them. That helped with the warp.
            But it does seem to be very cheap wood. Not only does the birch warp but it likes to peal at the seams alot but I am gaining expierience using my saw until I can find a better place to get wood down here.

            I haven't messed with the Oak and from the sound of it probably wont depending on other opinions or tips, At least from Lowes
            Last edited by kyscroller; 02-14-2007, 11:47 PM.


            • #7
              I seriously doubt that Lowe's carries Baltic Birch. At least ours here in Jacksonville doesn't. The stuff they do have does not scroll. Try Sloan's or one of the other suppliers. Pesonally, I find Sloan's to have excellent service. Sawing with cheap wood doesn't pay. But, that's just me. I gave up Old Milwaukee when I discovered Belgian beer.



              • #8
                None of the Lowe's that I have been cares BB.
                I buy mine in a woodworking store in Indy.

                Delta P-20 & Q-3

                I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!


                • #9
                  I thought the tag at Lowes said Baltic Birch So I checked my recipt. My mistake it was 1/4" birch I bought at Lowes. I musty of had baltic birch on the brain.

                  Whew I was wondering why everyone was talking about using Baltic Birch if this was it. The hunt is on now. Hopefully it is alot better than BIRCH
                  Last edited by kyscroller; 02-15-2007, 06:00 PM.


                  • #10
                    Baltic Birch Plywood is a brand name of a specific type of Birch veneer plywood. True BB plywood is imported from parts of the former USSR.

                    Birch Plywood, in the USA for the most part, is not Baltic Birch. It is just plywood that has birch tree wood veneer on the face. Where I live, the home improvement stores carry birch plywood that has not been dried, kiln or otherwise. The interior layers of veneer is raw, high moisture wood; expect massive warp.

                    BB plywood I have, has no "seams". A lot of Birch plywood at home improvement stores do have seams in the face veneer.

                    Be aware, real BB plywood comes in sheets of 60 inches by 60 inches. If you see a rack of plywood calling itself as Baltic Birch and it is a 4ft X 8ft or a 4ft by 4 ft half sheet, it ain't real BB plywood. A half sheet of BB would be 5ft by 2.5 ft.



                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info phil.

                      I will keep that tip in mind on the next wood run. I was just so revved up to get the saw and material to get started on this adventure I took what I could get quickly and cheaply.

                      My mind is setup on spending for quality wood but my wallet keeps dragging me back to reality.


                      • #12
                        I've bought sheets of 24" x 30" BB at Rockler here in Indy. Woodcraft also has it in various dimensions. At least I think it's real BB. No seams, flat and stable. Both stores seem highly reputable. Phil's comment of 60" x 60" has me wondering, though. What do you say, Phil? What I've bought has seemed like really good quality and has served me well.

                        Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr. Seuss

                        NEW DeWalt 788 and that old, Jimmy- Jerry- and Kevin-rigged Delta 40-560


                        • #13
                          Baltic Birch Ply

                          Phil is correct. I order my BB from my favorite lumber yard and all it comes in is 5' x 5' sheets. No seams or voids and very few repair spots.
                          We Danes are very even tempered. We're always mad about something!


                          • #14
                            sometimes Menard's has baltic birch. I swear they get plywood from different sources by the day. One day you may find baltic birch, the next day it'll be regular 3 ply birch or birch with that single core really nasty full of voids stuff. Their oak/maple/cherry plywoods are the same way too. yeah, and they are the 5x5 sheets...the birch that is.
                            Jeff Powell


                            • #15
                              I don't even bother buying wood to scroll from the big lumber yards, (except for 3/4" pine). When I first started scrolling, I used to go to a local shop that sold carving supplies and other art stuff. He also would mill wood to dimension for me, but that was kind of a pain because he did alot of milling for contractors and had to do special set-ups for the 1/4" wood I was looking for. It would take awhile to get wood this way because I had to wait for him to finish the big jobs first. Now I get my wood mail order from 'Heritage Building Specilties'. Their product is top of the line. They have a great selection of hardwoods and will make just about dimension that you need. They also carry true Baltic Birch plywood. Check them out at " ". If you don't mind waiting, they're the best source I've found. I always call my order in on the phone though because I'm a little particular about certain things, (ie. making sure that my poplar is green). They're great about this. Hope this was helpful.

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