Recommendation on Wood Selection

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Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby Copper John » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:53 pm

I'm using the Shark 3.0 CNC machine with Vectric 9.5 software. I've been cutting a lot of plaques using yellow pine purchased from the large box stores (lowes / home depot) and getting a good quality finished and stained product. The issue is the cost of the wood is getting out of hand and I'd like to switch over to a baltic birch that had been recommended . My question is this, will Baltic Birch (available in 4' x 8' sheets with .75" thickness) cut and stain and provide me with a good finished product?

Thank you in advance for any advise you can provide.
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby WNC_Ed » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:04 am

The Baltic Birch is a layered product so not the same as solid wood. You might want to check your local lumber supply places for 2'x2' sheet to experiment with.
Any of the finished plywoods will cut, carve and stain well but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby jerry carney » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:52 pm

I have used plywood for practice cuts only, but if you use any big angle bits it is
a ugly sight. sometimes it has a kool effect. :P
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby Leo » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:09 pm

You can try Birch, Maple, Cherry and all sorts of stuff.

If you are finding Pine expensive then just about anything else will cost more.

If you go to a Hardwood Dealer you maybe can get better quality but price will be higher.

Baltic Birch is a good quality plywood - maybe not available at a local hardware store of even borg stores.

Some people like the layers some don't. I like it depending on the project.

Is your primary concern about price?????
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby martin54 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:59 pm

What are these for? As has been said its a layered prouct & the layers may be very noticable, especially on edges, if you are making these & selling &
the wood price is a concern then sorry but you are far to cheap :lol: :lol: As Leo says pine is generally at the cheapest end of the market when buying wood.

You could buy a small piece & experiment for yourself, Balic birch ply is a great product when used for the right application, this may not be it :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby Jim_in_PA » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:39 pm

I will add that material cost needs to be part of how you are setting the price for what you are producing. And for things like you describe you are making, salvage materials can be very economical (free or low cost) for scraps that are nicely sized for this kind of work. A lot of what I produced for my ETSY store for the holidays was cut from salvaged Tigerwood deck boards. My cost was zero but to buy the species from one of my various suppliers would require a substantial board foot cost.

I agree with the other comments that "baltic birch" plywood may not be very satisfying for the work you describe you are doing, even if it's 100% painted.
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby WNC_Ed » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:24 pm

I see you are in Charlotte, if you ever get up to Asheville, checkout Asheville Hardware, they have premium hardwood board shorts (Walnut, Oak, Maple...) at a pound price. Maybe one of the Lumber/Hardware places near you does the same.
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby Xxray » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:31 am

I'd avoid using something that cheap, might want to experiment with mdf, that is cheap and solid and machines well but you'd need a finishing strategy.

If you must stick with box store wood, poplar is my choice. Cedar looks really nice and smells good machining it but can be a challenge to get consistently great results, and is also not exactly cheap.
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby wbrock » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:15 pm

Try making friends with someone who owns a sawmill or look on FB or CL for sawmill scraps. A lot times these guy sell their scraps for dirt cheap. I have bought truck loads from them for under a $100. The last load I got was a mix of cedar, pine, ash and oak. All I could fit on my truck for $25 and I got some of the most beautiful cedar I've ever seen.
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby martin54 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:43 pm

wbrock wrote:Try making friends with someone who owns a sawmill or look on FB or CL for sawmill scraps. A lot times these guy sell their scraps for dirt cheap. I have bought truck loads from them for under a $100. The last load I got was a mix of cedar, pine, ash and oak. All I could fit on my truck for $25 and I got some of the most beautiful cedar I've ever seen.


Maybe I need to move :lol: :lol: My local sawmill sell everything & even very small off cuts seem to command a premium price, use to be quite reasonable & there were some bargins to be had but then about 2 years ago they started to sell on places like ebay & prices seem to have shot up, still cheaper than buying timber planned & thicknessed to size though. Been looking at ways to try & collect/harvest & dry my own timber recently, working towards building something like a solar kiln for drying :lol: :lol:
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby Jim_in_PA » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:27 am

Let local contractors who do higher end work know you're interested in scraps...they throw a lot of really nice stuff in the dumpster! That's how I got the tigerwood I mentioned previously...
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Re: Recommendation on Wood Selection

Postby wbrock » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:33 pm

martin54 wrote:
wbrock wrote:Try making friends with someone who owns a sawmill or look on FB or CL for sawmill scraps. A lot times these guy sell their scraps for dirt cheap. I have bought truck loads from them for under a $100. The last load I got was a mix of cedar, pine, ash and oak. All I could fit on my truck for $25 and I got some of the most beautiful cedar I've ever seen.


Maybe I need to move :lol: :lol: My local sawmill sell everything & even very small off cuts seem to command a premium price, use to be quite reasonable & there were some bargins to be had but then about 2 years ago they started to sell on places like ebay & prices seem to have shot up, still cheaper than buying timber planned & thicknessed to size though. Been looking at ways to try & collect/harvest & dry my own timber recently, working towards building something like a solar kiln for drying :lol: :lol:


You need someone who does it on the side, but try be the first to contact them. I bought walnut from a guy for about 75 cents a board foot, 2 weeks later his prices had gone up to $15 a board foot.
Tree trimmers can also be good source if have a way cut it into boards, then again a that where a friend with a sawmill comes in handy.
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