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View Full Version : 1/8" thick light colored wood, non-warping and without knots



John Finnegan
10-06-2013, 1:03 PM
Hi All,

A little background:
I work primarily in 1/4" thick birch plywood (cutting exclusively). I use a supplier here on Sawmill and have been fairly pleased with the quality of the wood.
The one problem I run into is knots that are present within the inner layers of the 5-layer plywood. It is impossible to tell where they are until you run into them while cutting.
The more complex and detailed I get, the more frustrating this is, because the laser won't cut entirely through when a knot is present in the inner layers. Even with a 100W cutter, a knot can leave up to a 3/16 thick uncut area I have to manually try to cut through the rest of the way with a razor blade.

Now to the present:
I currently have the need to create highly complex cutouts on a 1/8" thick substrate that will overlay the 1/4" birch I now use. The requirements are:
1. Very minimal warp
2. knot-free in the center
3. Light wood grain face that accepts a colored dye and/or will complement the light colored 1/4" birch it overlays
4. Same as above, but in Bamboo

Does anyone know of anything out there that fits these attributes?
It seems like some type of hard/press board (like masonite) with a veneer face would be perfect.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
John

John Pletcher
10-06-2013, 9:38 PM
John, I know exactly what you're experiencing and it's frustrating, especially after cutting intricate parts only to find a part or two stuck in the sheet because of a hidden knot in an inner ply. Even slowing the speed down doesn't always help, which also takes a lot more time.

Baltic birch anymore is a generic name and most of what is coming in under that name is Russian birch plywood and it is a crap shoot. I've lucked out with some batches that have no hidden surprises, but others are full of hidden surprises.

Try to locate a supplier in your area that carries Finland Birch Plywood. Finland birch is uniform through out and is typically used in high end pattern making. The downside of the material though is price. Some of our local suppliers show it on their online inventory, but when I called I found out they stopped carrying it due to the higher price. It's still out there. When you consider all the time spent cutting areas by hand the laser didn't cut, the higher price of Finland Birch may be worth it in the long run.

John Pletcher

AL Ursich
10-06-2013, 10:29 PM
I would contact "Cards Of Wood" that make thin wood Busness Cards and STUFF.... The Question is could they make YOU custom Plywood of all clear wood...? Could be a new product line for them.... YOU have the NEED others do too...

"Build it and they will come...." or Buy...

I sent them a email with the idea...

AL

Mel Fulks
10-06-2013, 11:59 PM
Look at Italian bending ply . Its poplar three ply, 1/8 light. Usually pretty white ,not much green. Made for laminating into ellipses and other curved shapes but is rigid in small pieces.

Joe Pelonio
10-07-2013, 8:52 AM
I would suggest Basswood, but it's not very dense. Ace Hardware and all of the craft stores have it so you can choose unwarped pieces. You could also use 1/8" MDG and laminate your own veneer onto it. The 1/8 Bamboo cuts nicely and comes in several colors from light to dark, but may be harder to find. We have a local supplier that sells it for flooring and cabinet work, in various thicknesses and there are several online sources.

Kev Williams
10-07-2013, 12:15 PM
I make wood business cards for a customer using alder veneer, which I get from Macbeath Hardwood. The store in Salt Lake is amazing, I would suggest googling them and give them a call, they may have some suggestions and I'm sure they'll have the product!

AL Ursich
10-07-2013, 1:47 PM
Got a email back from Cards of Wood and they DO have something that might work... Not sure if the price works for you.

http://www.cardsofwood.com/store/store_results.asp?Category=22&Section=Thick+Wood+Panels

AL

George M. Perzel
10-07-2013, 1:55 PM
John;
How about 5/32" cherry, clear, no warp -5.75" wide by 12" or 24".? PM me if interested.
Best Regards,
George
Laserarts

John Finnegan
10-07-2013, 6:06 PM
Got a email back from Cards of Wood and they DO have something that might work... Not sure if the price works for you.

http://www.cardsofwood.com/store/store_results.asp?Category=22&Section=Thick+Wood+Panels

AL

That's great, thank you very much Al.
I'm going to be in touch with them to see if they are able to make larger panels.
I should have mentioned before that I'm looking in the range of 16" x 20" or even 18" x 24."
This will be for a new product I'm developing.

John

Mike Null
10-09-2013, 7:30 AM
Phil

Thanks for posting this info. That's great news. Even better would be to learn that JDS and Johnson Plastics will be carrying this selection.

Wes Mitchell
10-09-2013, 10:06 AM
Phil

Thanks for posting this info. That's great news. Even better would be to learn that JDS and Johnson Plastics will be carrying this selection.

Even better news, Mike - Johnson Plastics will be stocking the Hardwood Collection. If you go to johnsonplastics.biz and type "RW" into the search, you can find all the part numbers as well as pricing.

John Finnegan
10-09-2013, 10:28 AM
Even better news, Mike - Johnson Plastics will be stocking the Hardwood Collection. If you go to johnsonplastics.biz and type "RW" into the search, you can find all the part numbers as well as pricing.

It looks like a really great product. Unfortunately, the price point is nearly double where I need it to be to make this new product profitable without pricing myself out of the market. Thank you very much for pointing it out, though.

John