View Full Version : 1/64th Inch Plywood Substitute

John Esberg
12-06-2006, 7:21 PM
Hello everyone,

I've been working with quite a bit of 1/64th in Finish Birch plywood from Midwest Products Co. The thickness is a great approximation of what you would use for 2" thick materials for modelling. It's also fairly rugged. I can cleanly cut to a thickness between cuts of 0.016" without becoming charcoal.

On the down side, its cutting speed it unbelievably slow. I'm running a file right now that takes 4 hours to cut one sheet of 12" x 24" pieces. Not bad if you don't mind living with your machine. :p

I'm attaching a picture of an example of what I've been able to do. It's a shot of a 48" x 40" wooden pallet scaled down to 1/87th the original size. The amusing part about this is that I am very passionate about this work, but I find it unbelievably anal to make jewelry. Too bad for my lovely wife. :rolleyes:

So, here's the question. Does anyone have any suggestions for substition materials? :confused:

Looking forward to your reply,

John Esberg

Joe Pelonio
12-06-2006, 7:48 PM

A couple of those pallets would look great on your wife's ears!!:eek:

Are you saying that the 1/64th takes longer than 1/8" to cut? I run that at a speed of 25. Perhaps it's just that you are running a lot of very small pieces. You can use card stock (business car weight) which should cut faster, but unless you have a vacuum table you'll lose pieces out the exhaust. I have a piece of plastic screen cut to size that I velcro on for that so the air goes thru but not the parts.

BTW, you have a lot more patience than I to do stuff that small. Probably better eyes too!

John Esberg
12-07-2006, 8:42 AM

Since I work in SMALL :p detail on my pieces with minimum clearances between cuts of 0.017", I can't just go blasting through the material. A gentle touch really counts here. So, in most cases this material takes MUCH, MUCH, MUCH longer to cut than 1/8" woods. Please note that this is an "engineered" wood product.

As for falling pieces, I don't worry about it. I put 0.02" tabs on everything so I don't have that problem. After its done cutting, you cut the pieces apart with a #1 hobby knife with a nice sharp blade.

One last thing, you need good lighting for detail this small. I recommend an Ott light. (spelling on that name) Its good and bright, but doesn't blind you.

Gotta go,


Joe Pelonio
12-07-2006, 9:16 AM

One last thing, you need good lighting for detail this small. I recommend an Ott light. (spelling on that name) Its good and bright, but doesn't blind you.
My wife has a couple of those for sewing and quilting, maybe I should get one too. Better yet when I get the shop moved to the house in jut another week I'll borrow hers while she's at work.

Mitchell Andrus
12-07-2006, 9:29 AM
Just a thought here John, How about making your own plywood? You'd have total control over ply thickness, number of layers and direction of stratta (my new word for the day), thickness and type of adhesive....

Lee DeRaud
12-07-2006, 11:36 AM
How about paper-backed veneer? If nothing else, it gives you some flexibility on color.

(Start here (http://www.rockler.com/search_results.cfm?filter=veneer), click on 'flexible veneer'. The adhesive-backed variant is also useful for some applications, no pun intended.)