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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Robbins, Oct 15, 2002.
A local lumber yard quoted me $136 for a 4x8 sheet of baltic birch...is this typical pricing?
1/2" or 3/4"? What grade? I bought 3/4" Birch plywood at Lowes the other day for about 30 bucks a sheet. It was 2 sides good but wasn't cabinet grade.
What are you trying to build? A sub? If so you will want to buy the void free cabinet grade which will cost a pretty penny, not sure of the cost but I wouldn't think over 100.
Whats wrong with MDF?
I got my 4x8 sheet of MDF for $17 at Home Depot.
All the Baltic birch I have bought came in a 5' X 5' dimension. Maybe this is some kind of cabinet grade, the price is right for that. Here in Texas a 5x5 sheet of 3/4 BB is about $36 - $40
I paid $23.75 + tax for a 5x5 sheet of 3/4" baltic birch last weekend. The BB is lighter and less resistant to denting. Try calling other lumber yards to see what they have.
The most popular size Baltic Birch is 5' X 5' and therefore the most inexpensive. It is available in the more popular American size of 4' X 8' but the price per square foot really gets out of line in this size panel. I have heard that the Russian's don't lay up anything but 5'X 5' sheets. If the 5" X 5' sheets will work for your project, if might be cheaper to buy 2 sheets than one 4' X 8". It usually comes in 7 ply and 9 ply.
What are the advantages of using Baltic Birch over 3/4" MDF other than cosmetic and weight?
Will it take screws better than MDF?
I am getting ready to build the 214L Adire Alignment and I am planning in using 3/4" MDF but money really is not a concern at 417 per sheet of MDF......I want a quality cabinet (Appearance and Soundwise) when finished. Everyone says screws are a bitc@ with MDF.
Brett, the answer is: don't use screws. If your panel cuts are accurate and square, carpenters glue will give you a joint that is stronger than the wood. Screws are a waste, mainly of time. You have to drill the holes, countersink the holes, screw in the screws, then fill the holes with wood filler, then sand the dried wood filler down to surface level. If you are building a large cabinet and want to hold the panels in place while you apply clamps, then use a pneumatic brad nailer. That's what cabinet makers use to hold the large plywood cabinet components in position while the glue dries. Using a brad nailer is very fast. If you're going to do any edge rounding with a router, set your brad gun to sink the brads deep enough so your router bit won't be eating nails for lunch.
I'd think the only advantage, if you could call it that would be weight. In my opinion the heavier the sub the better. I don't want my sub creeping along my floor MDF will have much less resonance and is much more dense. Screws are definately a waste of time unless you have no clamps. MDF is much cheaper and machines a million times better than plywood and you will get a much better quality wood grain and pattern choices from veneer than you would with plywood.
I use screws in MDF with no problems at all. I use the coated green 2" deck screws at HD (the ones from Lowes suck). They grab and hold very nicely. You do need to predrill, otherwise the MDF will split.
I use the screws in lieu of clamps. It seems easier that way for me to hold. I do have to use woodfiller, but since I am veneering over it anyway, it doesn't have to look good.
I also use dowels in many parts of the speaker (where it will be routed). Those work fine as well.
I recently built a 145L Tempest in an octagonal tube made with 3/4" (13ply) baltic birch. This baby has minimal resonancy. It has even less resonancy than my main speakers (9 1/4 x 14 x 9 3/4) that are constructed of 1" MDF with a 1/4" Baltic Birch veneer. If you look at the Adire site they recommend in order for preference the following: marine plywood, apple plywood, baltic birch plywood and then MDF. Plus the advantage of the BB is less weight and you have nice wood grain ready to finish.
So, Where does one find marine plywood, apple plywood, and baltic birch plywood?
I went to Home Depot and Lowes and found cabinet grade birch plywood for about $40 a 4x8 sheet. Neither store had any void free birch. No marine grade plywood, or apple plywood or baltic birch.
Is Baltic Birch different from normal birch?
How important is the void free aspect?
I plan on building a near 8 cu-ft tumult with 4 15" PRs and a plexiglass window to see into it. I intend to do extensive bracing, but would like to end up with only 1 3/4" thick layer of wood so I can actually move the sub. MDF is out of the question.
Try looking in the yellow pages under lumber. Baltic Birch is 13 layers while regular birch is 5 layers I believe.