Is this imported "Baltic Birch" suitable for dovetail drawers???

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I don't know what "this Baltic Birch" you refer to, but my admittedly limited experience says no.
The usual tearout problem with solid stock is blowout when the dovetail bit exits the work piece. That can be mitigated with a backer board.
What I've seen with the plywood is tearout on the front side when the bit enters the work and grabs and tears the face lamination.
All of this assumes, of course that you are routing the DTs.
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Wes Stewart wrote:

That has been my experince too with trying to route dovetails into 1/2" baltic birch. I ended up using a 45 degree drawer lock bit like: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p0119&cat=1,46168,46174
That provided a decent surface for gluing and seems reasonably strong. Dovetails would look nicer, but for simple drawers where appearance isn't a major concern, this works.
Jeff
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wrote:

I wanted appearance, so I gave up and did the right thing and used poplar. [g]
Wes
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Wes Stewart wrote:

I had some very recent experience with this material and my dovetail jig. Even using backer boards front and back did not solve the problem. In the end I used finger, or box, joints cut with my dado set on the table saw. While it worked well I still had some de-lamination on assembly. I had to adjust the joint making it less tight.
Good luck. Mike
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With applied front, this is the way to go, IMO. Use of a nice spiral bit and a router jig will give clean cuts.
You have compared prices of this stuff with other good secondary solid woods in your area? I can get basswood for a song, so that's my preference.
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If properly cut, Baltic Birch can be used. You will experience some tearout if you cut the BB with a machine (router). Scoring the cutlines and using a scrap piece as a backing will help.
Dave
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I just finished making 6 drawers using 1/2" baltic birch. I did get a small amount of tear out but it was minor and the drawers came out nice and tight. I was NOT trying to make a piece where the dovetails show other than when the drawers pull out however.

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I used 1/2" BB for drawers using a baccker board for DT joints and had no problems. Slow climb cut entry then usual speed with router.

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I've used it for such, but I prefer soft maple for drawer sides. At $2-$3/board foot, it doesn't cost much and it finishes really nice.

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I forgot to include the following piece of advice that I received from this newsgroup before I built my drawers.
Before running the router from left to right to make the cuts, first run it lightly from right to left. This helped eliminate a lot of the tear out.

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I would never cut plywood with one of my LN Independence back saws. :-)
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I had similar thoughts. But I have had pretty good success with dovetails in BB using an inexpensive Japanese DT saw. Chiseling the waste is "interesting" with the grain changes between layers.
Interesting effect for drawers in shop furniture, but not something I'd put in the living room and certainly not something SWMBO would allow outside the shop.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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Well, now you've got me to thinking a bit more about it. I could use an old Stanley dovetails saw I have and use a coping saw to waste out the rails and pins. A sharp chisel would do a credible job of dressing up the bb. It wouldn't be a "Williamsburg" quality joint, but a nice challenge.
So much of the Baltic Birch I've seen lately has lamination problems, I sure wouldn't spend much money trying to do it. I think planing some white wood from the borg will make better drawer sides. As far as that goes, some of the fingerjoint drawer side material from McCoy's or Sutherlands makes pretty nice looking dovetails and it's already 3/8" thick.
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Just as well as it would be rather tricky attach to it to the router.
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miey wrote:

If you are speaking of "Classic Birch" as sold by Home Depot the answer would be no/not really/Your Mileage May Vary.
For shop cabinets though it's way nice.
UA100
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