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
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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