Maple vs Birch

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I am interested in making a new fence for my router table. When I went to my local big box store (Reno-Depot here in Montreal) I found that Birch was roughly half the price of maple. Is there any downside to making jigs, fences etc. out of birch?
Best Regards, Jack Fearnley
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There's birch and there's birch. Did you test the hardness? i.e. Thumbnail indent test. If it is _hard_ birch I'd do that. :-)
Jack Fearnley wrote:

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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:39:20 -0500, Jack Fearnley

I dunno - I use MDF. I really can't see any practical difference as long as the grain is reasonably straight and the piece is square and flat. Birch isn't quite as hard as maple, but that shouldn't matter on most jigs and such. Birch cabinet-grade plywood has long been touted as the best material for jigs and fences, too.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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snipped-for-privacy@bendcable.com says...

jig.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Thanks to all who replied. Could someone please explain to this novice what is MDO and how it differs from MDF. I also saw Medex mentioned on another post and I don't know what that is either.
Best Regards, Jack Fearnley
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MDO stands for Medium Density Overlay. It has a paper like covering on it. Sign makers use it for painted signs. MDO is more of a specialty product and usually not sold in DIY type big box stores. MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard, no covering just compressed fibers and binder. MDF is sold at most places that sell any type of sheet good. It is very stable but only suitable for interior applications- when exposed to water it will soak it up like a sponge. I use it for fences, jigs, sleds, bending forms, etc. and occasionally for a painted project. It machines well but is a dusty SOB and will soak up paint like crazy. I usually prime it with a pigment shellac if I'm going to paint it. Heavy too. Heaving around 3/4" 49" X 97" sheets is no fun. I try to have it cut down into more manageable pieces at the store if I can. DAGS for Medex and you should be able to find info on it.
Dale
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Jack Fearnley wrote:

Since nobody answered you, I didn't know, and I was curious, I went googling.
"The Medium Density Overlay is a fiber sheet which has been treated with a resin formula for optimal paint adhesion." (http://www.simpson-plywood.com/sign_making/signal.php )
"Medex is an SCS certified, no-added formaldehyde, moisture resistant MDF panel engineered for interior high moisture areas. Used in place of sanded plywood and solid wood in non-structural applications, Medex gives you the versatility of a composite panel with the emissions of solid wood." (http://www.sierrapine.com/products/mdf/medex/default.asp )
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<snip>

Where do you buy that straight grain MDF? ;-)
Patriarch
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 20:19:19 -0600, Patriarch

You ever seen any with a figured grain?
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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As best I can _figure_ it, it's end-grain on all 6 faces.
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On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 15:40:05 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

I want to see one of those trees.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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<snip>

They're spherical! Tom
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MDF trees are grown right on the equator, thus the forces of gravity don't affect the grain like other woods. (sort of like the water down the drain thing) In order to make a linear grain, you can run a few coils of wire along the board and with electrical indcution, make it a straight grain.
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I'm sorry folks. I _really_ didn't mean to start an electrical thread.
Patriarch
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MDF doesn't grow on trees, you know.
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This from a guy who joints whatever scrap is on hand and uses it for a fence, but no difference it the world what you bump another piece of wood up against.
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:39:20 -0500, Jack Fearnley

birch has a reputation for being a bit unstable- tending to warp-tist etc with the seasons.
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Not necessarily... but you may find there's a downside to making jigs, fences, etc. out of *any* plywood that comes from a big box home center. IME such plywood is rarely, if ever, flat, and unlikely to remain that way long even if you're lucky enough to find a sheet that is.
Look for Baltic birch plywood; I'm sure a city the size of Montreal *must* have a few specialty woodworking supply shops that carry it, or can order it for you. Hardwood lumber dealers usually have it, too, or can get it. Or you could call a few local cabinet shops and ask where they get theirs.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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I think the OP wasn't talking about birch *plywood* but about solid birch.
The best lumberyard in Montral is on Pie IX in the east side of town.
Langevin et Forest lte 9995, boul. Pie IX Montral (Qubec) tl. (514) 322-9330
They have a lot so it can be intimidating at first. But they are generally helpful and speak English as well for us anglophones.
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In article
mare*Remove*All*0f*This*I*Hate*Spammers*@mac.invalid.com (mare) wrote:

Maybe... I guess I assumed he was talking about plywood, because the big box stores around here don't sell solid birch, but they do sell birch ply.
My advice to look for Baltic birch plywood still stands, though. That's probably a better choice than solid maple *or* solid birch.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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