wood keyboard/mouse board

O.K. I'm a complete malco (bad coordination)
Any way I went to the local bespoke furniture manufacturer and ask for ash varnished 40cms x 75cms x 1.5 cms and it turn out to mdf with vaneer grr! ( actualy I asked for 1cm thickness which was too thin, but he made 9mm anyway)
Obviously I didn't pay for it (£20), like if I wanted veneered junk I'd go to MFI.
Can anyone provide me out and provide me with this nice piece of wood ?
Stephen
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On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 15:49:27 +0100, "¬Stephen Hammond"

What's wrong with veneered MDF ?
The problem is that trees grow as thin and round, not big and flat.
I can't do you a piece of timber like that for £20. I don't have any ash 40cm wide, and if I did I would be saving it for high-end tables. Best I can offer off the racks is about 12" wide. So for your board, then you're looking at two bits of 8" board, edge-joined together. You're also looking at some pretty thin timber there, so there's a serious risk of it warping. If you want a good job here, you're actually talking about four pieces of timber, with "bread board" ends to keep it flat. That's four pieces, three joins and two of which require some real machining effort. So you see where this is leading? I just can't offer you a piece of "solid ash timber" in those sizes, if I did do so, then it would warp and you'd be unhappy. If I did it right and made it up out of four pieces, you wouldn't want to pay for it.
If you'd come to me, then I'd have offered you a piece of birch plywood with ash veneer on it. This is lightweight, stable, comes in any size you want. It's lighter than MDF, but to be honest then either of these is a perfectly respectable solution to your problem. They're both respectable engineered boards, unlike chipboard which truly is rubbish.
Factory-veneered boards in ply or MDF would be a good solution for you. Now I don't keep this stuff on hand in ash (I do in oak), so I'd either buy a whole sheet and sell you a corner (so actually I'm losing out on the deal, but then filling up the stock rack doesn't hurt) or I'd have to hand-veneer a piece for you.
Hand-veneering is expensive - I recently lost a bid to make a couple of bedside tables, because the client wanted ash veneer all over and _didn't_ want the edges to be visible. They couldn't quite accept that simply hiding the edges properly was doubling the price, because it stopped me using a factory board and needing hand-veneering.
So, as you're already aware, then timber is cheap - just look at Ikea. But that's _cheap_ timber. If you want the good stuff, it's still costing money. My advice ? Go get the MDF - it'll do what you want, and it's perfectly respectable.
If you want to know what raw timber costs, look here: http://www.interestingtimbers.co.uk /
If you want the best sort of ready-veneered boards http://www.avonplywood.co.uk/noframes/veneered%20boards.htm
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Mon, 25 Oct 2004 18:47:33 +0100, Andy Dingley

Very well done, Andy... hopefully, an education/explanation not only to the OP but to a lot of us...
(my keyboard / mouse / beer-coffee tray is a 12 x 36 x 3/4" chunk of oak plywood left over from a project... works really well)
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