Author Topic: Marine VS Baltic Birch Plywood ?  (Read 9450 times)

Chipped Tooth

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Marine VS Baltic Birch Plywood ?
« on: November 18, 2008, 09:01:11 AM »
I'm new to clock making and the scroll saw. Having made other wooden projects like model aircraft in the past I've found that practicing the skills on lower cost materials beneficial to the outcome of a nice working and looking device.

Having said that I’ve also noticed that one person on You-Tube suggested that “any type” of Marine quality plywood maybe used for clock making as well as Baltic Birch.

Is Baltic Birch the cost effective material for practice and first time gear cutting or will I find that Marine plywood more cost effective?

Thank you,

Chipped Tooth…….

Offline bobledoux

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Re: Marine VS Baltic Birch Plywood ?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2008, 07:04:34 PM »
Give marine ply a try.  Cut out a wheel and see the result.  One experiment is worth a thousand expert, and non-expert, opinions.

If your wheels are big, with large teeth, the material may be appropriate.  My opinion is that it falls short for small wheels, like 5 inches diameter or less.

Baltic birch has many plies.  The wood is fine grained.  These factors contribute to tooth forms that are tight and smooth, with minimal chipping. 

Some of the cabinet grade birch ply, sold by hardware stores, doesn't cut it.  I've had pieces that had incomplete glue, overlapping inner ply edges where the press crushed the panel to a uniform thickness.  These panels were intended for drawer construction, where an area with poor glue coverage is embedded in the overall construction.  The same panel used for a clock wheel would lead to the wheel delaminating as it was cut out. 

The size of the finished product dictates the quality of material.  The smaller the wheel or pinion, the higher the quality requirement.

The quality Baltic birch, sold by scroll saw shops, is commonly used because of its availability.   But some builders do not consider it their choice for a quality clock.  Instead, they laminate up their own panels from hardwood veneer.