Quick question re: Baltic Birch - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-09-2019, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quick question re: Baltic Birch

Good afternoon,
I am building a roller cabinet for my DeWalt thickness planer. I visited YouTube for some tips and it appears everyone uses "scrap" material. All of them seem to use 3/4 plywood. Some use Baltic Birch.
Question...., I have some "scrap" 1/2" Birch and wonder if it can hold over 80 pounds on a cabinet built on 4x4's approx 24"x24".
Appreciate any input.
Thanks,
Jim
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-09-2019, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpaskell View Post
Good afternoon,

I am building a roller cabinet for my DeWalt thickness planer. I visited YouTube for some tips and it appears everyone uses "scrap" material. All of them seem to use 3/4 plywood. Some use Baltic Birch.

Question...., I have some "scrap" 1/2" Birch and wonder if it can hold over 80 pounds on a cabinet built on 4x4's approx 24"x24".

Appreciate any input.

Thanks,

Jim
It's all in the bracing to support the weight of the tool. If your working from plans then you'll have to modify them. You can always double up the thickness of add another 1\4 ply to make 3\4". Tom k

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-09-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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13579,
Thanks for the note. I put a 2x4 on the center frame for support and did add a 1/4" plywood to make the 3/4".
I was just wondering how much strength 1/2" Balic Birch had vs 3/4" regular plywood.
Thanks again,
Jim
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-09-2019, 10:10 PM
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Strength is dependant on .....

A span of 1/2" will have a greater deflection than one of 3/4", with the same support distance. But a cabinet is not 2 sided, rather 4 sided so it has much more support. The loads are vertical from the weight of the planer and a 1/2" thick panel with glued sides will support hundreds of lbs of weight. No need for internal bracing IF you use rabbets and glue at the corners. Now, if you add shelving you open up one side, but with a top cross piece, that won't matter all that much.
No need to add 1/4" to the 1/2" for added thickness either.



Without a sketch I can only generalize about strength and basic construction, so I'm shootin' from the hip in a way, based on my experience having made more cabinets and shelves than I can remember.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-10-2019, 12:02 AM
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With a 2' span? No problem. I'm 150# and it will easily hold me in that span. I seriously doubt I could break it even jumping up and down on it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-10-2019, 12:17 AM
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Here is the simple cabinet that the seller included with a used DeWalt planer when i bought it. The seller's husband was the original owner, and built the cabinet for himself.

It isn't Baltic Birch, but the 3/4 inch plywood case is rigid and strong. I plan to add drawers someday. I do not know how he used the open space, or what he might have put inside.

Based on my cabinet and the weight of the planer, I would use 3/4 inch plywood. Even if it is Baltic Birch, my sense is that 1/2 inch Baltic Birch is too thin for such a tool.

Photos:
* Planer on top of cabinet.
* View of cabinet.
* Closeup of top.
* Closeup of bottom.
Note: The outfeed side is identical.

Sorry about the mess. It is late, and I wasn't expecting visitors. :-)
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-10-2019, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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All,
Thanks to those that responded to my question. I was just thinking about using some leftover Baltic Birch.
I realize this would have helped if pictures were included. I am not technically competent enough to figure out how to get pictures into a thread.
I will just hold onto my scrap, head over to Home Depot and pick up a sheet of 3/4" plywood and get back to work.
Thanks again to all.
Jim
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-10-2019, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpaskell View Post
All,
Thanks to those that responded to my question. I was just thinking about using some leftover Baltic Birch.
I realize this would have helped if pictures were included. I am not technically competent enough to figure out how to get pictures into a thread.
I will just hold onto my scrap, head over to Home Depot and pick up a sheet of 3/4" plywood and get back to work.
Thanks again to all.
Jim
Good choice
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-10-2019, 11:33 AM
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Without seeing how the stand is put together there is no real answer. The design of the cabinet is more important than the material choice, a good design made from 1/2" material may be stronger than a poorly designed one built with heavier material.

If you are more comfortable with 3/4" then that is the way to go for you.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-10-2019, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpaskell View Post
. All of them seem to use 3/4 plywood. Some use Baltic Birch.
Question...., I have some "scrap" 1/2" Birch................
Just wondering - are you aware that there is a world of difference between regular run of the mill birch plywood and Baltic Birch? It's like comparing apples to cannolis.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-11-2019, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Just wondering - are you aware that there is a world of difference between regular run of the mill birch plywood and Baltic Birch? It's like comparing apples to cannolis.
Tony B,
I'm fully aware of the difference between the white birch and Baltic Birch. I did spend the extra for the Baltic. This you can sand a bit without sanding off the first layer of ply.
All my cabinets are Baltic.

Thanks for the note.
Jim
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-11-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
Without seeing how the stand is put together there is no real answer. The design of the cabinet is more important than the material choice, a good design made from 1/2" material may be stronger than a poorly designed one built with heavier material.

If you are more comfortable with 3/4" then that is the way to go for you.
I went with the 3/4" Baltic Birch. I'll keep the 1/2" for the drawers.
Thanks for the note.
Jim
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