Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: corvallis, Oregon
I have been using Baltic Birch ply for many years for drawer boxes, always in a dovetail jig. The time it would take to make drawer sides from solid is not worthwhile to most customers, except in some furniture pieces. For bathroom and kitchen drawers, the Baltic Birch is 9 ply for 1/2" thick, and virtually no voids. It finishes nicely when sanded to 220 grit. I set the jig up for 1/32" extra depth so the front and back need to be trimmed slightly after assembly, but that allows me to get a good score on the face of the ply by climb cutting slightly before routing the dovetails. For a run of a dozen drawers, I may get 3 chips pop out, which I glue back in place. I DO have a problem with getting router bits that will not snap on the stuff anymore. I used Whiteside DT bits for years, but then they started snapping off, consistently, no matter how slowly I fed. I probably had a dozen bits snap before I stopped using them. Whiteside replaced all of them, but I had to send the broken ones to them and wait for shipment. PITA. Some of them would break within 1 or 2 drawers. I have had much better luck with the Porter Cable DT bits on the Baltic Birch. No snapping. For that matter, I have even used Vermont America cheapos in a pinch, and even THEY didn't snap, but they don't cut very cleanly either.