Substitute for birch against birch ply? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-15-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Substitute for birch against birch ply?

OK – I need some opinions and advice.

I have started my bar project for my basement. Here is a 3D model, I always build virtually before picking up a saw.

I chose birch because I liked the way it finishes on several different projects I had looked up on the internet. I found some very nice ¾” birch plywood and started making my cuts for the build. I also needed 1x birch goods, and this is where I hit a problem….

I cannot find any nominal sized birch, all I can find is full 4/4 random width, or rough sawn. I don’t have easy access to a planer, nor do I really want to shape all the 1x goods I need.

The interior area of the bar is 1x goods and the cabinet doors are going to be a raised panel, shaker style, using the 1x on the perimeter with ¼” birch ply insert.

So to make a long question longer, is there any OTHER wood that I can use in conjunction with the birch ply that wont be glaringly obvious it isn’t the same wood? (Particularly for the cabinet doors, the other areas are not as visible.)

I have read Alder is similar, but I am having issues finding nominal sized Alder as well. I plan on using a dark stain. I have found tons of nominal Poplar and I tested stains on the birch ply and poplar, both take the stain and color similarly, but the Poplar grain is not as pronounced as the birch.

By the off chance someone on the board is in the Seattle area, and may actually know where I can find more nominal hardwood dimensioned lumber (1x4 -> ¾ x 3.5), please let me know.

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-15-2009, 02:48 PM
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You might see if you can find some milled ash. It might be more similar to the birch and will stain up better than poplar.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-15-2009, 11:25 PM
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Take a look at maple too. If you go to a mill shop, you should be able to get some maple with nice figure to it. Here's a pic of what ash looks like:
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-17-2009, 12:04 PM
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In the same boat as the OP. I am looking for something that will go with Birch plywood and read this on Wall Lumber.

Light, Straight-grained and of fine texture. Easy to work. Excellent for carving, molding and toys. Used often to trim cabinets made of birch plywood.

I have never used it but I do seem to remember that it was used in the house my Dad built when I was a kid. My local lumber yard stocks it. And I can search through it and pick what I want if it would work.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-17-2009, 12:33 PM
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You might want to check with cabinet shops in your area. Surely you can find one that is willing to true and plane birch, maple or ash for you. Alder is another good choice.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-20-2009, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well I contacted a friend who knows a guy .... long story short, I bought the full 4/4 birch planed it and ripped it to what I needed, thanks for the replies.
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