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Hey y'all I am obviously new to the forum and new to woodworking in general and I am wondering if some of you fine folks could help me out with this little craft I want to make.

What I am doing: Making a laptop case/sleeve paneled with Pine sourced from the pine beetle infested forests. I want to make a case very similar to this just by myself: http://badbeetle.com/macbook-pro-case.html

What I want: A well-finished, durable 9”x13” inch pine panel no greater than ¼” in thickness so I can attach it to my preexisting laptop sleeve.

Some speed bumps I've run in to: I know that pine isn’ the most ideal to work with. I have been told that at the size that we want the wood, the pine will expand and contract as well as cup over time. Also, I want the sides of our panel to be rounded in order to achieve the finished look.

How I have been told to make it so far: We have had several different explanations and courses of action for making the panel. The one common theme is that I definitely need to back the panel with a harder, more stable wood such as baltic birch. After that things get a little more unclear. I have been told that just gluing the birch to the pine is enough to mitigate the inflexible and unruly properties of the pine. I have also been told that we might need to include a spacer between the birch and the pine so the pine can continue to expand and contract freely.

The Ask: I was wondering if you have any experience working with pine at this scale and if you could share any tips or warnings that we should employ when working with the wood?
 

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Personally, I'd laminate it with fiberglass, rather than another wood. The glass will be much thinner and, if you do the layup properly, it will basically encase the wood so that the moisture content doesn't change drastically, thus reducing the amount of 'movement' of the pine. It won't completely prevent cupping but I think it will work as well as other woods will.

The only real issue is it won't look or feel quite as nice as bare wood will. You can get it super smooth with a high enough grit paper and clean finish, but it won't feel like touching the wood. If the contact aesthetics aren't important to you it's worth a consideration.
 

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I'd start out ripping some 1" to 1-1/2" strips from 3/4" stock, then rip to 3/8" thick (minus saw kerf). Glue up with alternate grain patterns up and down. Run through planer or sander to reduce to 1/4", then fine sand, round over edges, etc. Finish off with about 3-4 coats of polyurethane. Thin the first coat a little, and let it soak in good, sand, then 2-3 more coats. Should result in little or no movement of the wood.
 

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Actually, the method Alchymist described is how I used to do all my "panel" type builds. It will work great and you won't have to deal with any fiberglass epoxy or affect the contact aesthetic of the wood. Win win!
 
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