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JIMMIEM

Which Wood for Project Prototype

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I'm about to start a new project which will be made out of Red Oak.  For past projects I have used easier to work woods e.g. Poplar or even MDF for the prototypes.  This project will require 6/4 wood.  I'd like to use Poplar but would have to do a glue-up of readily available 3/4 stock or drive to a hardwood supplier for the 6/4 stuff.  I could also cut down some Pine from 2 X boards.  I'll be doing a lot of routing and am wondering if the Poplar will be 'easier' on the bits than the Pine?  Negligible wear-n-tear difference?  Overthinking?  

Thank You for any advice. 

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I would go with the poplar, as the pine would probably result in a lot of pitch build up on your router bits, as well as on the teeth of your table saw blade.  As far as wear and tear on the bits, I wouldn't think there would be much difference.

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Lew, I think I beat you to it for once.;)  I didn't think about painting though, but if I had, since the end product is to be out of red oak, I would have assumed that painting wasn't going to happen.  @JIMMIEM, was I right about that?

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7 minutes ago, PostalTom said:

I would go with the poplar, as the pine would probably result in a lot of pitch build up on your router bits, as well as on the teeth of your table saw blade.  As far as wear and tear on the bits, I wouldn't think there would be much difference.

agreed...

poplar would be more stable

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If you have any kind of sanders like drum sanders which takes lots of time to replace the sand paper I would say away from any kind of pine....Router bits are much quicker to clean up and cheaper than buying more rolls of sandpaper and the labor it takes ....

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slow down, think it thru, do it once in oak.  if you need to make test cuts, that's what the scrap pile is for.  (getting the dado blade set for dado cuts/rabbit cuts, making sure the tenon will fit the mortise, etc).

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7 hours ago, PostalTom said:

Lew, I think I beat you to it for once.;)  I didn't think about painting though, but if I had, since the end product is to be out of red oak, I would have assumed that painting wasn't going to happen.  @JIMMIEM, was I right about that?

No painting.  The final product will be Red Oak.  The Poplar (everybody's recommendation) will just be used for making a test/prototype.

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if you are just making a prototype to get the lines and proportions right, and sort out your joinery, i'd go with the cheapest material option, which is NOT poplar.

 

either some scrap plywood, or some MDF.

 

if you need thicker than 3/4", just double it up.  glue sets in a hour.

 

your prototype won't see any use, won't take any load beyond it's own weight, so there is no point is spending more time or money than required.

 

personally, i'd use simple joinery on the prototype, like pocket screws or nails.

 

poplar isn't that cheap anymore.  cleaning tools is just part of keeping your shop running well.  i try to clean my blades before i start a project, and if they are getting too fouled, clean them midway thru again.  doesn't take that long, and ensures good final results with sharp cuts and clean lines.

 

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If you are looking for material that you don't have to glue I would go to my lumber yard ad get some hemlock framing lumber. Hemlock has no pitch and cuts about like Doug fir, comes in 2X4- 2X12. We don't have pine here ,but lots of Hemlock.

 

Just saying ,

Herb

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20 hours ago, DAB said:

slow down, think it thru, do it once in oak.  if you need to make test cuts, that's what the scrap pile is for.  (getting the dado blade set for dado cuts/rabbit cuts, making sure the tenon will fit the mortise, etc).

Based on past projects, such as rail and stiles, I found it easy to cut Poplar in one pass as opposed to red Oak that I had to do in multiple passes to avoid splintering.  Same thinking when making templates. 

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13 hours ago, DAB said:

if you are just making a prototype to get the lines and proportions right, and sort out your joinery, i'd go with the cheapest material option, which is NOT poplar.

 

either some scrap plywood, or some MDF.

 

if you need thicker than 3/4", just double it up.  glue sets in a hour.

 

your prototype won't see any use, won't take any load beyond it's own weight, so there is no point is spending more time or money than required.

 

personally, i'd use simple joinery on the prototype, like pocket screws or nails.

 

poplar isn't that cheap anymore.  cleaning tools is just part of keeping your shop running well.  i try to clean my blades before i start a project, and if they are getting too fouled, clean them midway thru again.  doesn't take that long, and ensures good final results with sharp cuts and clean lines.

 

This project is counter top edging with a no-drip edge.  This detail is usually done on solid surface (Corian) material.  I'm not sure if it's even going to work out.  That's why I want to try it out on wood that's easy to work.  I've use MDF a lot for templates......but the even with good dust collection I don't like the dust.  I'd probably need a good plywood (Baltic Birch) which isn't cheap and not readily available in my area. 

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12 hours ago, Cliff said:

what's the cheapest  full size lumber you can get??  I'd avoid the mdf & other laminates because the glue is hard on even carbide tools.

Have you contacted a sawmill? Scraps  Offcuts? 

No sawmills nearby.  I don't mind spending $ on prototype wood.  Trying to save $ by buying less expensive wood which may present other problems isn't worth it to me.

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I use pine a lot.  I haven't found that much pitch in it, either the "select", "common" or stud KD (kiln dried).  I used KD pine to mock up my den doors; final material was red oak.  It doesn't sound like you need to do much mock-up for counter edging.  Wouldn't just a few straights tell the story?  Then you'd only have to test the oak for tear out and similar species-related issues?

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3 hours ago, Dadio said:

Are there any lumber yards near?

Herb

Yes, there are a couple that I have used and fairly easy to get to.  The hardwood supplier is a little farther away.  I will go there for the Red Oak to buy by the Board Foot.  

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2 hours ago, PeteM said:

I use pine a lot.  I haven't found that much pitch in it, either the "select", "common" or stud KD (kiln dried).  I used KD pine to mock up my den doors; final material was red oak.  It doesn't sound like you need to do much mock-up for counter edging.  Wouldn't just a few straights tell the story?  Then you'd only have to test the oak for tear out and similar species-related issues?

The corner piece will have a 2 inch radius to it.  There are a couple of no-drip edge bit styles.  The bearing guided bit would be easy to use on the straight pieces but not on the curved pieces.  I had thought about starting with all straight pieces and then steam bending some for the radiused corners.  A steam bending article said don't steam bend a piece that is thicker than its width....which is my scenario.   

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