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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to wood working. I bought the oak park spacer fences for making box joints. So far I just have my router screwed on the bottom of a piece of melamine for a router table. So far I have only used 1 x 6 pine to make 2 boxes with only a little tear out because my backing block was not tall enough. I am wondering what woods would be good for for a biginner. I would also like recomendations on plywoods for boxes as I would like to make a larger box later on. Thanks in advance.

Matt
 

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Hi Matt

baltic birch plywood works well it's a little hard to find and it's a bit high in price, you need to mill it with some 1/8" MDF on the front and the back side of the pass to keep the rip out to a min.

I would suggest using 1/2" thick baltic birch plywood for most boxes,drawers, etc.

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I am new to wood working. I bought the oak park spacer fences for making box joints. So far I just have my router screwed on the bottom of a piece of melamine for a router table. So far I have only used 1 x 6 pine to make 2 boxes with only a little tear out because my backing block was not tall enough. I am wondering what woods would be good for for a biginner. I would also like recomendations on plywoods for boxes as I would like to make a larger box later on. Thanks in advance.

Matt
 

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Hi Matt,

Living in Seattle I would think you would have access to quite a few types of woods. If you want to use solid wood you might consider talking to some woodworkers and/or hardwood retailers in your area to get an idea of what's readily available and how much they cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
soft woods are mostly what is comercially grown around here but being in a port city I can get about anything a person could want locally. I just wonder what woods a beginner should start with to build confidence.

Matt
 

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Hello Matt. Welcome to the RouterForums. It's a pleasure to have you join us.
 

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hello Matt...

good woods to start out with would be, fur, pine (make sure to avoid the knots!!) and popular. Pretty much affordable, readily available and easily worked.
 

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Greetings Matt and welcome to the router forum. Thank you for joining us.
 

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Welcome to the forum mah. I couldn't help but notice you're avatar; is that a "no dog-pooping zone" pic or a "no egg-laying dogs allowed" or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks twoskies on the pine fir and poplar recomendations. I noticed that poplar looks kind of green in color. Does it always stay that way? And Noob, as far as my avatar, it is a picture that my mother-in-law took of a playground sign in Holland. It reminds me of what I need to do every time I let the boys go outside to play. The backyard is also my only workshop so scooping is part of woodworking for me.

Matt
 

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Matt...

Popular will "fade" out a little in time.. but if you got green, you got green. Nothing wrong with the wood...justone of those things that probably has some scientific reasoning behind it but I have not a clue what it might be *L*...
Popular is wild in so much as that it can come in many different looks. Wait until you find some mineral stained popular. Colors can range from a deep purple, blue, green, black etc.. Not the entire board mind ya, just streaks running with the grain. Can be very beautiful stuff to work with...
 

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IMHO, the best beginner woods are the stuff ones that are free or low cost. Pine, Spruce and Fir are great, cedar is plentiful in your area and smells great when you're machining it. If you're lucky you might find pieces of oak or other hardwood from old skid pallets, after you denail it of course.

Both Cherry and walnut are a pleasure to work with, but can be a little bit pricey.
The point is to make sawdust with a wide variety of different species to develop a feel for the tool and how each species reacts to processing.
 

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hello Matt...

good woods to start out with would be, fur, pine (make sure to avoid the knots!!) and popular. Pretty much affordable, readily available and easily worked.
I generally agree with Bill.

Pine is a inexpensive soft wood. Good quality, stable (less reactive to humidity changes), slightly resinous (yellow especially), and even texture. Douglas fir is also a soft wood. Works easy.

Yellow poplar is a temperate hardwood. Found here in the Americas, cost effective, easily worked, stable, has a straight grain, and finishes well. Poplar comes with a wide variety of colors, (pale sapwood, dark streaks in heartwood) as stated before. This can add to the work involved in matching grains but well worth it.

Birch plywood is a good choice, as mentioned before. For a new woodworker, I would stick to plywoods for a while. They are far more dimensionally stable. This will reduce a lot of head aches for someone new to woodworking.

The only other advice is to invest in the proper blades and quality blades. Either a ripping blade and a cross cut blade or a high quality combination blade. If you set up your equipment with pride, no reason your work can not rival the best here.

Good luck and welcome to the forum and woodworking.
 
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