I know all wood can warp, but ... - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default I know all wood can warp, but ...

... which common wood (ie - maple or oak or birch or whatever) is the LEAST prone to warping? Is a good rule of thumb that the denser/harder/stronger the wood is, the less prone it is to warping?

If so, then would maple be the most likely to NOT warp?

And does sealing or painting it help keep it from warping?

Or is plywood or MDF or covered particle board less prone than them all because of how it is made?

I'm planning a fence for my router table, and I want to use the type of stuff that is the most likely to stay straight over time.

Last edited by Chris Curl; 11-15-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 08:30 PM
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Solid surface material such as Corian. Smooth, stable and machinable it is the ultimate fence. The trick is to get some cheap.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 09:44 PM
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How about density of wood as a factor?

Appitong or another type of Iron Wood? After it is seasoned, I don't notice much change in it.

Of course working with some over 100 year old split iron wood fence posts, I also could not drive a nail into them without first drilling a pilot hole for driving a nail "into."

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 11:31 PM
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Good ply, particle board, and probably the best choice, mdf. In probability of movement terms, worst to best. Yes wood looks better, but it doesn't always perform better.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 11:46 PM
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Most of the "home made" fences I have seen have been made from 3/4" Baltic birch ply. Some use MDf as the face of the fence due to slick surface.

Have not seen any made for solid lumber.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:52 AM
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My very first fence was a jointed 4x4, it did surprisingly well
No Waxed MDF works great for me, I have it bolted to heavy aluminum Angle. Ive also used scrap laminate flooring as a fence overlay.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 07:53 AM
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I doubt that you would have warpage problems with something as small as a fence however plywood or MDF or melinine is what is often used.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 08:39 AM
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First of all, if a board needs to stay straight DO NOT DRIVE NAILS INTO IT, but rather use threaded fasteners through pre-drilled holes and countersink these holes if necessary. Man-made boards (plywood & MDF) tend to stay straight better than lumber. Use "clear lumber" and let grain dictate the best segment of a board if you use natural wood. Above, Marcel recommended Corian; I would agree wholeheartedly IF YOU CAN GET SOME. I use quite a bit of it for miscellaneous projects. James mentioned Baltic Birch plywood and I agree with this also. Good Birch plywood is sold in small sizes at stores such as Hobby Lobby & Michaels and I have even seen it in Wal*Mart. If you can have a good metal "backup" that said wood can be bolted to, use a minumum of two rows of bolts (to prevent cupping) and you should be fine.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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thanks folks.

otis, when you say "let the grain dictate the best segment", what do you look for? i think i understand that you mean there is a property or quality of the wood that will give you a clue, but i am not sure i know what that property is yet. would you mind elaborating?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 10:05 AM
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Chris, Why not the 80/20 we were discussing on the shop made dovetail jig thread. A long piece of the 1030 would make a nice core - maybe even the 10 series 2040.
10 series 1030 80/20 10 SERIES 1030 1" X 3" T-SLOTTED EXTRUSION x 48": Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
10 series 204080/20 10 SERIES 2040 2" X 4" T-SLOTTED EXTRUSION x 48": Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Talk about attachment options.

GCG
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