For my jointer, The original baltic birch plywood top? Or Maple butcher block?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Cole Tallerman posted 09-25-2012 06:24 PM 2501 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2208 days

09-25-2012 06:24 PM

So im getting close to the step where i will soon be installing the top to my homemade 12” jointer. Although the plan calls for 2 sheets of 3/4” baltic birch plywood laminated together, multiple professionals have told me that it sounds like an awful idea and that i should at least have a thick maple top. No matter what i do, there will be a piece of sheet metal on top. My question is, Do you think baltic birch plywood will be adequate? Should i do a maple butcher block instead? Is there such a thing as getting custom cast iron tops? Keep in mind, that i already bought the plywood, although i would be able to use it for another project.

Here is the sketch-up of what the tops will look like:

7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3671 days

#1 posted 09-25-2012 06:30 PM

Are these professionals aware of the metal plate on
top? Have they built machinery?

My opinion is the birch ply will be more stable in
relation to the steel. A glued-up solid wood
board will move in width under the steel more than
the baltic birch will.

View WoodWorkWarrior's profile


46 posts in 2096 days

#2 posted 09-25-2012 06:40 PM

Agreed with Loren…

I’ve always found baltic birch to be really stable. Could consider MDF as well. It’s got solid mass (not quite cast iron), very stable over temp, and flat! Sheet metal top will only be as flat as the subsurface.

Cool project!

-- Jason

View WoodWorkWarrior's profile


46 posts in 2096 days

#3 posted 09-25-2012 06:42 PM

By the way, where did you get the plan? Those are pretty good size jointer tables.

-- Jason

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2708 days

#4 posted 09-25-2012 06:43 PM

I’m with Loren also…plywood is much more stable than solid.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2208 days

#5 posted 09-25-2012 06:46 PM

Alright Thanks everyone! Baltic birch ply it is!

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2270 days

#6 posted 09-25-2012 09:48 PM

WoodWorkWarrior, I believe his plan is from Matthias Wandel, who has made several machines like this. I would think the baltic birch would make a good top in terms of stability.

The only advantage the maple would have is resistance to wear, which is probably what the professional is thinking. But the material’s wear really doesn’t matter with the sheet metal.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#7 posted 09-25-2012 10:02 PM

who are those said professionals? professionals at making tables? or machinery?

maple butcher block top will move on you no matter what, BB plywood hardly will. for this application I’d go with BB ply without thinking twice.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics