Baltic birch

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Blackwood

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Apr 27, 2014
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Bayville NJ
I have a customer who wants a pen made from Baltic birch, but all I can find is the plywood, does anyone have any ideas where I could find it or maybe just birch? Also is birch too soft to use for a pen. Thanks for your help
 
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bradh

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Mar 9, 2005
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Aurora, Ontario, Canada.
Baltic Birch aka Russian Birch comes from Russia or Scandinavia. Most of it comes in as plywood. Tried checking my sources for more information and could not come up with more than this so far. I have not seen any sources for just the wood.
It should make a decent pen, the wood is reasonably hard and I have made many pens from softer woods. The issue will be with the plain nature of the grain, would not be very interesting unless you use a knot or burl piece. Even then I seem to remember that there is not a very distinct colour difference between the summer/winter ring zones of the grain.
 
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Karl_99

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Aug 20, 2012
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Winfield, PA
Would Masir birch from Norway be a suitable alternative? It has a very interesting grain pattern. It is also fairly easy to source for pen blanks.
 

Blackwood

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Apr 27, 2014
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33
Location
Bayville NJ
Baltic Birch aka Russian Birch comes from Russia or Scandinavia. Most of it comes in as plywood. Tried checking my sources for more information and could not come up with more than this so far. I have not seen any sources for just the wood.
It should make a decent pen, the wood is reasonably hard and I have made many pens from softer woods. The issue will be with the plain nature of the grain, would not be very interesting unless you use a knot or burl piece. Even then I seem to remember that there is not a very distinct colour difference between the summer/winter ring zones of the grain.
Thank you for the reply Brady,
The guy is from Scandinavia originally, he wanted it as a gift for his brother. I asked if he would like a contrasting wood or design do to the plain look of birch. He just wanted it plain to remind him of his homeland. I've been checking Craigslist for free IKEA furniture as a last resort. But no luck..
 

Blackwood

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Apr 27, 2014
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33
Location
Bayville NJ
i made several out of baltic birch 3/4 plywood, just can t find pictures now..

(poor pictures)
very nice pens, great design. I ran the plywood past him as soon as he asked for Baltic birch and he wanted it solid and plain as the wood would be.
 

Blackwood

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Apr 27, 2014
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Location
Bayville NJ
Would Masir birch from Norway be a suitable alternative? It has a very interesting grain pattern. It is also fairly easy to source for pen blanks.
That's definitely a better choice I would think, much more interesting to look at! Thanks for that. I will run that by
him.
 

designer

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Jan 23, 2011
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380
Location
Washington, Michigan
What about going to Lumber Liquidators and getting a sample piece of flooring? A whole box would be expensive, but a sample....

Also, burlsource.com has some Masur burl pen blanks.
 

Blackwood

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Apr 27, 2014
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Location
Bayville NJ
Thank you everyone for the help, I'm going to make one of each and see which he likes. Will post the result. Thanx again ☺
 
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