Material Settings: Dunn Lumber Birch Doorskin (3mm)


#1

At work we have a Microsoft OneNote page that has some useful information about the laser cutters we have there. One section lists sources for various kinds of material. In there was a description of a product that Dunn Lumber sells called “Doorskin”. This is a 3mm thick material consisting of an MDF core with a hardwood veneer skin.

It is relatively inexpensive, so I decided to give it a try and so picked up a sheet of Birch Doorskin yesterday. Some initial thoughts:

Pros:

  • Cuts really nicely on the GF
  • The veneer is beautiful and without flaws
  • The material has no voids
  • The veneer side appears to be sanded

Cons:

  • Only one side has veneer; the other side is raw MDF
  • Structurally, this appears to be a very weak material, easily snapped by hand
  • Dunn Lumber stores the material vertically, resting on the floor, meaning there is guaranteed to be significant warpage.

Here are the settings that I found worked well with this material:

Cut:

  • Speed: 200, Power: Full (GF basic)
  • Speed: 185, Power 100 (GF Pro or Basic)
    Score:
  • Speed: 125, Power: 21 (Just used :proofgrade: Medium Maple Plywood defaults)

For engraving, this material seems to not be all that useful. Here is a pic of my test engrave pattern:

Here is a picture of the veneered surface:

And here is the non-veneered surface:


#2

Nice find. To compare to Baltic birch:

This is about 21 square feet, for 15-16$. By contrast I get Baltic birch ply locally for about that amount for 25 square feet.

Let’s call price a wash, they’re about equal.

Pro for doorskin: pre sanded. May be more precise in thickness (would have to sample some more). Really clear veneer with fewer defects.

Pro for Baltic: double sided veneer finish. Structurally might be a bit stronger. In my case the lumber guys will cut it into GF-sized pieces.

So in the end, if you’re exposing one side only and want to save some sanding, and want really clear veneers, that door stuff seems like a winner. Thanks for the tip!


#3

I would definitely go for the Baltic Birch if I could get it locally in 1/8" or 3mm. I got a box of that stuff from Amazon, but it was so warped I would never order it again.


#4

look around at your smaller local lumber shops. i found a couple and made visits and one of them had pretty good quality BB for decent prices. another one i wasn’t as happy with and didn’t buy at.


#5

Thanks, I will do that. This was my first trip to Dunn Lumber, and I left thinking that I would never buy wood from Home Depot again.