Phenolic sheet stock for tooling?
I’m having fun building prototype table inserts, fixtures and fences for several old and several new tools; Delta 16″ drill press, Biesemier long fence addition for 10″ Ridgid table saw (tables for drop in router lift on LHS & saber saw drop in on RHS), Makita 10″ sliding miter saw long fence with measuring tape, 12″ planer stand with big wheels for outdoor use, etc.
I’m having fun boot-strapping these tables and fixtures using mostly Melamine coated particle board and I’m trying some of the different Kreg and Incra and Woodpecker track and clamp products. But having tried some quarter sheets of phenolic coated birch plywood, I’d like to use that for my final parts. And I’m having trouble finding 3/4″ thick sheets in any size. You can see red phenolic plywood at Woodpecker in their drill press tables (back ordered until July now) and green phenolic at other .com vendors but they are all out of 3/4″ stock, let alone tooling grade 1″ or thicker which I know exists. They all say it isn’t available or it is back ordered. Now I understand this last winter was short in northern Europe and they can’t harvest birch after the thaw, so there is basically a shortage of the long grain core that is used to make the phenol coated, concrete form spec. sheet stock right now. One wholesaler in southern Calif. offered to sell me a half dozen whole sheets, but then declined due to the trouble of breaking a bundled lot and the “slippery” and heavy nature of full sheets. They said shipping insurance was also an issue. But I guess they also really didn’t want to sell to a private individual. I’d like to use the 3/4″ to make my final table tops and fences.
Does anyone know where I can get whole, half or quarter sheets? Also, where can I get linen or glass fiber reinforced phenolic sheets, say 1/2″ or thicker in 2′ X 3’or 4′ size? The phenolic faced and plate goods are flat, smooth, more stable and tool very nicely even compared to HDPE. They also are solvent resistant, take wax and teflon spray beautifully, are lubricious, stiction free and clean up great compared to MDF or sealed or melamine plywood or even anodized aluninum stock which is hard then gummy to machine, sweats, has a huge C.T.E and sticks to my wood work stock like a boat anchor.
Looking for more fun in some of the right places!
Portola Va, CA