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Materials | Stains & Wood

Baltic Birch Plywood

The wood we have selected in for our first round of projects is a Baltic Birch Hardwood Plywood.  The Baltic Birch is unique compared to most domestic plywood because the core of the sheet is all birch veneers.  Veneers are thin sheets of Birch glued together with alternating grain directions.  One benefit of this construction is that the edges of the workpiece can be sanded and stained.  Most plywood you find domestically have some form of composite core that cannot be sanded or stained.  Another benefit to this type of construction is strength – the TogetherMade wood projects are cut to extremely tight (1/100th of an inch) tolerances and often use a no-glue compression joint.  The strength of this material allows for tight tolerances and greatly reduces blowouts.

The veneers used in the Baltic Birch are also thicker than most veneers on domestic plywood which is also beneficial when shaping and sanding as there is more material on the finished surfaces.  The result here is beautiful edges that look great right off the laser, but can also be sanded and stained to your liking.  We’ve made the projects with hardwoods such as maple and madrona and they also look amazing, so you’ll see other woods over time, but for now we’re really happy with this material.

The Baltic Birch we are sourcing is CARB 2 compliant which means it has very low formaldehyde content in the glues.  This is the highest level of compliance defined and matches the requirements for the brand new EPA Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act.

 

Osmo Wood Wax Oils

The stains we’re including in the TogetherMade wood working projects are wood wax oils imported from Germany.  I’ve been using these products for over a decade and they are super easy to work with and family friendly.  These stains are expensive, but we really want everything you get from us to be the products we use in our own shop and home so we are we are repackaging these stains in glass vials by hand so you can experience top quality materials.  This line of stain also has a toy safe rating by German & EU standards so it was a no-brainer to go with what we love here.  Wipes on, Wipes off, super easy (do wear gloves and protect work surfaces – applicators are provided with all kits).

 

In researching this product we find it super interesting that the waxes used in this product come from Brazil and Mexico:

 A Brazilian palm tree, Copernica cerifera, produces the carnauba in its leaves, berries and stalks. Villagers cut down fronds, dry them for several days, and then beat off the wax. The candelilla comes from the outer coating on a desert shrub, Euphorbia antisyphiliti, that grows in northern Mexico. Farmers boil the leaves and stems with water and acid to release the wax.

 

Here’s some more info from Osmo on the Wood Wax Finishes taken from their materials:

 

 "The dried finish is safe for humans, animals and plants (in compliance with the German Industrial Norm DIN 53160 (resistant to perspiration and saliva) and Euro Norm EN 71.3 (children's toys safety).

Binding agents

·       Based on the renewable plant raw materials: sunflower oil, soya oil and thistle oil

 Waxes

·       Based on the renewable plant raw materials: carnauba wax and candelilla wax

·       Paraffin  

Solvents

·       Aliphatic hydrocarbons = dearomatized white spirit (benzene-free) 

Pigments

·       Mineral pigments on the basis of ore; titanium dioxide and iron oxides (yellow, red, brown, black)

·       Organic pigments (yellow, red, green, blue) which are in compliance with German Industrial Norm DIN 53160 (fast to perspiration and saliva) and Euro Norm EN 71.3 (safety of children’s toys)

 Earth

·       Mineral origin, silica sand, dolomite and swelling clays (argillaceous rock)

The used mineral pigments and earths have been purified from all poisonous ingredients (e.g. heavy metals) and are physiologically safe.

 Additives

·       Siccatives (are obtained from the respective minerals and are lead-free)

·       Ketoximes

·       Polysiloxanes (on basis of silicic acid)

The listed ingredients serve to regulate the drying process and to prevent film formation (5 years storage stability) and as a strong water repellent.

According to EC requirements, Osmo Wood Wax Finish does not have to be classified or labelled and will not emit physiologically harmful compounds to environment. Osmo Wood Wax Finish does not contain biocides and no preservatives.  The dried finish is safe for humans, animals and plants (in compliance with the German Industrial Norm DIN 53160 (resistant to perspiration and saliva) and Euro Norm EN 71.3 (children's toys safety). Test results from an independent institute are available. Further details concerning technical characteristics etc. can be obtained from the respective product information."