Birch vs Cherry Information

Birch vs Cherry Information

I've compiled a quick little rundown on the differences in the wood I use and what you can expect from each. When it comes to making craft blanks, these two woods are superior to all others in my opinion, so it's what I continue to use to this day!

Birch Plywood

  • Requires a quick sanding with fine grit sandpaper (I prefer to use 600 grit) to remove any burn residue from the laser.
  • Each piece will need to be stained or painted and then sealed.
  • Pieces cut from this wood will hold up incredibly well over time since it is a 3-ply material with grains going opposite directions for each ply!
  • Engraving will appear light at first but darkens when you apply stain.
  • I typically sand and stain all birch pieces prior to painting and sealing.
  • A quick light coat of mod podge or other sealer will prevent paint from bleeding.

Cherry Hardwood

  • You can sand the pieces if you’d like, but it is not necessary. They can be wiped with a small alcohol swab to remove any burn residue from the laser.
  • You can finish them without paint or stain, but you should still seal them to protect the wood from moisture and humidity.
  • Cherry tends to have a smoother surface and a deep, dark engraving.
  • Darkens into a darker color over time if not stained.

A note about masking:

My blanks are not masked prior to cutting. Masking can cause wood grain to pop up and splinter in unwanted places. Since many of my jewelry making customers paint and stain their creations, masking would cause unnecessary additional work.

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