Advice on hardwoods please…

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I have been a hobbyist carpenter for years, happily working with softwoods and ply and MDF.

Recently however, I’ve been making plantation shutters for our home using Sapele, as it was the only cost effective hardwood at my local merchants, and was available in 76mm thickness which is useful for cutting louvres.

I like the wood, and it takes paint really well, but the interlocking grain causes chipping on the spindle moulder/router when shaping the elliptical louvres.

I’ve tried to research a better hardwood, and am keen to try poplar or birch but I find it really difficult to get hold of…especially in any decent thickness.

I make louvres which are 60 - 70mm deep, so 75mm thickness and 200 - 400mm with lengths are ideal for me.

Why can I find nothing similar in any other wood without paying ridiculous prices for precut and planed online timber, often 10x the cost of my rough cut Sapele.

Any advice would be gratefully received on a good hardwood which takes the moulder well, and also how to find the large pieces rather than just thin boards.
Thanks in advance

phil
 

Rich C

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Best place to look is one of the timber yards listed in the sticky post. You should be able to get rough sawn timber in 75mm in various hardwoods. Up in Yorkshire you have British Hardwoods and Scawton at the least. British Hardwoods will do you Ash, oak and beech as well as some more exotic stuff. That said 75mm is not that common in anything other than oak and sapele.

Not much is going to be as cheap as sapele though, maybe oak if you're lucky.
 

thetyreman

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Poplar, Basswood or Lime are ideal for shutters, all of them cheaper than sapele and take paint well.
 
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