Oh, and as long as your saw is sharp and you take your time you don't have to worry about splinters with birch.
I guess for me its going to be trial and error. Thanks for your replies so far. I'll try and look for good quality stuff ... which at the moment Marine bich seems to get a lot of mention.I just built mine with Birch from what I understand it is a bit lighter but the only thing I hate is the splintering. No matter what we were doing it peeled and splintered.
If I had to do it over again likely just 3/4 mdf (SQ build) but its working
As a beginner, I wonder if going to a timber merchant and getting them to cut it for me would be the best bet?I always used MDF for building installs and other audio-related projects, but now in Xenia's car, I'm using 18mm Meranti-ply, I think it's 9 ply's.
MDF is easier to saw and sand into shape without splintering, since it's basically grinded wood mixed with glue, there are no long fibres in it...
With the meranti-ply, every saw-cut is splintered at 1 side, even when using a very fine saw-blade and taking time, so if you want nice sharp 90° cuts, MDF is the way to go.
I chose meranti-ply-wood because of it's strength.
If you take a piece of 8mm MDF, you'll have to use a bit of force, but then it'll break quite easily. Do the same thing with the same thickness of meranti-play, it'll bend a little faster and the top layer will start to crackle, but it'll take longer and more energy to break it completely because of the long fibers that have a different direction in every layer...
The best stuff is the plywood they use to make molds for concrete walls/beams/... That's ordinary plywood with an epoxy-coating on it on both sides. Because of that coating, it's a lot stronger than regular plywood and it doesn't splinter when cutting it!
It is more expensive though...