Recommended for people new to milling and for most surface milling jobs.
pros: inexpensive, lightweight and transportable, mills quickly with inexpensive tools, paintable with gesso and water-based paints.
cons: dimensionally unstable so must be mounted to a more rigid backing, color may require painting, will not withstand significant wear and tear.
sources: available in 2’ widths up to 8’ in length in 2” thickness from Lowes or Home Depot
pros: dimensionally stable, uniform color, homogenous material, mills quickly with inexpensive tools, capable of being milled into thin surfaces
cons: relatively expensive, limited sizes, must order from vendor well ahead of time
sources: available online from General Plastics and Freeman Supply.
(Grade A recommended)
pros: withstands wear and tear, layers create interesting effect (but often distracting) dimensionally stable
cons: potentially expensive, may require specialized cutting tools, layers are of different quality and may contain knots.
sources: available locally at Mawson Lumber (they will deliver for free) and Home Depot.
(medium density fiberboard)
pros: dimensionally stable, uniform color, homogenous material
cons: requires expensive cutting tools, creates hazardous dust. Some suppliers offer a formaldehyde free product that is less hazardous.
sources: available locally at Mawson Lumber (they will deliver) and Home Depot.
Solid wood materials come in a range wide range of hardnesses with varying grain qualities.
pros: looks nice, will withstand wear and tear
cons: can be expensive, not dimensionally stable, limited sizes, may require expensive cutting tools. More dense woods may require more complex milling strategies and can be slower operations.
sources: available locally at Mawson Lumber, Sears Trostel, and Home Depot.