However, have you thought about using plastic?
Looking at prices of common available plastic sheets, it is close to AR500 and damn sight easier to use.
Really really simple. You can design it in CAD, go to your local banner shop and have them print the blueprints full size on vinyl sticker material(or paper and use some spray adhesive)
Use your handy sawzall, jigsaw or even plunge router to cut out on the lines.
One inch of butcher block is level 3 and some is 3A.
Think bout it.
If your budget is higher think Ultem...
Update: read this http://www.partwell.com/polyethylene-the-difference-between
The cheap butcher blocks from ikea are the soft stuff. Commercial grade sheets are more than likely the 500 grade.
When you buy it ask for the 1000 grade.
The article explains it better than I can.
I do not profess to be an expert at this. I am on the journey of discovery and bringing you guys along for the ride.
Tomorrow the steel and plastic is finished at water jet. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I have a sales demo tomorrow of 3D printers and training session. So I will not be able to pick the samples up until Monday.
We have video and testing being set up, I hope the client will let me share it with you all here and see what people in other countries are doing.
Also I have a friend who does tactical training in Asia, working on getting some action video from that. He was featured on Discovery Channel maybe a year and half ago.
In addition coming up are guest posts by a world traveling adventurer (and fellow AZ desert rat) with previews of his scout survival training jungle edition.
He is adapting Apache Indian tactics to Jungle terrain. Previously he spent the last 6 months hanging out in the desert with the Apaches, and now is in the jungle along with several other adventurers preparing to film a new YouTube video series on warfare and survival. Good stuff.
He also has some good desert bushcraft and scouting books out, of which I will publish some excerpts as soon as he gets out of the jungle and back in cell phone range to finalize the details.