Material question

I am making a sign that has some pretty thin raised areas, it will be painted when done, so material look is not a problem, so my question- what is a good material 1/4"-1/2" thick, that cuts nice and doesn’t chip out thin raised letters? MDF? I learned pine isn’t it.
I’ll be using 1/16" bit, should it be up or down cut?

Thanks in advance

Maple is good and if it is going to be painted poplar is great and takes paint very well and cheaper priced. If you are going to be using a 1/16th bit i would go with an upcut.

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Thank you!

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