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View MrRon's profile

Plywood; now and then

by MrRon
posted 10-12-2018 10:10 PM


20 replies so far

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2287 days


#1 posted 10-12-2018 10:17 PM

You are correct sir. Dados and plywood require adjustments even within the same sheet if you want precision. I am noticing more air pockets in plywood lately.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1171 posts in 1868 days


#2 posted 10-12-2018 10:28 PM

Even the higher quality Baltic Birch isn’t 3/4”, but much closer than most of the other plywoods in my area. Even 23/32” isn’t really 23/32”...sad but true.

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

236 posts in 1104 days


#3 posted 10-12-2018 10:33 PM

Gotta save a penny or 2 somehow.Soon a 2×4 will be 1 1/4 by 3
Never ends.

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 819 days


#4 posted 10-12-2018 10:35 PM

Can’t speak to the Chinese plywood, and I’d rather it didn’t exist. However, there is a major cost advantage with making plywood a bit thinner.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3096 posts in 2501 days


#5 posted 10-12-2018 10:41 PM

Plywood went metric.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1335 posts in 1145 days


#6 posted 10-13-2018 02:02 AM

Baltic Birch is called that because it is imported from the Baltic countries of Eastern Europe. It has always been manufactures to metric sizes.

I have something of a historical perspective on plywood because I started building stuff with it around 1975. It was not the nominal size then either. I salvaged some plywood for shop cabinets that came out of a 1950’s grocery store. That material was a true 1/2 or 3/4 inch as best I could tell. I still have a cabinet made out of it.


Even the higher quality Baltic Birch isn t 3/4”, but much closer than most of the other plywoods in my area. Even 23/32” isn t really 23/32”...sad but true.

- Rayne


View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5386 posts in 3572 days


#7 posted 10-13-2018 02:28 AM

True Baltic birch comes only in 60” x 60” sheets and is measured in metric. A 4×8 sheet of birch is not Baltic birch.

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

3409 posts in 3438 days


#8 posted 10-13-2018 02:35 AM



True Baltic birch comes only in 60” x 60” sheets and is measured in metric. A 4×8 sheet of birch is not Baltic birch.

- MrRon


Sure looks like it though, with the two outside plies the same thickness as the other plies, and not some 1/(whatever you can see through) thickness veneer. You may only be seeing it in 5’X5’ sheets where you are, but when I worked for LADC (Skunk Works) we bought it in 5’X10’ sheets (well, the metric equivalent thereof) in many thicknesses.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2128 posts in 2127 days


#9 posted 10-13-2018 04:48 AM

I don’t buy plywood very often but when I do I get Baltic birch. I really like the way it smells. The place I buy it from has it unfinished and finished. The unfinished stuff seems nicer.

-- Aj

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12727 posts in 2709 days


#10 posted 10-13-2018 03:48 PM

My house was built in ‘69, my shop sometime after, both built with true fractional plywood. Also the 2x lumber is actual size, 2×8 is 2” by 8”.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View PropmakerLA's profile

PropmakerLA

13 posts in 339 days


#11 posted 10-13-2018 04:56 PM

A lot of the products we use come from china. We call it 3/4 MDF but its stamped 18mm, what we call 1/2in is really 12mm. So I guess a lot depends on where the products are manufactured.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1293 posts in 2281 days


#12 posted 10-13-2018 05:09 PM



True Baltic birch comes only in 60” x 60” sheets and is measured in metric. A 4×8 sheet of birch is not Baltic birch.

- MrRon

True. What always struck me as odd is the size of the sheet is in Imperial inches and the thickness is in metric millimeters. Talk about mixing apples and oranges!

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1228 days


#13 posted 10-13-2018 05:42 PM


True Baltic birch comes only in 60” x 60” sheets and is measured in metric. A 4×8 sheet of birch is not Baltic birch.

- MrRon

True. What always struck me as odd is the size of the sheet is in Imperial inches and the thickness is in metric millimeters. Talk about mixing apples and oranges!

- Kazooman


Damn, my lumber yard has been lying to me for years. What a fool I am.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5386 posts in 3572 days


#14 posted 10-13-2018 08:09 PM


True Baltic birch comes only in 60” x 60” sheets and is measured in metric. A 4×8 sheet of birch is not Baltic birch.

- MrRon

Sure looks like it though, with the two outside plies the same thickness as the other plies, and not some 1/(whatever you can see through) thickness veneer. You may only be seeing it in 5 X5 sheets where you are, but when I worked for LADC (Skunk Works) we bought it in 5 X10 sheets (well, the metric equivalent thereof) in many thicknesses.

- Dark_Lightning


You were probably getting a special order due to commercial purpose. Did you work with Kelly Johnson?

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1228 days


#15 posted 10-13-2018 08:44 PM

https://www.wolstenholme.com/plywood-products/baltic-birch/

Russian Birch plywood is uniquely manufactured with multiple ply’s of Birch veneer, used uniformly, throughout the panel. Each layer of birch veneer is peeled at 1.3mm or 1.5mm thickness giving the panel a multi-ply edge that is both aesthetically attractive and offers unmatched strength and stability. Birch plywood from Russia has been available in the United States for over fifty years, and still today, goes by the trade name of Baltic Birch. Historically, only available in 5’x5′ sheets, today Russia has expanded production to include numerous other formats, such as 4’x8′ and 10’x5′ and 10’x4’.

It doesn’t have to be special ordered. You just have to have a descent lumber company that stocks it.

View Richard's profile

Richard

11274 posts in 3361 days


#16 posted 10-13-2018 09:15 PM



A lot of the products we use come from china. We call it 3/4 MDF but its stamped 18mm, what we call 1/2in is really 12mm. So I guess a lot depends on where the products are manufactured.

- PropmakerLA

I agree!

Rick S.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1293 posts in 2281 days


#17 posted 10-13-2018 10:41 PM



https://www.wolstenholme.com/plywood-products/baltic-birch/

Russian Birch plywood is uniquely manufactured with multiple ply’s of Birch veneer, used uniformly, throughout the panel. Each layer of birch veneer is peeled at 1.3mm or 1.5mm thickness giving the panel a multi-ply edge that is both aesthetically attractive and offers unmatched strength and stability. Birch plywood from Russia has been available in the United States for over fifty years, and still today, goes by the trade name of Baltic Birch. Historically, only available in 5’x5′ sheets, today Russia has expanded production to include numerous other formats, such as 4’x8′ and 10’x5′ and 10’x4’.

It doesn t have to be special ordered. You just have to have a descent lumber company that stocks it.

- jbay

Amen to that! “Real” Baltic Birch plywood is a thing of beauty to behold. When you look at a freshly cut edge you can immediately see just how special the product is. Many examples of “Birch” plywood or even “Baltic Birch” plywood can’t come close to the quality of the “real deal”.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1335 posts in 1145 days


#18 posted 10-14-2018 02:37 PM

Real Baltic Birch is imported from other Baltic countries besides Russia.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5323 posts in 2680 days


#19 posted 10-14-2018 02:52 PM

MrRon, you really hit on one of my pet peeves. There is no good reason for plywood to have nominal and actual sizes. They should be the same, it is a manufactured product, they can make it to any thickness they want. So why not make it to convenient sizes, like they used to? It is such a pain to accommodate that 1/32” when making cabinets and shelving. What the heck kind of number is 23/32”? It is as if they don’t care about the customer, if they can make MDF and particle board to true sizes they can make ply wood to spec too. It is just one of the reasons that the plywood industry is failing in this country, they are basically cheating the customer to save a small percentage of product at a great inconvenience to the customer. May as well buy metric plywood. Rant over.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1381 posts in 3090 days


#20 posted 10-14-2018 03:05 PM

Someone above spoke of “air pockets” above. We used to call them “voids”. Anyway, these can be easily located on plywood up to about 1/4” thick by shining a powerful light behind the plywood in a darkened room and viewing the opposite surface. The voids will show up as glowing spots that can be marked and then worked around. I used this trick when making a homebuilt airplane sailplane wing that used 1’4” thick Douglas fir plywood for the wing ribs way back in the early 1970s.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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