How long for plywood to acclimate?

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Forum topic by Walker posted 04-02-2018 04:59 PM 1170 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Walker's profile


188 posts in 1075 days

04-02-2018 04:59 PM

I’ve learned it’s good practice to let wood acclimate to the environment in the shop before cutting it. I’ve read at least a couple of weeks for hardwoods, but what about plywood? Will it take less or more time to acclimate?

Unfortunately I do not have a hygrometer in the shop, or a moisture gauge yet. I just got some AB Marine ply delivered from a reputable supplier (not the borg) for a project. I’m eager to get going on it, but also trying to learn from previous mistakes and be patient. It will be stored flat on the floor, stickered.

-- ~Walker

6 replies so far

View LesB's profile


2306 posts in 4046 days

#1 posted 04-02-2018 05:14 PM

It would be unusual for plywood to have a moisture problem unless it has been stored or exposed to a wet environment. So I would not be concerned about acclimating it. The various layers in plywood are laid out in a cross grain pattern which virtually eliminates any most movement of the wood.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5922 posts in 3096 days

#2 posted 04-02-2018 07:12 PM

That’s probably not something I would worry about or do, unless the ply was so wet I couldn’t use it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View splintergroup's profile


3201 posts in 1825 days

#3 posted 04-02-2018 07:24 PM

Quality plywood (like yours) usually is just fine to use immediately. Sadly however some of the construction grade plywoods will potato chip for no real reason other then to mock you. I have had success avoiding this by keeping these types of plywood forced flat for several weeks before using them. I find it hard to blame a moisture balance issue given what Les mentions (maybe it’s the glue?), but it does seem to help.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2089 days

#4 posted 04-02-2018 07:39 PM

I’ve never considered it or have ever had problems with a decent ply.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Walker's profile


188 posts in 1075 days

#5 posted 04-02-2018 08:09 PM

Ok, that’s all reassuring. I guess I won’t worry about it so much. I’ve just been more mindful of wood movement lately, and have been watching another thread debating if plywood releases internal stresses when cut like solid wood can, so I thought I’d ask.

-- ~Walker

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4251 days

#6 posted 04-02-2018 09:13 PM

I don’t think any acclimation is needed with plywood.

I’ve mentioned before though that cutting it can
release stresses in the material. Resulting
distortions are often not a problem with
smaller panels though. Sometimes a base
cabinet side cut from a “flat” 4×8 sheet might
“potato chip” a bit from corner to corner.
This can cause the back of a cabinet to turn
out slightly out of square. I push the error
to the back by clamping the front square
and nailing on the back.

“We even bought a Holtzer panel saw (1265) in order to get consistent cuts. We learned that even MDF core plywood will give you serious banana cuts and have learned to use dust cuts to eliminate those. We learned that on dust cuts, the blade will torque or twist if you don’t cut off enough material and have adjusted our optimizer to allow for those.” –

The shorter and narrower you parts are the
less likely there’s going to be a problem. These
issues can be acceptable variances in a lot of
work you do for yourself. Clients however
generally expect perfection no matter how
discounted the work. If you were to build
a tall frameless pantry with an overlay door
a “banana edge” could create a situation
with an ocd client.

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