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Forum topic by PeteK posted 01-05-2021 10:07 PM 724 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PeteK

61 posts in 1652 days


01-05-2021 10:07 PM

Is it just my local stores, or is plywood from Home Depot and Lowes total junk? I see youtube videos of people making things with plywood and it is this beautiful, void free plywood that just looks great. I go to my local stores, and there is nothing that nice. I don’t necessarily need furniture grade, but I would like it to not be totally full of voids. I cover the edges anyway with face frames, but I would like to be working with something a little nicer. Any one else having this experience?


21 replies so far

View Walker's profile

Walker

452 posts in 1483 days


#1 posted 01-05-2021 10:10 PM

Yes, every single person in the history of woodworking has had this experience.

Where are you located? There is probably a good lumber store nearby someone can direct you to.

-- ~Walker

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

2661 posts in 558 days


#2 posted 01-05-2021 10:12 PM

Buy marine-grade ply at a proper lumberyard, no voids.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

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PeteK

61 posts in 1652 days


#3 posted 01-05-2021 10:16 PM

Is marine grade pressure treated? I haven’t looked that close at it, but it sort of has that darker color from what I’ve seen.

I am in Wenatchee, Washington. There is a good hardwood dealer here that I will check out, I just figured price wise I could get something decent at Lowes, but maybe not.

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Madmark2

2312 posts in 1599 days


#4 posted 01-05-2021 10:16 PM

It has always been so grasshopper. The best skin is so thin you can wipe it off with a rag, you can see the unpatched voids thru the surface and at every edge. The internal plies look (and feel) like sponge cake. The thicknesses are under sized and the glue will let go in high humidity.

Baltic birch guaranteed void free is what you want and will pay dearly for.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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SMP

3444 posts in 917 days


#5 posted 01-05-2021 10:46 PM

For a while Home Depot near me had “decent” hardwood plywood about 10 years or so ago? I think it was Purebond? But as various brands change to save money/increase profits, 99.9% of it is complete garbage. Decent for sheathing a shed floor or something. Always have to be wary of youtube and blogs etc as you don’t always see it close up. But could depend on location?

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CWWoodworking

1516 posts in 1190 days


#6 posted 01-05-2021 10:46 PM

All big box stores have good and bad. The plywood at HD is in the bad.

The hardwood dealers will also have crappy stuff. The Chinese birch is crappy at both places. But they will also have better grades. Obviously it’s gonna cost more.

A cheap great plywood doesn’t exist.

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Brent Powers

21 posts in 4597 days


#7 posted 01-05-2021 11:14 PM

Well, ... On a similar subject… Anyone know where I can get Marine Plywood in Memphis? I can’t find it

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Dark_Lightning

4443 posts in 4120 days


#8 posted 01-06-2021 12:45 AM

Isn’t there a stamp on the edge of BB ply that certifies authenticity? I just bought a 5’ by 5’ by 12mm sheet a couple of weeks ago and it has a green stamp mark on the edge. I guess it can also be identified by the fact that the face veneers are the same thickness as the interior plies, as well. I bought mine at a “local” hardwood and stone store- it’s about 20 miles away. I use it for shop storage, jigs and tool chests (when I don’t use “real” wood).

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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Foghorn

1045 posts in 398 days


#9 posted 01-06-2021 01:05 AM

I buy mine in Canada from Windsor plywood. The quality is much higher and the prices are cheaper than Home Depot. The standard Baltic birch comes in 5’ x 5’ sheets which is still a bit of a puzzler but great quality stuff. I do know that it can be ordered in larger and more “standard” dimensions, but I’ve never gone there. Off cuts get used up on jigs etc.

-- Darrel

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MrRon

5994 posts in 4255 days


#10 posted 01-06-2021 01:53 AM

If you can find “Arauco” plywood imported from Chile, S.A. The face ply is .100 to.125 thick. The price was pretty reasonable considering the quality. It was available at my Lowes, but I haven’t seen it lately. I guess it was too expensive for the average DIY’er. As I recall, a 3/4” 4×8 sheet was $35.00.

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Chenier

34 posts in 718 days


#11 posted 01-06-2021 02:41 AM


Is marine grade pressure treated? I haven t looked that close at it, but it sort of has that darker color from what I ve seen.

No. The darker color is from the Okoume or Meranti (faux Mahoganies) used in the veneers in the popular marine plywoods. Marine ply doesn’t have to use those woods – it’s key properties are hardwood veneers, waterproof (boilproof) glue and no voids. It will be stamped and certified and $$.

View CWWoodworking's profile (online now)

CWWoodworking

1516 posts in 1190 days


#12 posted 01-06-2021 03:04 AM



If you can find “Arauco” plywood imported from Chile, S.A. The face ply is .100 to.125 thick. The price was pretty reasonable considering the quality. It was available at my Lowes, but I haven t seen it lately. I guess it was too expensive for the average DIY er. As I recall, a 3/4” 4×8 sheet was $35.00.

- MrRon

I use quite a bit of this in 5/8. It’s probably the closest thing there is to “cheap, good plywood”. It’s still not prefect though.

Was paying about 27$ sheet before everything went crazy. Now it’s mid 30s.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3383 posts in 3955 days


#13 posted 01-06-2021 03:32 AM

You must be talking about Lombard’s. Great place, good guy.

That aside, I’ve used around fifty or so pieces of the 3/4 birch. At thirty a sheet, I cannot whine. Especially since all the edges are hidden by face frames and such. Other projects get banding, so voids are not a problem for them either.


Is marine grade pressure treated? I haven t looked that close at it, but it sort of has that darker color from what I ve seen.

I am in Wenatchee, Washington. There is a good hardwood dealer here that I will check out, I just figured price wise I could get something decent at Lowes, but maybe not.

- PeteK


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Kelly

3383 posts in 3955 days


#14 posted 01-06-2021 03:36 AM

We have a Windsor up the road from me (EVERYthing is an hour away) and I love the place. Their board foot prices are good and their plywood selection is off the charts, after having suffered big box choices. I’ll have to check their prices out on birch ply because I’ve been paying thirty for a 4’x8’ sheet. Neglected to do that in the past.


I buy mine in Canada from Windsor plywood. The quality is much higher and the prices are cheaper than Home Depot. The standard Baltic birch comes in 5 x 5 sheets which is still a bit of a puzzler but great quality stuff. I do know that it can be ordered in larger and more “standard” dimensions, but I ve never gone there. Off cuts get used up on jigs etc.

- Foghorn


View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

4443 posts in 4120 days


#15 posted 01-06-2021 03:41 AM

I worked at Lockheed Skunk Works in the dim and misty past. We used to get the Baltic birch in the 5’ X 10’ sheets for building sections to do radar cross section studies. That stuff came in by the trailer-tractor load! I’m leery of the 4’ by 8’ sheets, because all I’ve ever seen that was legit was the 5’ by 10’ size. or cut in half to 5’ by 5’. Not saying it isn’t good, but I am suspicious when a product suddenly changes the size that it used to be sold in, especially with the infiltration of crap plywood into the market. I haven’t bought any plywood but Baltic birch for many years. If I want potato chips, I’ll buy them in a bag from the grocery store.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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