LumberJocks

What to use when there is no Baltic Birch?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by JKB33 posted 10-17-2021 09:43 PM 854 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JKB33's profile

JKB33

28 posts in 246 days


10-17-2021 09:43 PM

I’m looking for an alternative for 1/2 Baltic birch for some shop drawers. Already made the cabinet out of oak plywood ($ ouch!) because there isn’t any Baltic birch to to had for miles and miles. But I’m having a hard time finding an alternative for the drawers. I’ve always made them out of 1/2” stock.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.


15 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

2255 posts in 4581 days


#1 posted 10-17-2021 10:15 PM

Do your local suppliers have anything decent in 1/2” plywood? Any decent plywood will do for shop drawers.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

2056 posts in 3599 days


#2 posted 10-18-2021 12:13 AM

There are lots of alternatives though the cost of everything is higher – including baltic birch when it’s available.

If you have a commercial supplier 1/2” fir underlayment ply is decent quality and good enough for drawer boxes. The fir we get from Raynor Rinn Scott is flat and reasonably smooth unlike fir plywood from big box stores. Last price we paid was $75/sheet for 1/2”.

There’s always the option of using solid hardwood like soft maple or poplar. The cost isn’t much more than plywood these days.

If you’re using good drawer glide hardware, you can even get away with melamine boxes.

-- See my work at http://altaredesign.com

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2285 posts in 1461 days


#3 posted 10-18-2021 12:16 AM

Use the oak ply. Or look for 5/8 or 3/4

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5417 posts in 3271 days


#4 posted 10-18-2021 01:31 AM

I used Aruaco Ply for my shop drawers. Good quality with thick face veneers.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2285 posts in 1461 days


#5 posted 10-18-2021 01:34 AM



I used Aruaco Ply for my shop drawers. Good quality with thick face veneers.

- Redoak49

I used to use this a lot. Right now in my area, its more expensive than hardwood plywood. l Long for the days it was 27$ per sheet.

View RClark's profile

RClark

186 posts in 3467 days


#6 posted 10-18-2021 11:05 AM

I had a hard time justifying spending on BB back in the “normal times.” I haven’t even looked at the stuff in years.

I second the suggestions about finding a decent sheet of 1/2” ply at one of the box stores; I acknowledge it could be a significant hunt.

If you go out to me shop right now and open all the drawers, you’ll find that none of the boxes match. When it comes to shop furniture, I use whatever is on hand, and only buy new stock if there’s no alternative. There’s a mish-mash of construction grade ply, particle board, melamine, and even dimensional pine. For me, the construction of my shop drawers has no impact on projects.

-- Ray

View Lazyman's profile (online now)

Lazyman

8204 posts in 2669 days


#7 posted 10-18-2021 11:33 AM

I made some shop drawers for my lathe cabinet (and the rest of the cabinet as well by the way) out of Doug fir by resawing an 8’ 4×4 and planing it flat to 1/2”. At my local Home Depot an 8’ 4×4 goes for about $16 right now. You should be able to get 5 or 6 half inch slices. I select pieces with no pith and minimal knots and resaw them so that that they have a quarter sawn or vertical grain for appearance and stability. When I made the cabinet, the 4×4 were about $11 each and all of the wood for the entire cabinet was just over $100.

EDIT to add: You obviously have to glue multiple boards together for drawers deeper than about 3” .

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

19821 posts in 2421 days


#8 posted 10-18-2021 12:53 PM

I prefer using solid wood for drawer boxes that will be seen much. I just don’t like the look of ply edges when you open drawers. I typically use Pine, Maple or Poplar because I can get those in graded KD stock for about the same price as 1/2” plywood. And cheaper than BB ply.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

1541 posts in 4824 days


#9 posted 10-18-2021 02:29 PM

I personally use only solid wood for drawers but, I have a friend that just built himself some new shop cabinets and he went with 1/2” Sande ply from HD for the drawers, 3/4” for the end panels and 1/4” for the backs.

-- Bruce Free Plans & Calculators https://traditionalwoodworking.org

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1740 posts in 2242 days


#10 posted 10-18-2021 06:04 PM

You don’t need Baltic birch for shop drawers. Even the Home Depot shop grade plywood would be fine…

View JKB33's profile

JKB33

28 posts in 246 days


#11 posted 10-19-2021 01:33 AM



I prefer using solid wood for drawer boxes that will be seen much. I just don t like the look of ply edges when you open drawers. I typically use Pine, Maple or Poplar because I can get those in graded KD stock for about the same price as 1/2” plywood. And cheaper than BB ply.

- HokieKen

I like this idea. I’ll look at poplar. Thanks HokieKen

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

9208 posts in 1856 days


#12 posted 10-19-2021 04:40 AM


I used Aruaco Ply for my shop drawers. Good quality with thick face veneers.

- Redoak49

I used to use this a lot. Right now in my area, its more expensive than hardwood plywood. l Long for the days it was 27$ per sheet.

- CWWoodworking

I miss those days too. Menards has “1/2 for 58 bux a sheet. It’s down from around 70 a sheet a few weeks ago.

I’m very glad to have piles of plywood in storage. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

View Robert's profile

Robert

4783 posts in 2763 days


#13 posted 10-19-2021 11:22 AM

+1 on solid wood.

But the Sandeply isn’t bad stuff.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View MyGrowthRings's profile

MyGrowthRings

171 posts in 4956 days


#14 posted 10-19-2021 02:42 PM

I’ve had great experience with a product called “ApplePly” from States Industries. It’s also made from birch but unlike Baltic birch ply it has almost no voids. Scott

-- http://www.MyGrowthRings.com and http://www.Youtube.com/MyGrowthRings

View JackDuren's profile

JackDuren

1740 posts in 2242 days


#15 posted 10-19-2021 08:56 PM

Why would you buy expensive plywood or solid lumber for shop drawers?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com