Walnut plywood??? Extremely expensive?

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Forum topic by jtm posted 03-28-2014 10:35 PM 1473 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jtm's profile


243 posts in 2723 days

03-28-2014 10:35 PM

Hi folks,

I went to the lumber dealer today to grab some walnut (which is prohibitively expensive by the way).

They had 4×8 sheets of 3/4” walnut plywood.



Now, when they call it “walnut” plywood, isn’t the walnut just the top ply? It’s not a bunch of walnut plys, correct? I assume this to be the case, as the 1/2” and 1/4” sheets were only marginally cheaper. I guess most of the cost is in that top walnut veneer.

For reference, they have perfect maple and birch plywood for $60/sheet.

Why does this paper thin veneer ply more than double the cost of the plywood?

8 replies so far

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 3157 days

#1 posted 03-28-2014 10:41 PM

I could be wrong about this so lets hear what the ply gurus have to say…

When talking to my wood lady she explained to me that the nature of walnut leads to a lot of waste due to knots. The trees themselves have a lot of offshooting limbs, and that leads to knots. Her prices on walnut are good, but if you wanted a laminated top done up, it goes through the roof. Waste. Their prices on walnut ply are in line with yours, and Id guess the high waste nature of walnut leads to a higher waste when veneering, thus increasing the cost.

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View SWCPres's profile


29 posts in 2616 days

#2 posted 03-28-2014 10:56 PM

Normal price. It’s hard to find clear suitable logs for veneer slicing with regard to walnut. I have seen Walnut from $100 to $200. As the Box Whisperer has said…. Knots and other common defects that we love with walnut makes it much more difficult to veneer. Google types of veneer as there are many methods of obtaining veneer from lumber.

-- Reinventing the "Wheel", one 800mg Ibuprofen at a time.....

View Buckeyes85's profile


128 posts in 2775 days

#3 posted 03-28-2014 11:00 PM

expensive, yes, but arguably less expensive than stock. $140/sheet works out to 4.37/bf. plus its already flat, straight and rough sanded. he watchouts are how well it will blend with the stock you’ll use with it and also how thick the veneer is…chances are it is paper thin so dont count on being able to sand out any dings. etc; you’ll go right through it.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4372 days

#4 posted 03-28-2014 11:03 PM

Walnut is a very slow growth tree and virgin walnut has been harvested years ago. Like the Box Whisperer mentioned above, there are more knots and makes it hard to get much size to clean runs. That and less supply and demand for walnut will make it much more then say Maple.

Depending on it’s grading, the price for 3/4” A1 Walnut plywood is probably pretty close. Not sure where you’re located, but the Hardwood Store in Gibsonville, NC has it for around $124.00 per 3/4” sheet.

-- John @

View jmartel's profile


9184 posts in 3237 days

#5 posted 03-28-2014 11:20 PM

It’s about $130ish a sheet at my dealer too. Just the name of the game for plywood for certain species.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 3022 days

#6 posted 03-28-2014 11:55 PM

Ditto here. I think my quote was about $150/ sheet for 3/4”.

Check this out, I asked for a price on rift sawn ply. It was like $450 or $500 a sheet! Holy #$%!

Huff – Great to see you posting again, haven’t seen your name in a bit (maybe I’m just in the wrong place). I still savor those awesome blog posts on how sell and market your stuff. Much appreciated

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Fish22's profile


83 posts in 4200 days

#7 posted 03-29-2014 12:00 AM

3/4 4×8 is $120 per sheet near me. If you want just 1 face walnut, it is $85

-- Bryan, South River, NJ

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 2704 days

#8 posted 03-29-2014 01:15 AM

I like posts that compare real life costs, thanks for the post.

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