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  • plywood quality

    I am in the process of building some 3/4 birch ply constructed hanging cabinets. Has anyone had any problems with warping on the ply from china. It is a $10 diffence per sheet for the USA made ply.

  • #2
    Re: plywood quality

    Yes, tons of people have had problems with the China ply. In order to produce it, ship it all that way and sell it for less some corners must be cut in quality control.

    I'm not saying it's totally unusable but you just have to be very careful when you use it.
    Last edited by BadgerDave; 04-10-2008, 11:27 AM.
    ================================================== ====
    ~~Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

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    • #3
      Re: plywood quality

      I just made some closet cabinets from Chinese cabinet grade 18mm poplar plywood from one of the big box stores. looks great, but had many splits in the layers. The people that wanted the cabinets done had an account at the big box store and it was the only place I could get it.
      Biggest problem was you didn't know the splits where there until after it was cut. It was like the layers were not glued together in some spots. It took a lot of work getting by the bad pieces to make the cabinets. I had very little warping in the poplar plywood.

      Watch the Birch plywood does not have glue freckles on the surface these freckles will show up when staining, this seems to be common in the Chinese birch plywood. Nothing more heart breaking than after putting all that work in the cabinets finding out the finish looks like crap.

      If I were building these for myself I would I would get the lumber from a local lumber yard and it would be American made. $10 dollars more will save time and money in the long run, less aggravation and less scrap.
      Last edited by Davet; 04-10-2008, 01:57 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: plywood quality

        I just had an agathis sheet delaminate from there after cutting. Im tired of my local HDs crap ply.They lose about 5k a year in my business. If they only had a quality maple and birch it would make alot of folks happy.
        Theres a store in NY that carries Maple,Birch, Cherry and some prefinished sheets. Surely the Manager is a woodworker.

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        • #5
          Re: plywood quality

          Unless it is a weekend I buy my plywood from a regional plywood distributor.* Excellent quality.* The cost is less than HD and they deliver free if the order is over $200.00.* Ten dollar delivery charge if the order is less that $200.00.* They have everything I need and in the last year they have started handling wood: maple and walnut.* I go there, order, back up to the dock, load and out of there in 15 minutes, unless I take advantage of the free coffee and donuts.
          I have used HDs cabinet grade 3/4" birch plywood in the past and have not experienced and problems.* My experience with their oak plywood on the other hand has been less than good.
          A look in the yellow pages might turn up something regionally in other areas.* This place requires a business name but there is another distributor in the area which allows cash sales to walkins.

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          • #6
            Re: plywood quality

            Got tired of the poor quality "cabinet grade" plywood local yards have. Switched to 5' x 5' sheets of Baltic Birch plywood and love it. The 1/2" is 9 ply and the 3/4" is 13 ply. Costs more but less scrap, easier to use and faster to finish the job. Buy it at Len-Co lumber in Buffalo, NY. Great prices on sheet goods. They also have real nice 4' x 8' sheets of Birch and Oak that I have used.

            Mark

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            • #7
              Re: plywood quality

              Another thing you have to watch with imported plywood is bubbles ( delaminating layers ). I have never had this problem when I buy my wood from the local lumber yard. But when I buy a " handy panel " for a quickie small project, from a big box store, I generally have some kind of issue. Even checking all the edges for " damages layers or edges ", generally does not work.
              Never use your thumb to check the sharpness of a spinning blade

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              • #8
                Re: plywood quality

                I stay away from the import 3/4" that's only 6 plys. For what you save it's just not worth it. Too many voids, lamination issues, etc.

                Why build it if you can't be proud of it when you're done?

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                • #9
                  Re: plywood quality

                  Originally posted by Mark51 View Post
                  Got tired of the poor quality "cabinet grade" plywood local yards have. Switched to 5' x 5' sheets of Baltic Birch plywood and love it. The 1/2" is 9 ply and the 3/4" is 13 ply. Costs more but less scrap, easier to use and faster to finish the job. Buy it at Len-Co lumber in Buffalo, NY. Great prices on sheet goods. They also have real nice 4' x 8' sheets of Birch and Oak that I have used.

                  Mark
                  Just to be fair to the Chinese...last summer I bought three 5x5 sheets of baltic birch from a nearby hardwood supplier, and one of them split apart just like cheap HD ply when I cut it. They replaced it, of course. But it was pretty disturbing at the time when I thought I was paying top dollar for best quality. I guess the Russians have their off days, too.

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