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  • where to buy baltic birch

    Alot of the projects I read about suggest baltic birch plywood. Is this the same birch plywood that home depot and Lowe's sells?
    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: where to buy baltic birch

    Originally posted by toecat View Post
    Alot of the projects I read about suggest baltic birch plywood. Is this the same birch plywood that home depot and Lowe's sells?
    Thanks
    In a word, No, it is not. Some may be able to order it for you, but it is probably twice the price (or more) of what you are seeing for the plywood on the shelf there. A lumber yard, cabinet makers supply, or Woodcraft and others can order for you if they don't have it in stock.

    For example at Woodcraft a 3/4" x 24" x 30" piece of Baltic (Russian/Finnish) Birch is ~$17.00.
    A 3/4"x 48" x 96" sheet of the stuff HD or Lowes carries is about $35.00
    A 3/4" x 24" x 30" piece of 100% Finnish Birch goes for around $42.00 (Woodcraft's online price)

    The numbers may vary where ever you are but the spread probably won't change that much.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 04-23-2009, 11:04 PM.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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    • #3
      Re: where to buy baltic birch

      the short answer is NO. what home Depot sells is what some of us used to call lumber core back in the day or rather there approximation of it. its OK for some stuff but its not Baltic Birch which is considered a cabinet grade plywood and from its name "Baltic" which denotes what part of the world its from.

      These days and umm for quite a few days now much of HD's stock of so called "Birch" or high end ply has been coming from china. Carefull with this stuff i have found nails, staples and Glass between the ply of hd's Birch. Much to often lately too.

      Links for your info:
      http://alliedveneer.com/what-is-baltic-birch.html

      http://www.woodnshop.com/Hardwood/Ba...ch_Plywood.htm
      Last edited by Arthur96; 04-23-2009, 11:11 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: where to buy baltic birch

        I buy it at Menards. It comes in !/4", 1/2" and 3/4" as I remember in 4x8 sheets. It is also sold as underlayment for tile. Thats the stuff at Menards with the black X's on it. A lot of lumber wholesalers carry it also.

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        • #5
          Re: where to buy baltic birch

          At Baltic Avenue. It's just past GO->

          (Sorry, smartazz plumber high on primer couldn't resist)

          I'm gone now.

          J.C.

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          • #6
            Re: where to buy baltic birch

            Originally posted by OldHunter View Post
            I buy it at Menards. It comes in !/4", 1/2" and 3/4" as I remember in 4x8 sheets. It is also sold as underlayment for tile. Thats the stuff at Menards with the black X's on it. A lot of lumber wholesalers carry it also.

            Underlayment for tiles? Baltic birch? never. never ever. I've seen luan used for underlayment for tiles and even that is a no-no. could it be its something else and you mistakenly grouped it with the Baltic ply?

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            • #7
              Re: where to buy baltic birch

              Stay away from the plywood at HD. The reason it's cheaper than a lumber yard is that the quality s**ks. Veneers too thin and everything Arthur96 says is reason to stay away.

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              • #8
                Re: where to buy baltic birch

                Originally posted by tchads View Post
                Stay away from the plywood at HD. The reason it's cheaper than a lumber yard is that the quality s**ks. Veneers too thin and everything Arthur96 says is reason to stay away.

                Well for CDX and the like its OK i just wouldn't bother with there finish ply although even there cdx is kinda thin too come to think of it

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                • #9
                  Re: where to buy baltic birch

                  I was looking for some recently for speaker baffles. Almost anyone selling 'baltic' was selling just normal plywood even if it had more layers.

                  I will say the only real stuff I saw was in 30" lengths and not 48" or 96" locally. They just wanted too much money for what would be a 15"x18" panel.

                  I used MDF and lacquered it...MDF and Baltic are the two best choices for a speaker baffle.

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                  • #10
                    Re: where to buy baltic birch

                    Originally posted by Arthur96 View Post
                    Underlayment for tiles? Baltic birch? never. never ever. I've seen luan used for underlayment for tiles and even that is a no-no. could it be its something else and you mistakenly grouped it with the Baltic ply?
                    Actually no, I am quite sure that it is Baltic Birch. I was in Menards today for something else and I made a note of the merchandise tag. It reads as follows:

                    1/4" x 4'x8' Plyfloor TM Premium Underlayment $27.99
                    Nominal size
                    5 ply Baltic Birch Plywood
                    6mm thckness
                    BB/CP Grade Virtually Clean Sanded Face
                    Solid Sanded back Solid Core, no voids, exterior glue
                    for use under Sheet Vinyl, Ceramic Tile, Vinyl Tile and Carpet
                    SKU # 125-1905

                    They also had regular Baltic Birch ply as follows:
                    1/4"x4'x8' $25.99
                    1/2"x4'x8' $52.99
                    3/4"x4'x8' $69.99

                    I repair and restore Antique Furniture and have used Baltic Birch for probably over 25 years for cabinet backs and drawer bottoms. I prefer it to regular birch ply because it is more stable and less prone to warping and when you need 1/4" ply like the 100 year old ply I am replacing, it actually measures very close to 1/4" rather than 3/16" like other birch ply. I think the 5'x5' sheets I get from lumber wholesalers are often better quality, but I have to take what they send me and sometimes the sheet has a lot of those annoying football shaped plugs that I have to cut around. Sometimes it's nice to be able to sort though the pile at Menards, but then what do I know, I'm just a woodworker.

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                    • #11
                      Re: where to buy baltic birch

                      ...football shaped plugs ...
                      This sounds more like PTS (Plugged and Touch Sanded) ply, not furniture grade ply. I've never seen cabinet grade or furniture grade plywood that has been plugged to fill voids or where knots have been cut out of the veneer.
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                      ---------
                      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: where to buy baltic birch

                        Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                        This sounds more like PTS (Plugged and Touch Sanded) ply, not furniture grade ply. I've never seen cabinet grade or furniture grade plywood that has been plugged to fill voids or where knots have been cut out of the veneer.
                        Bob, don't take this personally but the one thing I have learned in my 63 years is to never say NEVER, or NEVER EVER because invariably someone comes along to prove otherwise. I appreciate the challenge but by typing this, it is keeping me from my main task which is assembly of my new R4511 saw. I could say it NEVER will get done, especially because they neglected to include the bag of parts marked FIGURE D, but even I think with my limited mechanical skills I will be able to figure it out. BTW, did someone get two bags marked FIGURE D, I got two bags marked FIGURE C. WANT TO TRADE??

                        But, I digress- I would have to assume that maybe someone who has "never seen cabinet grade or furniture grade plywood that has been plugged to fill voids or where knots have been cut out of the veneer" either doesn't get out much or hasn't used a lot of Baltic Birch, but perhaps I am the one who doesn't get out much and doesn't know what cabinet or finish grade Baltic Birch is supposed to look like.

                        Lets see what WOODCRAFT, the company you suggested as a source of Baltic Birch plywood has to say about the product.

                        "This plywood is a functional grade material composed of birch from parts of Russia and Finland. It differs from Finnish Birch Plywood in that it does not use an exterior glue and the plies in the lay-up are of lesser quality making the Baltic birch less expensive. The Baltic birch is graded as a B-BB, which means that one face, B, will be a whole face, no splices, have no patches (plugs that are used to cover defects) but may contain knot pattern or mineral streaks. The other face, BB, and the inner plies will contain patches and tight and not so tight knots. Baltic Birch Plywood is an excellent material for cabinet backs, drawer sides and bottoms, as well as jigs and fixtures and scroll saw work that will be painted. "

                        Now here is - Finnish Birch Plywood



                        This 100% Finnish birch multi-ply plywood is lightweight, yet has superior strength and durability characteristics which make it useful for a variety of woodworking applications, including drawer sides and bottoms, scroll saw projects, or in jigs and fixtures. Multiple ply edges can be sanded or routed and the plywood has excellent screw holding power.
                        • The "front" face is classified as paint grade, slight variation in color is acceptable, but no patches are allowed.
                        • The "rear" face and inner ply's may contain patches.
                        • Both faces are sanded smooth.
                        • Exterior glue is used so this plywood can even be used for outdoor projects (with an appropriate outdoor finish).
                        • 5/32" has 3 plies, 1/4" has 5 plies, 3/8" has 7, the 1/2" has 9 and the 3/4" has 14.
                        • Grain runs with largest dimension
                        • Overall size may vary ±1/8"
                        • No two pieces are alike and because of the irregular shape and size, dimensions listed below are approximations.
                        Micro-Thin Birch Plywood has cabinet grade faces on both sides (no patches or plugs). Made with water resistant glue for protected exterior use. Aircraft quality for the most demanding projects. Overall size may vary ±1/8".






                        Bob, I like to use Baltic Birch plywood as it works best for my applications, and yes it does contain "football shaped plugs on at least one or even occasionally both faces, from my experience". I try to cut around them when I can because the 100-year-old plywood that I am replacing doesn't have the plugs on either front or back sides and I guess I am somewhat of a purist. I don't know but I am betting that even Woodcraft cuts around the plugs when they can and then charges a premium for the smaller pieces. Makes sense to me, but then what do I know, I'm just a woodworker.

                        BTW, no offense meant or implied by my previous statements to either yourself or Arthur 96, I'm just having a little fun. Now back to the new saw and where did I put that darn
                        Last edited by OldHunter; 04-26-2009, 04:58 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: where to buy baltic birch

                          Originally posted by OldHunter View Post
                          Actually no, I am quite sure that it is Baltic Birch. I was in Menards today for something else and I made a note of the merchandise tag. It reads as follows:

                          1/4" x 4'x8' Plyfloor TM Premium Underlayment $27.99
                          Nominal size
                          5 ply Baltic Birch Plywood
                          6mm thckness
                          BB/CP Grade Virtually Clean Sanded Face
                          Solid Sanded back Solid Core, no voids, exterior glue
                          for use under Sheet Vinyl, Ceramic Tile, Vinyl Tile and Carpet
                          SKU # 125-1905

                          They also had regular Baltic Birch ply as follows:
                          1/4"x4'x8' $25.99
                          1/2"x4'x8' $52.99
                          3/4"x4'x8' $69.99

                          I repair and restore Antique Furniture and have used Baltic Birch for probably over 25 years for cabinet backs and drawer bottoms. I prefer it to regular birch ply because it is more stable and less prone to warping and when you need 1/4" ply like the 100 year old ply I am replacing, it actually measures very close to 1/4" rather than 3/16" like other birch ply. I think the 5'x5' sheets I get from lumber wholesalers are often better quality, but I have to take what they send me and sometimes the sheet has a lot of those annoying football shaped plugs that I have to cut around. Sometimes it's nice to be able to sort though the pile at Menards, but then what do I know, I'm just a woodworker.
                          I can back him up. Saw the same thing today.

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                          • #14
                            Re: where to buy baltic birch

                            Originally posted by toecat View Post
                            I can back him up. Saw the same thing today.
                            I'm not a woodman or carpenter but have worked around most trades. (Also stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once or twice. )

                            Any manufacturer can print that their product can be used for almost anything. But that does not mean that it is the accepted and approved method or product for that installation.

                            Please show any links from the Tile Contractors Association of America, NTCA, or any other accredited professional tile installation instructions saying that this an approved substrate.

                            Otherwise, it is not.

                            J.C.

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                            • #15
                              Re: where to buy baltic birch

                              I've gotten my baltic birch from McCoys. They have always stocked it, although in the 5' x 5' sheets. They're big enough for lots of things, but are ridiculous to try to handle by myself. I can reach five feet, but I durn sure can't tell where I'm going once I get one picked up .
                              De Colores,
                              Dow
                              Boerne, TX

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