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Arauco plywood

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  • Arauco plywood

    Has anyone else tried this lumber. What exactly is it? I was looking for some cabinet-grade lumber for a DVD shelf unit, and after a couple of weeks for which no usable birch or oak ply was available at the one 'n' only local store (Lowe's) saw some "Arauco" ply. The 23/32 is 7-ply, but all are equal thickness (unlike the thinner surface plys on most of the others). I decided on it rather than sanded pine because of more plys and it was only a couple $$ more. The "A" surface looked good (at the time) and the "B" surface had a few flaws that I could work around with my cuts. (The $45 Oak had open knot holes on both sides, really some sorry material!!) I did notice some "flaking" on the edges of the grain, but figured I could sand that out due to the ply thickness.
    Fast forward to having cut, dadoed and dry fit all the pieces, and found during the sanding process that sanding out the "flaking" wasn't doable. Didn't look too bad after the 80 grit. Saw some more flaking with the 120. 220 made it more noticeable and 320 didn't improve anything. Wood filler doesn't seem to adhere well and when sanding it, the flakes break off creating more defects. Tried popping off the flakes with little success.
    With the time and energy already in it, I have pressed on and its now glued up, trimmed, and in the staining process. (If its not suitable for the house, it will sure hold things in the shop!!) Actually the staining is going well (not causing any more lifting) but I can see by my scrap test pieces that the first coat of poly is showing the defects. Actually, the "B" side, where there isn't any major rip-outs from the seriously dull planers they must have used, is looking better than the "A" side.
    I will let you know if multiple coats of poly will make it usable, but I am curious of what this wood is supposed to be used for. With the flaking, even paint would take several coats with sanding in between to give a smooth surface.
    As for the stain, it absorbs it a little more than the pine I used for the molding.
    Curious as to what this stuff really is.
    Practicing at practical wood working

  • #2
    Arauco is a company that makes pine veneered plywood and other wood products. I generally don't use an 80 grit when sanding plywood. Regardless of how thick the veneer seems, an 80 grit paper can go through it in a hurry.

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    • #3
      http://www.coxlumber.com/arauco.html
      Lorax
      "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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      • #4
        I figured it was a brand name, but does anyone know what this stuff they are peddling at Lowe's actually is (wood species)? (sorry Ridgid, but if'n you get a store that carries your wood working products closer than a 1 1/2 hr drive I'll be a more frequent customer, and most time HD isn't much better on lumber quality). Guess I'll have to make a list for several projects and make the 2 1/2 hour drive into the Raleigh/Durham area to find some real wood outlets.
        Practicing at practical wood working

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        • #5
          www.woodfinder.com
          Lorax
          "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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          • #6
            Yes, it is a pine veneer. I don't know about the core. Also, Arauco makes interior plywoods. If it has been exposed to rain or significantly high humidity, the glue may fail.

            The specific species of pine is probably Pinus radiata.

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            • #7
              Thank you Lorax for the link. Don't exactly know what "riata" pine is, but a riata is a lasso and I guess they just roped this sucker! I do not recommend this "stuff" for any furniture projects. And cjh20, as for the 80 grit, you do what you gotta do with the materials available.
              Practicing at practical wood working

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