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Why is Baltic birch ply 5x5 instead of 4x8


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#1 Juicegoose

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:17 AM

Just a quick question but why is the true baltic birch ply available in mainly 5x5 sheets and not 4x8 like you see at home stores and such.

#2 lwllms

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:53 AM

It's made in the Baltics where they don't use our standard construction multiples of 16".

#3 Vic

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:57 AM

Because it's a European product. 4x8 is available in the states as Appleply.

#4 gardnesd

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:01 AM

So that's how you become a master poster. double up each post.

#5 COWW

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:16 AM

Just a quick question but why is the true baltic birch ply available in mainly 5x5 sheets and not 4x8 like you see at home stores and such.


It's European so actually 1500x1500 :D

#6 Juicegoose

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:25 AM

So with it being 1500 x 1500, which is what I kind of figured does this tend to work out well for you guys that have built cabinets with it? seems like it would be kind of a lot of waste say for case sides and such. Again never having used it I'm just curious

#7 COWW

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:32 AM

So with it being 1500 x 1500, which is what I kind of figured does this tend to work out well for you guys that have built cabinets with it? seems like it would be kind of a lot of waste say for case sides and such. Again never having used it I'm just curious


Never built cabinets with it. Just shop fixtures/appliances and a telescope(fun project if your somewhat of a nerd)

If you have to work with plywood, BB is great stuff to work with, no voids, both show sides etc.

#8 john@verona

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:26 PM

Glad you guys can use it for the shop - I'm (going to be) using it for furniture. The finish I've seen so far is very good, but not always both sides are 'show'. Sizes are 1525 x 1525mm here, which is a shade over 60", so I don't think you'll find yourself an inch short.

Beech ply is also available - though difficult to find - in 4' x 8' here. Otherwise the usual poplar or marine boards are huge - 2000 x 3000mm, that's over 6' x 9'.
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#9 Wilbur Pan

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:58 PM

Glad you guys can use it for the shop - I'm (going to be) using it for furniture. The finish I've seen so far is very good, but not always both sides are 'show'. Sizes are 1525 x 1525mm here, which is a shade over 60", so I don't think you'll find yourself an inch short.

Beech ply is also available - though difficult to find - in 4' x 8' here. Otherwise the usual poplar or marine boards are huge - 2000 x 3000mm, that's over 6' x 9'.

Hi John,

Do you know if there are "usual" sizes of casework, like bookcases or cabinets that are sized to take advantage of the 1525 x 1525 plywood sheets? I have a theory that European kitchen cabinets might be sized slightly different from American ones due to this, sort of like how we use 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of paper compared to A4.

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#10 john@verona

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 01:51 PM

Sorry, Wilbur, I don't really have an answer...

Hi John,

Do you know if there are "usual" sizes of casework, like bookcases or cabinets that are sized to take advantage of the 1525 x 1525 plywood sheets? I have a theory that European kitchen cabinets might be sized slightly different from American ones due to this, sort of like how we use 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of paper compared to A4.

I thought myself that 5' x5' was a 'funny' size (especially when pronounced 1525mm x 1525mm) - even asked the chap selling the stuff, but he didn't know either. I think we can exclude tree size, I was thinking more of pallet or container sizes - but that doesn't stack up (sorry couldn't resist), it's the wrong size for both.

European kitchen cabinets are based on the 'magic' 60/40/30 cm values. Most cabinets are 60 cm, and all built in ovens, dish washers and cookers are designed to fit inside them. A drawer under the sink will be 90 or possibly 120 cm. Anything else and you have to pay a huge (as in 200%) additional charge, because the thing will have to be cut, by a human being no less.

Which doesn't help your theory, I'm afraid... Might be sheer bloody mindedness on the part of the Finns or Russians ;) I've heard that the English can be like that too...

In any case, almost all kitchen cabinets (even the 'top' class ones) are made from laminated chipboard. Sometimes it's 'nobilitato', that is they put a 1/100" veneer on the chipoard. Plywood simply isn't used, because the machinery used to make this stuff works better with chipboard, holes for euro hinges, etc. Paper is used regularly as the veneer on the cheaper brands - complete kitchen for €999, in 48 easy installments. Presumably the cabinets will last 48 months...

Me, cinical? Nah...

John
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#11 nateswoodworks

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 01:57 PM

I still think the main reason is just to tick us off so it won't fit in our trucks laying down :angry:
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#12 Juicegoose

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 02:28 PM

AMEN NATE AMEN

#13 john@verona

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 02:50 PM

Just been through my notes, different types of ply, different suppliers:
250 x 125 cm - 8' x 4'
252 x 185 cm
312 x 185 cm
313 x 210 cm - 10' x 7' (almost) - easy to get in a car... or possibly the other way round
310 x 153 cm
300 x 125 cm

Nothing like having a little variety...

There's an article in Wood magazine about sheets of wood.

John
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#14 BuilderBill

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 04:14 PM

I still think the main reason is just to tick us off so it won't fit in our trucks laying down :angry:
Nate


You ought to try strapping the stuff on top of a 4Runner...... :blink:
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#15 Paul-Marcel

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 05:40 PM

You ought to try strapping the stuff on top of a 4Runner...... :blink:
Bill


Silly... you need a 5Runner for that! :P

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#16 iSawitFirst

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:51 PM

Maybe Baltic Birch isn't used for cabinets???

It is, after all, not European. Its Scandinavian. You know...the furniture designers.
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#17 john@verona

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 11:59 PM

Yes...

Maybe Baltic Birch isn't used for cabinets???

Poplar core plywood is cheaper and can be veneered. Laminates (compensato in Italian - a thick > 15mm poplar core, one good face) are heavily used here.

No...

It is, after all, not European. Its Scandinavian. You know...the furniture designers.

Europe comprises Scandinavia and a big hunk of Russia these days, including all the Baltic countries. So while the Rhine was the longest river in Europe when I were but a nipper, it's now the Volga. (Cost me a beer that one did, ouch).

Also (my pet rant, I'm afraid) please note that the Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd company you loosely refer to is not a Swedish company per se - it's actually a charity, based in the Netherlands (and Antilles). So €2.5 billion profit a year, tax free. About 90% of this flows out to sources unknown as "other operating charges", since the charity owners technically can't receive this profit - it's in a trust. €45 million of this profit was devolved to charitable activities. It's now the world's biggest charitable organization, having overtaken the Gates Foundation. End of rant.

John
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#18 Aggie83

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 09:00 AM

It is a (formerly) Communist plot.

Like Stalin's grave.

#19 The Wood Servant

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 06:04 AM

It is a (formerly) Communist plot.

Like Stalin's grave.

I think I must have dropped off for the past twenty years or something. The standard size of a plywood sheet in the UK is 2440mm x 1220mm which is exactly 8'x4' at what ever thickness is required, which I admit these days is likely to be some multiple of a millimetre. Even here in EUROPE well FRANCE actually the normal size is 2500x1200 although there is almost as much here at 2440x1220 which I pressume comes from the UK it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the standard size of kitchen cabinets. Which incidentally are almost always Melamine coated chipboard, unless you want to pay the right price and have your kitchen made to measure, which is where people like me come in. I will manufacture in what ever material the client wants and to what ever size. Even your fabled Birch Ply is available in these sizes.
Pete

#20 iSawitFirst

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 07:23 AM

Europe comprises Scandinavia and a big hunk of Russia these days, including all the Baltic countries. So while the Rhine was the longest river in Europe when I were but a nipper, it's now the Volga. (Cost me a beer that one did, ouch).

John



Baltic Birch, according to my sources, is manufactured in Russia and Finland, two countries that historically have been distinguished from Europe. I guess because of the EU's trade relations with Russia and Finland they are thought of as EU good old boys but historically there have been geophysical, ancestral, cultural, monetary and alliance distinctions.

Looks like my pre-cold war mindset needs to be "reset".
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