Dolmetscher007

Possible to buy 1mm single plys in the United States?

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You know how all the fancy restaurants these days are taking a salad, arranging each ingredient on the plate separately in some fanciful way and calling it "deconstructed" salad? ... Well, I am looking for some deconstructed birch plywood. I need 1mm individual plys made out of either birch, maple, or mahogany. First choice would be birch, then maple, then mahogany.  Also, just like when plywood is made, I need them to be cross-grained; so one play has the grain going E - W, then the next ply it goes N - S. 

I can find 1 mm plywood on the internet, relatively easily. But it is always 3 ply, but I need 1mm single-plys. I know this stuff is for sale in Finnland, Russia, and Germany. But... damn. How am I supposed to get it here? The shipping and probably whatever import tax and tariffs would make $45 worth of wood cost $375 I imagine; maybe even much more.

Anybody know where I might start looking for this in the US?

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Have you looked at veneer suppliers?  Perhaps if there is one near you they could do something custom?  Particularly for the cross grain.

If you are looking for small pieces you could slice your own veneer off a bandsaw.

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I'm not sure I understand.  How can it be both single ply and cross grain.  Isn't the cross grain the second ply?

 

Other than that, I bet you can make your own from veneer.  

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1 mm is about 40 thousandths of an inch, I believe. If I am not mistaken, that is a common thickness for commercial veneer. You should be able to purchase veneer sheets and laminate it in whatever orientation you need.

https://www.veneersupplies.com/categories/Raw__Wood__Veneer/Wood__Veneer__A__-__G/White__Birch__Wood__Veneer/

Looks like this material is 1/45 of an inch, closer to 1/2 mm.

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1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

What is that in inches?

Your best bet is to slice it your self. Or try a veneer place.

Agreed. First choice, commercially sliced veneer. Second choice, band saw slices, have a jig to thickness it on a drum sander since most don't go lower than 1/8". 

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Your looking at about 1/25th of and inch.  Commercial veneer is commonly 1/42" but I have seen thicker.  Are you making your own plywood?

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2 hours ago, Don Z. said:

I'm not sure I understand.  How can it be both single ply and cross grain.  Isn't the cross grain the second ply?

 

Other than that, I bet you can make your own from veneer.  

I mean 1 ply is 4’x8’ long grain... then the second ply is 4’x8’, the grain run in the opposite direction.

Yes... i am essentially making my own Baltic birch plywood; just not flat.

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Getting large sheets with either grain direction is going to be difficult. Shipping & packaging would be quite expensive even if you found a source.  Approx 2' x 4' should be readily available.  Have you got a powerful vacuum press ? 

I built a vacuum tank to get the bag evacuated faster.  8' section of Schedule 40 PVC ( not DWV) with Schedule 40 domed end caps glued on. I tapped one end for 1/8 pipe threads . I pull a hard vacuum on the pipe then close a ball valve. Once the press is loaded and the pump is running to pull it down I open the ball valve. I've got hoses & tees and ball valves running to vacuum clamping pods and foot valves as well as the tank and the press. 

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Maybe a stupid question... But why would you need it in both grain directions? The face ply could be a 4x8 sheet, with the grain in the long direction. The cross grain plies are internal, so you could just butt two 4x4 pieces together (created by cross cutting a long grain 4x8 piece). I can't help with where you could find the veneers, though.

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When you buy a sheet of 18+ ply Baltic Birch plywood, they are normally sold in 5ft x 5ft sheets. Each sheet is turned 90 degrees from the previous one. I’m sure everyone here knows that this is part of why plywood is so stable. 

The dimensions (4’ x 8’) is way less that important than the 1mm aspect. I can vary the grain direction myself,

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Assuming 1/24" is close enough to 1 mm, these guys sell 1/24" in a variety of species, including birch and maple:

https://www.certainlywood.com/woodmenu2.php?category=Special Thickness Veneers

The maple is 13-1/2" wide and the birch is only 12-1/2" wide, so to get a large panel, you'd have to piece things together.  (It's not going to be cheap, at $2.50/sf)

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So what are you planning to build  and what sizes do you realistically need ?  True Baltic can be had in 5 x 5 or 4x8 sheets these days. 

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It sounds like the same method as used for cold molded boatbuilding.  Usually, those guys use ⅛ in veneers, or maybe on rare occasions 1/16.  You could try Edensaw, but I think Certainly Wood should be able to help.

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You mentioned "not flat", so I assume this is a rather large bent lamination?

Let me suggest a process that can save you a great deal of work. Use the 1/45" (about .5mm) commecial veneers, for greater pliability. Create a form for the inner face of the lamination. Lightly moisten each ply with water, then paint one side with polyurathane glue (Gorilla or the like). Lay your plies together, then wrap the assembly tightly around the form using stretch wrap. The glue cures in the presence of moisture, not air, so it can be completely sealed.

I've seen a guy make wooden coil springs and other complex shapes with this method.

 

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I've looked at the veneer route. The problem there is... as soon as the word veneer pops up, it is assumed that you are looking for "pretty wood" for decoration. So you start to see "pretty wood" prices. To put that into perspective... the veneer places are looking to get $2.50 per sq. ft. for 1mm thick birch veneers. That would be $80 for a 4' x 8' sheet. If you were to stack those 18 plys thick... like a standard sheet of plywood... that 4' x 8' sheet of plywood would cost $1,440. 

Looks like I may just be out of luck here. 

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So your trying to do a bent lamination for a large piece?

Telling us your end goal bight get some better recommendations. Doing odd stuff like this it's going to be expensive to buy unless you need a LOT and go through a large company. Places exist this place is about a 30 min drive from me.

https://buffaloveneerandplywood.com/products/

Other places I've found.

https://lenderink.com/wood-veneer/thick-wood-veneer/

https://www.certainlywood.com/results-woodmenu.php?name=BIRCH&menu=1/24 in. white

https://www.greatlakesveneer.com/veneer-sheet-suppliers/

Skateboard veneer is goign to be thicker also look for bending plywood. I found some bending ply that was 2 ply. Also throw away the idea that you'll get 4x8 sheets. Buying veneer like that is going to be expensive because they have to stitch it together and then package it. Plywood companies take the 8-12" wide stuff and place it side by side. Your cross grain stuff is a 8' long piece cut in half and rotated 90 degrees so it'll be the same stock. If your goign to bend cross grain you'll probably need to soak and boil or steam the plies and preform them because they will break on tighter radii.

Would 1/4" BB ply and steam bending work? I have a feeling the glue might not hold but that'd be an inexpensive method to try first off.

 

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I haven't watched the video, yet, but most of the bent lamination I've seen have the grain of the individual layers running the same direction.  

Give us a hint of your ultimate goal and maybe someone can suggest some alternate approachs.  

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Interesting video.  His pieces are all oriented the same direction. 

I'm not clear on how he is generating enough clamping force between the layers.  He describes the plastic film as shrink wrap, but does not apply heat to shrink it, leading me to think that it is the more common self sticking (but not shrinking) plastic wrap.  He does wrap the pieces tightly, but I,m surprised that is enough clamping pressure.

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34 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Interesting video.  His pieces are all oriented the same direction. 

I'm not clear on how he is generating enough clamping force between the layers.  He describes the plastic film as shrink wrap, but does not apply heat to shrink it, leading me to think that it is the more common self sticking (but not shrinking) plastic wrap.  He does wrap the pieces tightly, but I,m surprised that is enough clamping pressure.

Have you never "clamped" some young pesky kid to a basketball pole with that stuff? It can clamp pretty tight, a few psi over a large area adds up to a lot of force.

  • Haha 1

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25 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Have you never "clamped" some young pesky kid to a basketball pole with that stuff? It can clamp pretty tight, a few psi over a large area adds up to a lot of force.

Very misleading profile pic - you look way too innocent for that!

  • Haha 1

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