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Valleyslim

Need help with picking plywood

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Starting to finally build stuff in my shop. Already made a work table out of maple plywood, but was wondering what plywood is good for indoor furniture. My first 2 projects are gonna be platform bed and TV stand. I have access to Baltic birch, but I don't want to spend that much for a sheet of ply. If it helps, I get my plywood from a lumber yard, not big box stores, thanks

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Baltic birch is what I use.  Yes, it's a bit more expensive but, IMO it's worth the cost to not have warping and void issues to deal with.

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For hardwood veneerd ply Research the companies that sell the ply. Generally the made in US companies stay a lot flatter for me than any of the imports. If you run across Terra ply just say no. Timber products is one that i always have good luck with.

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Yes, Baltic birch is a much superior product. It's also a lot harder & stronger than regular plywood.

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19 minutes ago, Valleyslim said:

so my local lumber store sells Baltic birch 4x8 sheet for 74$, is that a good price??

Need more info. 1/4" 1/2" 3/4"?

I pay $1.36 pre square foot for 1/2" which is $34 for a 5x5 sheet. Though it was a bit higher than that the last time i bought. 3/4" is more expensive 1/4" is cheaper.

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Baltic birch is generally a very good product, but it’s not the only good option. I use BB for shop stuff, but I don’t think I’d use it for house furniture unless it was going to be painted or veneered. 

Ask to see some comparable alternatives. Look along the edges to see if there are any voids- if there are voids along the edge there will also be voids in the middle of the sheets. Look at how thick then top/bottom veneers are. Look to see if the sheet is flat or if it has warped. 

Each lumber yard is different, but at mine the guys in the showroom are very friendly and happy to answer questions and give advice, while the guys in the back would rather not deal with any customers.

For some projects you can save money by buying sheets with a lower grade face on one side if it won’t be seen. 

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3 hours ago, Valleyslim said:

so my local lumber store sells Baltic birch 4x8 sheet for 74$, is that a good price??

And make sure you are looking at baltic birch plywood.  There is such a thing as birch plywood, which confused me for a time.  I mention this because BB is more commonly found in 5 x 5 sheets although I can get it in 4 x 8.

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It's also available here in both sizes, but for some reason, the 4x8 is quite a bit more per sq. ft. than the 5x5.

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On 4/12/2019 at 3:37 PM, JohnG said:

Baltic birch is generally a very good product, but it’s not the only good option. I use BB for shop stuff, but I don’t think I’d use it for house furniture unless it was going to be painted or veneered. 

Ask to see some comparable alternatives. Look along the edges to see if there are any voids- if there are voids along the edge there will also be voids in the middle of the sheets. Look at how thick then top/bottom veneers are. Look to see if the sheet is flat or if it has warped. 

Each lumber yard is different, but at mine the guys in the showroom are very friendly and happy to answer questions and give advice, while the guys in the back would rather not deal with any customers.

For some projects you can save money by buying sheets with a lower grade face on one side if it won’t be seen. 

what would be a good alternative to baltic birch for indoor furniture such as platform bed or tv stand? I bought maple plywood and havent seen 1 void yet out of the only 2 sheets i got from the lumber yard for 47$ for a 4x8 3/4 inch. I guess is maple ply still sturdy enough? thanks in advance

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2 hours ago, Valleyslim said:

 I guess is maple ply still sturdy enough? thanks in advance

Don't think that maple ply is made of maple. The inner layers are just softwood, with the only maple being the extremely thin exterior faces. So it won't have the strength of BB. 

The maple ply will be good enough.

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6 hours ago, Valleyslim said:

what would be a good alternative to baltic birch for indoor furniture such as platform bed or tv stand? I bought maple plywood and havent seen 1 void yet out of the only 2 sheets i got from the lumber yard for 47$ for a 4x8 3/4 inch. I guess is maple ply still sturdy enough? thanks in advance

There are too many options and variables to give specific alternatives. Any plywood will be sturdy enough as long as your design is reasonable.

If you haven't already, do some reading online about the different types of plywood. Veneer vs. MDF core, hardwood veneer core vs softwood veneer core, rotary/quarter sawn/plain sawn veneer, and plywood grading. I felt completely in the dark buying plywood before I learned about the different options.

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