phenolic plywood - what is it

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Blog entry by PrarieBoy posted 03-31-2009 07:18 PM 4784 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve done a liittle research and best I can tell is that phenolic plywood is just an “new name” for HDO plywood.
I searched for plywood on Google and went to the APA site. And HDO is a phenolic resin overlay as is MDO – MDO being cheaper about $60 for a 4×8 sheet while HDO is about $100 per 4×8 sheet (both in 3/4 inch).
does anyone else know of a difference in phenolic vs HDO. I suspect phenolic plywood is just local jargon for an otherwise easily found product.

-- in the prairie no one can hear you scream (this helps when i mess up a project)

5 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#1 posted 03-31-2009 07:36 PM

Phenolic plywood is plywood with a laminated layer of phenolic on each side, similar to playwood/MDF laminated with melamine, only instead of melamine or formica, the overlay is phenolic material which is super smooth and hard. HDO has a hardened impregnated layer on the outside similar to masonite/hardboard, but that is not a phenolic material.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3844 days

#2 posted 04-01-2009 04:53 AM

The very first time I came across Phenolic plywood was in the early 80’s when Incra used it to anchor its router fences to the router table. I ask the dealer what this material was and he gave me the spill on this material, know as Finn board over in Europe it is 11 ply baltic plywood with a phenolic coated resin 1st used for cement form boards…then electrician started using it to set circuit board on it, due to its resilient to heat. Then carpenter started to us it because of it slick surface for jig and its low fiction property’s and glue will not adhere to the surface as well. I’ve used it on a few of my posts if you check out my project you’ll see some pic’s. The real deal is the baltic ply product there are some knock off with particle board center and mdf which are very low grade products. Hope this helps explain Phenolic Plywood ….Blkcherry

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3709 days

#3 posted 04-01-2009 05:59 AM

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4422 days

#4 posted 04-01-2009 06:05 AM

Here is a blog of mine of some that I found.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3709 days

#5 posted 04-01-2009 06:23 AM
The 3/4” HDO that you are asking about is only 7 ply and is used to make concrete forms with and isn’t anywhere near the quality of Phenolic plywood . The 3/4” Phenolic Plywood is 14 ply Baltic Birch plywood that has the Phenolic Resin applied to both sides .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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