I’m from China and I come to this forum for a long time.The reason I coming here is I’m interesting in woodworking though I don’t have any woodworking technique.There are many beautiful millwork and furniture in here.I just love to view you woodworker’s project and learn some woodworking knowledge.
Sometimes I would have read some posts about chinese plywood.I work in Chinese plywood industry and find there are there’re something not same as what I know.So I think maybe there are some miscomprehend.
The purpose I post this article is not to convince you woodworkers chinese plywood are top quality or other saying like salesman says.I know there are many weakness in Chinese plywood,such as thin face veneer,a little more voids and other.But this is not because we don’t have the ability to produce better product,it’s just because the cost and the expectation on Chinese product. The expectation of Chinese product is: Chinese product should be cheap. So at this time,chinese manufacturers and american importers only can ship cheap products to USA.Expensive products will not be accepted by market,though the quality will be better.
I’m here post this article just want give you woodworkers more information about how to select and distinguish Chinese plywood.If you will do some cost related project someday,I think it will be useful to you.Here’s the tips.
1,When you select plywoods for furniture,cabinet or other indoor purpose, please ask the seller if the formaldehyde emission of the plywood can meet the interior standard. There are totally two kinds of chinese plywood shipped to USA.One is specially manufactured for cabinet and furniture purpose,we named it cabinent plywood,the formaldehyde emission can meet interior standard (E1,E2) or CARB.Another kinds of plywood will emit extra formaldehyde because they didn’t manufactured for cabinet purpose,we name it ‘commercial plywood.’ The usage of this commercial plywood should be packing,pallet ……
2,Cabinet plywood would have better core veneer,thicker face veneer and low moisture content than commercial plywood.And then more expensive.
3,There’s a bad change in the thickness of face veneer.Thickness of both Cabinet plywood and commercial plywood had been reduced.Normally thickness of Cabinet plywood’s face/back veneer should be over 0.3mm. Some factories still make 0.4mm face veneer plywood. Thinckness of commercial plywood’s face/back veneer will be thiner,about 0.2mm to 0.3mm.
4,Most okoume face plywood are commercial plywood.Some kind of commercial plywood will have okoume veneer on the face and E grade birch on the back. Most cabinet grade plywood will have a/b/c/d grade birch/poplar/maple face/back veneer,or other face veneer.Some okoume plywoods are also can meet cabinet plywood standard. You should check it from you seller.
5,There are thousands of plywood factories in China.The quality of plywood from different factories are not the same.Some produce good stuff,some produce crap. Different import supplies different quality chinese plywood to you too. So you must compare your suppliers.
6,Some plywoods will be direct shipped to big furniture factories.Some of these plywood will meet more strict quality standard.I don’t know if you can find this kind of plywood in the market.
Wish these tips will be helpful to you.Any comments will be appreciated.