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phenolic plywood

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Blog entry by thebigvise posted 09-17-2010 03:55 AM 4700 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Guys and Gals, I spent an hour at work today e-mailing and talking to suppliers of Colorfin baltic birch phenolic plywood. Why are they only to be found in upstate New York, Michigan, and California??!! I live in North Carolina and it just puzzles the heck out of me that I cannot get this stuff. Of course. motor freight from New York is an option, but PULEEEAASE!!! It’s $185 per 8’ X 4’ sheet, PLUS about $200 shipping. Is there a retailer in or near North Carolina? Failing that, are any of you folks near North Carolina interested in buying a big stack of this stuff together to reduce the per-sheet shipping costs? Let me know….I am about ready to go just with Masonite tops with polyurethane added to prevent glue from sticking. THANKS.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC



11 comments so far

View zlatanv's profile

zlatanv

689 posts in 1886 days


#1 posted 09-17-2010 04:09 AM

What do plan to do with it? Does it have to be 4’ x 8’? Woodcraft sells it in smaller sheets. Maybe allot cheeper to make your own panels.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3161 posts in 2475 days


#2 posted 09-17-2010 04:13 AM

Finn form board is imported from Europe and extremely hard to find in the states. I found a dealer in the Chicagoland area the sell it for 130.00 a sheet if you pick up and you have to buy two sheet min. This dealer sell to Incra and they also have a outlet some where in N.J. I try Whitecap but it not the quality of FinnForm eleven ply baltic ply with the phenolic coating. If you want the supplier name pm me and I forward to you…good luck Blkcherry

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1553 days


#3 posted 09-17-2010 04:17 AM

I have read a couple of comments from others about Whitecap. Their product is primarily for concrete forms and is not as well-suited as Colorfin to the exacting standards of a woodworker. As for Woodcraft and others, I am aware that quarter sheets can be purchased, then shipped by UPS and FedEx, but I really want the flexibility of an un-cut 8’ X 4’ sheet. Unfortunately, items of that size must go by motor freight.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1553 days


#4 posted 09-17-2010 04:20 AM

Thanks Blackcherry. Do you know of a supplier at least slightly south of the Mason-Dixon line? I am in North Carolina.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2301 days


#5 posted 09-17-2010 04:32 AM

damn, I didn’t even know we HAVE standards lol ;)

I heard about Whitecap before as well, but never realized they were not up to par – seriously. what in the specs is not suitable for your needs, and what will this be used for that it has to be ‘better’? just curious and want to learn myself.

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

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1553 days


#6 posted 09-17-2010 04:45 AM

Well, okay, I can’t quote chapter and verse from where I read what, and I have not seen any of these products up close and personal. That said, one person wrote that the Whitecap coating was a bit soft and perhaps waxy, then stated plainly “that it’s not as nice as the green stuff from Woodcraft.” Also, I believe that the Colorfin 3/4” product has 14 plys, more than Whitecap. I am looking for: hard, absolutely flat, dimensionally stable, and something to which glue drippings cannot bond. Can this be accomplished with Masonite plus 2 coats of polyurethane. Y’all tell ME. Right now, I’m simply trying to upgrade from raw birch plywood, two 4’ X 8’ 3/4” sheets glued together absolutely flat. I also want a large outfeed table for my new 3 hp table saw.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2301 days


#7 posted 09-17-2010 04:52 AM

any phenolic would keep glue off, also look into UHMW which basically nothing can’t be glued to, as to dead flat – since it’s 3/4” material, I’m not sure how flat it’ll stay without some structural support underneath. if this is for an assembly table, or glueup table – I think either materials will work for it (whitecap that is) with a torsion box.

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

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2301 days


#8 posted 09-17-2010 07:15 AM

shopguryl, mind you UHMW will/does NOT stay flat, and since it cannot be glued to anything (it’s main feature) it usually needs to be bolted down (TS fence faces, miter sliders, jigs, etc). That said, I see it sold as 3/4”x4”strips (24”-48” lengths) at woodworking supply stores (rockler,highland,woodcraft,leevalley, and the list goes on). it’s not too pricy for what it is. you’d usually want to use it as a part of a jig, and won’t use it for an entire construction. I usually get cutoffs and spares off of eBay for pretty decent prices. may not be available everyday, but keep an eye for it – again, you only need to stock on it once in a while for jigs etc. (sorry for the long answer)

for glueup table tops I have a 40×48 sheet of 1/4 phenolic I got for $5 a sheet at a construction recycling center. it’s used in construction to protect floors in remodeling – much like masonite sheets (which I also use as small temporary glue up surfaces , if it gets over used I toss it away, and use another one (takes a while to abuse it though)) for an assembly table – I’d just either of those 2 options.

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

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2194 days


#9 posted 09-17-2010 07:38 AM

I’ve bought and used the black phenolic ply from whitecap, made a custom cabinet for someones trailer and used the rest of it for shop jigs and my outfeed table. I see nothing wrong with it. I did have to put solid wood “battens” under neath to keep it flat, much like a torsion box. Glue doesn’t stick and whitecap says it can be used (uncut, because the edges are sealed) about 20 times for concrete forms. Anything that can survive that much moisture is fine for me…

-- Childress Woodworks

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 2194 days


#10 posted 09-17-2010 07:43 AM

Big, I noticed there are 5 Whitecap locations in NC . Not sure how close you are to them, but at $35 (that’s what I paid) a sheet, I don’t see anything wrong with trying it…

-- Childress Woodworks

View thebigvise's profile

thebigvise

190 posts in 1553 days


#11 posted 09-17-2010 03:56 PM

Thanks, Guys. Lots of tips and advice. I believe that I’ll look at a Whitecap place the next time I get close to one. Clearly, I need to see it, then form my own opinion. It’s probably fine. And, yes, I realize that pure phenolic—or two-sided phenolic coated plywood, for that matter—will require mechanical fasteners to use it as a top on a surface that is already strong, flat, and rigid. By the way, I am not familiar with the term “torsion box.” Can you help?

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

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