Baltic Birch...why the strange size?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 06-02-2015 11:23 AM 1023 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 1625 days

06-02-2015 11:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Title pretty much says it.

Wondering why it is so common for baltic birch plywood to come in 5X5 sheets instead of the much more standard 4X8 size of most sheet goods????

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

3 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


2017 posts in 3315 days

#1 posted 06-02-2015 12:54 PM

When I worked for thermoformer, we would get maple die board in 5×5 sheets. It was for making steel rule cutting dies. We used it to make mold bases and such. I think it had 13 layers as well. Very flat and nice looking. Expensive as well. Not sure why 5×5 though.

-- Chris K

View johnstoneb's profile


3070 posts in 2406 days

#2 posted 06-02-2015 12:58 PM

4×8 is standard in the US and Canada. The european standard is metric some where neazr the 5 by 5.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View DrDirt's profile


4526 posts in 3976 days

#3 posted 06-02-2015 02:26 PM

It became a standard based on their room dimensions…. sure the sheets are metric, but basically you imagine a room that has 10 foot ceilings.

2 5 footers is perfect.

what do you do with the 4X8?

Euro bathroom cabinets are 19 3/4 inches deep. So a 5 foot wide panel, can be ripped into 3 sections.

I suspect it started because all these buildings with narrow stairwells built in the 16th century as row houses, there is no way to really work with 4X8 sheets and get them in and out.
Even in our sometimes cramped home shops, we have to break down stock on a sheet of foam insulation with a skil or track saw…. 5X5 is a lot easier to horse around than 4X8 onto a tablesaw.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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