plywood differences

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Forum topic by Joeshop posted 02-20-2010 09:51 PM 4389 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 3353 days

02-20-2010 09:51 PM

What is the difference in Birch plywood and baltic birch plywood ??


-- ~You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.~ - Joe

10 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 10:11 PM

as I know the baltic birch is growing in the baltic countryes just beside russia and becourse of the
longer winther and shorter summer the grow a lot slower and has tighter grain structure
and the colour of it seems to bee a little whiter to me
and if you look at a plywoodboard you will see why so many use it for cabinets/furniture

for what it´s worth
just my 2cent


View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4194 days

#2 posted 02-20-2010 10:15 PM

Regular 3/4” birch hardwood plywood has around 4-5 core layers, usually of softwood…..3/4” Baltic birch plywood is usually made of 7-8 layers all hardwood. Also I think the Baltic outer veener layers are also thicker and will take sanding better..the regular birch ply the veneer has been getting thinner and thinner. The quality of the wood seems to be better all the way around. That why it’s a favorite for jigs and shop fixtures. You can usually buy it in full and half sheets…but its metric so the full sheets aren’t 4’x8’...I’m not sure what they measure exactly…


View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6348 posts in 3431 days

#3 posted 02-20-2010 10:24 PM

Greetings joeshop : I’m a true believer in Baltic Birch ply…. it’s all I use just about.. none of that cheap Chinese junk they want to call plywood… it’s all crap. Stick with Baltic, or Russian, which has about 9 plys in it.
Roman told me about some Poplar plywood that he uses in the cabinet shop, but I can’t find any where I live in the sticks….lol

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 10:35 PM

Baltic is known for the solidity of its core. Less voids and more plys!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Chrmakr's profile


20 posts in 3264 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 10:50 PM

There’s some general information about Baltic Birch at

-- Doug Roper Chairmaker and Instructor,

View pete57's profile


134 posts in 3647 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 11:18 PM

Pennsylvania Plywood has a great selection of plywood. I don’t thing they have a good website but do send out samples? The homedepot stuff is basically for building. The oak and maple have 3/32” outer skins and is not that good for where it shows but great for cabinet sides and stuff that will be painted. I usually use glue up panels for everything and get a beter grade of plywood that has 1/8” skins on them. It comes in Mahogany, walnut, maple red and white oak and other kinds of woods also. Birch and baltic is there as well, but where it comes from is a good question, never thought of it? It is more expensive but it shows when you build a piece. Just my opinion.

-- Humble Wood Servant

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3351 days

#7 posted 02-20-2010 11:41 PM

the sheet size in europe is 122×244cm

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4361 days

#8 posted 02-21-2010 06:08 AM

If you want a domestic supplier for a solid core many layer plywood, “ApplePly” is a brand name for a plywood that’s a lot like “Baltic Birch” ply. As others have said, the difference between the $40 at Home Depot “birch” plywood and the hundred and gulp a sheet stuff from the place that supplies the cabinet builders is dramatic.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 02-21-2010 02:28 PM

Baltic Birch is made in Europe, and comes in 5×5 sheets. The plys are all birch, not softwood. 1/2” has 9 plys, and 3/4” has 13 plys. It’s much stiffer, and stays flat if stored properly. Regular Birch ply will warp as soon as you get it home, regardless of how it’s stored.

Appleply is basically the same as baltic birch, but is made in the US and comes in 4×8 sheets.

For 3/4”, expect to pay about $75 for a 5×5 and $100 for a 4×8 sheet of Appleply. More if you buy it at Woodcraft.

-- Gerry,

View LukeW's profile


1 post in 3251 days

#10 posted 02-22-2010 08:12 PM

Interestingly, Baltic Birch was a trade name created by the company that originally had the exclusive rights to sell the product to the US market from the Soviet Union in the 70’s & 80’s. Baltic Birch was, of course, easier to market at the time than “Soviet Birch”. However, it all came from Russia and still does to this day. There are two mills in the Baltic countries (Latvia & Estonia), but 95% of the production comes from Russia. Still, nearly everyone still calls it Baltic Birch, not Russian Birch.

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