A defect in some plywood I bought recently.

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Forum topic by Dick, & Barb Cain posted 03-15-2010 07:24 PM 2432 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4324 days

03-15-2010 07:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m in the process of building some washer, & dryer pedestals.

After ripping this piece of 3/4” Birch plywood, the plies separated on one of my cuts.

I ended up injecting some glue, & clamping it up.

I’m glad this wasn’t to be used on a fine piece of furniture, or cabinet.

I was very disgusted with this, because it took some extra time to remedy this problem.

What’s the best way do you think I should do about complaining about this at Lowes?

Since I’ve used the plywood.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

15 replies so far

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4055 days

#1 posted 03-15-2010 07:33 PM

I do not see that you can do much about it – you have used the material. very occasionally “sh!t happens” in the manufacturing process, and some glue is missed from a part of the laminates, you can never tell until you cut into that particular board.

If it was regular occurrence – look for the manufacturers name on the plywood sheets and contact them or avoid using that manufacturer in the future.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3060 days

#2 posted 03-15-2010 07:54 PM

Take it back, it’s defective. They shouldn’t have an issue with it. The clerk at the returns desk may balk at first, as a default. You may want to take it directly to the contractors’ desk, first, and they will call down to returns and let them know what’s up.

I don’t think there’s any best way of complaining. That plywood is no different than buying a tool that is cracked or broken in the box. Trust me, with that stuff being cranked out in China, you’re not the first or last it’s happened to and you won’t be the first one to return it to Lowes.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4185 days

#3 posted 03-15-2010 07:57 PM

you can always just “inform them”. Perhaps others have had the same issue and they get enough stories they can make their own decisions about what to do with the issue.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3688 days

#4 posted 03-15-2010 08:00 PM

I had the same problem a couple of weeks ago with a sheet of 3/4” birch plywood I purchased at the local Menards.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3056 days

#5 posted 03-15-2010 08:07 PM

I too had some real crappy big box plywood. Delams, warping like a noodle when cut, face veneer so thin you can see through it as it peels off in ragged hunks.

NO MORE Lowes for me when it comes to sheet goods, it is now a longer drive to the real hardwood supplier and getting baltic birch and shop birch. Lowes has found a supplier , from guess where most likely, that ships garbage.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3030 days

#6 posted 03-15-2010 08:26 PM

It’s a surprise when it happens but it’s just a dry glue roller at the factory. They needed to refill the glue roller sooner. But it happens.

When I first started woodwork back in college (1973) I actually saved a lot of money by buying what they called “Blows” at a surplus store. It was poorly laminated plywood, usually just one layer but the pockets could be big or small, you could usually tell by tapping on the panel with your knuckle or a rubber mallet. Tried to find the ones with solid faces and delam’ed inner plies.

I just did what you did, dribble a bunch of glue in there and clamp it flat. Worked out pretty well. I could buy some nice face veneers, Oak, Cherry, Mohagony, on 3/4” ply for $7.50 to $10.00.

Now I try to get the good stuff.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3610 days

#7 posted 03-15-2010 08:32 PM

It’s defective, as already said.What’s wrong wen’t wrong during the laying up of the laminations ,and not due to anything you did. So take it back and point out that it’s of inferior quality and you paid for top quality should be simple enough.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3786 days

#8 posted 03-15-2010 08:57 PM

Welcome to the era of “vellie goot plywood”. The good old days when you could purchase quality plywood are gone, certainly so at the local “big boxes”. I just purchaed a 4’x8’ sheet of 13 ply birch at Lowes, where the top and bottom veneers are so thin, that sanding is almost impossible. Even carefully trimming the edge banding exposed the lower ply in places. I’m not at all pleased with the result.

There are a few places where you can still get good plywood, but it will require advance planning and more driving time. In a few weeks, when I head North on I 75, I may stop at the Frank Miller Lumber Co. and pick up a couple of sheets.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3610 days

#9 posted 03-15-2010 09:03 PM

Baltic birch ply is the best we can get if I remember correctly.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 3060 days

#10 posted 03-15-2010 09:18 PM

Some Lowes can and do get some great Canadian plywood. Of course, you will pay for it, but it’ll be nice. If you can’t get nice plywood, locally, check with the contractors’ desk at Lowes. They should be able to special order it.

View Enthalpy's profile


44 posts in 3066 days

#11 posted 03-15-2010 09:19 PM

I’d take the whole lot back….and kindly explain to them…that IT sucked…..

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3505 days

#12 posted 03-15-2010 09:29 PM

I would at least bring it to their attention. I have found that if I want to get good ply for a project, I go to the hardwood lumber company rather than HD or Lowes…the ply is much better there, but of course you pay for it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3745 days

#13 posted 03-16-2010 12:23 AM

I’ve noticed lately at Home Depot they have had maple plywood and others. Apparently, they are special orders through the contractors’ desk. They order a little extra for someone and put the rest in the aisle. If you use Lowes or Home Depot again, I’d suggest making the purchase a special order.

It also helps to know when the shipments arrive on the type of wood you want. For example, at my local Home Depot, the clear cedar arrives from the supplier at midnight on Tuesdays. That makes Wednesday morning the only time to buy clear cedar because it is well picked over or out of stock by Thursday or Friday.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3093 days

#14 posted 03-16-2010 01:45 AM

I had the same problem a few years ago with some Home Depot plywood and returned it – but it took a heated agrument to give it back.

The girl at the return desk called the lumber manager who said I couldn’t return it because I had cut it. He didn’t seem able to grasp the concept that the defect wasn’t detectable until it had been cut. After a few minutes, I demanded to talk to the store manager, and the lumber manager asked me to “step over there” while he located the store manager. He got really annoyed when I told him that I would just stay at the register until I had spoken to the store manager. Oddly enough, the store manager showed up within a couple of minutes and agreed to take the three sheets back. I’ve never bought ply from Home Depot since.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


405 posts in 3046 days

#15 posted 03-16-2010 02:19 AM

Not all plywoods are equal and the big box stores tend not to buy the best ones. I buy my plywood from a local lumberyard that only purchases the higher grades and they will gladly accept any returned sheets that are found to be defective. Ironically, the lumberyard’s price isn’t any higher than Lowes or HD (at least in this area). If you want good lumber, buy it from people that know lumber.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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