Oak Plywood Rant

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Forum topic by knotscott posted 07-25-2010 05:38 PM 1711 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7145 posts in 2792 days

07-25-2010 05:38 PM

It’s been around 6 years since I’ve done a project using much oak plywood….if there’s a next time, the ply won’t be sourced from Lowes or HD. Maybe it was just the available lot I had to select from, but holy cow this stuff is bordering unusable. I should have passed, but I guess I assumed it would ok. The “good” side doesn’t look as good as the “bad” side should, and the bad side might just as well be construction grade. The wood surface is alarmingly thin, is very brittle, doesn’t cut well, has noticeable flaws, doesn’t stain uniformally, doesn’t finish particularly well, and of course, doesn’t look so hot once done. Even the grain patterns weren’t particularly impressive. It’s pretty discouraging and I should have known better, but I’m passed the point of no return. I’ll pay the premium from a real lumber supplier next time.

Rant off…

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

13 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5099 posts in 2611 days

#1 posted 07-25-2010 05:59 PM

Greetings knot,
The best thing I’ve found about Lowes and H.D…... stay out of them places..if you can possibly help it… THe sorry ply that they carry (and I mean ALL of it) is made in China as we all know…. it gets worse all the
time…..I buy no ply at all from them…I go to my local lumber yard to get my ply….This is the best ply I
have ever used (other than B.B. made in Russia), and then it’s 5’x5’.... not 4’x8’. THe U.S ply I get is
made in Washington, and is the best…....Stick with American made… you know you can’t go wrong with it. Chinese ply and everything else they make is pure JUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View mrg's profile


655 posts in 2416 days

#2 posted 07-25-2010 06:45 PM

I have found that Lowes and Home Depot by me doesn’t have the greatest prices. My last couple of lumber purchases i bought from the lumber yards in the area. They are considerably less expensive and have much better quality. And to boot they help you load everything.

-- mrg

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 3586 days

#3 posted 07-25-2010 06:59 PM

With all the bad reports they have gotten here and elsewhere, I’m surprised anybody shops there. I sure don’t. Much better quality at my local lumber yard and if they don’t have it, they’ll order it.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View schloemoe's profile


700 posts in 2355 days

#4 posted 07-25-2010 07:04 PM

I keep hearing people tell me lumber is at it’s lowest price in years not so at Lowes and Home Depot.if anything the price has gone up and the quality has gone down…............................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View vicrider's profile


179 posts in 2315 days

#5 posted 07-25-2010 07:06 PM

I agree about the deterioration of quality in available plywood. I don’t shop HD or Lowes for anything that will show. I go to a local lumber store (they have a nice selection of exotic hardwoods also). My last purchase was a 5 foot by 9 foot sheet of marine grade ribbon mahogany ply. this one sheet was large enough to build a complete stereo album shelf unit (less the back and trim). However, that one sheet cost me nearly $100.

-- vicrider

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3544 days

#6 posted 07-25-2010 07:18 PM

IMNSHO, you forfeit your right to rant if you buy from big box stores.

-- 温故知新

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 2821 days

#7 posted 07-25-2010 07:41 PM

The only thing Lowes and HD wood is good for is practicing straightening boards that are warped in every possible combination of ways.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View wseand's profile


2754 posts in 2459 days

#8 posted 07-25-2010 07:56 PM

Will the bashing of these stores ever end, these stores are not specialized in anything. They are like 7-11s for the grocery stores, they are convenience stores. They do not sell top of the line products for the most part. They hire less than professionals employees and pay them accordingly. Somehow people go to these stores expecting far more then these types of stores are meant to provide. I certainly would not go to McDonalds get a McRib and than complain it didn’t taste like the ribs I got the night before from Texas Road House. If you are looking for professional grade products, then go to the place that sells them.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2792 days

#9 posted 07-25-2010 08:01 PM

I doubt everyone has the comparison knowledge of a professional, so they use what they know…like me. All I know is the plywood I bought several years ago from the same stores was acceptable, but it appears to have changed. Lesson learned though….I won’t repeat this mistake.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3090 days

#10 posted 07-25-2010 08:48 PM

I would stay alway from the HD, and Lowes for lumber to make furniture. I dont even like there plywood, the last sheet I bought came apart when I was ripping it.

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

325 posts in 2337 days

#11 posted 07-25-2010 10:10 PM

Wow Vicrider, that’s a good price for mahogany ply. Its $240 here for a 4X8 sheet and over $300 for marine grade Brazilian Mahogany!

Home Depot is a couple hours away from here and I have never bought any lumber there however I did recently buy some oak ply from my local lumber yard because it was a good price (ie: cheap!) and now its sitting against the wall collecting dust because it’s junk and didn’t work for what I needed it for. Guess I should have known better.

-- Scroll saw patterns @

View woodprof's profile


44 posts in 2607 days

#12 posted 07-26-2010 01:18 AM

Going to HD or Lowe’s and expecting high quality lumber or pw is like going to the mass marketers of furniture and expecting the furniture to be of the quality you’d get from a professional woodworker. A case of you get what you pay for, in this case if you’re lucky!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2400 days

#13 posted 07-26-2010 03:59 AM

The only lumber I will buy at lowes is pressure treated and that is because my local lumber yard doesn’t move pressure treated fast enough to keep it from twisting and warping. So they don’t carry it although they will order it for me if I wanted.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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