Birch or Maple plywood with pine bed.

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Forum topic by Jeremy_D posted 03-10-2018 06:54 PM 194 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 587 days

03-10-2018 06:54 PM

Im building a bed. Going to use pine for the main framing. Plywood for the foot/headboards with pine styles. Went to my bigbox store and birch and maple plywood is about the same price. As of now I plan to use Rust-Oleum “Carrington” stain and then a water based semi gloss poly for clear coat. Im looking for any suggestions ideas or experience on which plywood I should use.

2 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile


220 posts in 504 days

#1 posted 03-11-2018 05:11 AM

I’ll say “it depends” depends on costs involved, the look you want, and is it viewed from just one side, or both, probably just one side. ANY plywood is made from laying layers of wood at angles to the last layer, so all of it is what we refer to as dimensionally stable. IOW it will not grow wider, and shrink with seasonal moisture changes due to Relative Humidity, so using it for larger panels makes your work less apt to self destruct as a solid wood glue up can do if you do not allow for that expected movement.

Baltic Birch closely matches pine for color, although grain patterns differ, and if you want to make it from very stable, very uniform ply, that is a good choice. Alternately you could use the good side of CDX plywood if you picked through the pile, and really looked for a pleasing grain, and a good color match on pieces with one very good looking side, and minimal voids, and defects. If I am looking for furniture or cabinets I just never find them, but if I go for XYZ use plywood for sheathing I see them often, so I know they exist, you just may spend more time looking then the cost of the BB ply would mean to you if time is worth anything.

If you do not see all of the plywood panels that are suggested, ask your retailer if they can special order for you. I shop at Menards, and they can get almost any ply made. I’ve found, at least at my store that the costs are usually lower than other local places where it is stocked, and always on higher cost plywoods it comes to me sandwiched between to beaten up pieces of ply, and shrink wrapped to totally enclose it, and keep it clean in transfer. Locally I can also get most anything at Lowes, or HD, it’s just Menards smokes them on price, and I have never gotten a sheet I didn’t like.

-- Think safe, be safe

View LesB's profile


1603 posts in 3373 days

#2 posted 03-11-2018 06:36 PM

Either of those plywood veneers would work. However be aware that some veneer plywood has MDF cores.
Some people dislike MDF but is is very stable when it comes to expansion and contraction and works fine for the use you describe (no structural strength needed). Veneer that has more structural strength is the Baltic type, sometimes called Russian or multi layered. Kiln dried Douglas Fir would also work for the frame and is stronger then pine.

As far as stain goes these types of wood (pine, birch, maple) do not always absorb stain evenly so be sure to put a seal coat on before you stain them to control the absorption rate.

-- Les B, Oregon

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