what type of plywood is this?

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Forum topic by jerkylips posted 12-12-2011 07:25 PM 2462 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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462 posts in 2748 days

12-12-2011 07:25 PM

I meant to take a pic this morning, but I forgot – will try to do it later.. Anyway, had a garage project this weekend & went to HD to get a sheet of plywood. I wanted something 3/4”, with a smoother surface than the underlayment/construction grade stuff. They had limited options – birch & oak ply that was more of a cabinet grade -around $40/sheet. They had something else that looked similar & was called “sand-ply”. It was a couple bucks cheaper per sheet & since it was just a garage project, I figured it was fine.

Once I got home, I noticed that the core was very different – it looked like 3/4×1(ish) inch strips of solid wood, with sanded veneers on each side. I’ve never seen this before – any idea what it is, best uses, etc?


6 replies so far

View DS's profile


3025 posts in 2598 days

#1 posted 12-12-2011 07:37 PM

Sounds like lumber-core plywood. Seen it in piano cabinets. Not sure of the more common uses.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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4032 posts in 3149 days

#2 posted 12-12-2011 07:48 PM

Sandply is pretty good stuff as far as I am concerned.

It is made in South America from cultivated pine, I believe.
It has more & thinner plys than generic construction grade 3/4” ply.
It has exterior glue.
It is graded (at least what I used was) as A-C so no patches.

I have run across very few voids in the inner core plys; and I cut three sheets into 3-9/16” strips to build my workbench so I would have been throwing a fit if this was like construction grade stuff.

The sanded surfaces are many times thicker than the hardwood (oak and birch) plywoods.
And, at my HD it often is on sale for ~$25 per sheet v.s. $45 per sheet of the hardwood ply.

My one big gripe is the fact it’s undersized. 3/4” ain’t 3/4”; its supposed to be at least 23/32”, but I even doubt that.

Still, It’s my goto product for shop tables, stands etc.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3373 days

#3 posted 12-12-2011 08:12 PM

This is great stuff and reasonably priced. We use it a lot so buy 5-6 sheets everytime it is on sale, here for $25 / sheet. Wish they had it in 1/2” also.

Also use it in the shop for “shop furniture” as in the picture of our in progress miter saw station. It was stained with “gun stock” red stain and 2-3 coats of poly to finish.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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35 posts in 2545 days

#4 posted 12-12-2011 10:02 PM

What you got was lumber-core. It is used in making table tops. if you route the edge, it has the grain going the same way as the veneer. It keeps you from having to do a bread board or edging if you want to route a detailed edge. Hope that answers the lumber core question.

For sanded ply, it is what I use in my shop for benches, tables, etc. to work off of. No reason to go with the oak or birch. My sanded 3/4” is 7 ply as opposed to standard 3/4” 5 ply.

-- A small shop has it's pro's and con's. Never big enough, but easy to clean.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3826 days

#5 posted 12-12-2011 11:12 PM

I noticed they were selling some kind of lumber core ply there at
Home Depot recently. Lumber core used to be fairly common,
you’ll run into it demolishing old built-ins and things like that. It
sort of disappeared for awhile but you could still get it from
specialist dealers or on special order. I reckon somebody
found a way to make it economically enough that the HD buyers
are going for it.

You’ll probably find the lumber core stays flatter than the cheaper
veneer core ply.

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2853 days

#6 posted 12-12-2011 11:25 PM

It sounds like lumber core to me also. The veneer on the surface is very thin. The front face is typically sanded and cleaner than the back. the back side is sanded by might not be as smooth and it often shows seams where the grain is not a perfect match like it is on the front. It was widely used in the late 60’s to ….’80 in my area of the country. It is flat and a good product but lacks the strength of the typical plywood. We ( in the center of the country) call it lumber core ash or oak or whatever the surface veneer happens to be. I was once told the core was willow in it. I don’t know but it is soft and light in weight. Back in the day this sold for more than plywood with veneer. Then people got tired of seeing the core on the corners of their cabinets and finish nailers became popular and CHEAP to buy and own so solid wood was introduced. In the ‘70’s LC ash and solid ash lumber cost the same per bd. ft. locally.

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