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Baltic Birch plywood

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 04-13-2012 12:27 AM 5932 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

2975 posts in 1988 days


04-13-2012 12:27 AM

I am Pis-ed. I just spent many hours redesigning my CNC router to accomodate 3/4” (nominal) Baltic Birch plywood. I was using 23/32” as the actual thickness. I went and bought some Baltic Birch from Lowes, took it home, but when I measured it to verify my design demensions, it measured .682” thick. That is way less than 3/4” nominal, more than 1/16” under. BB is 18mm, but this is even below that. Pretty soon, if you want 3/4” ply, you will be getting closer to 5/8”. I ordered a sheet of MDO which is 3/4” and returning the BB junk to Lowes. I now have to redesign my CNC machine for 3/4”material. I don’t need this aggrevation.


39 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2741 posts in 1096 days


#1 posted 04-13-2012 12:49 AM

I wish my Lowe’s sold Baltic Birch.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#2 posted 04-13-2012 01:09 AM

3/4” Domestic and China made ply is actually 11/16” thick. We use 1/2” And 1/4” Baltic Birch on occasion and it’s always true to it’s dimensions….1/2” and 1/4”.
I’ve never seen Baltic Birch ply in a big box store.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

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AandCstyle

1472 posts in 1001 days


#3 posted 04-13-2012 01:10 AM

I wish my Lowe’s sold Baltic Birch.

No you don’t. Can you say potato chip? :D

-- Art

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Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1595 days


#4 posted 04-13-2012 01:37 AM

Was this 4×8 or 5×5 material?

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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GaryL

1080 posts in 1575 days


#5 posted 04-13-2012 01:50 AM

I’m with Lee on this one. If it’s not 5×5 more than likely it’s not BB. The label “Baltic Birch” is being overused as much as “Amish Made”.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

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doughan

96 posts in 1335 days


#6 posted 04-13-2012 02:07 AM

lowes sucks

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#7 posted 04-13-2012 02:08 AM

Up until a year ago 5×5 Baltic Birch is all we could buy. Now we have a couple of vendors that carry it in the 4×8 size. The price almost doubles for the 4×8 foot sheets over the price of the 5×5 sheets.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View mloy365's profile

mloy365

435 posts in 1875 days


#8 posted 04-13-2012 02:14 AM

Lee and Gary are both right. I don’t know what that stuff is that they sell at Lowes, Menards etc…..?

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

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Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1595 days


#9 posted 04-13-2012 02:45 AM

I have seen the Chinese 4×8 faux Baltic, but not the real thing. Turns out, thanks Bruce, it is getting more common. There is a good FAQ column here.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#10 posted 04-13-2012 03:24 AM

On one of our trips back to Russia visiting my wife’s family we drove by a plywood factory when out and about one day. She’s from a large city in Siberia. It never crossed my mind to go for a visit and watch them make BB plywood.
When we return for a visit this summer I’ll be sure to make a trip there, get a tour and take some photos and a video and do a show and tell here on LJ.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

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bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#11 posted 04-13-2012 03:50 AM

Small Birch Trees in Russia. Photo taken from a train in the Kostroma area in Russia.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

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Grandpa

3203 posts in 1420 days


#12 posted 04-13-2012 04:00 AM

I have bought Varsity Birch but never at Lowes or HD. I get it from a local home owned business. I haven’;t bought any lately so I am not sure if the quality has changed.

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#13 posted 04-13-2012 04:21 AM

I would suggest leaving the big box stores alone. Find you a cabinet shop in your area and ask where they buy their lumber and plywood from.
Most wholesale vendors also sell retail to woodworkers. Sometimes you can get much better deals through a local vendor than trying to order online and you can see what you’re buying. Pick it up yourself and forget the shipping charges,
I saw an online vendor selling soft maple for over $4.00 a brd ft. I’ve never paid over $2.00 a brd foot for the best soft maple on the market. I also pay about the same price for beautiful curly maple.
Last year I bought curly maple and common cherry for $1.00 a brd ft because my vendor had a huge stock of it.
Monday I have to order some 10 inch and wider popular…$1.48 a brd ft.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

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FirehouseWoodworking

635 posts in 2018 days


#14 posted 04-13-2012 05:01 AM

There is a product available in 4×8 sheets that is basically Baltic Birch but with a phonellic (sp?) resin on both faces. The stuff we use is called FinForm. It is used for shoring and concrete forming. We use it in Trench Rescue training. Stuff runs about $150 a sheet, USED!

Absolutely flat. 13-ply Baltic Birch. No voids. Heavy as all getout. There is also another brand out there but I don’t recall the name.

You can order it through lumber yards and specialty stores. Even Lowes can special order it. We get ours (used) from United Rentals.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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Howie

2656 posts in 1667 days


#15 posted 04-13-2012 07:16 AM

Bruce, wish I knew who your vendor was. Those prices are 1/2 of what I pay at least.
I see HD and Lowes with birch ply but have never seen baltic birch at one of them.

-- Life is good.

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