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Baltic Birch plywood

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 860 days ago 5439 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

2788 posts in 1868 days


860 days ago

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

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bondogaposis

2478 posts in 976 days


#1 posted 860 days ago

I wish my Lowe’s sold Baltic Birch.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

564 posts in 2167 days


#2 posted 860 days ago

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

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1286 posts in 882 days


#3 posted 860 days ago

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

2163 posts in 1475 days


#4 posted 860 days ago

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

1074 posts in 1455 days


#5 posted 860 days ago

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 1216 days


#6 posted 860 days ago

lowes sucks

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

564 posts in 2167 days


#7 posted 860 days ago

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

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mloy365

432 posts in 1755 days


#8 posted 860 days ago

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

2163 posts in 1475 days


#9 posted 860 days ago

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

564 posts in 2167 days


#10 posted 860 days ago

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

564 posts in 2167 days


#11 posted 860 days ago

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

3073 posts in 1300 days


#12 posted 860 days ago

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.

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bruc101

564 posts in 2167 days


#13 posted 860 days ago

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

622 posts in 1898 days


#14 posted 860 days ago

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 1548 days


#15 posted 860 days ago

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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