1/2" baltic birch ply question

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Forum topic by benduty posted 07-31-2014 04:51 PM 1101 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1839 days

07-31-2014 04:51 PM

So I’m getting ready to finally build some much needed shop storage. Small cabinets, shelves, etc…. I called the closest dealer (100 miles away) and ordered 8 – 5’x5’ sheets of 3/4” baltic birch ply. Paid over the phone and had a buddy go pick it up for me while he was in the area. When he got to my house I realized it was 1/2” instead of 3/4” so I looked on the invoice and sure enough I was charged for 1/2” instead. Of 3/4”. Here’s my question I haven’t cut anything yet but really don’t want to go through the trouble of trying to exchange it….plus they may not even allow exchanges. Am I better off just buying the 3/4” and saving the 1/2” for the future or will 1/2” be sufficient for what I’m wanting to do with it? I’ always tend to overbuild things anyways. Thanks for the help!

4 replies so far

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1953 days

#1 posted 07-31-2014 05:46 PM

I really like BB but I have never been successful storing it for more than a few months since I have to store it vertically, against a wall. It universally warps. If I could store it absolutely flat I think I wouldn’t have a problem. I also would not have a problem using it for shop storage projects. I recently checked the thickness of my base cabinets in the house. I measured a dozen times because I was stunned to calculate them at 1/2 inch. Particle board at that! Half inch makes good cabinets, especially with face frames. (even the shelves in my kitchen, which hold lots of weight, are only half inch melamine covered particle board). If you are putting wheels on your shop storage, I’d add a layer to the base just to be on the safe side, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use half inch for the sides, etc.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1423 days

#2 posted 07-31-2014 06:29 PM

It will not go to waste. Very stable plywood for making jigs, small cabinets, drawers, shelving, etc.
May be too thin for some projects but laminated together and you are all set for a strong work surface.
You may still need some 3/4”, but I would not hassle with taking the half inch back.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2689 days

#3 posted 07-31-2014 06:31 PM

I’m with RogerInColorado – 1/2” is fine if you’re adding face frames. Not good for shelves though! And bases with wheels need more beef.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View MrRon's profile (online now)


4770 posts in 3242 days

#4 posted 08-01-2014 06:37 PM

I would try to exchange it, or just exchange say 4 sheets for the thicker stuff. 1/2” is too thin for shelving unless it’s a very short shelf.

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