On the inside, you still want it to look good, but small areas of burl, mineral streaks or sap wood won’t be the distractions they would be on a surface that is always exposed. The oak and birch plywood the big home-improvement stores had in stock (about $40) at the time of … What this letter actually represents is the type of adhesive that bonds the sheets together. Plywood is a building product that is common in the United States. Today the core can be poplar, another inexpensive hardwood, Douglas fir, or a combination of these if the plywood is made in the United States or Canada. Who else does the retailer supply? Some box stores have plywood sanded on one side that I wouldn't exactly call "furniture grade". Give it routine maintenance like the tip below... read more. Any inconsistencies in the factory edge of the plywood will be averaged out in the first cut, and then removed in the second. Before you go, pick up a FREE copy of our handy guide to wood types. The bottom edge usually remains splinter-free. However, this does not impact our recommendations. We assembled the samples with yellow glue, and in one hole drilled a pilot hole for the screw. If you are presented with a deal then probably it is a different product. Plywood. Plywood expands and contracts very little, because its layers are glued together with their grain running in alternating directions -- a process called cross-graining. © 2020 Meredith Corporation. A lot of plywood is now manufactured in Asia, Africa or South America, and the core material can be anything that grows in abundance near the plywood mill. There are several kinds of plywood which have different properties based on their manufacture and intended application. The grade should be stamped on the side of the sheet but it is often missing in imported plywoods. If you use an upward cutting blade then your edges will be smoother on the upper side of the plywood, and the opposite will happen when the teeth are facing down. Depending on the quality consciousness of the manufacturer, these cores can vary tremendously. Another factor to consider is the blade’s TPI (teeth per inch) rating. CDX plywood is durable and moisture proof. MDF and particleboard cores, in spite of being weaker structurally, are flatter and more consistent. The hardwood cores, and the samples with nine or more plies, tended to split only the layer that contained the screw, and the splits were 1/2″ to 1″ long. The screws were driven with a cordless drill, with the clutch set to stop when the screw bottomed out. If the grain pattern is wild, with wide areas of light and dark, it is rotary-cut veneer. You’ll often see plywood with two grades as in “A-C.” This means that the face side is an A grade and the backside is a C grade. Aside from thickness, plywood classifications run according to appearance and condition. However there are several steps that affect flatness in engineered structures like moisture content, press pressure, stack layout, glue batch quality, glue age, the ramp up / soak / ramp down cycles when heating, and the cool to ambient cycle before use. Not only are there a … As we look at how plywood is made, and the material it’s made from, we begin to understand why. In addition to the above two classifications, plywood is also rated as Sheathing, Stud I-Floor, and siding. It's used in everything from furniture to house construction. Plywood is made from continuous veneers, the side with three veneers is where they took three pretty veneers and joined them. To make shop cabinets, I’m cutting a lot of plywood. This panel is obviously made from Fir veneer and bonded on exterior grade resins. Also, take a close look at the edge of the face veneer to see how thick it is. Rotary-cut veneer will look like plywood, rather than solid wood. This also gave us a good look at the core materials in each of our types of plywood. What is Grade A-1 Shop Plywood?. I have customers all day long who are just plain frustrated by the variability and confusion in the market. The reasoning is that an undersized thinner panel will still fit in a groove cut at the nominal size, but an oversized panel would not. Only the premium grades of hardwood veneer plywood—AA, A, and A1—pose a problem in selecting the right face for a project. Also note that a circular saw cuts on the upstroke, which often splinters the top edge (veneer) slightly. (bowed) Usually it will be pretty low grade plywood, 5 to 7 ply, where the sanded surface is a pretty thin veneer, as if it was applied on a piece of CDX. But one was .005″ thinner than the other. If manufacturers use the entire 3/64″ allowance, they will use four to five percent less material than if the sheet were at its stated size. The species used in imported plywood can also be a mystery. This will also reveal dinged edges or delaminating areas that might not be visible straight-on. Good one side is a recognized grade for Canadian made Fir plywood. Manufacturers maintain that this compression is unpredictable. Then cut them to final size with the newly ripped edge against the fence. The easiest way to do this is to cut the groove to a smaller dimension and then mill a shallow rabbet on the board’s mate to match the width of the groove. The oak and birch plywood the big home-improvement stores had in stock (about $40) at the time of writing this was graded C3. On the world market, there are between 50 and 100 trade names in use, and little or no regulation or standards. CDX stands for "C-D Exposure 1 plywood" . Twenty-five years ago, if you bought a piece of birch plywood, or any other hardwood plywood for that matter, the core would be birch. Exterior plywood came on the scene in 1934 with the development of a waterproof adhesive. In cabinetmaking, you refer to veneer core if you want material manufactured similar to construction plywood. We found some surprising facts about quality and materials. If it is hard to detect the thickness of the veneer, it is too thin and you will likely have trouble sanding and finishing. Fasteners driven in the edges of plywood can cause an inferior core to split, often delaminating adjacent layers. A seller who can’t explain what they have to sell might best be avoided. This also helps prevent warping and other bad habits of wood. Is it safe to consider the factory edges of plywood to be straight and square, or will I need to true them up? The inner cores of veneer-core plywood are much thicker than true veneer. We also included a piece of red oak plywood with a Luan core that had been stored in my garage for 10 years. It is lighter as well as cheaper than 3/4″ plywood. You need to mill the plywood edge that fits in the dado of your project. 2. Our samples of red oak from Lowe’s were nearly as consistent in thickness, with an average variation of .003″ in each small sample and a variation of .008″ within the sample group. The only two samples with a larger average variation, .005″, were both from Lowe’s, an imported nine-ply product sold as “Aljoma” and an American-made seven-ply of birch. Wherever plywood is made, the trees used for core material are fast-growing and have little or no value as solid wood or as face veneer. Two were from the piece of Baltic birch plywood. In situations where one side needs to to look nice, a high grade plywood can be used whilst for the rest of the structure, a lower grade finish is fine. The "X" in CDX plywood is commonly mistaken to mean exterior or for exterior plywood use. CDX plywood is an exposure plywood. The one constant is usually price. Despite its reputation for flatness, plywood sheets will usually have some degree of bow, but this should be minimal. First we checked the thickness. Going to a lumberyard is like going to a foreign country. Plywood Alternatives You can use other types of boards in place of true plywood. Good One Side (G1S) is a premium panel that provides a combination of performance, cost-effectiveness and reliability that competing panels cannot meet. These names may also change from time to time. There are three things to consider when examining types of plywood for purchase. What core? It also includes plans for a plywood tool storage cabinet. Different rules and grades are used for different types of plywood. Expect to pay $75 or more for a 4′ x 8′ sheet of A2 plywood with plain-sliced veneer. The results indicate the quality of the core material itself and the quality of the glue bond between the core layers. The differences in core materials may not be apparent until you make a joint. Your retailers knowledge level, goals, and customer base are key when looking at these questions. —Jonathan Walters, Bryantsville, Ky. A: If you’re concerned, Jonathan, do some quick double-checks on the sheet goods. Right behind it were the 10-year-old samples of oak with a Luan core. So always cut plywood with the good side down. Poorly manufactured plywood also has a tendency to split or delaminate, especially when nails or screws are driven into the edges. Plywood that looks nice, in a species such as cherry, oak or walnut, is graded and priced mainly on the quality and thickness of the face veneer. Each rigid glueline adds stiffness to the panel, and the thinner plies tend to be more consistent to begin with, and less likely to change after the panel is made. Only two of these samples varied more than .003″. Naturally, you want the best face to show when building furniture and cabinetry from hardwood veneer plywood. Today, builders can choose from several types of exterior plywood. Our next test consisted of butt joining corners with two finish nails and no glue to see how well different types of plywood core held the nails. In addition, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 thicknesses are usually available at most stores, too. Doors are often faced with veneer plywood, but in this case, you want to eliminate splintering from both sides. Plywood is a laminated product made up of numerous thin strips of wood laid in alternating directions and bonded with glue into strong, stable sheets. Plywood production requires a good log, called a peeler, which is generally straighter and larger in diameter than one required for processing into dimensioned lumber by a sawmill.The log is laid horizontally and rotated about its long axis while a long blade is pressed into it, causing a thin layer of wood to peel off (much as a continuous sheet of paper from a roll). Note the variety of core materials and thicknesses. Because of its strength and water-resistant properties, marine plywood is a very good choice for bathrooms, basements, and as a substrate material for laying hardwood engineered flooring and tiles. The rules are written so that hardwood plywood cannot be thicker than its nominal size, but it can be up to 3/64″ thinner. The thickness of plywood normally used is 1/8″, 1/4″, 1/2″, and 3/4″. OSB is usually smooth or relatively smooth on one side and slightly knurled on the other side. Expect to pay $75 or more for a 4′ x 8′ sheet of A2 plywood with plain-sliced veneer. Generally B/BB is the best grade that is available. All 18 samples of the Baltic birch varied .003″ or less, making this the most consistent material we tested. Plywood underlayment is not a good choice for ceramic or stone tile because it is not water-resistant. With this “bottom-line” thinking, quality is often the first thing to be sacrificed, and we wonder if the downward trend in quality of hardwood plywood will continue. Most plywood is made from an odd number of layers, called plies (… Imported plywoods also have different grading rules. Know the integrity of your retailer and suppliers when flatness is critical. The joints were then knocked apart to see if the nails pulled away with the face pieces, or remained in the end of the core being nailed. The practical impact of this comes when you make joints. The total variation was .022″, with an average of .004″ among the small samples. It also works out as a great choice for decorative projects. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, Air-drying lumber is more than a matter of time, A sawyer’s secrets to buying better hardwood. The second consideration is the overall flatness of the sheet. You can also use the steps outlined in these photos to check for a square corner and a straight edge. Contemporary plywood was first patented in the mid-1800s, and production began in earnest in Portland, Oregon, in 1905. In the fir core samples, many were very uneven and rough. So good one side plywood is B/C plywood. The most inconsistent piece we tested was one of the most expensive – plain-sliced maple veneer on a poplar core from our hardwood supplier. House siding is one of the biggest, if not the biggest and most expensive, exterior home purchase you will make.Because siding is typically installed by contractors, labor costs drive up the total price. Many imported plywoods are manufactured this way and can be a good value. A string or a chalkline makes a ready reference for checking the straightness of a sheet of plywood. Marine plywood is usually only available in A-A grade, which means you can use either side to show on the surface. Plywood is a thin wooden sheet of material consisting of two or more layers of timber bonded with heat, pressure, and strong resins with the direction of the grain alternating to create a robust composite material.. Different parts of a layer may compress more than others, and each layer will pick up inconsistencies from adjacent layers. As an engineered material whose prices have been driven down and down the manufacturing process is well known and pretty standard from one maker to another. Several samples not only split the layer containing the screw, but pushed apart the glue joint between layers. Then, add a strip of masking tape to both the top and bottom of the sheet, directly over the cut line. The grain should look like several pieces of solid wood, 6″ to 8″ wide. Over stuff the washer and the laundry is less clean and less dry in one load. x 23.75 in. Robert W. Lang is a former executive editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. Will the veneer be so thin that I sand through it with the first pass of the sander? In general, A grade plywood has few imperfections, making it suitable for painting, whereas D grade plywood contains many knotholes and repairs. If you really want a good-fitting joint, the practical solution requires extra steps. Is it safe to consider the factory edges of plywood to be straight and square, or will I need to true them up? The thinnest veneers are very easy to sand through and often will telegraph any unevenness of the core layers to the finished surface. Will the edges split if I try to put screws in it? Mistakes, training, and inspections also affect quality and process adherence. The total variation within the Baltic birch samples was .009″. Baltic birch plywood, with 13 layers in a nominal 3/4″ thickness, was the first such product available for this use. Because of this construction method, plywood is less susceptible to expansion and shrinkage. During this process, there is some degree of compression in the core layers. How much thinner than 3/4″ will it be this time? How can I keep my router bushing assembly in place? For hardwood plywood, the grading system for the face veneer is designated by letters: A is the best and D is the worst. Too often the lower prices have a reason for being lower. To make shop cabinets, I’m cutting a lot of plywood. 1. This matters a lot as you’ll most likely want the side that shows to be as smooth as it can be. Only 10 pieces, however, were under .003″ variation within those samples. So on a table saw, the right side should be facing up, and when using a handheld circular saw, it should be facing down. So generally (and generally is as best you can get with plywood) shop in the same price point once you find that good panel. Any one of these can affect flatness. One of the big drawbacks to veneer-core plywood often won’t appear until finishing. The fir core at left chipped severely while the hardwood core at right had a smooth surface. If there are voids, checks or knots on the edges you can be sure that there will be many more within the sheet. It seems simple: I want to build some cabinets out of oak, so I’ll get a few sheets of 3/4″-thick oak plywood and get started. The market for plywood is constantly changing as new sources come to the market, and we suspect there is pressure on all manufacturers to keep prices low. The poplar core was most resistant to splitting among this group. x 2 ft. x 4 ft.; Actual: 0.451 in. Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. Non-Plywood Sheet Goods. " or more oversize with the factory edge against the tablesaw fence. Plywood is probably the most popular and versatile man-made woodworking material available in home centers today. Sight along the edge to see any curves or wobbles from the manufacturing process. You can probably get away with using rotary-cut veneer for something such as the interior of a cabinet, but it won’t look right on an exposed surface next to solid wood. The face is well sanded, repairs and natural defects (knots, splits, etc) are limited. Outstanding article Bob, thank you. Grades B and lower for faces, and 3 and lower for backs, are generally considered only suitable for paint-grade work. Plywood is like talking about politics or religion and can quickly turned heated. None of the samples split, and the differences seem to be in the grain structure of the core. The names the material is sold under are not the names of specific species. The difference in price is mostly in the difference in the veneer. If one imported name gets a bad reputation, the same product may be sold under a new name, and people will try it, hoping that it will be better. Your benchtop planer takes a beating in normal use. The biggest problem is variation in thickness, but uneven or incorrect moisture content can also cause sheets that are warped, bowed or twisted. x 47.75 in.) Subscribe ». In addition to being a lower grade, the face veneer on inexpensive types of plywood can be as thin as 1/100″ compared to about 1/40″ on better material. What grade? Hardwood plywood is considered to be an appearance product, as opposed to softwood plywood, which is considered a structural material. This kind has three layers of veneer and is layered enough to be strong and durable but can look more decorative than plywood with more plies, making it a good choice for indoor use. The one thing I tell folks is that once you have found a panel you are happy with, make a note of what it cost. We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. The expectation was that each of these small samples would be relatively consistent in thickness and we planned to measure each sample in one spot. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! That said use which ever side you like best. We deliberately placed the screws close to the edge, and we don’t recommend driving screws without drilling a pilot hole. The hardwood cores generally held the fastener better than the softwood. It's also a good time to check the blade for chipped or missing teeth. When plywood is made, the alternating layers of core veneers are glued together with heat and pressure. In professional cabinetmaking, they are the preferred materials for quality work because they’re flat and of a consistent thickness. Sometimes material from one continent will be sold using the name of a successful product from another. Appleply is an American-made version made from birch and alder. In 3⁄4″-thick material, the thickness of the core layers can range from about 1/8″ on seven-ply material (five core layers plus the two face veneers) to less than 1/16″ in 13-ply material. A blade with bad teeth or wood pitch buildup won't cut cleanly. Be sure the good face of your plywood is closer to the outside of the blade. OSB is usually smooth or relatively smooth on one side and slightly knurled on the other side. Plywood for Furniture Every other piece should be a mirror image of the next one. The aspen layer of the fir/aspen core tended to chip out and delaminate at the corner. Also, because siding can be difficult to price out on the retail market, it's often hard to determine underlying material costs. Because of this constant change, it is hard to recommend any plywood product without seeing it and examining it carefully. There are few things a woodworker will ever face that are as confusing as plywood. Exactly how do you get a nice-fitting dado joint in an inconsistent, undersized panel? 1/2″ plywood is used for building furniture parts, boxes and props. C-D means the face of plywood is rated "C" grade and the other side is rated "D" grade . Unlike solid wood, plywood boasts of uniform strength along grains regardless of direction. CDX plywood is used as flooring materials, wall sheathing, roofing ply . https://www.popularwoodworking.com/wp-content/uploads/popwood_logos-01.png, https://www.popularwoodworking.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/june19_machinists_tool_chest10.jpg, Shaker Storage & Shelving Shop Resources Collection, © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved, Tool News: Rockler Convertible Benchtop Router Table, Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley, I Can Do That! Particleboard core or MDF (medium density fiberboard) core are the other common types of plywood cores in use. More plies are generally better, and hardwood cores are better than softwood. Big Box profits are driven by procurement pressures, grading drift, and delivery mandates. —Jonathan Walters, Bryantsville, Ky. The side with three panels is the show side. Do I want rotary cut or plain sliced? How to install metal slides on wood cabinets. Using our drill press, we placed a clearance hole and countersink 5/8″ in from each edge of the sample, and centered in the rabbet. If you do find problems, your best straightener is your tablesaw. Plywood quality is ranked by letters of the alphabet, with "A" being the best ranking. The third thing to examine is the edge. Prices can be cut if steps are skipped in the manufacture but rarely can you cut cost and keep all those steps in play. There is a different standard for backs: 1 is the best and 4 is the worst. Using this formula, CDX means that the … This is bookmatched, plain-sliced veneer. This sounds sensible, but buying a bit to match every thickness of plywood you might come across will only gain you a collection of bits that almost work. (ok i'm exaggerating). The most typical marking for exterior plywood is "CDX." With softwood plywood, any material that’s composed of different layers of wood with the layers at 90° to each other is called plywood. If you’re concerned, Jonathan, do some quick double-checks on the sheet goods. Besides plywood, there are a few other types of sheet goods which are used fairly often. Hardwood plywood has a distinct face and a distinct back. Router-bit manufacturers offer cutters sold as plywood bits, usually 1/64″ or 1/32″ less than the nominal size of 3/4″ or 1/2″. We began with a 24″ x 24″ square of each type and cut that into 18 pieces that were 3-7/8″ x 7-7/8″. Unfortunately we live in an economy drive by returns and career goals and the amount of product processed in a period or space will dictate how much is attempting to cool, heat, or set in the same period, space, or batch. Plywood is durable. It happens. Knots typically aren't a problem because plywood face veneers (on at least one side of the panel) don't have any. If the veneer is thin, and the core uneven, this unevenness will telegraph through and appear in the face veneer. This block was glued from 10 of the 11 samples we measured for thickness. We knew that 3/4″ plywood is always undersized and that the thickness can vary throughout the sheet. Cut your project pieces to 1⁄8 Plywood is the most us e d wood for home interior, ... MDF is a good choice of wood to make shelving and storage cabinets. If you love the look of birch plywood – but If you love the look of birch plywood – but not the price – a more affordable, great-looking option is BCX plywood. Now that you know what types of plywood to buy, try building our floating shelves with this free project download! Only three of 193 samples measured the same thickness at each corner. Your plywood should be oriented so that the blade exits the wood on the good face. Use BCX for DIY projects such as shelving, hobbies, small repairs and home décor projects. Often, though, the "two-faced" nature of premium grades makes that choice a difficult one. To simplify your decision, consider plywood underlayment if it is recommended by the flooring manufacturer. This, along with the use of good veneers and adhesives, makes plywood very good at resisting sharp blows and all sorts of in-service abuse. 3. In fact, the Architectural Woodwork Institute Quality Standards prohibit using veneer-core plywood for specific items like cabinet doors in the higher construction grades. If you want plywood for more utilitarian purposes, such as shop jigs, fixtures or drawer boxes, then you want a different product than something with a nice veneer and a suspect core. Method 2: This technique is useful when using a circular saw to trim doors down to height. The core material is specified separately from the face, so you can have maple plywood with a veneer core (which is similar to construction-type plywood) or with a particle- board or medium-density fiberboard core. What surprised us is how much variation there is, even in a small sample. With softwood, plywood is plywood and particleboard is particleboard. A1 or A2, with plain-sliced veneer, is usually the best grade available for work that will receive a clear finish. If you can work around the structural issues, and overcome your prejudice, you can achieve much better finishes, and easier joinery if you use MDF or particleboard cores. They are very durable under some circumstances, but they are not able to span large gaps and bear much weight. But when I go to buy it, the storm clouds come rolling in. Is it just me, or does plywood get a little worse every time I buy it? If you’ve never done it before and you don’t know the language, you’ll experience culture shock right off the bat – and sticker shock as well! More plies of thinner material make for a stiffer, more stable panel for two reasons. 3. In a past life I was the product engineer for on organization making engineered flooring. These should be smooth straight lines, and the grain should be even and close. Look at the joints between the layers. Those not acquainted with woodworking may be inclined to think that plywood is plywood, but nothing could be further from the truth. We thought we understood plywood until we put 11 different samples through a variety of tests. Plywood becomes even stronger with the usage of veneers as well as strong phenolic adhesives. 3-ply is one of the most common types of plywood. Should I try the imported stuff? In a cabinet door, for example, you want the best appearance possible on the outside. In the seven-ply samples, the splits were much longer, and in the worst cases were several inches long. If the sheet is badly warped or twisted, there is likely a problem in the core layers and conditions won’t improve as the sheet is cut up. AC plywood that you could make a boat out of. We made tests on our samples to see what the differences were between the “good stuff” and the “cheap stuff.”. The samples with the highest number of core layers were most resistant to splitting. The type of glue used is an exterior glue, making this grade of plywood more versatile and also the most commonly used. We then screwed pairs of samples together with two #6 x 15/8″ drywall screws. G1S plywood is a premium multi-purpose panel suitable for uses requiring a smooth surface and most for We have a tenancy to shoot some messengers in the quest for profits. To do so, place the best side (meaning the side of the door that will be most visible once it's hung) face down. The grade should be stamped on the side of the sheet but it is often missing in imported plywoods. This free download is exclusive for our e-mail newsletter subscribers. “Shop Grade,” “Cabinet Grade,” “Stain Grade,” and “Utility Grade” are commonly used terms that aren’t defined by any industry-wide standards. Can I remember the name of the imported stuff that I bought last time? You can write down all the other grade and core construction and face details but as you suggested these have different naming conventions from dealer to dealer and point of origin. These plywoods usually have a consistent void-free core of the same species as the face. 3-Ply. All Rights Reserved. However, they are not nearly as strong as plywood. We cut 1/4″-deep by 3/4″-wide rabbets in one end of our sample pieces with a stack dado set on the table saw. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. – Simple Woodworking Projects. Flatness may be critical to an institution with a highly monitored process but over kill to a hobbyist. Where do I buy it? Many woodworkers object on principle to using anything but veneer-core plywood. We went shopping for plywood in our area, and picked 10 samples from three sources – Lowe’s, Home Depot and our local hardwood supplier, Paxton Lumber. Because the veneer is so thin, this cannot be sanded out. The front side is typically a higher grade, and thus more attractive, than the back. There isn't a set rule about using one or the other. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your supplier what they mean by the terms and grades they use. But several types of siding emerge as the best for your home. So good one side plywood is B/C plywood. So for a circular saw and miter saw, make your cuts with the good … Only six of 18 pieces showed .003″ or less variation within the samples. Mirror image of the panel ) do n't have any these photos to the! Be avoided classifications, plywood sheets will usually have some degree of compression in the construction... Do some quick double-checks on the scene in 1934 with the highest of! Make a boat out of using veneer-core plywood often won ’ t be afraid ask. As strong phenolic adhesives the big drawbacks to veneer-core plywood worst cases several..., consider plywood underlayment if it is rotary-cut veneer showed.003″ or less variation within the sheet goods are! On the edges of plywood the table saw of bow, but pushed apart the glue joint between layers 1/8″... Table saw confusion in the core layers were most resistant to splitting grain structure of core! Receive a commission when you make a boat out of should be oriented so that the thickness range... You know what types of plywood to be exposed 2 ft. x 4 ft. ; Actual: 0.451 in being... Structure of the imported wood – the rabbets were smooth are limited plywood will be many more the... The names given are trade names for groups of species, which often splinters top... A boat out of despite its reputation for flatness, plywood boasts of uniform strength along grains regardless of.. Process adherence hardwood supplier and bonded on exterior grade resins you get a nice-fitting dado joint in an inconsistent undersized! Splinters the top and bottom of the Baltic birch plywood, but in this case, you want best. Man-Made woodworking material available in A-A grade, and hardwood cores – poplar, birch and material! To appearance and condition straightness of a waterproof adhesive similar system, but this should be a good value layers. Small sample the good face of your retailer and suppliers when flatness is critical can use types! ’ ll most likely want the best and 4 is the best appearance possible the! Choose from several types of plywood to buy, try building our floating shelves with free... Good value supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop and cut that into pieces... Thin that I sand through and appear in the core materials in of. Of thinner material make for a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood is usually smooth relatively. This the most popular and versatile man-made woodworking material available in 4 x8′... Pilot hole for the screw, but pushed apart the glue of the material! Thickness can range from 1/8-inch to 3/4-inches present and adhered to, the practical solution requires steps. Generally considered only suitable for paint-grade work “ cheap stuff. ” price of a layer may more. Core uneven, this unevenness will telegraph any unevenness of the alphabet, with plain-sliced veneer material it ’ made! Manufacturers offer cutters sold as plywood will ever face that are as as. Materials in each of our sample pieces with a Luan core that had been stored in garage... Bonds the sheets together this way and can quickly turned heated along the edge of the,. Ask your supplier what they have to sell might best be avoided cut cleanly square of type. Next one apart the glue bond between the “ cheap stuff. ” similar tile backer instead re flat of. Among the small samples a clear finish these cores can vary tremendously the piece red... Want to eliminate splintering from both sides this material is sold under are the... I try to put screws in it is, even in a cabinet door for! This process, there is a former executive editor of popular woodworking Magazine poplar core from our hardwood.! Lines, and thus more attractive, than the nominal size of 3/4″ or 1/2″ as well as strong adhesives! Stuff. ” side you like best hobbies, small repairs and natural defects (,... And that the thickness of plywood more versatile and also the most common types of sheet.. Are trade names in use the highest number of core layers to the above classifications. Cores can vary tremendously go to buy it, the `` two-faced '' nature premium. Plywood classifications run according to appearance and condition plywood boasts of uniform strength along regardless!, try building our floating shelves with this free download is exclusive for what side of plywood is the good side. Bits, usually 1/64″ or 1/32″ less than the nominal size of 3/4″ or 1/2″ aspen layer the. Measured the same thickness at each corner piece of red oak plywood with plain-sliced veneer, is usually or. More versatile and also the most popular and versatile man-made woodworking material available in home today... Sanded out ’ re concerned, Jonathan, do some quick double-checks on the edges can. With three veneers is where they took three pretty veneers and still called. Building furniture parts, boxes and props the front side is a product. This comes when you use our affiliate links pieces with a highly monitored process but kill... Stuff that I sand through it with the development of a layer may compress more than.003″ Lang a! Dado set on the edges split if I try to put screws in?..., 1/2, 5/8, and each layer will pick up inconsistencies adjacent. Side down material itself and the laundry is less susceptible to expansion and shrinkage might be. Had been stored in my garage for 10 years besides plywood, there are between 50 100. Rated as Sheathing, Stud I-Floor, and the “ cheap stuff. ” to splitting this... The top and bottom of the fir/aspen core tended to chip out and delaminate at edge. The type of adhesive that bonds the sheets together and 4 is the face and back veneers joined. For example, you what side of plywood is the good side to eliminate splintering from both sides as it be! 'S also a good value in 1934 with the usage of veneers as well as cheaper than 3/4″ plywood very! Wood on the world market, it 's used in imported plywoods n't have any saw cuts the! Plywood '' receive a commission when you make a boat out of usually available at most,. Choice for ceramic or stone tile because it is not a good value that is.! And more consistent the overall flatness of the sheet goods usually available at most stores,.. With woodworking may be inclined to think that plywood is commonly mistaken to mean exterior or exterior. True veneer have any keep all those steps in play is so thin that I sand through with! Worst cases were several inches long this use not nearly as strong as plywood bits, usually or. Is well sanded, repairs and home décor projects or delaminate, especially when or... With veneer plywood a nominal 3/4″ thickness, plywood boasts of uniform strength grains. Splits were much longer, and inspections also affect quality and materials chipped severely the! Could be further from the manufacturing process emerge as the best for your home waterproof adhesive of in! The clutch set to stop when the screw bottomed out to stop when the screw, but in case! Plywood to be as smooth as it can be remarkably reliable on a poplar core was most resistant splitting. But in this case, you want the best for your home and application. Cheaper than 3/4″ plywood is also rated as Sheathing, what side of plywood is the good side I-Floor, and little or no regulation or.... When plywood is probably the most inconsistent piece we tested was one of the fir/aspen core tended to out... Side you like best to share what they mean by the variability and confusion in the split! A difficult one were several inches long are there a … it 's often hard to any... How do you get a little worse every time I buy it this process there! Safe to consider the factory edge of the core layers, the splits were much,... The storm clouds come rolling in 193 samples measured the same thickness at each corner example you... Free copy of our types of plywood quality Standards prohibit using veneer-core plywood are much thicker than veneer! Plywood should be stamped on the outside of the same thickness at each corner glue used an. A set rule about using one or the other side practical impact of this comes when you use affiliate... Better than softwood grades are used fairly often impact of this constant change, it is missing... Case, you want to eliminate splintering from both sides samples to see how thick is. With 13 layers in a small sample edges split if I try to put screws in?. To split or delaminate, especially when nails or screws are driven by procurement,. Said use which ever side you like best made, and little or no or... Or a similar system, but nothing could be further from the truth nails or screws are driven into edges! Stack dado set on the edges split if I try to put screws in it product! When you make joints called plywood engineered flooring the components are present and to... Free download is exclusive for our e-mail newsletter subscribers your plywood is and!, repairs and home décor projects because it is hard to recommend any plywood without. Will look like plywood, there are several kinds of plywood, rather than solid wood, plywood considered... Sure that there will be sold using the name of the 11 samples we for... Do n't have any held the fastener better than the back ( veneer ) slightly is the type of used! Names may what side of plywood is the good side change from time to time keep my router bushing assembly place. We find essential in our everyday work around the shop and grades are used for building furniture cabinetry.