Home Depot = crappy 1/4 inch plywood?

Amateur needs a little advice.
Is Home Depot 1/4 inch oak plywood, the 3-ply stuff, extraordinarily crappy? Is the veneer less robust than 'good' stuff, in terms of being able to peel it from the edges? (I can fingernail large slivers off the Home Depot stuff pretty easily. Is this normal for all hardwood plywood?) Does good stuff have a more reliably bonded veneer surface, or is it all a little fragile? The HD stuff is very thin - it is certainly nowhere near 1/4 inch. It is also very flexible compared to the pieces I am attempting to replace. But the grain pattern and the 'roughness' of the surface is actually closer to what I'm looking for than the more refined surfaces of the 5-ply good stuff I've seen. And, the veneer itself seems thicker. Then again, the good stuff is much stiffer, and comes much closer to being a true 1/4 inch thick, both of which I would prefer.
I wish I could find good, fairly rigid stuff with the grain pattern and texture I need. It's a replacement for some very old and ruined veneer panels finished in a rough Mission style.
Can I stiffen the HD stuff by gluing a slightly smaller piece of the same stuff to the back? Or, should I use strips of 'real' wood (say 3/8" thick) to stiffen the plywood? I don't want to make it perfectly flat or terribly rigid - it has to fit into an old cabinet which is reasonably well warped.
Or, should I try harder to find some stiffer ply with a suitable surface? Or, is all 1/4 inch plywood a pain in the ass?
Thanks, fimmel
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have found that HD plywood is often crap. I also found that I can buy better plywood from my local lumber yard for the same price and have it delivered for free.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HD plywood does suck. What you're looking for is not often a stock item, but is available with a special order.
I get specialy plywood from my hardwood supplier, because he also does custom cabinetry. Go to your local lumber yard (NOT A BORG) or hardwood supplier and ASK at the contractor desk. Would will not likely find it waiting for you on a shelf.
My local yard doesn't even carry things like masonite or MDF on hand, but the get it for me in a few days.
-Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All the plywood I've gotten from HD over the years has been clearly stamped BC on the edge - it's not A grade and doesn't claim to be. Go to a real hardwood retailer and buy some A grade plywood, either hardwood 4x8 sheets or baltic/finnish birch squares. Ours even has a choice between bookmatched or plain veneers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If the surface looks like what you want, you can always stiffen it with some cheap paneling or door skin glued to the back.
fimmel wrote:

--

Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In my experience HD's hardwood plywoods (anything they're selling as cabinet grade or marine grade) is crap. Poor quality veneers, lots of interior voids, delaminates when you look at it. All the poor quality stuff seems to come from Columbia Forest Products (who I'm told make a quality product, but they evidently don't ship the good stuff to HD).
I've had better success with Lowes, who seem to get their ply from Georgia Pacific. However, Lowes appears ignorant of grade, sometimes the stack will be AA, sometimes BC, sometimes inbetween grades. I've had to visit different stores on occasion to look for the better grade stuff (it's all offered at the same price).

Might be 6mm, or even 5mm. Especially if it's not really oak, but is some tropical wood (and the ply is made offshore).
You might try a specialty dealer (e.g. Boulter Plywood up in Mass), and see if they don't have something like what you want. Boulter has a website (google for it, I don't have the URL handy) and they're friendly enough on the phone...
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fimmel, are you trying to put this into a frame? I assume so and if you are then you'll find the plywood is significantly stiffer than the plywood by itself. Also, you'll notice the flimsiness of a full sheet of plywood much more than in the smaller piece that I assume you need. In other words, when you cut the sheet to the smaller size you need and wrap a frame around it you might find it works perfectly fine for you.
-- Larry C in Auburn WA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, it is going into a frame!
And you are right - I cut a piece to size (about 10" x 32") and it seems a whole lot stiffer than it did while in full sheet mode.
But it's still not as stiff as what I'm replacing. What I'm replacing is ancient - it is 3-ply, with thick veneer, circa 1917. The core is wood at right angles to the veneer, and you can even see the core wood joints through the thick veneer. This stuff is quite rigid - even brittle. But it has wrinkled and peeled and split beyond all repair - and the sheets themselves are warped and cupped and generally depressing.
What I'm most worried about is whether the HD stuff will tend to de-laminate. I'm not familiar with all kinds of plywood, and the fact that I can peel veneer from the edge armed with nothing but my fingernail sort of bothers me. Then again, maybe *all* modern ply acts this way.
If I do decide to use it, I still wonder whether it would be better, structurally, to stiffen it by gluing a panel of material to the back, or whether I should used strip wood in a loose lattice to stiffen it.
I could veneer some panels myself, I guess, but it would be like Homer Simpson doing brain surgery. -------------------------------- fimmelOn Fri, 12 Dec 2003 20:02:25 GMT, "Larry C"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Be careful if you decide to glue two panels together to gain some thickness. If the two panels are not exactly the same thickness, you may experience some drastic curl towards the thinner sheet.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HD seems to have derived their own measurement scheme. I figure it's just a matter of time before they refuse to let you bring your own tape measure in the store and they'll be selling you their "special" versions of those as well....
Rob
--

Remove CC for email and please visit our web site:
http://www.robswoodworking.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.