Just curious if my local supplier is way out of line. His hardwood
seems a little high and the plywood is, IMHO, expensive. The BORG
sells birch for $44 and Oak for $49 and Lowes has maple for $48. I
just bought some oak from the hardwood supplier and it was great
plywood but sometimes you don't need the best.
Here are the prices, how do they match what you pay?
Cherry 3/4 plain sawn 103.24
Mahogany 3/4 92.50
Maple 3/4 rotary 64.96
plain sawn 100.80
Apple 127.20 (is this what David Marks uses?)
Red Oak 3/4 plain sawn 78.24
Walnut 3/4 plain sawn 119.60
Hickory 3/4 plain sawn 98.56
Ash 3/4 plain sawn 104.20
Birch 3/4 plain sawn 56.45
Check the grade stamp on the plywood. Expect to pay a lot more for A1
then what the Borg sells. In my area it is generally a lessor product
such as B2 or D4 . How visible is it going to be? JG
Hmm 48 SqFt of stable high grade stuff for $2.15 a SqFt is going to kill
you? If so, time to frame in some resawn solid stock.
Of course, without knowing the grade of the veneers or the core, it's a bit
speculative, but 4/4 FAS cherry is almost as expensive in the board
Actually an 8'x4' sheet is only 32SqFt. That makes the oak I just
bought for $60 about $1.85/SqFt. Better than solid wood but what I
can't get is why the price doesn't relate to the solid price. The
difference between Hickory and Cherry ply is $4.69 or 14.6 cents a
sqFt. But they sell solid hickory for $2.98 bf vs. cherry at $6.99/
bf. Huge difference in solid, not much in ply. Or how 'bout ash that
is $3.25/SqFt in ply but only $2.65/bf solid.
Yeah, yeah I know it depends on the grade and I don't know which grade
it is but it just seems a little odd for the price differences.
Blushes on the math. It's that old supply and demand thing again, modified
by other economic realities.
Certain woods respond poorly to veneer slicing operations, certain are in
high demand. Which one would you use if you were trying to keep people
working? Quality and availability of logs is a big factor, too. Up here
we've got birch, maple, red oak in abundance in veneer-quality logs, cherry
less, white pine - who cares. The number of sawlogs of the same species
does not correspond directly to veneer. There's usually two/three sawlogs
to each stick of veneer on the same tree before the next goes for pulp, and
the ratio of sawlogs to veneer in the same age range is considerably higher
We also have fir, spruce aspen and red pine for interior plies, but it's
more economical to buy it sliced and use local equipment for hardwood.
With modern equipment to amortize, the mill actually buys hardwood veneers
to run at capacity through temporary shortages. A snowstorm can slow
deliveries to next to nothing for a week. Two can empty the deck. A good
lawsuit by city dwellers can close off large areas of forest scheduled for
harvest at any moment as well. More of them than us.
Guess the best answer is that popularity increases production to grab the
higher price, but you can't produce from what you don't have. We don't have
walnut, the left coast doesn't have hard maple.
Only the Japanese have birdseye. They even paid to have odd logs hooked out
Couldn't compare directly to the choices of veneer.
local 3/4" 4x8 cherry is $49 with luan on one side
local 3/4" 4x8 cherry both sides about $75
1/4" 5x5 baltic birch about $13
1/2" 5x5 baltic birch about $20
3/4" 5x5 baltic birch about $30
picked up a "defective" sheet of ply for $5.00 yesterday for shop
cabinets. One side has about a 1' area where some of the face ply
Same supplier recently had 50 sheets of melamine 3/4" in various
colors for $5.00 a sheet, most with a corner or a flake off here and
Also picked up a 12" x 8' melamine shelf to make a router fence out of
like they just made in Wood Magazine.
"Melamine" is usually particle core material with a paper sheet
impregnated with melamine plastic resin bonded to the surfaces. (Yes, I
find it odd to call it "melamine"; we don't call maple veneer over
particle core "maple", do we?) I've never seen MDF with a melamine
surface on it before.
Formica ("formerly micarta") is a material formed of multiple layers of
paper impregnated with phenol resins, built up to form a thicker sheet.
(I don't know much more about the resin stuff beyond this.)
Without knowing the grades (or the reputation of the vendor),
those don't sound out of line for good quality plywood. You
can compare to what Boulter Plywood has on their website -
Boulter's not always the cheapest, but in my experience they're
competitive & reliably high quality.
"Apple", I think, is maple faces with an alder core (as opposed
to the more common luaun or fir in cheap plywood, and poplar in
better quality stuff).
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