It's about 40 bucks US a sheet for 3/4". Has anybody used any of this? It
doesn't appear to be oak core. I'm a bit fearful of it because I used some
Chinese plywood (not oak, not sure what it was) on a job last year and when
the finish (latex paint) went on the veneer got quite a few bubbles in it
(i.e. came delaminated in places) I'll probably go ahead and pay the higher
price for the stuff I know is good just wondered what you'all think.
I do not know of any Oak plywood that has an Oak core but I have used this
plywood and other than the grain pattern not being great I had no problems
FWIW I have had expensive plywood delaminate before also or should I say
that it was not laminated properly to start with as it separated as soon as
I cut it.
Over the years the same thing has happened to me a few times. That kinda
thing should be caught by QA/QC... but it doesn't always happen.
The distributor would always replace it and add a nice discount on the
I haven't seen the Chinese plywood yet, but I wonder if they're going to
be held by the same codes/standards as the North American manufacturers.
What are they allowed to use in their adhesives?
I just can't get my head around the whole idea of plywood being shipped
from China and retailing for same/less money than our stuff.
That's just nuts.
I could be wrong, but I suspect that we've been buying Chinese/Pacific Rim
plywood for a lot longer than most realize. And I'm willing to bet that the
source of the higher price sheet goods at the "wood boutiques" would make
you even more nuts.
I think you're right. I know for a fact that local cabinet shops use the
stuff by the pallet. Around here, it is about $12 a sheet cheaper than run
of the mill birch/soft maple plywood. I've used some, and it's pretty
decent. Built a wood rack out of it earlier in the year. The only thing
wrong was the planning--the rack is too small.
I'm another who has difficulty with the pricing and shipping. From what I
understand (and I may not understand all that well), we sell them the logs,
which are then shipping to China. They process it and return the plywood and
come in about 40% under plywood produced only 3000 miles away--or 500.
It makes no sense to me, but my guess is we're looking at some kind of
government support of that industry so it can get a foothold worldwide.
That and several other factors. The Chinese are artificially keeping the
exchange rate of the Yuan (think that's how it's spelled) fixed relative to
the dollar at a value advantageous to them. That kind of artificial
control only works for a certain amount of time before the control can no
longer be maintained. Since the Chinese government is a totalitarian
entitity, the idea that artificial controls won't work is foreign to them
and will most likely cause them problems further down the road. The other
factor is the labor rate, if you can get a Chinese worker to work a whole
day for less than what a first-world worker gets for one hour's worth of
work, and if you have relatively the same level of productivity, you can
make up a lot of shipping costs. That's even more true if the Chinese
worker receives no benefits (apparently some of the more rural areas of
China no longer receive government-sponsored health care). It does seem
difficult to believe that one can make up two-way shipping (raw material
over + finished product back) with just labor savings alone however.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
Actually, the yuan is tied to a basket of currencies, of which the dollar is
And they realized it, which is why they went with the basket.
Of course, everything is relative. Cost of living is considerably lower.
Just look at the wage differential between, say, San Francisco and Des Moines;
looks large, but when cost of living is factored in, the differential
almost fades away.....
I think you'd be suprised at how small the shipping cost actually is.
Note that only the surface veneers come from lumber shipped from the
US. Intermediate veneers are from native timbers. Leastwise, this was
true for the $60 sheets of 3/4 A1 cherry ply I recently purchased.
"From what I understand (and I may not understand all that well), we
sell them the logs, which are then shipping to China. They process it
and return the plywood and come in about 40% under plywood produced
only 3000 miles away--or 500."
I used to watch HUGE Chinese Japanese and Russian freighters dock at
Morehead City NC that were essentially floating production plants. The
largest building structure near the docks supplies either wood (sawdust
or chips usually) or phosphorus (nearby mine) to these huge freighters.
I was told that they go offshore into international waters (11 miles
out if I remember) and process MDF or whatever, dump the chemicals in
the ocean, then return to sell the goods.
Recently my wife sent me to the grocery store with a wad of coupons.
One was for some brand name canned (in a jar actually) peaches. So I
grab a jar and while I'm trying to figure out whether the dollar off
on the high-priced jar is a better deal that the cheaper house brand
can, I happen to look at the label and see, "A product of Thailand."
I put it back.
And I thought that the main cash crop in Thailand was opium.
Actually, I believe it is prawns. They also produce a large
fraction of the canned mandarins. Not to mention some tasty
combinations of spices and unusual sauces; pad thai gee anyone?
Per the CIA world factbook, they are considered a minor producer
The bulk of the worlds opium is produced from poppies grown
in Afghanistan (> 70% by some estimates).
<< haven't seen the Chinese plywood yet, but I wonder if they're going
be held by the same codes/standards as the North American
Probably not. If they haven't joined the plywood association and some
of the other associations dominated by all the "XXX Pacific"
conglomerate (you know, Georgia Pacific, Lousiana Pacific, etc.) then
they probably will stick to making hardwood siding for craft work that
doesn't need certification.
I have used plywood bought at HD last year that was some kind of paint
grade hard wood faced 3/4" that I should have bought a few extra sheets
of for future use. Close grain, had a legitimate "A" side, and finshed
very well. NO voids in the plies! It was marked on the edges as
"Product of Chile". I have no idea what kind of wood it was, but the
cabinets (including tops from this stuff) are in a busy office and they
look as good as when I turned them over.
We get "baltic birch", "Russian birch" and a couple of other "birches"
here at our local Austin Hardwoods from time to time, and none of them
are certified to meet any standards. They simply tell me, "if you have
any problems, bring it back".
If you are thinking it is hard to think of Chinese plywood selling for
less than US or Canadian, then wrap the old brain around this.
I was there several months ago at our AH store getting some 1X2
stile/rail/fascia and I noticed some of the prettiest red oak I had
ever seen. Simply beautiful. All the pieces were S2S, and they were a
uniform 11" in width, and about 10"+ in length. No knots, no
occlusions, no staining, nothing. Just nice, straight grained pink
Wow!! I asked the manager how he happened on to that stuff. Just got
it today, and most of it is sold, he answered. "Are you going to start
carrying it?" I asked.
Don't know, he says. We got two containers of it for all the stores,
and most of it has gone out to the stores or has been drop shipped. We
aren't sure when we will get more as the guys at corporate aren't
really happy with the reliability of their supplier.
Their supplier, you ask? CHINA. I saw the wrappers on the lifts still
on the truck, saw the spray painted shipping info and Chinese
characters they were pulling off the truck. Here's the great part...
they sell it as "Appalachian Oak".
It is not intended to fool anyone by thinking it was any kind of oak
from the Appalachian area, it is just "called" Appalachian oak since
they really didn't feel comfortable calling it red, white, black,
water, Spanish, live, or any other kind of oak. And it reminded them
of some of the old days in the lumber biz when they actually got wood
that looked like that on occasion. Hell, they don't even know what
kind of oak it it really is.
So the Chinese cut it, mill it, only pack the best, ship it here,
distribute it from a sea port, and provide a product that can be
distributed and sold for a profit for less than it can be had on this
YMMV, but all said and done, the HD close to me has decent plywood on
occasion ... I've paid more elsewhere for not a whole lot better quality,
but it can be hit or miss.
I agree with Leon ... I've used quite a bit of this stuff in the last few
years, particularly for backs and sides that don't show, and have had very
There may be voids in some shipments, and you often find a lack of
consistency in both thickness and weight from load to load, so you might
want to try to get all you need from the same stack/store when you do find a
I know you asked Swingman but for what it's worth, I have the 6" Jet
w/enclosed base and I have done up to 7' long pieces that I used to make a
table top from. Key to success is consistent pressure and speed and
"getting into it". Once you start, you'll get a feel of how you're doing. If
it feels awkward - then you're probably doing something wrong. It should
feel comfortable and you should be able to push the stock thru the blades in
a nice - fluid like motion.
Yes, you need to practice first to get the feel so take an old 2x4 and use
that. When you feel comfortable doing it - then move on to the good stuff.
I'm only 5'4" and if I can hold 5-1/2" wide piece of Ash, 5/4 thick and 7'
long down on the infeed and outfeed tables - just about anyone should be
able to with practice. I tried using roller stands and they caused more
problems than I was willing to deal with. Hold the board firmly down on the
infeed side just in front of the knives and feed the stock thru. Hand over
hand until about 12" has passed over the knives. Now move the left hand
(w/protector) to the outfeed table side and keep the movement going. The
right hand keeps light but firm pressure on the stock with the left hand
supplying 90% of downward pressure and the right hand supplying the
horizontal push. Once the right hand passes over the blades (remember it has
only 10% of the downward pressure) and is over the outfeed side - apply
pressure. Keep both hands on the outfeed side with sufficient pressure to
hold the board flat to the outfeed table going hand-over-hand. You'll soon
"get into it" - trust me. Turn on some country and enjoy the day.
Harder to describe than actually do it but with practice, you'll see if your
pressure and speed is right by the surface you get.
Be sure everything is aligned and blades are sharp. I have done pieces
longer than 8' but they were stock for moldings so no great weight and no
need for perfection since they were going thru the router anyway. The
weight of the stock will determine how difficult it will be to do a long
This may help
but it's not the link I was looking for which had an animation on how to
feed stock thru a jointer.
Sorry I neglected your question. I rarely go over 4', but, in recollection,
have done 75" +/- successfully with the PM 54a (the trestle table in the
kitchen comes to mind, which is 72" after trimming the ends).
Can't recall even trying anything longer.
I've done a couple doors, standard 80", on a DJ20. It works, but I wouldn't
try it on a smaller machine, and it is better done with an auxiliary tall
fence on the DJ20 to help with door width, and once the door starts, you've
got pretty fair balance, but have to pay a LOT of attention.
Thanks for adding to the comments Charles. I was considering the DJ20 but
since you have indicated that it may be a bit of a stretch to go 8'+ on
boards I think I will put that purchase on hold for a while. Have you seen
the posts regarding the FWW article on the sled to flatten boards with a
planer? And/or have you done this yourself? I am looking at upgrading to
a Delta 22-780 planer.
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