<< 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