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?
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
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
My local yard doesn't even carry things like masonite or MDF on hand, but
the get it for me in a few days.
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.
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...
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
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
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
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"
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.
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
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