I am about to build some kitchen cabinets with solid birch for the doors
and trim, and birch ply for the carcases. In looking up birch I find 3
kinds listed. White (paper) birch, red birch, and yellow birch. My
current understanding is that white birch is the sapwood and red birch
is the heartwood of the same tree. Yellow birch seems to be a different
species. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each. Is it all in
the color? Grain and workability different? Are both suitable for
Can somebody enlighten me further on this.
Nope. These are all species of birch tree. Especially, I'd stay clear
of white and grey- garbage relative to black, yellow, red.
Your best bet is to get some samples of the ply and dimension material,
surface & finish them as intended, and choose the combo you prefer.
And ... there are sometimes truth-in-labeling problems, so you might
not be getting what you anticipate. Besides piece-to-piece variation.
Well, maybe. Some consider, for instance that "black" birch and "cherry"
birch are merely sports, not species. Of course, "white birch" can be other
than paper birch, too.
The one thing you can count on with birch is that the solid wood will more
closely resemble the peeled veneer than with almost anything else you can
buy. With the price of sliced veneer, that's a plus.
I'm hoping there be some real feedback in this thread. I used white select
(or is that select white?) birch 3/4" plywood for my kitchen cabinets. To
choose the pieces, I went to one of our larger lumber yards in the area
(long before HD days), and went through three stacks of plywood to get
what I wanted, three very tall stacks. The grain was very similar on the
pieces that I purchased so it all looked matched when they were built, but
not without a lot of looking and a very helpful, and patient, lumber yard
That wood was truly beautiful; that was a bit over 20 years ago. About
ten years ago, I bought a single sheet for a project; the choice was *not*
appealing and not even fun to work with. The piece I bought was
comparable to the least of those I had looked through before. A couple of
months ago, I looked at some. Note I said "looked at," not bought. There
was nothing there even remotely comparable to what went into my cabinets.
Are others as disappointed as me at the quality of what is readily
available? I'm talking about overall availability, not just at the
warehouse yards. For the utilitarian projects I'm building now, I use
mostly the "seconds" from Shurway though do buy some of what is supposed
to be good. Honestly, the seconds are just as good as that I've paid much
more for. I'm a bit concerned about being able to find good wood when I'm
ready to make something I'd like to pass on to my children/grandchildren .
. . is there good stuff out there, something worth the time and effort
that went into my kitchen cabinets?
The Pacific Northwest is supposedly lumber country, so I wonder what's
happening in the rest of the U.S.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenna Rose) wrote in
Have you looked at ApplePly? States Industries, I think. I get excellent
service and product at Plywood and Lumber Sales, in Oakland, CA.
(www.pals4wood.com) There are at least 4 or 5 other, excellent suppliers
here. Most are for 'the trade', but with so many small shops, hobby users
who are educated and respectful of the business needs of the yards are
usually welcome. Being affiliated with a club or guild helps considerably.
I have to believe that someone in Portland has similar product and
All that being said, I've had better results with maple than with birch.
Various 'soft' maples are native to this coast, and available at reasonable
prices and excellent quality.
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