I bought a sheet of 3/4" oak plywood from HD yesterday and had them cut it
up. The splintering on the edges was horriblel it was bad on both the top
and bottom. The operator apologized; he said it is just this particular
plywood that splinters, all the others are fine.
I figured they were just too cheap to replace a dull blade.
I had them cut it oversized, and when I recut the edges on my TS it
splintered there also. Much much less then it did at HD, but certainly
worse than any other plywood I have cut.
I suppose it doesn't really matter, but I am curious if anyone knows what
could be wrong with this plywood.
I always put a strip of masking tape where the cut will go on my plywood.
If yours is as bad as you suggest, try a strip on both sides of the cut.
Works for me.
| I bought a sheet of 3/4" oak plywood from HD yesterday and had them cut it
| up. The splintering on the edges was horriblel it was bad on both the top
| and bottom. The operator apologized; he said it is just this particular
| plywood that splinters, all the others are fine.
| I figured they were just too cheap to replace a dull blade.
| I had them cut it oversized, and when I recut the edges on my TS it
| splintered there also. Much much less then it did at HD, but certainly
| worse than any other plywood I have cut.
| I suppose it doesn't really matter, but I am curious if anyone knows what
| could be wrong with this plywood.
I can't reply to your particular problem but I have noticed a huge
difference in quality from two of the big box chains in our own town
(Wichita, Ks). I usually have pretty good luck with Lowe's but they had
limited supply and what they had was bad. The East Side HD was worse than
bad - Horrible. I don't know how they expected to sell it. West side
Lowes' (16 miles away) also terrible. The West side HD, another mile, had
some really nice sheets to select from. I was almost to the point of
driving to a hardwood dealer 30 miles away.
I recently built a project that started out using some old oak ply drops
from my bar build (5 years ago). Didn't have enough to finish so I
went to the borg to buy more... there was a HUGE difference not only
in the quality of the veneer, but in its thickness. Old stuff better
than 1/32 new stuff barely 1/64....
I think the thickness has gone down, I have been using some birch plywood
and have had to go through many sheets to find a good one. If you sand to
much (not a whole lot) you will remove the outer veneer.
I bought some of that plywood just last week. The outer plys are very
thin and splintered easily UNLESS I covered the cut line with blue
painters tape. Then it seemed to do just fine. Another problem with
it I noticed was that it bubbled real easily if it got wet, so I won't
use any water based finishes on it.
I can't comment on the origin of the product. At HD here in Toronto they
have some of the codes listed on the label. Baltic Birch as opposed to
Birch, which is available in 5'x5' sheets is guaranteed to be: as thick as
its nominal size ( making tooling easier), greater, thicker, stronger plys,
from same company, origin, and quality. Its a hardwood.
veneer core v/c
lumber core l/c (sawed lumber: strongest, best edge, easiest to cut, not
fibre core f/c
particle core p/c
Type 1: (or "technical type"): exterior water proof
Type 2: moisture resistant, some delam if wetted, most common interior
Type 3: come apart if wetted; interior, keep reasonable dry
Face (by letter)
C (considered utility grade)
D (considered utility grade)
E (considered utility grade)
Back (by number)
Imported Hardwood (gen diff)
(both face and back by same letter)
N (best-not common, special order)
FLAT flitch cut, or stay-log cut - may be slip matched or book matched
(strength or specific gravity of species in core) - unless specific
application of strength or stiffness, need not worry.
Generally, woodworkers use B-2 or better on visible or outside, and C-2 or
C-3 or better for inside of furniture or cabinets. Softwod: N-B or A-B, and
no less than B-B outside.
1/2" Birch here at HD says at least this much on the label: G2S (B-2) VC
from Engler, Nick, Wood And Woodworking Materials
That's where I ended up getting my BB this past Wednesday. Also, the
only place in town I could find a 4 x 8 sheet of Melamine. It was my
first visit. Awesome place. I live SW of Oak Hill so it is a fair trek
for me. Thanks for the tip. Any other places in Austin you can recommend?
As someone else mentioned, Chinese plywood.
Home Depot (don't know about Lowe's) has rather recently been offering
cheaper hardwood plywood imported from China. The previous oak/birch
offerings were ~$41/sheet. The new Chinese offering is ~$23/sheet (at
least around Pittsburgh). The HD closest to my house actually has both
$41 and $23 birch plywood but only $41 oak plywood.
An additional help here would be a zero-clearance insert on your
tablesaw's plate. I don't get nearly the tearout you mention using a
WWII and a zero clearance plate.
If you can use the smaller sized 3/4" oak plywood i.e. 24"x48", it is of
cabinet grade, many more plies and much thicker veneer. This is what i
buy for most of my projects. I asked H.D. why they can't provide that
grade in 4x8 sheets and he replied with the standard generic answer
"I'LL check on that".
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