Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, Noel, Charley, CHJ

By HeathRobinson
Hi all,

I'm a hobby woodworker and am thinking of tackling a few projects that will need some plywood. Bases of boxes, a workbench (ply and mdf) and in the future drawer bottoms and maybe even some veneered stuff beyond that.

I would think that interior grade A-A or A-B stuff would be fine for the bases of boxes and drawers and even the workbench. Question is, where, as a retail customer, can I get this stuff on as as needed basis. I really don't have the space to store a load of it at home. As per thread title, I am in Wiltshire but prepared to travel to surrounds to collect.

I only have a standard hatch back type of car without roof racks so collecting would also mean that the sheets would need to be broken down at least enough to fit in the back otherwise I'll have to investigate delivery or renting a suitable vehicle which seems a bit over the top for a bit of plywood.

As I also don't yet have a circular saw or table saw I tried searching for the sorts of short run CNC places that are rumoured to exist that will take a cut list or CAD drawing and produce the parts for you but no dice here in the UK.

Aside from my router I have been a bit of a galoot up until this requirement for plywood reared it's head so wondering about cutting it. I have read the galootish arguments about how some of the japanese saws and western panel saws are able to cut plywood but require frequent resharpening. Realistically it looks like I may have to abandon my galootish ways in the face of sheet goods unless I can get the stuff cut up for me at source.

Any tips much appreciated,

PS. B&Q plywood I've seen at the Chippenham branch is not up to the quality of finish I want and when I've asked them to cut in the past they either cut the stuff badly skew or tell me they don't do cuts at that branch anymore despite having the machine.
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By jasonB
You will have a job getting A/A or A/B grade, its almost impossible to get even full pallets. You will have to settle for S (improved) or BB/BB

Richard Russel, W T Edens and James Lathem will deliver small amounts to where you are but there may be a charge.

If you want cut to size & delevered to your door, South London hardwoods will cut up a sheet and send the bits to you. Rough cutting and trimming with your router will give a good cut edge.

For bottoms of boxes you could try 6mm veneered MDF, a maple finish would look similar to birch or veneered one side 4mm ply with baise stuck to the inside to cover the baclancing veneer.

By mrwilby
There's an Edens in Corsham which I spoke to just before Christmas, and they were very helpful.

UNIT A19, Fiveways Trading Estate, Westwells Road, Hawthorn, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9RG

TELEPHONE: 01225 811844
FAX: 01225 811881

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By Steve Maskery
I get mine delivered now, but in the days when I carried them home on the roof of my car I did the following:

Go to timberyard with two pairs of trestles, a home-made guide rail and a fully-charged cordless circular saw in the back of the car.

Park as far away from everyone else as possible.

Buy the sheets and dolly them over to the car.

Get out the trestles, the saw and a guide rail and cut them up into narrower lengths. Not a proper cutting list, but enough to make handling and transporting possible. If you don't have a CC, a hardpoint handsaw will do the job almost as quickly and keep you fitter, too.

Load then up, pack away the kit and get out of there before anyone can complain about the sawdust all over the car park.

It worked for me for years. :)

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By big soft moose
heath - i'm near avebury and have access to a pick up truck. So if you dont live too far away I could may be help you out with picking it up if you find a likely suplier who doesnt deliver
By HeathRobinson
Thanks everyone,

JasonB, CHJ and MrWilby - In the new year I'll be putting in some calls to the leads you have provided. Many thanks :) Pitty about the availability of AA / AB panels Jason. Browsing the projects page I found Waka's Rosewood and Birdseye Maple hand tool cabinet and he has ordered some custom veneered ply for the birdseye from Winwood Products. It may be that, if I find myself in need of something like that then, I'll do the same. No doubt quite expensive though.

Steve, I thought about the cordless circular saw idea too but the reports on here and elsewhere put me right off. Terrible battery life, underpowered and often more expensive than their tailed cousins. As it happens I bit the bullet last night and ordered a mains powered circular saw. So at least breaking the stuff down has now been covered.

Big Soft Moose that is really very kind of you. The people on this forum haven't stopped surprising me with their generosity since I joined. I'm going to try for a delivery but if that fails then will put out an SOS on the forum nearer to the time :)

Thanks again,
By PaulO
big soft moose wrote:heath - i'm near avebury

Interesting, I live in the village next to yours, and if people ask me where it is, I never mention the S word (Swindon) despite it being the nearest town.
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By AndyT
You could also try near Keynsham, off the A4. I've not been there for quite a long time, but last time I did they were very helpful - sheets cut to size etc. and happy to supply in retail quantities. Their range is quite large too.

Or you could try Robbins in Bristol good for some less common woods (especially those wanted for boatbuilding). Again, they will cut to size and supply in small quantities but can be very expensive.

In both cases the firms are better than their websites!