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Baltic Birch Myth or mystery?

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Chrispy

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I often see posts referring to Baltic Birch ply this is a term that I've not come across outside social media.

Can someone enlighten me what is meant by Baltic Birch ply?

As far as I know all Birch ply that I buy is either Russian or from Finland.

Is it a confusion of the grading system as in B/BB etc.

Or is it describing ply that has come from the Baltic states, as to me that means Russia and to me the Russian ply is inferior to the Finnish.

Or perhaps it is an Americanism describing ply from over the sea somewhere as opposed to home grown.
 

Spence

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I think part of the Baltic Birch name comes from the fact its alliterative. I have never seen Finnish Birch Ply but I have heard it has a higher QC than regular Birch Ply. I have some Birch Ply in my workshop and it has some honking great knots in it. It's still far superior to the B&Q stuff I see.

They do grow Birch in America so maybe you are right and the Baltic part comes from the fact its imported. What if they grow the Birch from Baltic seeds, are the trees Baltic or not?

Marketing stuff like this makes me wish they clearly labelled sheet materials by grade rather than ambiguous gimmicky names that get warped over time or diluted by social media exposure.
 

YoelD

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As far as I know, it's an 'Americanism' to differentiate it from yellow (American) birch.
 

Bodgers

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Spence":3k8ph4mn said:
I think part of the Baltic Birch name comes from the fact its alliterative. I have never seen Finnish Birch Ply but I have heard it has a higher QC than regular Birch Ply. I have some Birch Ply in my workshop and it has some honking great knots in it. It's still far superior to the B&Q stuff I see.

They do grow Birch in America so maybe you are right and the Baltic part comes from the fact its imported. What if they grow the Birch from Baltic seeds, are the trees Baltic or not?

Marketing stuff like this makes me wish they clearly labelled sheet materials by grade rather than ambiguous gimmicky names that get warped over time or diluted by social media exposure.
There are specific grades.

Check out the Hanson Plywood site:

https://hanson-plywood.co.uk/product-ca ... chplywood/

Lots of UK suppliers refer to 'baltic' or Russian Birch, so it isn't a complete Americanism.



Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
 

AES

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I can't say that I KNOW, but remember that what we call the "Baltic Sea" (sail N up the North Sea and turn R when you get to Denmark, then run between Germany on the RH coast and Denmark & Sweden on the LH coasts, in the end reaching Estonia, etc, later on) isn't called the Baltic Sea in German. It's called the "East Sea".

That suggests to me that the term "Baltic" really only means the region generally - e.g. wood grown in N. Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, etc, etc.

That's just my own idea, and probably completely wrong, but as said, I've always assumed that "Baltic" just means wood not grown in the US or Asia.

Just my guess.
 

Droogs

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I've always thought that Baltic birch was an american term used to describe ply made from slow grown wood sourced from above 60deg N
 

GrahamF

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Droogs":2pxssjc6 said:
I've always thought that Baltic birch was an american term used to describe ply made from slow grown wood sourced from above 60deg N
Never quite understood what some of their terms mean, they also quote "cabinet grade" sometimes. It does however seem that, judging by appearance, they can get better quality at their local timber merchants than the rubbish our local ones stock.
 

Sgian Dubh

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Chrispy":2k9n76nr said:
I often see posts referring to Baltic Birch ply this is a term that I've not come across outside social media. Can someone enlighten me what is meant by Baltic Birch ply?
Essentially, it denotes a relatively high quality and stable engineered board through the fact that it uses more laminations, along with each lamina being pretty much void free birch, in the thickness than in lesser grade plywoods. For example, 12 mm thick Baltic birch plywood typically has nine cross laminated veneers, all birch: lesser stuff might have only five lamina of which the three that form the core are thicker than and of a softer and cheaper species than the thinner higher quality, and perhaps more expensive show wood on the faces.

Originally, Baltic Birch plywood did indeed come from areas or countries closely associated with the Baltic, e.g., Finland, Latvia, Sweden, Russia, but nowadays the material may be produced in other areas but, as I understand it, the quality of material used and its manufacture into plywood closely match the original relatively high standards applied historically to the designation 'Baltic Birch plywood'. Slainte.
 

doctor Bob

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Sgian Dubh":1wz6h2yp said:
Chrispy":1wz6h2yp said:
I often see posts referring to Baltic Birch ply this is a term that I've not come across outside social media. Can someone enlighten me what is meant by Baltic Birch ply?
Essentially, it denotes a relatively high quality and stable engineered board through the fact that it uses more laminations, along with each lamina being pretty much void free birch, in the thickness than in lesser grade plywoods. For example, 12 mm thick Baltic birch plywood typically has nine cross laminated veneers, all birch: lesser stuff might have only five lamina of which the three that form the core are thicker than and of a softer and cheaper species than the thinner higher quality, and perhaps more expensive show wood on the faces.

Originally, Baltic Birch plywood did indeed come from areas or countries closely associated with the Baltic, e.g., Finland, Latvia, Sweden, Russia, but nowadays the material may be produced in other areas but, as I understand it, the quality of material used and its manufacture into plywood closely match the original relatively high standards applied historically to the designation 'Baltic Birch plywood'. Slainte.
Very useful, thank you. I just order A grade one face and it turns up as described above with many equal laminations. Now I know what I'm asking for properly. They probably not understand what I'm talking about next time.
 

Deadeye

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doctor Bob":3hwhitot said:
Very useful, thank you. I just order A grade one face and it turns up as described above with many equal laminations. Now I know what I'm asking for properly. They probably not understand what I'm talking about next time.
Hi, where do you order A grade from please?
 
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